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ATM 2020: Experience now key to travel decisions of all generations

Travellers from across the globe representing all generations now have a common interest in activities and experiences that are now influencing, indeed in many cases driving, their travel decisions.

That is according to new research from Expedia Group Media Solutions released ahead of Arabian Travel Market.

The research underscores the notion that cultural and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, exploring new destinations and interactive activities, are ranked by all generations significantly higher than value or a discounted price.

“Although all generations are now looking for activities and experiences, above all else, what makes this market more complex, is the individual preferences and demands of each generation and of course ultimately, the challenge facing marketers trying to engage with them,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Middle East, Arabian Travel Market.

Arabian Travel Market is holding a series of seminars on its Global Stage identifying the latest in hospitality concepts as well as the most recent trends in cultural tourism to future developments in the wellness economy and responsible tourism.

Addressing these issues, Arabian Travel Market has recruited industry experts from Kerten Hospitality, Accor, as well as representatives from Abu Dhabi and Ajman tourism boards.

Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 are the least concerned about budget and are especially interested in sightseeing and in the case of American tourists, 40 per cent will plan their holiday around food and drink.

They want safety, security and service and the so-called Platinum Pensioners are a much sought-after demographic – they want to relax and generally avoid long haul trips. 

Gen X travellers who are now typically aged between 40 and 56 years, travel least out of the generations, due to corporate careers – with 50 per cent of all leadership roles worldwide are occupied by Gen Xers.

As such they value work-life balance and prefer relaxing holidays to de-stress.

Generation Y or Millennials, who are today aged between 25 and 39, are the most talked about generation and are the undisputed champions of the frequent traveller title, technically adept and the great disrupters.

More than anything, Millennials crave adventure and experiential variety and although they are careful with their budget, in gross terms it the largest submarket by revenue, generated through sheer volume.

Finally, Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2010, aged between 10 and 24 years, spend 11 per cent of their travel budget on activities and tours the highest of any generation according to Expedia research.

What sets this open-minded, interactive generation apart from the others, is that 90 per cent are inspired by peers on social networks and 70% are open to creative ideas.

“So, in response, apart from the challenges of marketing to these disjointed generations, the ATM seminars will also be examining how hotels, destinations, attractions, tours and other activities are created, packaged and priced, to meet demand,” said Curtis.

More Information

Arabian Travel Market, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19th-22nd, will bring together travel and tourism experts from across the globe to discuss the burgeoning global tours and activities market.

Find out more on the official website.

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