Stats: Despite Brexit, UK Millennial Travel Up 40% This Year

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While the Brexit deadline may be coming up soon, Millennial travelers in the UK aren’t letting that deter them from taking vacations in the coming year, according to a new study from MMGY Global. The new Portrait of UK Travelers examines vacation motivations, preferences and behaviors of the 13.4 million traveling households in the UK, based on research carried out in January and February 2019. 

Over 2,000 active leisure travelers participated in a 25-minute online survey and their responses were analyzed across three generational bands – Millennials (aged 18-39 in 2018); Xers (aged 40-53 in 2018) and Boomers (aged 54-72 in 2018).

One key highlight from the survey: Millennial travelers intend to take 41 percent more vacations in 2019, or an extra two vacations per year on average. Additionally, the plan to spend 20 percent more on vacations over the next 12 months. (The current Brexit deadline is this year, on March 29). 


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Millennials were also the most optimistic age group regarding Brexit. While two-thirds of them believe it will have an impact on vacations, the majority believed that the impact on lines at passport control, exchange rates and airline fares would be more positive than negative. Xers and Boomers had the opposite stance. 

Other highlights from the report reinforce Millennial’s ongoing interest in cruise travel; in this study, while only one in ten Millennials said that they had taken a cruise vacation in the past year, more than half expressed an interest in going on a cruise in the next two years. That represented the strongest level of intent across any of the age brackets. 

Additionally, staycations proved more popular with Millennials than with Xers or Boomers, with domestic vacations accounting for around half of their intended trips. Millennials are also using travel advisors more than their older counterparts, with almost half of them booking a vacation with an advisor within the past 12 months, as compared to just over a quarter of Xers and Boomers. 

Also good to know: nearly a quarter of Millennials have made a travel purchase at least partially based on a post by a social media influencer or celebrity. 

At the same time, Boomers and Xers lead the way in other areas of travel, according to the study. The desire to experience different cultures is strongest as a travel motivator among Boomers, and both cohorts show the most interest in visiting historic houses and gardens, museums, botanical gardens and vineyards. In terms of culinary travel, Millennials tend to favor new or notable dining options, while Boomers are the demographic most interested in sampling authentic, local food. 

More significantly, more Xers and Boomers than Millennials are planning longer, international vacations. Two-thirds of future vacations planned by Xers will be overseas and last at least five days, with Boomers not far behind. By contrast, only half of the trips Millennials intend to take will fall in this category. 

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