At ITB Berlin, WYSE Travel Confederation hosted three on-stand workshops to discuss key trends within the youth travel sector.
Professor Greg Richards started by discussing the Chinese youth traveller and how Chinese outbound travel is expected to grow by 17% per year over the coming decade. Whilst WYSE’s research revealed North America as being the favourite destination for young Chinese travellers, with 55% of the group defining themselves as a traveller and their average travel spend being 3,750 euros, this is definitely a market to watch.
Second session was kicked off with a lively debate into the Death of the Backpacker during which Professor Richards revealed how changing travel styles and more disposable income have led to the emergence of the flashpacker. More connected, with 41% using social media on a daily basis compared to just 26% of traditional backpackers, they also typically spend nearly 20% more per trip making it vital that industry professionals adapt to this new trend.
Finally, the on-stand sessions concluded with a talk on Mobile bookings, a multibillion industry which is predicted to continue growing over the coming year. With 35% of youth travellers using mobile applications for research and booking lead times shortening over the past few years, it is little wonder that access to mobile booking has become the second most important factor to youth travellers when planning a trip. However, with only 28% of youth travel accommodation providers having a mobile app available to their customers, it is clear the tourism industry has some catching up to do.