Contiki have undergone extensive research to uncover the implications travel has on 18-35 year olds. The research study involved a pool of 2,980 respondents from around the world, with an equal number of travellers and non-travellers, to gain a clear understanding of the exact effects travel enables.

The results have been statistically significant, with 40% of travellers indicating that they participate in activities in their community (compared to 31% non-travellers) and 21% of travellers stating that they are involved in their local government (compared to 4% non-travellers). The results prove that one of the key positive implications travel has is an increased sense of citizenship on both a local and global level.

Further research results give clarity of the positive impact travel has on young travellers’ sense of citizenship: 

South African Stats

    •      70% of travellers indicate that travel has shaped their perspective on global politics (compared to 51% non-travellers)

    •      51% of travellers indicate they are patriotic (compared to 31% non-travellers)

    •      41% of travellers indicate that they would run for public office in (compared to 29% non-travellers)

    •      49% of travellers voted in the last national election (compared to 39% non-travellers)

    •      55% of travellers have voted in a local election (compared to 36% non-travellers)

    •      51% of travellers indicate that they participate in activities in their community (compared to 38% non-travellers)

    •      30% of travellers indicate that they have donated money to an organizations that helps people located in another country (compared to 11% non-travellers)

    •      14% of travellers indicate that they have written to or communicated with their National government (compared to 7% non-travellers)

    •      19% of travellers indicate that they are involved in their local government (compared to 5% non-travellers)

    •      Travellers are more likely to volunteer over 10 hours a month

Global Stats

•        Travellers indicating that they participate in activities in their community: 40%, versus 31% non-travellers

•        Travellers voted in the last presidential/national election: 46%, versus 37% non-travellers

•        Travellers indicate that they would run for public office: 32%, versus 19% non-travellers

•        Travellers voted in a local (city/regional level) election(s): 45%, versus 36% non-travellers

•        Travellers indicate that they have donated money to an organization(s) that helps people located in another country: 30%, versus 20% non-travellers

•        Travellers indicate that they have written to or communicated with their National government: 21%, versus 5% non-travellers

•        Travellers indicating that travel has shaped their perspective on global politics: 63%, versus 36% non-travellers

"While it might seem like a paradox, there are plenty of reasons for travel to have these kinds of effects on one’s sense of citizenship," says Kelly Jackson, General Manager for Contiki. 

"The friendships you make over a 3am Gyros in Mykonos will be friendships that will stay with you for a lifetime, and the people you interact with and cultures you’re exposed to have a profound impact on your tolerance and understanding. 

"Contiki’s unique social travel experience sets millennial travellers up to have better relationships with their friends, family and with their wider communities at home, through the skills they learn through their travel experiences.”

The survey results give strong evidence that experiencing new cultures and viewpoints through travel in turn enhances character attributes which prove a positive impact on citizenship, such as perspective, empathy and appreciation. Despite young people spending a greater amount of time away from their native countries when travelling, young people who travel do in fact gain a greater sense of citizenship then those who have not travelled internationally.

Contiki commissioned Story and Verse and Fan Data Analytics - two third party professional research and insight organisations - to conduct this research. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Fan Data Analytics. 

For more information on Contiki’s trips throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Asia and Latin America check out contiki.com.