Where are Gen Z and Millennials traveling to this summer? Contiki says they’re heading to Japan, Thailand, Iceland and Greece. The tour operator, which caters to 18- to 35-year-olds, says that this age group is looking to slow things down and adventure further.
According to Contiki’s booking data and new sentiment research of the demographic, these travelers are opting for far-flung destinations, with a shift towards late-season travel and a focus on in-depth exploration of a singular place.
“Our booking trends show that the vast majority of 18- to 35-year-old travelers are all about slowing things down and adventuring further. From Japan to Thailand, Asia is rising on the charts, and while there’s still a place for the iconic Eurotrip of packing in as many cities as possible into one trip, American travelers are escaping the hustle and bustle and prioritizing single-country tours that offer a more in-depth experience into a singular place,” said Melissa DaSilva, president of Contiki, North America, in a press release statement. “This demographic is not only focused on checking off destinations on their bucket lists but embracing the local culture and way of life—think sipping a Freddo espresso on a side street in Mykonos for one, two, three hours—quite the antithesis of the fast-paced cities most Americans are accustomed to. They are seeking vacations where you can leave your watch (or iPhone equivalent) at home.”
Gen Z is Headed to Asia & Other Far-Flung Destinations
In the U.S., single-country tours dominate Contiki’s Top 10 best-selling list for August and September.
Top destinations and trips for August and September for Gen Z & Millennials:
- Japan: Contiki travelers’ interest for Japan is up 192 percent since 2019, following the country’s long-awaited re-opening. Contiki’s most popular Japan departure is the 8-day Japan in a Week, touring the country’s biggest cities, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
- Thailand: Home to the highly anticipated next season of “The White Lotus,” Thailand is trending and the Thai Island Hopper Westtour is a top selling trip for 2023—jumping up to the third place in the Top 10 trips for August and September.
- Iceland: A bucket-list destination for many, Iceland’s Fire and Icetour is another top-seller, up 176 percent in bookings compared to 2019.
- Greece: A consistent best-seller, the Greek Island Hopping tour is even more popular post-pandemic with a 43 percent increase in bookings from 2019.
According to a recent survey conducted by Contiki and OnePoll, solo travel continues to rise as 41 percent of respondents said they’ve traveled solo or would travel solo in the future to meet new people. The survey also revealed that 60 percent of travelers that have joined a touring group said they had a more memorable experience with new people.