For years people in the travel business have said, “This is the year young travelers take over from the Baby Boomers,” and at the end of those years the travel businesspeople have said, “Maybe next year.”
But 2018 might be the year it actually happens.
How do we know? A little thing called the “State of Travel Insurance 2018.”
We whip up “State of Travel Insurance” (a/k/a SOTI) at the end of every year to predict what the travel-insurance market will look like in the year ahead. It’s a fairly involved process: We survey travelers and travel professionals, then create a predictive model of Americans’ travel abroad for the coming year. We include things like costs of lodging and transportation, and the percentage of trips to different regions that we think will be insured. And once we have that information, we calculate how much travel insurance will be bought, and how that differs from past years.
Our track record is pretty good, especially when it comes to predicting how many travelers will visit a given part of the world, and how much insurance they’ll buy for those travels.
Normally our SOTI surveys are exciting only to us, since they show microscopic changes in Americans’ travel habits and travel-insurance buying patterns. But this year something remarkable happened: Younger travelers showed up and showed out, and older travelers did the opposite.