Travelers 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, according to new research.
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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
Arabian Travel Market 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-22 April 2020, will bring together travel and tourism experts from across the globe to discuss the burgeoning global tours and activities market, which according to New York-based Skift Research, is estimated to be worth $183 billion this year, a 35% increase since 2016.
“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 ME, Arabian Travel Market 2020.
ATM 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. And addressing these issues ATM 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% 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 travelers who are now typically aged
between 40 and 56 years, travel least out of the generations, due to corporate careers,
50% of all leadership roles worldwide are occupied by Gen Xers. As such they
value work-life balance and prefer relaxing holidays to de-stress.
Interestingly, 25% of Gen X will accept word of mouth during their decision-making
process and are especially drawn towards cultural experiences Expedia research
found that 70% enjoy museums, historical sites and art galleries.
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 traveler 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.
Ipsos research in September 2018, concluded
that 25% of the MENA region’s population is made up of Millennials; 97% are
online; 94% are present on at least one social platform; 78% share content
weekly; 74% have interacted online with an brand and 64% are always looking for
best offers and deals available. This may have something to do with the fact
that 41% of MENA’s Millennials feel overwhelmed by financial burden, and only
70% of those of working age, are actually employed.
“One emerging trend travel and tourism experts
will be watching is Generation Alpha – the children of the Millennials.
According to Skift these kids, born after 2010, will start making their own
travel arrangements well before the end of this decade and there is a belief
that they are expected to be even more disruptive than their parents,” added
Finally, Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2010, aged between 10 and 24 years, spend 11% 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% are inspired by peers on social networks and 70% are open to creative ideas. As true digital natives, they are comfortable researching, planning and booking their travel from their mobile phone and yearn for new, unique and authentic experiences.
“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. We will
also be launching the Middle East’s first ever edition of Arival Dubai @ ATM
showcasing the next generation of in-destination trends and innovation, as well
as exploring the various opportunities that sector presents,” said Curtis.
ATM, considered by industry professionals as a
barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost
40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With
over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever
exhibition from Asia.