The Internet is full of writing about Millennials: what do they do, what do they want, what defines them as a group? It can feel like there is no clear information, and there are some reasons for that, like the wide timeline of their births (1980 - 2000) along with rapidly shifting job and real estate markets.
But despite the fog surrounding analysing a generation in a global economy, there are some clear political and marketing trends emerging that can help the travel industry in particular. Let’s take a look:
Millennials love to travel
A recent survey reveals that a huge majority are not travelling to seek out a non-stop party, but rather to experience other cultures, cuisines and geographies. This is the kind of traveller most providers want, because their small footprint (not travelling in large groups, not attending pub-crawls, not disruptive to other guests) and their desire to explore means that comfort and service are more important than location and promotional tie-ins.
Do not underestimate the importance of Social Media
One thing that unifies the millennial generation is that they have grown up accustomed to technology. The resulting comfort they have with this exposure means that they share all their experiences with their multitudes of contacts, and get their inspiration from those same contacts. This means that we can see through Facebook where they travel and what they want in a travel experience. 97% of them will post during their travels, and of those, 75% will post at least once per day. This is a huge outreach, and even if service providers cannot access all of this information, it’s easy to see the importance of giving positive experiences to people with this much social impact.
Apps - Apps - Apps
Millennials have been using smartphones likely since the first iPhone came to market, and because they are so connected, they experiment with a lot of apps. In fact, 46% of Millennial travelers will book trips and hotel stays on a smartphone or a tablet. So make sure your app is well designed, easy to use, not cluttered with outside advertising and includes all the relevant features to ensure your guests have a smooth experience. This means things like booking, check-in and out, maps integrations and upselling should all be on your app, along with clear images of what you have on offer, like rooms, restaurants, gyms and social or work spaces. A well-designed and functional app can open a lot of doors.
It turns out that this generation is particularly fond of upgrades that specifically target their needs. Free Wifi is a must, but they will pay extra for front of line services and amenities that will reduce their travel and wait times. Good in-house restaurants, in-room comfort and taxi upgrades are on this list.
Don’t forget about rewards
64% of Millennials have said they will remain loyal to providers that offer cash rebates, freebies like good coffee and discounts on rooms and amenities.
So give Millennials what they want: simple, reactive service
Millennials travel as much as any demographic, and possibly more, but what they are looking for and how they find it are different from other generations. So don’t be afraid to embrace the web, embrace social media, and streamline the autonomous guest journey millennials desire, and prepare to introduce yourself to a whole new market of loyal guests.
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Adam Gandy was born and raised in North America but now lives and works in Europe. A technical writer, artist and writer for Arts publications and Galleries, he has spent the past eight years working and traveling in the Arts and Cultural sector.