Investigating Differences in Generational Travel Preferences

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  • Title: Investigating Differences in Generational Travel Preferences: The Case of the New River Gorge, West Virginia
  • Author(s): Douglas Arbogast, Megan Smith
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Tourism and Leisure Studies
  • Journal Title: Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies
  • Keywords: Generational Travel, West Virginia, Rural, Tourism, Source of Information, Activity Preference
  • Volume: 1
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2470-9336 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9344 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Arbogast, Douglas, and Megan Smith. 2016. "Investigating Differences in Generational Travel Preferences: The Case of the New River Gorge, West Virginia." Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies 1 (4): 19-29. doi:10.18848/2470-9336/CGP/v01i04/19-29.
  • Extent: 11 pages


Destination managers as well as researchers are increasingly seeking to identify travel preferences of generational cohorts. This study sought to identify differences in travel characteristics including the source of information used for trip planning to the destination and activities participated in among millennials, generation X, and baby boomers who visited the New River Gorge region of West Virginia in 2013. All the generation cohorts differed significantly across their selection of word of mouth as their source of information with gen X members using this source relatively more than millennials, followed by boomers. Gen X used the internet as a source of information significantly more than boomers. Boomers used personal experience significantly more than gen X or millennials. Millennials used brochures significantly less than gen X or boomers. Boomers participated in adventure sports significantly less frequently than millennials and gen X respondents. Boomers and millennials also differed on their frequency in shopping as an activity participated in with boomers participating in this activity significantly more than millennials. Boomers also visited cultural facilities significantly more than millennials.