Gen z and millennials shift travel trends towards guided tours and emerging destinations

Gen z and millennials shift travel trends towards guided tours and emerging destinations

As an adventurous explorer myself, I’ve noticed a growing trend among younger travelers in recent years. Gen Z and Millennials are increasingly gravitating towards organized and guided tours when exploring new and unfamiliar destinations. A recent study that caught my attention further substantiates this observation, revealing an uptick in Gen Z and Millennial tourists participating in guided tours in various parts of the world.

Understanding the trend

The data produced by Resonance Reports highlights that 50% of Gen Z travelers and 44% of Millennials preferred guided tours on their travels. The numbers significantly surpass those of older generations, such as Gen X and Baby Boomers, who only constituted around 34% and 37% of guided tour participants, respectively.

This shift manifests a fresh perspective on travel: Gen Z and Millennial explorers seek not just to visit a foreign land but to actively immerse themselves in the local culture and community, fostering genuine connections wherever they travel. An organized and expert-led expedition, in this regard, can cater to this desire for deep cultural immersion, an intellectual yet personal connection with a new destination, and the appetence to learn and grow through local interactions.

Emergence of new destinations

The data also points to an increased interest among these young travelers in emerging destinations or countries traditionally less frequented by tourists. An indicator likely fueled by a combined desire for unique experiences, a conscious effort to avoid over-touristed destinations, and a growing commitment to responsible and sustainable travel.

Favored destinations

Countries like Japan, Thailand, and Greece were popular choices among the Gen Z respondents, while millennials showed a preference for destinations like Italy, Mexico, and Australia. While the survey points to a difference in country popularity between the two demographics, it does hint towards a common thread: an attraction towards culturally-rich and varied destinations offering more than just typical tourist attractions.

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The preference for less-traditional destinations suggests a transformation in the mindset of young travelers. It underscores a thoughtful approach towards travel – choosing destinations that offer enriching experiences, allowing for cultural immersion, while also supporting local communities by diverting tourism dollars away from over-crowded and over-exploited destinations.

Understanding the changes in travel preferences among these generations could provide a fresh outlook toward designing travel experiences. By aligning their offerings with these preferences, travel companies can foster an enriching travel experience that resonates with the younger, conscious explorer of today, setting a cornerstone for a sustainable and responsible future of travel.

So as travelers ourselves, why not flip the trends on their heads and practice mindful tourism by opting for guided tours, respecting local cultures, and visiting emerging, less-traditional destinations? Together, we can make the world a more understanding, accepting, and empathetic place, one journey at a time.

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