in association with

Low-cost travel companies will benefit from high levels of demand from young consumers

Heathrow Airport has increased its environmental charges by 7%, incentivising airlines to use their newest aircraft to minimise the impact on local communities under the flight path. Julian Turner spoke to Nathalie Herbelles of Airports Council International to find out more

Younger generations have different traveller preferences in comparison to older generations. Younger travellers prefer to embark upon smaller, shorter holidays to destinations that are not too far away, but go away more times in the year. City breaks amongst millennials are popular. A recent GlobalData survey found that 41% of millennials (25-34) globally go on city breaks, compared to 31% of silent generation (65+) respondents. Older generations prefer to go on holiday less frequently, but for longer and to more exotic, long-haul destinations.

Younger travellers also typically have lower levels of disposable income, due to time spent studying rather than working full time, or because they are in the early stages of establishing a career. This leaves less income to be spent on holidays and activities, in a time where the desire to go on multiple holidays per year is high. The Covid-19 pandemic will have imposed even further restrictions on travellers’ budgets, many would be travellers have been left without work or less work due to global economic decline.

Many people have been forced to cancel travel plans due to Covid-19. Travellers will be looking to rebook their holidays now due to the opening up of borders in regions such as Europe and encouragement of booking from tourist destinations. With reduced budgets in mind, travellers who are itching to go on holiday again after months of lockdown measures being in place will look primarily for low cost options due to risk of cancellation. If cancelled, their money could be tied up with a travel company for a considerable amount of time before it is refunded.

Low-cost companies have targeted the right audience amid Covid-19

Marketing by travel companies during the pandemic has been more important than ever. To keep customers engaged and aware during the global shutdown has been and remains to be important for any future success. Low-cost operators such as easyJet and Hostelworld have utilised their social media platforms during lockdown, by posting snippets of travel inspiration including virtual travel experiences and by keeping customers up to date with their booking schedules.

As social media is a cheap but effective method of marketing, it is very important for low-cost companies to utilise this. It attracts the right audience, which is often younger generations, and fits in with the low-cost business model. By using social media, low-cost travel companies are able to be more informal with their approach and relate to the customer more in their marketing campaigns.

Alongside this, low-cost airlines have been highly reactive to changes in rules allowing tourists to visit popular, international destinations once again. Ryanair launched one of its infamous seat sales when Spain announced it would allow European tourists to visit from 1 July. Its relatable headline ‘Spain’s open again’ attracted attention from restless travellers and created a surge in bookings.

Despite a willingness to travel, not all travellers will be willing to take off again

The recovery of the travel industry will not be unified post-Covid-19. Individual opinions around safety and hygiene will impact whether travellers want to travel internationally again. Just because destinations have opened again and it may be cheap to get there, does not mean that tourism demand will rebound to pre-Covid-19 levels straight away.

Domestic holidays have seen a rise in bookings, where UK based holiday bookings from the domestic market have quadrupled after announcements were made that the hospitality sector could reopen from 4 July. Domestic holidays will be in high demand as it could be seen as a safer option. Domestic holidays can almost always be reached via travellers own personal vehicle, and limits the contact with others that could put them at risk.

For more market data and analysis visit GlobalData's Travel & Tourism Intelligence Centre.


Share this article