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Millennial Travel Traits and Habits

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This presentation focuses on the 18 to 35 year-old age group and what their desires are when they travel. It will be of use to those marketing travel products to them or travel advisors seeking to expand their portfolio of clients in this age bracket.

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Millennial Travel Traits and Habits

  1. 1. Focus on Millennial Travelers Brought to you by Ruthanne Terrero, VP/Editorial Director:
  2. 2. The Big Picture: Travel is Up!  Demand for travel is the highest it’s been since 2004.  16 million trips are taken a year and that number is growing  8 out of 10 affluent consumers said they will take an international trip in the near future.  As demand grows, rates will go up as suppliers get more buying power. They will have more leverage when negotiating rates for FITs.
  3. 3. THE PORTRAIT OF AMERICAN TRAVELERS®  A national survey conducted in 2013 by MMGY Global.  2,511 active leisure travelers who reside in households with an annual income of $50,000 or more (including an “affluent traveler” subset of households with an annual income over $125,000).  They had taken at least one leisure trip of 75 miles or more from home during the previous 12 months requiring overnight accommodations.
  4. 4. How Mexico Fared Last Year  12% of U.S. leisure travelers who took an international trip visited Mexico  19% visited the Caribbean  29% visited Europe
  5. 5. Desire to Travel In Next 2 Years  24% of US leisure travelers are interested in visiting Mexico on vacation during the next two years  47% are interested in visiting the Caribbean  61% are interested in visiting Europe
  6. 6. Most Interested in Going To Mexico  Millennials (31 percent) showed the strongest interest in visiting Mexico in the next 2 years.
  7. 7. What is a Millennial?  They are 18-35 years of age  Recognize the size of the market: There are 95 million Millennials out there.  That’s compared to 78 million Baby Boomers.  They spend $200 billion a year on travel.  They comprise 22 percent of the traveling public and while they’re leaning toward budget travel now, they’re growing up and will soon be able to spend more. They are the future.  They take on average eight to nine trips a year; that’s business + pleasure, but they’re extending work trips into leisure breaks.
  8. 8. Activities of greatest interest to Millennials while on vacation include:  81% - having enough time to relax and unwind  79% - a destination I have never visited before  78% - safety of the destination  76% - an opportunity to try new and unusual cuisine  72% - a beach experience  66% - visiting architectural sites  61% - shopping  59% - visiting an amenity spa  57% - nightlife and entertainment  53% - hiking/climbing/biking  48% - participation in water sports  46% - gambling  45% - playing golf
  9. 9. Note: How Do Millennials Unwind? Ask them to define that for you. .
  10. 10. Intel from the Travel Agent magazine Mexico Roundtable at Tianguis  Millennials are traveling in “group couple trips.” They see Mexico as an upscale viable jet set destination, on par with Las Vegas and South Beach.  They want to get dressed up and go out at night, either at the resort or outside.  The ease of the all inclusives appeals to them.  They want to fly four to five hours, max, for their getaways.
  11. 11. Millennials Can Be Foodies…  They don’t want a high volume of restaurants, they want high-quality restaurants.  They want to know the brands of the liquor that will be served.  They’re curious about high-end services available at resorts.
  12. 12. YOLO!! The Luxury Millennial  The Millennial buzzword, YOLO. (You Only Live Once.)  Using this as an excuse, Millennials are spending their money NOW to go to iconic hotels or the newest destination.  They’ll worry about the rest later.  They don’t believe that Social Security will be there for them when they retire; they don’t have hopes for a bright future.
  13. 13. FOMO!! Fear of Missing Out  Millennials can see everything their friends and strangers are doing and want to be a part of it.  Ask Millennial clients if they have friends who might want to travel with them.
  14. 14. Building a Millennial Itinerary  Itineraries need to be less tour heavy and more active. Suggest taking a bike ride through a city on arrival.  A car and driver for a full day is not the ultimate luxury for Millennials who may feel trapped or want to spend that money on something else.  Sell Millennials on a hotel’s rooftop bar or garden terrace rather than on the size of the room.  Wow them: Millennials like unique surprise amenities, like a chocolate bar with their name inscribed on it.
  15. 15. Top Tips: The Millennial Sales Process  You need to make them listen.  Convince them that you know what you’re talking about. Be patient and strong when they challenge you with what their friends told them or what they read online.  It’s worth it. They are the next generation so you need to learn to work with them.
  16. 16. Get As Much Info From Them Up Front  If they’re taking a big trip, you need to get them past texting you.  Have them fill out a questionnaire online they can get through quickly.  Work with them to choose the destination first, then the resort, then the room category, the customized experiences, then the nightlife
  17. 17. How to Attract Millennial Clients  Having Millennial advisors helps. But that’s not always necessary, however as Millennials do see advisors older than themselves as experts.  Be an advisor to the entire family, including the children and grandchildren, regardless of who is paying.  Incentivize clients to recommend you to their children.  Focus on honeymoon travel.
  18. 18. Tapping into the Millennial Culture  Millennials like to champion brands they love. Be sure your brand is something they want to be a part of.  Let the culture of your business show through online, Facebook, Instagram and other social media. Create a vibe people want to be a part of.  Don’t do a hard sell on Facebook. Posting deal after deal will make Millennials walk away. Instead, speak of the your own travel experiences. Talk software, not hardware.
  19. 19. More Millennial Traits  They want authenticity and do not want to feel like a tourist, ever.  They are more likely to try new things while on vacation.  They, more than any other group, want to connect with people on vacation.  They want to share what they are experiencing as they are experiencing it via social networks.
