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Youth outbound travel from three major European generating markets

More and more young people are travelling abroad on holiday, to visit friends, to study, as well as for business or…

More and more young people are travelling abroad on holiday, to visit friends, to study, as well as for business or other purposes. For many youths in the age bracket of 15-25 international travel has become an integrated part of their life-style. In order to study this phenomenon more in depth, the World Tourism Organization commissioned IPK International to carry out a study on the international travel behaviour of young people from three major European generating markets: Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

The study offers a clear overall view of the importance of youth international travel and provides a profile of young travellers for each of the three markets. It also deals with practical aspects of youth travel such as length of stay, expenditure, preferred travelling season, accommodation, type of transport used and internet use in organizing and booking trips.

The three countries studied vary slightly with regard to the percentage of total outbound tourism accounted for by young people aged 15 to 25 who travelled abroad in 2000. Young travellers make up 21 per cent of French travellers, 14 per cent of German travellers and 12 per cent of British travellers. Worldwide, young people account for an estimated 17 per cent of all international trips, showing the importance of youth tourism.

A large majority of German, British and French youths who travelled abroad in 2000 did so to go on holiday. The top destination chosen by the youths of the three countries studied was Spain and the main purpose of their holidays was to enjoy sun-and-sand tourism (40 per cent in all three groups).

The average expenditure by German youths during their trips abroad was the lowest among the three countries studied (63 euros per night), with an average stay of 9 nights. Young British travellers had the same average length of stay in the foreign country as the Germans (9 nights) but spent twice as much per night on average (115 euros per night). French youths stayed two fewer nights than their German and British counterparts on the average, that is, 7 nights, and spent 84 euros a night.

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