Millennials. They’re on the rise in all ways, shapes and forms. One market these up-and-coming individuals are taking by storm is the travel industry. They are young… they are in their prime… and they are ready to take off and experience adventures of a lifetime. Aka, they have an extreme case of “wanderlust.”
Millennials are said to be the largest demographic in the US, and they’re now reaching the prime ages for travel. They are believed to be more educated and travel intuitive than any other generation before them. For this certain group, however, it’s more about the overall impact of the experience and what they will obtain from it.
We’ve discussed marketing to Millennials before, but now we’re taking that a step further and exploring some of the top Millennial travel habits and how they’re shaping the tourism industry:
They live for the moment
Millennials are craving unforgettable travel moments. They are foodies and adventurers, and they want to experience it all. According to a 2015 survey by Millennial research firm YPulse, 72 percent of the Millennials polled said they were interested in traveling and had made an average of 2.7 trips in the past year. More than 50 percent of employed Millennials declared that they are saving for that “special” trip, and 33 percent stated that they would put off buying a home to take a dream vacation. Simply put: travel is a priority.
They are “social”
Millennials were born into a tech-driven world, and in recent years, social media has become a cornerstone for this generation. With this in mind, it’s important for the travel industry to appeal to their technological dependence.
These 21- to 34-year-olds see “likes,” “favorites” and “retweets” as a sort of trophy—they post and others make them feel heard or accomplished by clicking a heart or thumbs-up icon. It’s this validation that causes Millennials to capture everything—from meals to city views—so give them something worthwhile to photograph.
Also smart: Engage them via social media. In the midst of their travel excursions, 97% of Millennials use social media and 75% post to social networks at least once a day while on their trip1. So create property-specific hashtags they can use. Entice them with a free stay or other rewards via a social media contest. Get them talking about your property and sharing their experiences. Did someone post a compelling, positive review about your property or destination? Repost and share it. Millennials rely on reviews and the input of others when making travel decisions—so much so that 87% use Facebook for travel inspiration, while over 50% use Twitter and Pinterest2.
They want to learn
Millennials are taking more and more trips to gain value by learning while traveling. 78% stated that they prefer to learn something new—such as a new skill or practicing a new language—when traveling3. Millennials want to break out from taking the traditional (or in their minds, “boring”) tours, as they want to explore and learn from the places they visit and the people they meet. Offering great extracurriculars may get you more heads in beds from these young folks.
They want individualized experiences
Millennials are less interested in packaged vacations, like cruises, and more intrigued by custom, experience-focused trips. The travel industry is responding to this shift with companies like Airbnb, Brite Spokes and Vayable, that allow the user to tailor a trip to their desires, find affordable (and often unique) lodging and really research what a destination has to offer. Also important: they want the ability to plan these custom outings while still keeping things affordable. Millennials may want new and exciting adventures, but their pockets typically aren’t very deep, so they’re forced to be thrifty in their travel planning (being careful not to minimize what they’re able to do and experience).
Rewards programs are also a big pull for this generation. In fact, 77% of Millennials participate in these types of programs, and 78% say they’re more likely to utilize a brand that offers a rewards program4.
Want to learn more about appealing to this demographic? Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or
firstname.lastname@example.org today to start the conversation.