ITB Berlin Convention – Where are Young People Bound?

15 March 2011

RUF Jugendreisen and iconkids & youth to report on travel trends among young holidaymakers – being with others and having fun is a major consideration – the industry’s leading think tank to publicize its findings

Today’s young people are the grown-ups of tomorrow. Taking this as its heading, on 11 March 2011 at this year’s ITB Marketing and Distribution Day, RUF Jugendreisen and iconkids & youth will be reporting on some informative trends regarding the decisions and travel destinations of young holidaymakers. Entitled Junges Reisen – die Zukunft der Touristik (Youth Travel, the Future of Tourism), and in cooperation with the world’s largest travel trade show, both companies will be highlighting young people’s general consumer and communication behaviour as well as the destinations and types of holiday they prefer. Afterwards, the two speakers will talk about how this frequently underrated segment of the market will impact on other parts of society and what measures can be taken to address young people even more effectively in the future.

During the first half of the lecture Axel Dammler, Managing Director of the market research institute iconkids & youth, will speak about the basics of researching consumer behaviour among young people. This company specializes in researching newly founded focus groups and advises leading enterprises such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s. Next, Dirk Föste, a senior management executive with the tour operator RUF Jugendreisen, will analyse the findings of a survey carried out exclusively for ITB Berlin. Over a period of several months the institute polled close to 8,000 young people aged between 13 and 20 to ask how they obtained information, and to find out about their expectations, travel destinations and travel behaviour. As expected, the internet was the primary source of information, and by some margin.

As regards where they actually travel to, young people focus strongly on what goes on at their destination of choice – local attractions must coincide exactly with their needs. In some cases beaches and the evening entertainment options are even more important than their choice of destination. The findings also bear out clear trends as far as group behaviour is concerned, as young people often tend to travel with several friends. Other trends include quality travel, such as holiday language courses or longer trips for the culturally interested, or in order to prepare for a job.

Dirk Föste, a senior management executive with RUF Jugendreisen: “In recent years, how young consumers make their decisions has changed significantly – parents now rarely decide where they will go. The fact that young people use the internet so often and that social networking sites have expanded so rapidly means that they are very clear about knowing and getting what they want.“

Dr. Martin Buck, Director Competence Center Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin, adds: “The aim of the ITB Berlin Convention is to take full stock of the trends taking place in the travel sector. The consumer behaviour of young people and how they make their decisions is a crucial part of this process. Teenagers are at the forefront of new developments, particularly where the internet und social networking sites are concerned. The consumer behaviour of young people today will significantly impact on how people make their decisions tomorrow. Thus the findings presented by this survey are of great importance to every company seriously interested in the trends and opportunities which the tourism industry has to offer."

The discussion entitled Junges Reisen – die Zukunft der Touristik (Youth Travel, the Future of Tourism) will take place at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day on Friday, 11 March 2011 from 3.45 to 4.30 p.m. Full details of the programme are available at A normal trade visitor ticket is valid for admission to the ITB Berlin Convention.