Travel TrendsExperiences are Millennials’ and Gen Zs’ new travel currency, with almost half ready to spend twice their monthly income on travel.

For Gen Z travellers, it’s go big or go home

Some 85% of Millennials and Gen Zs are willing to allocate funds for unique experiences during their vacations.
Some 85% of Millennials and Gen Zs are willing to allocate funds for unique experiences during their vacations. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Salsabila Ariadina

The approach to travel has undergone a significant transformation for Millennials and Gen Zs in Asia Pacific. Instead of merely ticking destinations off a list, these generations now prioritise immersive experiences as the primary factor when planning their holidays, surpassing considerations such as accommodations and flight options. Furthermore, they are willing to invest a substantial amount in these experiences.

A survey by travel and experiences platform Klook reveals that travellers are ready to spend big on travel – 1 in 3 Millennial and Gen Z travellers are willing to spend more than double of the average monthly income in Asia (US$1,069) on their next holiday, which amounts to US$2,000 and more.

Experiences as new travel currency

As travel becomes more intentional, a majority of travellers are also prioritising experiences and making them a focal point of their trip, with 63% booking their experiences before they fly.

A striking 85% of Millennials and Gen Zs are willing to allocate funds for unique experiences during their vacations. Notably, 83% of travellers from Singapore are willing to invest in experiences, with a strong desire to spend more on nature and outdoor experiences like nature and outdoor activities (63%), theme parks (51%), massages and hot springs (56%).

Surprisingly, Gen Zs, who are just beginning to embark on their careers, are not far behind their Millennial counterparts in splurging on travel. About 1 in 5 Gen Zs are willing to spend over US$3,000, slightly trailing 1 in 4 Millennials who share the same sentiment.

Social media as top holiday inspiration tool

Social media is the top inspiration tool for Gen Z travellers, with more than half using the platform to discover new destinations and experiences, favouring it over search engines and travel guides. While Millennials still prefer to use search engines (59%), social media comes a very close second (55%) indicating its rising influence over how travellers seek out information.

In fact, 9 out of 10 millennials and Gen Zs check online reviews before making their bookings, and rely on travel content recommendations on social media when planning holidays. Findings show that creating social media-worthy content is of utmost importance for a large majority of travellers (87%) especially for travellers from India, the Philippines and Mainland China, and one of the main reasons for travel.

Planning ahead for intentional short-haul trips

Majority of Millennials and Gen Zs across Asia Pacific are becoming more intentional travel planners, with 65% planning their holidays at least two to six months in advance. Travellers ranking highest among this bracket come from Singapore (74%) and Australia (57%), while nearly half of travellers from Mainland China, Vietnam, and Thailand prefer to make holiday plans in less than two months.

Additionally, Millennials and Gen Zs are increasingly opting to travel closer to home domestically (27%) or within Asia Pacific (52%), with the top three destinations on the travel list as Japan (41%), Malaysia (33%) and South Korea (25%). These findings indicate a rising trend of younger explorers putting focus on the desire to explore and seek new experiences over the actual destination itself.

The Klook Travel Pulse survey was conducted in July 2023 through Milieu with a total of 2,400 respondents across 12 markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Mainland China and India.

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