The first thing to note is that Millennials are wildly different from any of the other generations. They want to live in the moment and experience life even more than any other generation we have seen. With tech evolving with Millennials aging, we are sure to see changes only continue in the travel industry.
The first change that is becoming increasingly apparent is how travel companies and locations market themselves. It is all about social media influencers and marketing. Millennials spend more time on social media than prior generations, so this is the smartest way to reach this audience.
This trend is going as far as giving influencers free trips to Bali in exchange for posts on Instagram or Twitter. This is a recent attempt to increase tourism to Indonesia and it seems to be definitely glamorizing the vacation spot. It at least is getting in the minds of Millennials. It definitely is putting Bali, Indonesia on their radar as a potential vacation spot.
These influencers are taking over the marketing field in the realm of travel. They can get the most promised views by just posting a photo. This is creating an emergence of agencies that specialize in pairing influencers with brands that align with their vision.
Millennials also need more to grab their attention, which can largely be attributed to the content overload that they are experiencing. They want flashy, aesthetically pleasing companies to show them an ad that they want to act on.
Millennials are wanting more and more to have experiences unique to them and nobody else. This means locations that may not have been a vacation hot spot prior to 2018 have the chance to shine. There are more people traveling to third world countries and locations that allow them to experience something different from the typical resort location.
This means that different places around the world have the chance to take advantage of this generation that just wants to see and experience the world. There is no cap on the amount of the world that most Millennials want to travel.
There is an increase in the desire for extended travel. This means, more travel visas. Good thing you can go through an esta application with great ease. There are multiple companies taking advantage of this generation wanting to travel as soon as possible and for as long as possible. Companies are looking to automate the travel visa process and other aspects that the travel industry could accelerate.
A travel visa is needed for multiple countries. There are many regulations that depend on what country you are from, how long you are going to be traveling for etc. Make sure that you are looking into the ease of this process if you are looking to market to Millennials or travel to another country yourself.
Airlines aren’t competing even for safety in 2018. There are airlines like Spirit that get business solely based on how cheap their flights are. Younger Millennials don’t care about the perks of flying that come with nice airlines. They want to get from point A to point B for a fraction of the normal cost.
There are sites that aggregate the cheapest cost as well. Algorithms online are getting smarter and calling out the cheapest dates and places to travel to. Ultimately this will hopefully make traveling cheaper and cheaper as the years progress.
Airlines are becoming more driven to competing with these cheap airlines by ramping up their marketing game or adding travel bonus points etc. We will continue to see this industry constantly changing.
The hotel and hostel industry is seriously in a huge grey area right now because of the success of Airbnb. This is putting hotels into shock as the emergence of hostel-style vacationing emerges in other countries even more so than it had in the past. There are also cheaper options with Airbnb emerging and leaving travelers with a choice of where to stay. Hotels are too expensive for young travelers unless they are in a large group. Because many Millennials are traveling alone, hotels aren’t even an option due to the expense.
This is a current change in the industry that we can see continuing to evolve. Will hotels step up their amenity game? Or will they lower the prices? It cannot be determined as of now due to the constant flux of travel trends.
One thing can be said for certain—Millennials are shifting the travel industry for the better in many ways. The demand is definitely higher and constantly changing. Travel industry companies should take advantage of this increase in desire for cheap and unique travel.