A study from tourism marketing organisation MMGY Global has revealed that in spite of Brexit, millennials based in the UK are planning to travel more – and spend more – on holidays abroad this year.

According to data from 2,000 active leisure travellers, millennials (people aged 18-39, in this case) intend to take 41 per cent more holidays in 2019 (an extra two holidays per year on average) and will increase their trip budgets by 20 per cent.

In the past 12 months, millennials spent £4,601 on travel; over the next 12 months they expect to spend £5,535. Meanwhile, Gen Xers and Boomers spent about £7,000 and intend to invest only marginally more (4-8 per cent) over the coming year.

Although two thirds of millennials believe Brexit will have an effect on holidays, this generation is the most optimistic, with the majority believing the impact on passport control queues, exchange rates and airline fares will be more positive than negative. This was in direct contrast to the predictions of the over-40s.

Amanda Hills, president of travel, tourism and lifestyle communications partner Hills Balfour, Europe and Middle East, says: “The research proves that UK travellers of all ages consider holidays as an essential investment into their quality of life; and the situation is particularly bright when we look at the youngest group of travellers surveyed – those with the most travelling years ahead of them.

“Millennials show more enthusiasm and more diversity when it comes to their reasons for travelling, the destinations they want to visit, the activities they want to incorporate – even the companies they want to travel with – than their older counterparts. The outlook is optimistic and the opportunities are ripe for travel businesses and destinations ready to act on them.”

What else can we learn about millennial travellers?

  • Even though only one in ten millennials has taken a cruise holiday in the past year, more than half expressed an interest in going on a cruise in the next two years – the strongest level of intent across any of the age brackets (the others being Gen X, aged 40-53, and Boomers, aged 54-72).
  • Staycations are more popular with millennials than with Gen Xers or Boomers – domestic holidays will account for around half of their intended trips.
  • Almost half of millennials booked at least one holiday with a travel agent in the past 12 months, compared with just over a quarter of Gen Xers and Boomers.
  • Almost a quarter of millennials have made a travel purchase based at least partially on a post by a social media influencer or celebrity.
  • The desire to experience different cultures is strongest amongst the Boomer generation when it comes to motivations for going on holiday. Boomers and Gen Xers show the most interest in visiting historic houses and gardens, museums, botanical gardens and vineyards.
  • While millennials favour restaurants that are new or notable in some way, the Boomers are the generation most keen to sample the authentic food eaten by locals.
  • Family travel accounts for about a quarter of the trips taken by UK travellers, with Gen Xers the most likely to travel with children. When it comes to decision making, at least two-thirds said their kids influenced the destination and hotel choices they made, and four in five said they also influenced the planning of daily activities.
  • Millennials intend to take an average of three road trips in the coming year compared with two for Gen Xers and Boomers.
  • 36 per cent of millennials have booked an Airbnb stay in the last 12 months compared with 23 per cent of Gen Xers and 12 per cent of Boomers.

This research was based on the holiday motivations, preferences and behaviours of the 13.4 million travelling households in the UK, with questions completed in January and February 2019.

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