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Attracting Millennial Travelers: 5 Must-Know Insights

For those in the travel and tourism industry, this group is hugely valuable in terms of revenue-generation and nearly every business can benefit from boosting their base with these customers.

The generation – generally anyone aged 20-40 – has huge financial influence
The generation – generally anyone aged 20-40 – has huge financial influence

Millennials – generally anyone aged 20-40 – has huge financial influence. For those in the travel and tourism industry, this group is hugely valuable in terms of revenue-generation and nearly every business can benefit from boosting their base with these customers. However, this age bracket can differ from older ones and tried-and-true tactics from the past may no longer work.

1. The Anti-tourism Tourist

For generations, travel agents have successfully built their businesses by organizing treks to beloved and well-known landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and Golden Gate Bridge. While these will always be popular spots, the millennial tourist shows more interest in the lesser-known sights. In fact, this group thrives on exploring “off the beaten path” destinations. Tour operators and local guides should seek out quieter, less-busy offerings that are filled with locals in order to appeal to these travelers. Trips that provide a more authentic experience with unique activities are likely to be successful.

 2. Quick, not cheap, Flights

Millennials are often strapped with student loan debt and unstable career prospects so one would assume they favor the lowest cost flight options available. Not so. A 2019 report found that the vast majority of these vacationers would choose a more convenient and fast travel option over a cheaper price. Although a good deal will always be attractive, advertising efficiency could be key.

3. Organized tours with less organization

Group tour operators can breathe a sigh of relief: millennials aren’t planning to ditch these businesses anytime soon. Still, they do want something a bit different than other customers. Namely, they want to be able to adjust schedules and customize their trips. Adding in optional afternoons of cooking classes, hikes and more can set a travel company apart from its more rigid competitors. 

4. Accommodation

For this crowd, lodging is more than just a bed to collapse in after a long day. As any hoteliers know, home rental platforms are wildly popular and a definite threat to the established hospitality industry. Yet travel companies can seek to understand their competitors’ appeal and apply these elements to their own business. Travelers often prefer selecting a room through an app because of their one-of-a-kind qualities. Some are historic homes, elaborate mansions or even treehouses. Opting for this kind of housing is just another unique part for their adventure. If traditional hotels try to increase their offerings, such as including local meals or updating décor, this could put them back on the radar of millennials.  

 5. Activities

Unlike other visitors, millennials are not satisfied with seeing a few quick sights and calling it a day. This group prefers memorable experiences and unusual activities to more traditional tourist actions. Thrills like skydiving or participating in local cultural events are a top choice for young travelers who wish to try something new. Also, sustainability is important for this age bracket so look for environmentally-friendly happenings.