The article focuses on the importance of youth tourism. The main proposition is that youth tourism is set to become the most important in the sector and about to change the direction of the tourism industry. The ability of the youth to be diverse in terms of ideas and innovations position them at the right place to change the direction of the tourism sector.
Besides, the demographic, which is between sixteen and thirty years, is expected to overtake any other segment in terms of the global tourism market share in the next decade. In fact, World Tourism Organization (WTO) estimates that the growth of the demographic market would surpass 25% annually in 2030 (Yunusovich, 2018). Apart from higher income and purchasing ability, the majority of youth travels due to disasters and political conflicts, education or training, self-development and learning new cultures.
The development of these aspects would drive the growth of tourism among the youth. The pertinent questions including how income affects youth tourism, the manner in which youths identify with travel, the reasons for traveling and the source of information the youths utilize to plan or make traveling decisions are examined. All these factors help in the understanding of why youth tourism is a critical determinant of the future tourism sector.
The researcher conducted a survey of over 2300 youths from countries representing the major tourism destinations across the world. The study covered every stage in the travel industry, ranging from planning to the full implementation of the trip (Yunusovich, 2018). On the question of income, the majority agreed that youths are stereotyped as lacking enough income to spend on traveling. Even though income levels are still low compared with older adults, the majority agree that they have enough income to cater for their travel activities.
Concerning the issue of identification, a majority believes that they are travelers and not backpackers (Yunusovich, 2018). Most of the young people would identify themselves as travelers or tourists. One major motivation for the youth tourism is the study of other people’s culture. Experiencing a new culture is also closely associated with raising new sensations and increased knowledge. Even though education, work and other aspects are also reasons why most young people travel, the majority feel motivated by experiencing new things including diversity in daily life undertakings.
The other important aspect discussed in this article is the definition of youth tourism. In fact, the researcher examined how youth tourism has been defined by various authors. Some scholars have identified youth tourism as a travel of young people between the ages of sixteen and thirty years while others perceive it as travel for training (Yunusovich, 2018). The other authors perceive youth tourism as the travel for transnational interactions. However, the definition of youth tourism can be summarized as impermanent travels of young people between the age sixteen and thirty years for the reasons such as learning, leisure, understanding other cultures and works. The age and reasons for youth tourism is a critical issue in the definition.
Therefore, youth tourism is majorly motivated by adventure, learning new cultures, education and work. Youths also form a critical part of the tourism sector and are more likely to repeat their journeys. In other words, they form a critical part of both current and future market. Their market is still considered young and growing. Therefore, new products that suit their needs should be developed. However, they should not be perceived as homogeneous. Even though they have almost similar needs based on age, the products should be diverse in order to cater for those who have special needs.
It is clear from the article that youth tourism is becoming more important in the sector and companies should develop products that suit the needs of this age group. In fact, at this age, the life expenses are considered less and majority would want to experiment, explore, learn and most importantly, experience new places. It is also the age at which majority gets married and travel for their honeymoon and other romantic trips.
Therefore, to exclude this age group from the market segmentation is detrimental to the industry. The study just confirms how important this age group is to the tourism sector. The youths have a lot of activities ranging from studying to job training and early experiences of life. It is also the time when many would want to know what is happening on the other side of the world.
Sports are also important aspect why majority of the young people travels. Sports activities are major driving aspects of the youth’s travel. Therefore, there are many reasons that motivate youth’s travel compared with the adults. It has long been perceived that adults are the only travelers. However, youths are the largest traveling group in any demographic segmentation. Therefore, traveling firms targeting the youth would succeed faster compared with those targeting adults only.
In addition, products such as sports and entertainment, learning and training facilities, leisure activities, technological tours and interactions remains critical for the youths. Such products best suit the youth compared with the traditional tourist attractions. The other factors that should also be considered include traveling cost and convenience as well as labeling.
The majority would want to be associated with appropriate labeling, including tourist rather than a backpacker. Therefore, it is important for the industry to develop appropriate platforms for this age group. With the rising number of youths traveling, any firm focusing on the segment is likely to grow very first in terms of market share