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The travel preferences of young and old: beach holidays or a city break?

ITB Berlin and IPK International analyse the holiday preferences abroad of Germans and Britons – Germany is Europe’s most important source market for young travellers – the UK’s over-fifties are particularly keen to travel.

BERLIN – Together, Germany and the UK represent Europe’s largest travel source market. Commissioned by ITB Berlin, IPK International examined the travel preferences of both younger and older holidaymakers in a special analysis of the World Travel Monitor, which shows that at 19 per cent (13 million trips) Germans occupy close to one-fifth of Europe’s entire holiday travel market for young people.

In 2012, European 15 to 29 year-olds undertook a total of 69 million holiday trips abroad, whereas the corresponding figure for the UK was only six million (nine per cent). By contrast, the UK’s older generation is ahead in the travel statistics. Of all the European holiday trips undertaken by the older generation close to one-fifth (19 per cent / 15 million trips) are by Britons, whereas the market share occupied by older Germans is 17 per cent (13.5 million trips).

Britons and Germans also differ in their holiday preferences, depending on which generation they belong to. Older Britons enjoy the sun and beach holidays (40 per cent), as opposed to only 29 per cent of young people. Germans’ preferences are exactly the opposite. Young travellers (40 per cent) prefer lying on the beach, in contrast to the older generation (29 per cent). However, they all have one thing in common: Spain, France and Italy, their top three preferred holiday destinations, remain unchallenged.