How millennials are disrupting traditional travel models

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As a group of people millennials are responsible for influencing many industries across the world. This is largely because they are the biggest spenders in several key sectors, particularly in the travel and tourism markets.

Millennials are more likely to go travelling further afield than their baby-boomer counterparts, as they prefer booking life-changing experiences, rather than sitting by the pool in a standard hotel.

Not only this, but millennials also have a habit of turning their corporate business trips into leisure vacations, meaning that their travel requirements and needs are usually completely different from other generations.

Travel models are being heavily disrupted by these patterns of behaviour and also because millennials are actively looking for bargain flights and opting to spend their money on more luxuries when they reach their destination, reports Smart Meetings.

Travel is the most important thing to millennials

A survey conducted by travel data platform Adara found that 67 per cent of millennials they spoke to prioritise travel over all other expenses. This includes living and any other costs that they incur when they’re not travelling or going on holiday.

airport-business-travel-terminal

Not only do millennials put travel expenses above their other spending habits, they also prefer to book trips through generic travel sites rather than directly with hotels. Again, this is largely to compare bargains, as there are so many sites available to people now that allow them to do this.

Here we have a clear example of millennial preferences being catered for directly, as this changes the traditional travel model of loyalty schemes, which aren’t as interesting to a younger, digital generation as they are to baby boomers.

Preparation

Although it may seem surprising, millennials are often more prepared when it comes to booking holidays than older generations.

The survey from Adara found that the majority of the younger generation – 84 per cent in fact – find better prices for flights by searching for details nearly two weeks ahead of time. Comparatively, people from an older age group seem to search for flights just nine days before they look to go on holiday. This is just for domestic flights; when it comes to longer transatlantic flights, millennials will do their searches months in advance, not only to get organised but to make sure that they get the best price possible.

It seems they take the same approach when it comes to finding a hotel, but where millennials like to spend their money is on luxuries like upgrades. For example, if there is an option to spend extra for a premium suite in a hotel or to receive a bottle of champagne on arrival, this is something they are likely to find appealing.

This preference comes from a longing to enhance their experience, so an upgrade to a chair with extra legroom on a long flight or a cooking class at their destination will make their journey more comfortable and give an all-round authentic travel experience.

In general, millennials are disrupting travel models because they are savvy shoppers – they look for very specific things when they’re spending money, particularly when they’re going on holiday, because they want to have the best time possible.

Personalising things and having a unique vacation is at the root of all of their choices, which is why the travel and hotel industries are responding by giving millennials as many options as they can.

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