Millennials, Wanderlust and the Travel Industry
Identified as the fastest growing customers in the hospitality sector, the Cornell Centre for Hospitality research states that millenials are set to make up 50% of all travellers by 2025.
Millennials are changing the world. From their attitudes and expectations, to their achievements and goals – it’s the generation making industries across the globe, do business better. Tech-savvy and on trend, millennials work hard and play harder. They not only do business differently from their predecessors, but as consumers, behave differently as well, and when it comes to travel – things are no different.
While the travel and tourism industry continues to take this shift in its stride with new and improved business plans, customer engagement models and the like, it’s interesting to observe the science behind the phenomenon that is changing the travel experience as we know it.
They do their homework. Before going off to explore the world, millennials immerse themselves in as much information as possible, covering destinations, flights, local must-see spots and more. It isn’t enough to visit the popular getaway destinations, it’s about exploring and enjoying an ‘authentic’ experience.
With this segment of travellers, it’s essential that the tourism industry be accessible to millennial users with the information they want, when they want it.
They prefer to rough it. (A bit) In the quest for a more realistic experience, millennials often choose quaint B&B’s over the five-star hotels, or swap a night at the opera for a day spent sightseeing with locals.
With this new approach to holiday-making, smaller businesses have created more of a presence for themselves, and are able to cater to a wider range of tourists based on their reach.
They trust the experts when they need to. Though they travel often and are likely to spend hours planning the ins and outs of holidays, millennials aren’t considered to be experienced tourists, seldom visiting the same twice. In light of this, they turn to the experts when it comes to the details. They seek out travel agents and other service providers for important trips and occasions, making it more than enough reason for companies in this sector to stay up-to-date with trends.
They’re ALWAYS online. Known as the online generation, millennials do everything from selecting a destination, to booking tickets, to choosing hotels, from the comfort of their phones. Thanks to social media and friends who travel, they not only catch a glimpse of the places they’d love to visit, but also have access to multiple airline booking sites, hotel review options, discussion boards and more, at their fingertips.
Hotels have stepped up to the challenge and from changing décor to more trendy furnishings, adding different facilities and services around the property with the millennial traveller in mind and incorporating tech add-ons like booking apps, virtual videos, free Wi-Fi and social media pages, the industry has proved its readiness for the millennial tourist.
If they’re unhappy, they’ll say so. If some aspect of their travel experience wasn’t up to expectations, you can be sure that millennials will voice their dissatisfaction. They aren’t unreasonable, but definitely won’t be taken for a ride and in this age of social media, a bad review can do more than enough damage. This prompted hotels, airlines and other businesses in the industry to up their service and product offerings to suit the market.
The millennial passion for spontaneous, relatively inexpensive travel not only encourages the maintenance of a positive work-life balance, but has also gently nudged the hospitality and tourism industries to come up with better packages, economical fares and an overall better tourist experience for everyone.