Travel Trends for Millennials
Are you born between 1980 and 2000? If yes, congratulations – You are part of the Millennials generation!
There are many articles around Millennials and their specific characteristics. A good overview can be found at Wikipedia. We want to share some thoughts on the travel habits of this generation.
Millennials grew up with the use of technology
A key characteristic of Millennials is the acceptance of the use of technology in everyday’s life. They grew up with electronics, computers, internet, mobile phones, etc. They are used and open to quickly adopt to new technologies. Only because the world has been doing things in one way since hundreds of years, it does not mean that this way is still the best way. A good example of the Millennials generation is AirBnB. While for our parents the idea of renting out a room or a flat to people who are staying only for a few days or even renting a private accommodation for themselves when travelling seems to be unthinkable, for Millennials, it is absolutely normal. Thus, companies building on the shared economy would most probably not have worked 15-20 years ago.
Millennials are changing the way the world works
The success of an online shopping platform like Amazon is clearly satisfying the shopping needs of the Millennial generation. The availability of choice on products is a key pillar of the success of online platforms. While in the past, your shopping habits where driven by local availability, today you can buy for example any English written book whilst being in the smallest village in Germany. The control of the shopping basket has changed. It used to be “theirs”, today it is YOURS!
Key shopping behaviors of Millennials include:
- inform –> choose –> compare –> buy: Millennials are the owners of their shopping choice. They use different channels to inform themselves about different products. Then they make a choice for a specific model and start comparing prices before they will actual buy that product.
- Mobile is King: The smartphone is an integral part of the Millennials life. It is used to communicate, to compare, to research, to buy and more. That mobile shopping behavior is killing traditional point of sales which missed the new trends in retail shopping
- Price is NOT everything: Despite the fact that many Millennials are “poorer” than their parents, buying decision are not always purely depending on price. There is a strong social responsibility component included in the shopping behavior. This component is an informed component. For companies and brands it is not enough to just run a campaign with a social responsibility component. The Millennial pays attention to your real core values as brands and companies. This has actually as well an impact on the working environment.
A good article about the impact on how Millennials changes the retail industry can be found here.
Travel priorities are different for Millennials
Looking at travel in the age of Millennials, there are several key points one has to consider.
- Experience is a key driver: Experiences are much more important than things. Thus, Millennials are participating more in concerts, festivals and other events than other generations. This trend has helped new travel companies which focus on experiences rather than on locations to become successful.
- Self-driven research: While the older generations received their knowledge and inspiration about potential travel destinations from their local travel agents, the Millennial is fully in-charge of what to do and where to travel to.
- The “Where” is flexible: Location is not everything, always. Millennials are willing to trade off the location for a plus in experience. You want to go skiing? It doesn’t have to be the Alps. What about skiing in Lebanon? That would be a once-in-a-life experience for many of us. We wrote about this topic in an earlier post.
- Ready to spend more on extras: While Millennials are keen on getting the best deal for a trip, they are willing to spend more money on additional extras which (again) will improve the experience.
- Trust is important: The Millennial did his/her research on a specific travel product. It is a informed and conscious decision on why this specific product has been chosen. The Millennial is engaging in a trust relationship with the brand and if the experience is good, maybe a long-lasting relationship may grow out of it. The decision was not impulsive, it is based on research. Thus, Millennials expect to receive the same treatment/trust from the owner of the product.
Some additional statistics on travel decisions of Millennials can be found here.
It seems that there is still quite some room for improvements in the online travel industry to cater for the needs of the Millennials and other younger generations. Online travel services will need to be able to inspire the younger generations with localized and socially responsible experiences.