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The excited gen-z generation lead the way when it comes to overseas travel

Holidays are a need as the newer generation Z show us why it is important to travel more over your lifetime

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By Yashna Balwanth | July 4, 2023 | Travel Leisure

The travel landscape has shifted significantly over the past few years, and one noteworthy change witnessed globally is the increase in travel amongst the younger generation, who have a rather different approach to travel when compared to their older counterparts. This is according to Sadudee Sangnil, director at The Tourism Authority of Thailand in London, who says that younger travellers have vastly different attitudes when planning and enjoying their expeditions.

She explains that this generation is generally time rich, so it comes as no surprise that a recent study revealed that millennials can take up to 5.6 trips a year, compared to Boomers, who generally take 3.5 trips annually. Sadudee associates this trend with the influence of social media and the shift in culture, amongst other things.

“We cannot deny the influence social media has in creating excitement, perfectly curating how an unknown destination looks and what tourists can expect once they get there. The use of smartphones to do research and make bookings has also made travel-related processes a lot less admin-intensive, which appeals to the younger generations who thrive on instant gratification.”

She adds that looking after oneself plays a big part as well. “Prioritising mental health is very important to the younger generations, and travel plans are often influenced by this. For example, we are witnessing a rise in solo travel amongst this generation, who wish to discover themselves and explore unknown destinations during this process.

“We have also witnessed an uptick in the number of young solo travellers coming to Thailand for not only adventures & nightlife but also to enjoy spa and wellness retreats. This type of travel takes a more holistic approach – such as exploring the outdoors with hiking, spa experiences and meditation experiences.”

The biggest driver of travel does however ultimately come down to disposable income and the ability to afford travel. Locally, research conducted by Student Village and Youth Dynamix revealed that South African youth have a combined potential spending pool of R303 billion per year, which can influence general lifestyle and spending habits. Although international travel is not accessible for many South African people in the country, Thailand still remains a destination of choice for many young South Africans because of its rich culture, extensive experiences and affordability.

Regardless of the motive, Sadudee adds that “It is clear that the younger generation is reshaping travel and leading the way because they know what they want. Social media has made it relatively easier to put an itinerary together without much help needed from a third party. This group already has significant spending power, which we believe will continue to increase as the generation continues to progress through their life and career paths.”