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Generational Trends, Economic Concerns and Impact of AI

Generational Trends, Economic Concerns and Impact of AI

  • 2024 American Travel Survey: Generational Trends, Economic Concerns and Impact of AI   

A new national survey from Washington State University shows Gen Z leads other generations in travel ambitions, nearly all Americans say rising costs will impact their plans and a majority fear AI will impact industry jobs.

Washington State University’s Carson College of Business released a new report with insights into Americans’ upcoming travel plans, including motivations, budgeting habits and considerations surrounding sustainability and AI.

One of the top findings in the report reveals nearly all members of Gen Z (97%) expect current or potential rising costs to have “a great deal” or “a moderate influence” on the following aspects of their travel: choice of accommodation (86%), travel destination (83%), trip length (80%) or activities they book or plan (77%).

“The WSU School of Hospitality Business Management is well-known for its leadership in hospitality, travel and tourism research,” said Debbie Compeau, Carson College interim dean. “This report provides a fresh understanding of current traveler trends, equipping industry professionals with the knowledge they need to make informed, actionable decisions.”

The report, conducted in collaboration with KRC Research, examines broad travel plans and motivators, travel finance considerations, sustainability and wellness as aspect of travel decisions and the impact of artificial intelligence on travel. The report surveyed 1,020 American adults aged 18 years or older.

Key findings include:

  • Americans’ travel plans: More than three in four Americans (76%) say they will travel in the next 12 months. Of those who plan to travel, 95% will travel domestically, and 37% will travel internationally. Among all these likely travelers, 78% will travel for vacation, 68% will travel to visit family or friends and 23% will travel for work or business.
  • Travel planning and budgeting: Almost all Americans (93%) expect to spend at least some time budgeting, searching for deals and comparing costs the next time they travel.
  • Considerations when traveling – sustainability and other values: When next given the choice to travel, 75% of Americans say sustainability will be at least a top, important or secondary priority in planning where to go, where to stay and dine, what to do or how to get around.
  • Travel and AI: More than half (51%) of Americans believe they’ve already used tools or services with artificial intelligence (AI) to help with travel, and a majority think it could help them with aspects of their trip.
  • Findings for specific demographics: An analysis of several other population subgroups reveals additional findings about the preferences of different generations. For example, over a third of Gen Z (38%) and Millennials (34%) expect to spend “a lot of time” comparing costs of travel destinations and activities the next time they travel, compared to just 25% of Gen X and 19% of Boomers.

Read the full report and view additional data here.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online from April 10 to April 12, 2024, among 1,020 American adults aged 18 years or older. The survey sample is demographically representative of the U.S. population on age, gender, geographic region, race and ethnicity and education; U.S. Census data are used as targets for data weighting on these variables. 

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