Generation Y is coming to a tourist attraction near you this summer.
A survey released Wednesday by the Travel Industry Association of America and the American Automobile Association says young adults aged 18 to 24 will be out in droves this summer to take advantage of the country's great outdoors and theme parks.
According to the survey, titled Travelometer Summer Travel Forecast, 84 percent of Generation Y members -- loosely defined as those born in the mid-1970s -- intend to hit the road in June, July and August, and 43 percent said they will travel more this summer than last.
The report estimated that young travelers will be spending $828 on average for their longest trip this summer. That's a 12 percent increase from the $742 they doled out last year.
"What we're seeing is the emergence of a younger, cost-conscious traveler who really loves nature and outdoor activities," said TIAA president William Norman. "Many of these young people will be spending less, on average, than older travelers, but they are likely to be traveling in groups. And unlike workers who have been in the work force for a long time, 18- to 24-year-olds are unwilling to defer time off for travel."
In addition, the new survey noted that California ranked second behind Florida in tourist popularity for the fourth straight year.
Overall, the report estimated that 230 million people will take summer vacations this year, a 2 percent increase from 225 million for the same period in 1996. On average, travelers will spend $1,112 on their longest summer trip.
The young aren't the only ones gravitating toward the outdoors. The tourism survey said 75 percent of all U.S. travelers plan to visit a beach or lake this summer.
Hoteliers and tourism experts agreed with the survey's assertion that young people are a dominant force in the travel industry.
"We're taking our cues from the aesthetic of the 18- to 24-year-olds who dominate the media," said Rob Delamater, bTC marketing director at San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hotels.
Pub Date: 5/18/97