Travel and the tourism industry changes all the time to accommodate new tastes, new businesses, and economic growth in various sectors among other factors. The newest generation of independent travelers have given a big shove to the ways of old, bringing in new revenue to areas not utilized before. Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y (ages 16-34), have roughly $1.3 trillion to split between them, casting a good chunk of it on travel. Here's how they're changing the game, perhaps forever.
There are certain characteristics that, over time, come to define a generation. The Millennials, it seems, will be known as adventurers, risk takers, and opportunists. It's a time honored cliche that teens and young adults rebel against their parents, wanting to go their own way. While previous generations have stressed low risk situations, careers with a big paycheck, and staid, steady "adult" lives, Millennials have been shown to do the opposite, taking the world for all that it's worth.
You could make the argument that the Millennial generation matured much quicker than their predecessors in this area, realizing that it is better to travel now and save money later rather than vice versa.
Since the turn of the last century, travel has become leagues cheaper and easier than previously. Where road trips and train travel ruled just half a century ago, air travel has become the main source of cross country transportation. Airfare has plummeted, customer service improved exponentially, and more travelers from every socioeconomic background are able to take advantage of traveling through the air.
Because of this, Millennials grew up with the idea that they could go anywhere, do anything, and so, quite simply, they're doing it. The one thing that sets apart Millennial travelers more than anything is that they believe the world is their oyster; the world is without limits, without boundaries, and they are free to do as they please.
As stated before, the Millennial generation has $1.3 trillion between them and according to the United Nations, roughly 200 million international travelers are young people, that's 20% of all overseas tourists, bringing in approximately $180 billion in travel revenue just last year. They aren't slowing down either.
Changes are a comin'
There are certain facets of travel that are changing due to the Millennial involvement. The industry, as intuitive as it is, is marketing more towards the Millennial way of thought, their desires and the way they uniquely travel. This is, in some cases, diametrically opposed to previous generations, and I'll come to why.
For one, Millennials crave authenticity. Gone are the days when places like Hard Rock Cafe ruled the travel guide books, drawing in loads of tourists to what are now known as "tourist traps." Moreover, guide books are basically a thing of the past as well. What Millennials want more than anything is to experience a place like a local, no matter where they are.
With our technologically connected age of social media, this generation of users have placed a higher level of attention on customer-based review platforms than they would on tourist based informative sites that strive to push top destinations. The way Millennials want to travel is perhaps more challenging but also more rewarding - to wander a city like a local, discovering businesses, restaurants, and shops not listed on top tourism sites. They want to become part of the city, not stand out as an outsider.
One way they make this happen is through apps. Instagram has proven itself to be one of the most influential social media platforms when it comes to travel. A picture says a thousand words, right? Stories and pictures say more to this generation of travelers than any five-star review could. Other apps to grace the stage include personal travel organizers, reservation makers and hotel finders, and those that allow the traveler to be put in the control seat.
What they want
Millennials desire personalized travel, adventures that cater to their wishes and intents. Where their parents had perhaps desired a relaxing vacation on the beach, Millennials tend to prefer to tour the surrounding towns and villages, sample local cuisine and chat with locals. Where their parents would grumble about having to travel for business, Millennials are 62% more likely to turn that business trip into a longer vacation, no matter the destination. It's opportunism that sets Millennials apart.
Millennials, above other generations, seem to understand something important despite their youth. That travel can expand your mind, enhance your perspective of the world, grant life-long learning through new experiences, and give you a general sense of purpose, drive, personal stability, and freedom outside the confines of society. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote that, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Millennials, and those influenced by this up and coming generation of travelers, have come to understand just this.
So, if you're a Millennial or someone searching for a trip of a lifetime, one personalized to your needs and desires, give us a call at 877-397-5700. There's no better adventure than the one you create for yourself and we can help make it a reality.