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Instagram fuels young travellers’ demand for luxury holidays

  • Image-sharing platforms such as Instagram are boosting Millennials’ expectations of holidays, with one in 20 saying it was “imperative” for them to fly business class in order to post the obligatory snap of them supping the complimentary champagne.

A study found that the need to experience an “Instagrammable” break has led to a number of startling holiday ‘must haves’ for young travellers.

Seven in 10 millennials claim that image-sharing platforms make them want to experience ever more lavish holidays.

The poll of 2,000 people aged 23 to 38 found that for more than one in 10, “beautiful people” were an essential part of the holiday backdrop. Three in 10 felt a holiday wasn’t worth going on unless they could upload artistically shot pictures of palm trees.

Meanwhile, a third said they would be “deeply disappointed” if there was not a perfect sunset every night and 22 per cent say they demand historic ruins as a shoot location for their holiday snaps.

The study also found that 40 per cent of young holidaymakers have booked a break solely because a social media influencer or celeb had been to the same place and had shared snaps online.

Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “It is all about ‘look what a great life I’m having’ and luxury is now a big part of that. People want to use platforms like Instagram to portray an idealised life and for looking happy and positive.”

He added: “It is also about how the travel industry has changed. 30 years ago, it was about young people asking ‘how cheaply can I get to India?’. Now, we have much more mobile young people, with the increase in cheap flights and the idea of backpacking on trains has been replaced with flying on short breaks in Europe.”

The study also found that 35 per cent of modern travellers said they would not dream of taking the same type of holidays that their parents did.

Seven in ten said their parents chose holiday destinations based on affordability and practicality, whereas they were inspired by the style and glamour that surrounds holiday hotspots, while four in 10 said all their parents wanted was a good deal on the price.

Joe Thompson, managing director at Virgin Holidays, which commissioned the research, said: “Our research results clearly demonstrate that for a holiday company to remain ahead of the curve, we need to be tuned into what our customers are looking for, as new holiday trends quickly emerge and customers source inspiration from continually evolving social platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok.

“It’s also inevitable that we will be enticed by crystal blue waters and white, sandy beaches during our cold, British winters.”