New eDreams ODIGEO research reveals 84% of consumers choose travel as top budget priority

New eDreams ODIGEO research reveals 84% of consumers choose travel as top budget priority

It revealed travel is key for all age groups

New market research commissioned by leading travel subscription company eDreams ODIGEO on its 25th anniversary of its flagship brand eDreams reveals that the vast majority of consumers are prioritising travel within their personal budgets, despite the macroeconomic context.

Overall, 84% of travellers said they were prioitising it. In the UK, respondents provided similar answers with 81% highlighting the importance of travel within their household budget. 

Only 4% of UK respondents and 3% of global respondents said they didn’t think it was important to budget for travel.

The study which was conducted by research firm OnePoll, looked at 10,000 global shoppers, including 2,000 respondents from the UK. 

It revealed how travellers’ priorities and values are likely to change over the next 25 years in line with generational shifts such as the rapid development of new technologies. 

For example, the survey revealed that younger people are far more likely than older generations to make decisions about how and where they travel based on digital connectivity or social inclusiveness, giving a powerful insight into what will matter most to travellers in the decades to come.

However, cost-effectiveness remains the top priority for travellers across all age groups, with an average of 64% prioritising it in the UK and 55% globally. 

In particular, "Baby Boomers" exhibit a greater inclination towards prioritising cost in trip planning, with 69% of global respondents aged over 45 years and 59% in the UK focusing on this aspect. 

In contrast, responses from younger generations indicate a decreased emphasis on cost as other considerations take precedence in line with changing generational priorities. 

Specifically, 52% of those under 34 years old globally (58% in the UK) prioritise cost as a key factor in their travel decisions.

Worldwide, 27% of respondents aged 18-24 highlighted brands and destinations that offer socially inclusive experiences as a top consideration when planning their trips compared to only 17% of over 65s. 

In the UK, 11% of Baby Boomers prioritise social inclusivity and values when considering their travel choices, while this rises to 21% in the case of Millennials and Gen Z’s.

Digital connectivity was highlighted as an important while travelling. 20% of Gen Z’s globally highlighted this as a top priority, compared with 7% of over 65s. 

This suggests increased prevalence of flexible and remote work among the younger generations, as well as the importance of sharing travel experience on social networks.

Female shoppers show a higher interest in staying connected during their trips, with 19% expressing this compared to 14% of their male counterparts. 

These generational traits are even more pronounced in the UK. Only 7% of over 45-year-olds noted the importance of digital connectivity, while this was a top consideration for 28% of 18-24-year-olds. 

Inclusiveness was a key consideration for only 11% of over 45-year-olds in the UK, but 20% of over under 35’s thought this was important.

48% of respondents across all age brackets in the UK, and 51% globally, said this health and safety was also a key consideration. 

Notably, this was even more pronounced with the younger age group (18-24) which ranked safety considerations (52% globally, 56% UK) almost on a par with cost of travel (54% globally, 58% UK).

Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO, said: “We are in an era where travellers’ values are evolving rapidly shaped by the big matters of our time, from technology to hybrid work or a once-in-a-generation pandemic. 

"Since our flagship brand eDreams was founded 25 years ago, we’ve seen travellers’ priorities change significantly, particularly with technology putting an almost limitless amount of choice at their fingertips. 

"As we look to the future, this data provides a fascinating insight into what will matter most to travellers as the next generation of socially inclusive and digitally native consumers reach the peak of their spending power. 

“While we are seeing a generational shift in values around these issues, we are also continuing to see travel remain incredibly important to consumers of all ages."

He added: "We expect demand for travel to remain strong, so this data really highlights why it’s vital that we continue to innovate and provide new experiences that excite future generations of travellers.” 

The research from eDreams ODIGEO and OnePoll indicates that the global travel sector is likely to witness significant shifts over the next few decades, particularly with regards to consumer preferences. 

However, this anticipated period of change follows directly on from 25 years in which the travel industry has evolved "beyond all recognition".

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, 1.56 billion passengers flew on airplanes worldwide in 1999. This number increased to 4.9 billion in 2023, representing a growth of 157%.

Arguably, the biggest game-changer for the global travel industry in the 21st century has been the rapid evolution of technology. 

The foundation of eDreams, 25 years ago "marked the commencement of the universalisation" of online travel said the firm. 

According to a report by IATA, only 5% of travel bookings were made online in 1999. In 2023, this figure increased to 70%, representing an increase of 650% in 25 years.

Similarly, in 1999 the share of mobile bookings for travel was virtually zero. Mobile internet was still in its early stages of development, and few people had access to it. Additionally, the devices available at the time were not well-suited for making travel bookings.

In 2023, 75% of consumers use their mobile phones to book travel, according to Deloitte's Digital Consumer Trends, 2023.

The firm adds that the latest revolution in the travel industry is the emergence of subscription-based travel retailing due to the shift of millions of travellers from a traditional transactional approach to "embracing a subscription-based model for their travels". 

eDreams was the first business to pioneer this in the travel sector through its Prime platform, which now has over 5.2 million members.