StudentUniverse reveals new exclusive insights on the Youth Travel Industry

StudentUniverse reveals new exclusive insights on the Youth Travel Industry

The anti-partying generation: 79% of Gen-Z don’t holiday for nightlife

StudentUniverse reveals new exclusive insights on the youth travel industry

  • Just 15% of Gen-Z are concerned about their impact on the environment when travelling, and less than a quarter would pay to offset emissions
  • 87% of Gen-Z believe overseas travel experiences would improve their career prospects, and 78% are keen to partake in vocational travel
  • 82% of Gen-Z said a country’s laws and attitudes on things like LGBT rights affects their willingness to visit

A new global report* from StudentUniverse, a Flight Centre Travel Group company and the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace, has revealed that for the most part Gen-Z aren’t interested in travelling for nightlife and clubbing, with just 21% claiming an interest while on holiday.    

This means holiday destinations like Magaluf, Ayia Napa and Zante are no longer appealing to most young travellers – which could see these clubbing-centric places needing to switch up how they market to young people.

According to the new study, which included a global survey to thousands of students aged 18-25, today’s Gen-Z travellers are more culturally aware, open to new experiences, and willing to dig deeper into the places they visit. In stark contrast to generations past, the biggest appeals now for young travellers are sightseeing (70%) and experiencing new cultures (68%). These are followed by trying new cuisines (59%), exploring nature (58%) and meeting new people (37%).      

Will Jones, Brand Manager at StudentUniverse, says:

It wasn’t too long ago that the 18-30s travel market was practically synonymous with raucous partying, gleeful disregard for inhibition and a seemingly inexhaustible ambition to experience the world’s worst hangover. That’s no longer the case for today’s Gen-Z generation – they are seeking much more meaningful, educational experiences from their travels.”  

From ditching the party scene to their surprising stance on their impact on the environment, the report found that Gen-Z is the generation creating big shifts in the travel space.  

As the world’s leading student travel brand, StudentUniverse’s aim was to discover what drives young people to travel, where and why they are going, and how they make the best of their experiences.

Gen-Z travellers and the climate crisis

The study also reveals that despite Gen-Z being a highly environmentally conscious generation, most young travellers are not letting climate change limit their travel plans. Nearly half (49%) of student and youth travellers say that global warming has had little or no impact on their desire to travel, and just 23% say they would be likely to pay to offset their carbon emissions when booking travel.      

When it comes to what worries this demographic the most about travelling, just 15% cited their impact on the environment, ranking it as the lowest concern, while the biggest was financial cost (76%).

Overseas experiences improve Gen-Z career prospects

One of the key findings of the report is that the vast majority of Gen-Z view travel as a fast track to success at work, with 87% saying that overseas experiences would improve their career prospects. A further 78% claim a desire to partake in vocational travel, such as working holidays and volunteering placements, if given the opportunity. This backs the general trend of a shift away from hedonistic, party-orientated holidays to more purpose-driven, immersive experiences that can continue to deliver benefits long after they’ve finished.

Young LGBT+ travellers’ concerns 

Homosexuality is still criminalized in 68 countries – more than a third of the world’s total – and the report reveals that the vast majority (82%) of Gen-Z say their willingness to visit a country would be impacted by its laws and attitudes on issues like LGBT rights.      

Will continued:

Student and youth travellers make up a significant portion of the overall global travel landscape, accounting for a quarter of all international arrivals around the world. From weekend city breaks to long-haul overseas experiences, young people have a hunger to travel and after the last few years of travel restrictions, that hunger is stronger than ever. 

“To put together this report, we spoke to and surveyed 4000 young students around the world and gained insight from leading experts within the travel industry. Our findings have proven just how determined Gen-Z is to travel and the extraordinary value they bring not just to the travel industry, but the world at large.

The report also reveals insights on student mobility, where students want to go, perspectives on travelling for education, purpose-driven vocational travel, the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, and predictions for the next decade. 

For more information and to read the full report, visit:

Find out more about BETA Member StudentUniverse here

Published 27 March 2023