With their desire to spend money on travel, Millennials are a very interesting target audience for hospitality brands. In a stunning amount of research it is found that the Millennial (often described as the ones born between 1980 and 1995) rather invests in experiences than material – gadgets, clothing, a house. This can mean great things for your hospitality brand. Whether you are a hostel, hotel or restaurant/café, Millennials form an interesting group. But how do you get them through your front door? In this post I'll tell you about 5 things that have influence on a Millennial's travel decisions.
1. Search Engines
By looking at different reports I learned a lot about how Millennials make travel decisions. If you are interested in the reports, links are at the bottom. Barton et al. (2016) says Millennials do way more research and comparisons on the internet than non-millennials. The first thing that's incredible important to a Millennial's decisions when it comes to travel, are search engines. Millennials make thorough use of search engines like Google for travel purposes: they look for reviews, experiences and content before making any arrangements.
2. Recommendations by friends
Morrison et al. (2016) found that Millennials are highly likely to be influenced by pictures posted by social contacts on social media. These pictures can play a big role in the Millennial’s decision on where he or she wants to go next. The report states that Millennials seek out advice and inspiration on the web and private networks. However, when it comes to making a final decision on where they want to go, they also seek out advice from industry experts and anonymous reviewers. To summarize: they reach out to a wide range of different information sources when it comes to making travel decisions.
3. Variation of sources
Research from FutureCast (2016) tells us even more about this. They found, through their survey, that Millennials check an average of 10 sources before making travel purchases. Also 86% of the Millennial travelers that participated in their survey said they were inspired to book a trip based on content they viewed online. A just as stunning amount of 87% said to use Facebook as a source of inspiration, and more than 50% use Pinterest. Another interesting fact: the inclusion of user-generated content on one’s website increases a visitor’s time on a website by nearly 7 minutes.
We could state that Millennials have a high probability of being influenced by their peers, the web and influencers but they won’t blindly trust on these sources of inspiration. They will always do a thorough search themselves on the web and ask their contacts for extra advice before making a decision. Although they like to take spontaneous actions they are quite considerate regarding their actual consumer behavior. What this means for you: you need to be present on different channels and manage a variety of platforms. Exhausting, but essential.
Morrison et al. (2016) says authenticity is a key factor when it comes to Millennial’s travel decisions. But what is this authenticity? Well, it could be described as: cultural appreciation, ‘living like a local’, finding hidden gems, originality, balancing iconic with experiences more off the beaten track. They seek experiences that are typical for the country they’re visiting. You are able to do this through offering interesting activities and packages that include experiences with the local community. Another way to do this is by putting the spotlight on hidden gems nearby that visitors don’t find elsewhere on the web (or at least not easily). Places and activities that are surprising.
Another important point Morrison et al. (2016) discovered that Millennials don’t only seek authenticity, they also look for share-ability, or, as we can call it, ‘Instagrambility’. How to do this? Make sure your accommodation or property doesn't provides just all the basics and good service: make it look stunning to the eye. Murals provide great backgrounds for the tons of selfies Millennials like to make. You can often find young people who are willing to create murals in exchange for a free stay – look at workaway.info. Another way to increase the share-ability is by making sure the food looks pretty on its plate and the drinks are served in cool glasses or with funky attributes – or by a bartender who knows his tricks.
If you want to get Millennials to your destination, you should make sure to provide enough information. Both as a travel expert (through your website, social channels) and through influencers and partnerships.
Millennials are a popular target audience: that's not very surprising, since they are the most important generation right now in travel. I did a lot of research about Millennials in combination with travel. You can find more articles on my blog, like this article about travel content consumption of Millennials. If you want to stay updated about new articles being published, I recommend you to become a member of the 100% free Tremento Tribe. Just click here.
Did you enjoy this post? Then please let me know in the comments. Feel free to share your thoughts and if you come across any inspiring examples from hotels or hostels creating content, please do share.
- Barton, C., Haywood, J., Jhunjhunwala, P., Bhatia, V., & The Boston Consulting Group. (2013). Traveling with Millennials. https://www.bcg.com/documents/file129974.pdf
- Morrison, G., Fernandes, L., Hayashi, C., Foresight Factory, & Expedia. (2016). Millennial Traveller Report. https://www.foresightfactory.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Expedia-Millennial-Traveller-Report-Final.pdf
- KPMG. (2017). Meet the Millennials. https://home.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/uk/pdf/2017/04/Meet-the-Millennials-Secured.pdf
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