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Differences in travel preference between different age groups of travelers

Travel survey commissioned by IBS Software, a provider of SaaS solutions to the travel industry

Survey Reveals Younger Generation Prefers Traditional Advisors

U.S. travelers navigate vacation planning amidst inflationary pressures and rising debt rates, according to a survey commissioned by IBS Software, a provider of SaaS solutions to the travel industry. The study highlights a notable shift in booking preferences, with a record 47 percent of respondents opting for in-person advisors or online travel agencies (OTAs) for the sake of convenience.

Contrary to expectations, the younger generation displays a preference for traditional travel advisors, with 38 percent of Millennials and Gen Z favoring this method. In contrast, Gen X and Boomers predominantly utilize OTAs, with only 12 percent and 2 percent, respectively, turning to traditional travel advisors. This resurgence of interest among the younger generation has impacted direct bookings through vendor websites, accounting for just 22 percent of respondents.

Of those surveyed, 92 percent plan to maintain or increase their holiday travel spending. The top reasons for heightened spending include opting for longer trips (46 percent), choosing higher-rated hotels (43 percent), and upgrading transportation (43 percent).

Despite generational differences, travelers emphasize securing the best deals when booking vacations. For Gen X (52 percent) and Gen Z (36 percent), obtaining the best deal is the primary consideration. Boomers, favoring direct bookings on airline and hotel websites (63 percent), attribute their choice to increased savings through loyalty programs.

Holiday priorities vary, with 40 percent focusing solely on holiday travel, while only 17 percent plan New Year’s Eve trips. Family-oriented vacations rank high for Boomers (51 percent) and Gen X (30 percent). Millennials lean towards theme parks (23 percent), while Gen Z shows a preference for ski trips (29 percent).

Key factors influencing hotel choices include location, cleanliness, and overall hospitality. Boomers prioritize location (60 percent), followed by reviews (39 percent), recommendations (35 percent), brand loyalty (35 percent), and amenities (41 percent). Notably, cleanliness emerges as the decisive factor across all age groups.