Top 5 ways for travel brands to attract young Brits in 2023

Written by Harriet Evans Webb

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The question that all travel and tourism brands will be pondering for 2023: how do we effectively market to young Brits in such a cautious spending environment?

With the spike in energy prices, even turning the heating on feels like a luxury for many, let alone hopping on a plane. With Millennials and Gen Z’s experience of adulthood largely being spent in fairly chaotic conditions when it comes to the economic landscape, brands need to be savvier than ever to get these groups to part with their pounds.

As with all industries, new priorities, interests and channels have come to light in the past two years that travel brands need to align with if they’re going to keep up. As the World Travel Market London Exhibition Director Juliette Losardo aptly put it recently: “Millennials buy experiences, they don’t just buy destinations”.


So how is this best done? Let’s take a look…


1. The evolution of the package holiday
Despite the commonly seen pre-flight airport drinks boomerangs and over-Instagrammed sunsets, this generation is all about individuality. The age of cookie-cutter travel is well on its way out, and most companies offering packages have had to pivot their offering to create holidays that are flexible and dynamic by nature. One size doesn’t fit all, so companies that offer trips that genuinely fit around consumer’s wants and needs rather than the other way round will come out on top.


2. Names and faces
Brands such as Airbnb have tapped into the fact that it’s the sense of locality rather than faceless beach shots that will appeal to Millennials and Gen Zs. These groups are looking for trips that feel like a ‘behind the scenes’ experience, rubbing shoulders with the locals and enjoying regional delicacies from backstreet cafes. With social media allowing brands to really dig under the surface of a destination, a sense of personality will sell rather than a glossy brochure.


3. Health is wealth 

Far from the ‘sun, sex & suspicious parents’ brigade from back in the day, in a market where the low- and no- alcohol industry is booming and wellness has been the dominating buzz word for quite some time, physical and mental health really is wealth when it comes to travel. According to recent ABTA research, 93% of people say being on holiday improves their wellbeing and mental health. From sleep tourism, to forest bathing to yoga retreats – there’s less wine and more unwinding.


4. The rise and rise of TikTok
TikTok is set to hit 15 million users by 2025 so there’s the sense that if you’re not on it, you’ll need to be pretty soon. It’s good news for destinations, venues and attractions, who now have a new channel to share short-form video content and even far flung spots have amassed a loyal band of followers. @australianreptilepark, for example, has 1.6m followers and savvy tourist boards have also cottoned on. Tourism New Zealand and the Falklands Islands have both instigated interactive campaigns to drive a new wave of followers and bookers. As the saying goes.. content, content, content.


5. Bleisure travel
With many younger workers having entered the workforce as fully remote employees during the pandemic, the concept of digital nomadism feels a lot more mainstream than five years ago. According to research by Edyn, 51% of Millennials and Gen Z consumers say remote working facilities are important to them when choosing accommodation, compared to just 15% of older generations. The speedy growth of brands such as The Hoxton, whose chic lobbies are filled with bright-eyed laptop users, is testimony to the importance of remote working to the younger generations.

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