Abta predicts 18-24-year-olds to be ‘most prolific’ travellers in 2024

Almost three-quarters of 18-24-year-olds (72%) plan to travel overseas in next 12 months – more than any other age group, Abta research issued today (Tuesday) reveals.

However, this cohort is also most likely to alter holiday plans because of the cost of living, with 93% of 18-24-year-olds saying the financial situation will have an impact on their travel plans in the next 12 months.

Despite the squeeze on finances, only 4% say they will not go away at all due to the rising cost of living, compared with 10% of the wider population.

Instead, a third (32%) plan to book cheaper accommodation, 27%  intend to take fewer holidays, a quarter will eat out less on holiday  and 24% will choose cheaper transport options.

City breaks are their top choice for next year, but 18-24-year-olds are almost three times as likely than the average traveller to take an adventure holiday and twice as likely to be camping, heading to a major sports event, taking a train holiday and going on a food and drink-based break.

Italy is the top destination choice, followed by France, the US, Spain and Germany.

The younger group of travellers are one of four trends outlined by the travel association as a travel trends conference today:

  • Generation T – 18-24-year-olds are set to be the most prolific travellers in 2024 and are looking for a wide range of travel experiences.
  • Shoulder Shoppers – A growing trend for all-year-round travel sees spring and autumn particularly popular among travellers aged 55-plus and families planning to travel during half-terms and Easter as well as the summer break.
  • Holiday Neophiles – Reversing a trend during recent years for familiar destinations, people are becoming increasingly open to trying somewhere new.
  • Sustainability Selectors – Holidaymakers are making decisions about their travel plans with sustainability in mind, particularly young people and families.

Abta communications director Graeme Buck said: “18-24-year-olds have been increasingly keen to get out and see the world over the last few years. They went on an average of 2.7 holidays abroad each in the last 12 months, up from 2.2 holidays abroad each in the 12 months prior to that.

“That doesn’t mean lots of quick breaks either. Generation T has been taking a much higher number of holidays for seven days or more than any other age group. So, while this group has a keen eye on cost, they continue to be a highly attractive market for many in the travel industry.”


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