The report, which is the latest edition in a benchmark study first conducted in 2002 and then 2007, surveyed over 34,000 young travellers from 137 countries.
New Horizons III reveals the industry’s most detailed insight into how the youth travel industry has become increasingly complex, appealing to a larger and more diverse demographic than ever before.
Not only has the age range of people considering themselves as travellers increased – with travelling seen as a state of mind rather than an age category – but so to has the variety of reasons for people travelling. The report sheds light on how motivations behind youth travel are evolving and shows a significant rise in the trend of cultural tourism.
Young travellers are putting more emphasis on gaining cultural, educational and work experience, as well as improving their education and work prospects rather than simply travelling to have a holiday.
The report shows that young travellers now represent 20 per cent of international tourism, making it a hugely important economic force. In 2012, £138 billion of the £692 billion tourism ‘spend’ worldwide came from young travellers. The rise in youth spending vastly outstripped that of other international travellers whose spending increased by just three percent over the same period.
The report also reveals the way youth travellers use technology to communicate and book their travels is rapidly evolving and having a major impact on the industry which is having to evolve to meet travellers increasing and varied requirements.
WYSE Travel Confederation members have free access to the New Horizons report. They can obtain their copy by contacting the Confederation. Non members can purchase the report online here.