A clear trend in the youth travel market has been a shift from leisure travel towards purpose-driven travel, such as work and study abroad, volunteer travel and language learning travel.
These more active, purposeful forms of travel are geared towards personal development, and can also have positive impacts on the destination. Understanding more about youth travellers' motivations when choosing activities can help businesses tailor products and services more appropriately, meeting youth travellers' needs.
The Loch Lomond area appears to be particularly attractive to younger overseas travellers for outdoor adventures, eco-tourism and activities which allow the traveller to make an impact, learn or try something new, or engage with locals. Volunteering is also an activity which appeals.
Rather than one entire segment, international youth travel breaks down into a range of categories, which are important to recognise, in order for businesses to engage with them in the most appropriate ways.
For the Loch Lomond area, the key interests motivating youth travellers, emerging from research outcomes are:
Can your business can tap into the growing impact of the collaborative, or "sharing economy"? This is driving new product development in tourism and hospitality, particularly in the areas of food, drink, tours and activities and showing plenty of potential for development in Scotland.
According to VisitScotland, the sharing economy is a very popular concept with Millennials and other youth travellers for its features such as connection with local communities, creation of authentic local experiences, and value for money.
Think about the increase in AirBnB Experiences, the growing number of offers to "live like a local" and experience local food, food tours, pop-ups, shared eating experiences in people’s homes, Instagram photo tours, and alternative types of tour experiences. Get Guided and Experience Scotland’s Wild are just two great examples.
When considering how to enhance authentic experiences and engage with younger travellers, could your business tap into any of these trends?