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Insight of the Day: Survey highlights Gen Z and Millennials’ travel preferences in APEC

The survey conducted by Marriott Bonvoy reveals the travel preferences of Generation Z and Millennials in the Asia Pacific excluding China (APEC) region. Here are the key highlights:

1. Preference for Comprehensive Loyalty Travel Programs: 60% of APEC Gen Zs and Millennials are actively subscribed to loyalty programs. However, the challenge of managing multiple programs has led 57% of respondents to seek out a single program that can meet all their travel needs. They prefer the simplicity of belonging to one comprehensive loyalty travel program.

2. Travel is a Priority: 73% of Gen Zs and Millennials in APEC plan to take at least two trips in the next 12 months. Furthermore, 91% of respondents intend to maintain or increase their travel spending compared to the previous year. Travel is considered an essential lifestyle component, and respondents are willing to reduce spending on dining out, shopping, and daily coffee in order to allocate more funds for their trips.

3. Value from Everyday Spending: APEC Gen Zs and Millennials actively seek ways to maximize the value they get from their everyday spending. Around 80% of respondents have used a travel-linked credit card for everyday purchases, and 67% actively use travel loyalty programs to book and redeem local experiences and staycations. Marriott Bonvoy members in APEC have accumulated points through stays at Marriott International properties and everyday spending. Redemption for hotel stays increased by 130% compared to pre-pandemic times.

4. Hotels as Key Destinations: The choice of hotel is of great importance to Gen Z and Millennial travelers, with 99% believing it can make or break their holiday experience. Hotels are seen as more than just accommodation; they are expected to provide curated local programming and experiences. Approximately 84% of respondents prefer to stay at hotels with designs and activities that reflect the destination. Factors such as mobile-first customer service, reliable WiFi, and flexible check-out are valued more than traditional benefits like lounge access.

5. Focus on Intra-Regional Travel: While international travel has resumed, Gen Zs and Millennials in APEC still prefer destinations closer to home. Around 55% of respondents opt for destinations within the region that offer a similar experience to popular international locations. These "destination dupes" allow travelers to stretch their travel budget, discover something new, and provide easy accessibility. Marriott International experienced over 60% of bookings in APEC coming from within the region in 2023.

6. Rise of Corporate Backpackers: Gen Zs and Millennials are capitalizing on business trips by extending their travel plans and exploring nearby cities and countries. Around 84% of respondents plan to visit neighboring destinations as part of their post-work itinerary, turning their business trips into multi-destination tours.

7. Off-Peak Travel: A majority of Gen Z and Millennials (71%) prefer to travel during off-peak seasons to avoid crowds and enhance their travel experience. They believe that traveling during low-peak seasons allows them to do more and return from their holidays feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Overall, the survey highlights the desire of APEC Gen Zs and Millennials for simplicity, value, and unique experiences in their travel endeavors. They prioritize comprehensive loyalty travel programs, carefully plan their trips, and view hotels as more than just a place to stay.

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