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Women bigger backpackers than men: study

And these are the biggest emerging backpacker routes for travellers

Men or women? Who are the bigger backpackers? If you’d have said males, you’d be wrong. 


A global study commissioned by hostel booking platform Hostelworld has shown, perhaps surprisingly, that three in four (75%) women have gone or plan to go backpacking compared to two in three (67%) men.  



Hostelworld’s reservation data supports this finding, with bookings by solo female travellers almost doubling (+88%) over the past four years. 


According to the Evolution of the Hostel Traveller report, which polled 5000 travellers across multiple generations - including 1000 Australians - the fastest growing future destinations for women are Brazil, Iceland, Chile, Fiji and Norway; the top future destinations for men are Cuba, Colombia, Australia, Portugal and Brazil.


Overall, among Gen Y and Gen Z travellers, Latin America was revealed as the biggest emerging backpacker region, with one in five (20%) 16-21 year-olds intending to visit South America in the next three years, and Central America bookings growing massively (+61%).    


The countries with the highest growth rate among Aussie Gen Z-ers (by % growth in comparison to Gen Y travellers) are Greece (41%), Norway (39%), Portugal (31%) and Sweden (28%).


According to the survey, the desires of young travellers have also changed greatly in recent times, with partying taking a back seat to volunteering, culture and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and mainstream destinations giving way to off-the-beaten-path places.    


Among the Australian females polled, two in three (66%) said they planned to engage in volunteering while backpacking, while one in three (33%) Aussie males planned to do the same.   


Modern young travellers have also changed their booking habits, with the average Aussie Gen Z-er, for instance, organising accommodation 3-6 months prior (up 231% from older travellers) to departure.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 25 June 2019

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