According to a recent global survey conducted by Hilton and Ipsos, travellers say they will cut back on other areas of personal spending to prioritise leisure travel in 2024, with a majority across generations saying their No. 1 reason to travel in 2024 will be to rest and recharge, with more emphasis on sleep than ever before. These findings and more were revealed today with the launch of Hilton’s third annual trends report: “What Millennials, Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers Tell Us About Travel in the Year Ahead”. In addition to defining the preferences and passions of the traveler of 2024, the report takes a deeper look at how each generation views travel – from the digitally native Gen Zer to the seasoned Baby Boomer.
“In this new golden age of travel, travellers’ needs are changing and we’re constantly innovating to better serve our guests and be their first choice when they travel,” said Chris Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton. “Across generations, we’re seeing guests customising their stays with us, investing in quality sleep, seeking new cultural experiences and pushing the boundaries of business travel. At Hilton, our world-class team members are embracing these trends and creating memorable experiences for every guest who stays with us.”
Based on a global survey of more than 10,000 travellers from nine countries, video diaries from 60 US travellers and in-depth interviews with dozens of Hilton travel experts, the report uncovers four themes that are expected to be the catalysts for change and innovation in travel in 2024 and beyond.
Travellers will invest in their sleep
Personal wellness is important to travellers, and more specifically, there will be an increased focus on enjoying a good night’s sleep while away from home – a trend that has accelerated after the challenges of recent years increased travellers’ desire for rest and relaxation. In 2024, travellers will want to engage with products and brands that align with this better-for-you imperative. Gen Zers are the most intentional about winding down, making small choices throughout the day that can have a big impact on their sleep. In fact, 21% regulate their exercise routine and 25% avoid alcohol before bed.
Travellers will value connectivity and personalisation
In 2024, travellers will seek consistent and seamless experiences that are hyper-personalised to their needs, from booking to on-property experiences. Eighty percent of global travellers surveyed said it’s important to be able to book their trip entirely online, with 86% of Millennials and 83% of Gen Z leading the way – and 76% of global travellers said they appreciate travel apps that reduce the friction and stress of travel.
Culture and experiences will drive leisure travel decisions
Food, culture and connections are driving leisure travel decisions as people increasingly prioritise buying experiences over things. In fact, as the world embraces its renewed sense of wanderlust post-pandemic, 64% of global travellers say they plan to reduce other areas of their personal spending to prioritise leisure travel in 2024.
When it comes to budgeting for 2024, travellers are most focused on culinary experiences. After culinary experiences, 47% of travellers will prioritise exploration and adventure, with Gen Zers and Millennials (52% for both) allocating more budget to these types of experiences than the other generations.
Business travel trends will redefine expectations
The way we work has changed significantly since the pandemic – including shifts in when, where and how people conduct business. As a result, business trends have emerged and intensified, including blended leisure and business travel, increased length of stay and the growing popularity of secondary markets for meetings and events. In fact, more than a third of Gen Z and Millennial business travellers say they plan to extend a business trip to enjoy leisure time before or after work, and 24% of global business travellers plan to take a friend or family member on a business trip in the next year.
“Each generation is driving a dynamic mix of travel experiences and expectations for 2024,” said Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics and Hilton’s generational consultant for this year’s report. “A key finding is the cross-generational priority for connectivity and personalisation throughout the travel experience. This bodes well for driving innovation in the travel industry and for travel leaders like Hilton who are creating new and unique experiences that appeal to all four generations of adult travellers.”