Millennials Enjoy Tying Vacation To Philanthropy

Millennials are more generous with their time, money, and donations than any other generation, according to a recent study on travel and philanthropy.

New data shows that 81% volunteered, 78% donated cash and 83% gave in-kind during their most meaningful trip from the last two years.

The study, “Good Travels: The Philanthropic Profile of the American Traveler,” was conducted by Phocuswright and commissioned by Tourism Cares, the philanthropic arm of the tourism industry, whose members include Delta, American Express, Amtrak, Avis, Best Western, Fairmont, Hertz, IHG, Marriott and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

More than half of the Americans surveyed have given of their money, time or goods while on a recent vacation. The group’s video Tourism Cares The Power of Community shows the not-for-profit positive impact in people's lives.



A family that gives together stays together. Families that travel with children,give and volunteer more than the average person. It doesn’t end when the vacation is over, upon returning home, 46% of families keep tabs on the causes they donated to and 34% gave more to the same cause.  

The new research helps the traveling public understand the potential for especially meaningful travel and is a call to action for the tourism industry, says Mike Rea, CEO of Tourism Cares. There’s a message for travel marketers in the data, Rea tells Marketing Daily.

“Overall you can learn about the importance placed on travel dollars benefiting the local population -– something to keep in mind in terms of messaging,” Rea says. ”There’s the info on the relative importance some, including the affluent and millennials, place on corporate CSR -– again, an important signal for marketing professionals.”

In aggregate, the Millennial information is compelling from a broad marketing perspective, given their rising role in purchasing decisions. 

“Giving back matters to this demographic, and that could infuse a whole set of marketing themes,” Rea adds.

Of 2,551 respondents accessed in the Good Travels survey, 1,405 (55%) indicated that they did some sort of volunteering or giving to a destination they visited for leisure in the last two years. A deeper look at a set of 507 “givers” found that 64% volunteered, 86% gave money and 78% gave in-kind while on a leisure trip.

And they want their travel spending and giving to help the places they visit: 72% found their travel giving to be "important," or "very" or "extremely" important. There was a high degree of informal giving –- 48% of respondents gave back directly to individuals or families, with others supporting religious, nonprofit, cultural and other organizations.

1 comment about "Millennials Enjoy Tying Vacation To Philanthropy".
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  1. David Searby from BeachCorps, October 2, 2015 at 3:22 p.m.

    Great story.  This study draws a number of conclusions that directly advance the premise of BeachCorps that there is a large untapped market for linking quality volunteer projects to great hotels.  If interested in more info see or see BeachCorps on Facebook.

    There is enormous potential for both profit and doing good with the BeachCorps model, which combines the best of a great beach vacation with fun, simple and meaningful volunteer activities nearby.  The only thing stopping BeachCorps from starting: we need a good partner travel agent! Spread the word!


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