  20. 20. Social Networks: How They Shop  Companies and institutions have placed great importance on their home pages but people are now building their own homepages via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You need to push yourself on to their pages.  On these sites they’re also seeing what their peers are enjoying in terms of financial milestones. Cars, homes, trips.  This creates peer pressure for them and it also exposes them to photos of destinations and hotels they’d likely not have seen or noticed before.
  21. 21. Attracting Millennial Advisors  Internships  College recruiting  Offering good pay and benefits and training  High commission splits on their own business  Associate program with paid commissions  Flexible office environment and the ability to work from home
  22. 22. Beware: It’s a New Day for Millennials  With the economy now opening up, Millennials are finding for the first time that they have options in the job market.  Their friends are finding new jobs and that makes them curious as to what’s out there.  If they came to you as entry level during the recession, be sure to treat them as associates now, not recent grads. They want respect and a good salary. They may not be loyal to staying with you as they venture out into the world.
  23. 23. Don’t Fret! Baby Boomers Still Rock  The Baby Boom generation represents the “sweet spot,” as they still have that strong intent to travel and most have the money to travel.  Seniors also continue to be a mainstay of advisors’ business.
  24. 24. Hot Off the Press: Amadeus Study  Amadeus just released a view of today’s Active Senior travelers based on trend analysis, desk research and focus group interviews with frequent travelers ages 50+ in the U.S., United Kingdom, France and Germany.  By 2020, the global population of adults age 65 and older will triple to 700 million, including one in six Americans.
  25. 25. Challenging “Old” Assumptions  Active Seniors are young at heart and do not consider themselves “old.”  They finally feel they have the time, energy and funds to explore and do new things.  Travel becomes more experience driven, as they seek to spend their time in more meaningful ways.  One size does not fit all.
  26. 26. Doing Versus Owning  Active Seniors no longer measure what they have by the material goods they possess, rather by the experiences they have lived.  They value “sight-doing” vs. sightseeing, being active, learning, discovering, and finding excitement in new experiences vs. owning new things.
  27. 27. Leaving a Legacy  Active Seniors feel they are in a better economic position than their children, and want to share experiences that enrich the entire family.  They seek out altruistic activities and view “voluntourism,” mixing volunteer and tourism activities, as a way to actively contribute to society.
  28. 28. Tapping Technology  In a world where technology seems to prevail, Active Seniors see technology as a means rather than an end.  “Always on” technology is not acceptable to them; they appreciate human interaction, and value travel professionals who offer personalized service and convey a sense of trust and confidence.
  29. 29. Latest Luxury Travel Trends  For the past year, Luxury Travel Advisor has hosted at least one roundtable a month across the globe, bringing together suppliers and travel advisors to share consumer trends.  The following insights are culled from 12 meetings with an average of eight to 12 participants each and from the Ultra Luxury Summit held March 25-27, 2014 in Chicago + from MMGY Global.
  30. 30. Luxury is Back With a Vengeance.
  31. 31. Affluent Spending Their Wealth Now The recession saw a holding back on spending. That trend is gone.  The 55+ affluent travelers have decided they are not taking it with them nor are they leaving it behind.  And they’re spending it on travel.
  32. 32. Today, We’re All A-Listers  Consumers want hotel staff to remember their names and what they did on their last trip.  Everyone at a luxury hotel these days considers themselves a VIP and expects to be treated accordingly. Everyone.  Personalization, customization and authenticity are the buzz words for today.
  33. 33. Even the Wealthy Want Value  People do not care how much things cost as long as they feel something is being returned for their money. Jonas Schuermann, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong  For the past three years, we’ve not sold a hotel that doesn’t come with some value add. Fifteen years ago, I never asked for breakfast or Internet. Now it’s the norm and it’s totally expected. Peter Carideo, CRC Travel
  34. 34. Advance Bookings Are Back  High season and festive season have moved back to a more advanced booking time. Certain hot properties have to be reserved very far in advance or it’s difficult to clear space.  2015 and 2016 are being booked now.
  35. 35. Authenticity is in Demand  People want to have a sense of where they are. We encourage our hotels to come up with experiences that are always changing. In Paris, our chef takes guests to the market where they buy white asparagus when it’s in season. They go back and they cook it and everyone is touched by that. Darren Gearing, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
  36. 36. Radical Personalization  It’s not always about the marquee, super-expensive experiences, it might be just a simple visit to learn paddle-boarding or something like that. We are cultivating relationships with local suppliers to get their guests insider access to experiences. Christopher Gould, The Atlantic Hotel, Fort Lauderdale
  37. 37. The New “Bleisure”  The leisure guest and the corporate guest seem to be merging into each other. A business traveler can bring a spouse and kids or they can tag on a couple of days to enjoy a destination.
  38. 38. Multi-Generational Travel Gets Bigger  Family trips have expanded to group size over the past few years. Now the groups are getting larger with up to 40 traveling at once as family members join in.  Guaranteed adjoining rooms, villas and rental homes are vital to them.
  39. 39. The World As Classroom  We’ve got so many more families with the next generation coming along; they take the kids out of school saying, “This is a better experience than school.” Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
  40. 40. I’m Turning 30, 40, 50, 60, 75!  Celebration travel is also strong. People are traveling in groups to enjoy their 30th, 40th or 50th birthdays and they’re bringing their friends along.
  41. 41. Thank you!  Email me with questions at Ruthanne Terrero VP/Editorial Director, Travel Agent and Luxury Travel Advisor rterrero@questex.com  Twitter.com/ruthanneterrero