New Report: What Really Matters

Young people won’t travel until the UK is back to normal, as COVID-19 changes the travel behaviour of 18-30 year olds

New research by the British Educational Travel Association (BETA) in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh Business School reveals that 65% of young people in the UK aged 18-30 will hold off on booking their next trip until all social distancing has been removed or a Covid-19 vaccine is available nationwide.

BETA represents over 120 businesses in the UK youth, student and educational travel industry. The research was conducted to help members better understand how travel factors for young people are changing following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19, many young people worry about the personal cost, risk and safety of booking future trips. Results show that over half (52%) of respondents are now concerned about the risk of being stuck abroad, a significant rise from 29% pre-COVID. BETA also reports over two-thirds (70%) of young travellers are concerned about cancellations of flights and accommodation. 

In more unpredictable times, consumers want to know if they can get a refund before they book their next trip. Almost half (47%) of people would prioritise brands that have clear guides and better policies on refundable travel and accommodation.

Novelty and excitement have long been a key driver in holiday bookings and destinations among young people, seeking Instagram-friendly destinations. BETA reveals that factors like novelty, excitement and luxury are becoming less important. Four in five (80%) young people would now prioritise spending time with loved ones when planning their next holiday, where traveling and family time are the key factors.

“International travel remains a high priority for young people, and it is of vital importance that we take into account their concerns about safety and unlock the new way they are navigating the travel industry.”

Said Emma English, the Executive Director of BETA

“Young people are being driven more by what is important, travelling to spend time with loved ones and doing so in an eco-friendly way, rather than the doing it for the perfect Instagram post”

Said Dr Ben Marder, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh Business School

The British Educational Travel Association teamed up with Student Marketing Agency Hype Collective to gain insights into how the pandemic is influencing travel factors for young people aged 18-30. Together, they surveyed 1,900 young people in the UK. 


Read the full report here
Watch the webinar here