Young Americans are Travel Pros: 96 Percent of Americans 18-30 Have Traveled
Allianz Worldwide Partners’ International Travel Survey Finds Young Americans Do Travel
Allianz Worldwide Partners (AWP), a global leader in assistance, service and insurance solutions, has found that young travelers in the U.S. and abroad are eager to explore their world. The survey found that 96 percent of young Americans have already left home to travel domestically or internationally. The goal of the survey was to uncover the travel habits and motivations of young travelers in the U.S. and abroad.
The AWP study was conducted by research company, OpinionWay. The sample group consisted of 5,518 people aged 18 to 30, representing 11 countries: France, Germany, Australia, Austria, China, Spain, the U.S., Italy, Poland, the U.K. and the Netherlands.
Key findings from the survey include:
- The Travel Generation: The ability to travel is now a reality for nearly 100 percent of 18-30 year olds. Only a small minority does not travel. This is mainly due to the cost of travel or a lack of opportunity.
- 96 percent of young Americans have already traveled.
- 33 percent of those who have not traveled have not done so because they think travel is too expensive.
- Connected Generation: Young people search and learn on the internet. They follow the advice of their friends and relatives and imagine the future of travel in a collaborative way. In terms of safety and security, technology plays a big role: most of them rely on their smartphone for information and to contact others in case of an emergency.
- 34 percent of Americans aged 18 to 30 have been using hotel websites to research and plan their trip; 21 percent use online travel agencies and 24 percent use review sites.
- 62 percent of young Americans rely on their cell phone to solve a problem or help in an emergency.
- Discovery Generation: As great travelers, young Americans want to discover new places, to discover must-see sites and to experience new cultural or gastronomical experiences.
- 56 percent of young Americans travel to see close friends or relatives and 44 percent travel to discover new places.
- 41 percent think that in 10 years they will visit their bucket list destinations and 26 percent will be seeking gastronomical and cultural immersions.
Globally, young travelers are an important target audience for the travel industry. In the 11 countries included in the study, the overwhelming majority of young people aged 18 to 30 have already traveled. Ninety-nine percent of young Spaniards have traveled, while in China the numbers are slightly lower (93 percent). Most respondents to the survey said their first trips usually took place during childhood and they traveled again as an adult (93 percent of young Spaniards and Italians have traveled as a child and as an adult).
The proportion of young people who have never traveled is very low, ranging from 1 percent in Spain to 7 percent in China. Only 4 percent of young people have not traveled in Poland, France and the United States. Even though non-traveling respondents cited the lack of opportunity to travel and the desire to stay close to home as reasons for not traveling, income levels largely determine whether or not young people travel. Typically, young people with high paying jobs travel more than those with lower paying jobs.
While visiting friends and family remains the primary reason that young people travel (55 percent in the U.S. and 53 percent in Australia), it is not surprising that travel websites have become an important source of travel information. Austrians (50 percent) and Germans (47 percent) stand out by their use of international and local review websites like TripAdvisor, while Italians primarily consult airline company websites (44 percent) and Spaniards especially use Internet hotel sites (39 percent).
“It turns out that young people are great travelers. We are dealing with a curious generation that is eager to discover and travel the world. Extremely well-equipped and well-connected, their approach to travel is different. Although the risks are still there, they even seem to think that their smartphone or tablet will save them from any problematic situation,” said Rémi Grenier, President and CEO of Allianz Worldwide Partners. “This generation, used to both technology and physical mobility, must therefore have answers and services that are directly related to their needs and lifestyles. The ambition of Allianz Worldwide Partners is to digitize our relationship and prove our agility in meeting the emerging needs of this generation as well as all those who already trust us.”
Nearly all those surveyed take at least one precaution to make their trip safer, including having a cell phone available in case they need help. In many countries, this is not combined with a concrete safety measure, like taking out travel insurance. Sixty two percent of young Americans rely on their phone for their safety while 27 percent purchase travel insurance. Young French travelers distinguish themselves by their lack of concern about security risks: 37 percent take absolutely no precautions before departing on their trip.
It’s worth noting however that technology may cause a minority of young people to stay at home in the future. The survey found that 8 percent of Australians, Americans, Poles and Britons believe that they will simply no longer need to travel because they’ll be able to go around the world from the comfort of their own home.
Taking a break from work or school (60 percent in Austria and Germany) and visiting friends (56 percent in the USA) are among the top reasons young people travel and discovering the world is among the most cited motivations (in France 59 percent of respondents wanted to see new landscapes and 45 percent wanted to experience new cultures). When young people are asked about how they imagine their travels in 10 years, they cite places that offer cultural or gastronomical experiences as a priority (48 percent in Austria and 47 percent in Spain). On the contrary, Americans (41 percent), Australians (40 percent), Italians (39 percent) and Dutch (38 percent) would prefer to visit the top-reviewed, must-see places, even if they are crowded with tourists.
Young people also want to discover new ways to travel such as seeking places that have not yet been subjected to mass tourism (25 percent of French); taking part in a peer to peer exchange (19 percent of Chinese and 14 percent of French) or meeting local people (12 percent of Chinese). A small minority say they are even willing to try extreme travel in order to have extraordinary experiences, like going to war zones or living in poverty conditions.
This study was conducted by OpinionWay, a French research company. It took place from February 8th – 15th 2016 among a sample of 5,518 18-30 year olds, representing 11 countries: France, Germany, Australia, Austria, China, Spain, the U.S., Italy, Poland, the U.K. and the Netherlands.
Each sample was formed using the quota method in terms of gender and age (and occupational status for those interviewed in France), following classification by region (and by size of town in France).
The interviews were conducted via online, self-administered CAWI questionnaires (Computer Assisted Web Interview). OpinionWay conducted this survey using ISO 20252 standard rules and procedures.
Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We insure 21 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance* plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers, and credit card companies.
About Allianz Worldwide Partners
Dedicated to bringing worldwide protection and care, Allianz Worldwide Partners is the B2B2C leader in assistance and insurance solutions in the following areas of expertise: global assistance, international health & life, global automotive and travel insurance. These solutions, which are a unique combination of insurance, service and technology, are available to business partners or via direct and digital channels under three internationally renowned brands: Allianz Global Assistance, Allianz Worldwide Care and Allianz Global Automotive. This global family of over 16,000 employees is present in 35 countries, speaks 58 languages and handles 39 million cases per year, protecting customers and employees on all continents. For more information, please visit https://www.allianz.com/en/products_solutions/services-and-assistance/allianz-worldwide-partners/
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“TripAdvisor” is a registered trademark of TripAdvisor LLC. TripAdvisor does not sponsor or endorse, and is not sponsored nor endorsed by, this survey, this publication, Allianz Worldwide Partners, or Allianz Global Assistance.
Media Contact: Daniel Durazo