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Millennials Shaping Travel Industry’s Trends

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July 1, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

There’s no shortage of discussion across the business landscape about millennials, people between 16 and 34 years old, which represent the next rising wave of consumers. 

Millennials bring their own unique set of expectations, behaviors and preferences in what they want and how they want it and this extends to their travel experiences.

For example, millennial travelers are quick to seek out the wireless connection upon arrival to the hotel while other travelers might make decompressing from their long haul a priority. While other travelers might collect stories to share one-on-one when they return home, younger travelers tell their stories online in real-time as they travel from one point to the next.

But as millennial travelers enter their spending years as both leisure and business travelers, travel providers are faced with new and unique challenges. Millennial travelers demand instant gratification, accuracy in booking and one-stop shopping, all from their handheld device. These digital natives also compare their travel booking experience to all their other tech experiences with expectations aligned accordingly.

As explored in the Amadeus report, Trending with the NextGen Travelers, millennials are poised to shape the future of the travel industry and impact how travel providers plan their business and technology roadmaps and marketing efforts.

1. Explorers, Never Tourists

Millennial travelers want to explore their destinations and hate the idea of being considered tourists. These travelers crave adventure and seek out unique and authentic experiences while traveling. Instead of taking the elevator up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, a millennial traveler will likely take the stairs and share a self-designed photo collage of the path to the top on Instagram.

2. Customization is Key

Millennial travelers favor an a la carte menu of logistics, amenities and activities when planning their trip to create a highly personalized experience. They value a distinctive experience that aligns with their individual identity and to display on social media. They seek a stimulating “touch and feel” environment that still takes them to a different world. This often includes unique excursions and international destinations that allow them to establish credibility on a subject or region. Publically displaying this knowledge and skill set is of high value.

In addition to taking a customized trip, millennial travelers expect travel brands to provide them with personalized content, from airfare, accommodations and beyond. For travel brands, along with price and value considerations, this personalized interaction is key to relationship building and increases the likelihood that the traveler will return on their next trip.

3. Technology Enables Communication and More

It’s no surprise this generation of travelers is more tech-savvy. Communicating through social media and keeping in touch with friends and family through mobile technology is very important. Technology also provides an added sense of power as they access vast amounts of information any time they desire. They can be savvy consumers in an unfamiliar destination by comparing prices, reading reviews and getting tips from blogs during their trip. Millennial travelers are most comfortable combining “the best of both worlds” as they are channel agnostic. They want the speed and convenience of an online purchase and also value the comfort and security that constant connectivity brings, in the event they need assistance while traveling.

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