MMGY Global Launches Inaugural Portrait of UK Travellers™ Study

Adult travelers under 40 intend to take an extra two vacations on average and ramp up their vacation spend by 20 percent in the next 12 months, according to the Portrait of UK Travellers™. This is in contrast to those over 40 who plan to travel and spend slightly less.

This is just one of the findings in the Portrait of UK Travellers™ report compiled by MMGY Global, which looks at the vacation motivations, preferences and behaviors of the 13.4 million traveling households in the U.K. Research was carried out in January and February 2019.

Over 2,000 active leisure travelers participated in a 25-minute online survey and their responses were analyzed across three generational brands – Millennials (aged 18–39 in 2019); Gen Xers (aged 40–53 in 2018) and Boomers (aged 54–72 in 2018).

Some of the behaviors most prominent among Millennial respondents followed logic. For instance, they are far more vested in social media than their older counterparts – but other more surprising results were also revealed. For instance:

  • While only 1 in 10 Millennials had taken a cruise vacation in the past year, more than half expressed an interest in going on a cruise in the next two years – the strongest level of intent across any of the age brackets.
  • Staycations are more popular with Millennials than with Xers or Boomers – domestic vacations will account for around half of their intended trips.
  • Almost half of Millennials booked at least one vacation with a travel agent in the past 12 months – compared to just over a quarter of Xers and Boomers.
  • While two-thirds of Millennials believe Brexit will have an impact on vacations, this generation demonstrates the most optimistic outlook, with the majority believing the impact on passport control lines, GBP exchange rates and airline fares would be more positive than negative. This was in direct contrast to the predictions of those over the age of 40.
  • Nearly a quarter of Millennials have made a travel purchase based at least partially on a post by a social media influencer or celebrity.

Portrait of UK Travellers provides a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into the decision-making process of the U.K. traveler – something that’s incredibly valuable to travel marketers wanting to understand how and when they can best engage with their target demographic,” says Amanda Hills, President MMGY Global, Europe and Middle East. “The research proves that U.K. travelers of all ages consider vacations as an essential investment into their quality of life; and the situation is particularly bright when we look at the youngest group of travelers surveyed – those with the most traveling years ahead of them. Millennials show more enthusiasm and more diversity when it comes to their reasons for traveling, the destinations they want to visit, the activities they want to incorporate – even the companies they want to travel with – than their older counterparts. The outlook is optimistic, and the opportunities are ripe for travel businesses and destinations ready to act on them.”

In addition to the topics outlined above, the Portrait of UK Travellers™ examines:

  • The motivating factors for taking vacations and the most popular activities for each generation while on vacation
  • The most popular U.K. and international destinations for U.K. travelers
  • Preferred travel brands, including hotels, airlines and cruise companies
  • The influence levels travel agents have on different elements of a vacation booking
  • The typical composition of travel parties for each generation (solo vs. couple vs. family)
  • The factors influencing hotel choices
  • Membership levels of hotel and airline loyalty programs
  • A more in-depth look at the factors U.K. travelers believe will be affected by Brexit

The Portrait of UK Travellers™ summary report is now available to purchase for a cost of $995. Custom profiles for specific destinations, brands or demographic audiences are available upon request and start at $9,995. Please email for more information or visit us online here.