20/12/2016 - 2:17 pm

Introducing The New And Improved Version Of Tourism, Powered By Millennials

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There are two things we definitely know about the Millennial generation: they love to travel, and they do things their way. So when you combine these two characteristics with the fact that most Millennials have entered the work force, with incomes rising each year, one has to wonder how this generational shift will affect tourism?

During the last few decades, tourism has been dominated by Baby Boomers, a generation that preferred traditional advertising methods, above all wallet-friendly vacations in tried-and-true locations. Their main desires were to avoid spending too much money and to travel to safe destinations. Most Baby Boomers booked their trips via travel agencies, not minding the fact that most of these arrangements were designed for groups. Now you all can assume that this is not something that Millennials are going to be pleased with.

The generation that is addicted to social media turns to – well, it’s not hard to guess – social media when choosing their travel destinations. The major touristic destinations in the world are still in the game, of course, but a very high percentage of this generation prefers exotic places, destinations that their social media followers have never visited before. The choices Millennials are making for their travel destinations are bound to affect this industry rapidly as their spending power grows each year. This will result in creating even more major touristic destinations around the world, especially in the remote corners of exotic countries. Now this is generally an awesome thing, but experts are concerned about the young adults who are visiting these countries today. Most of the top vacation choices of this generation are not in the “safe” parts of the world. Many of these countries can be dangerous, especially for Millennials who travel alone, without travel agency arrangements.

Each day, millions of photos are uploaded on social media from different destinations in the world, and this is the biggest advertisement one can have when aiming to attract Millennials. The young people born roughly between 1980 and 1995 believe entirely in ratings in social media and consumer-generated content. They don’t want to see fancy photos of exotic seaside vacation places, they want unique experiences, adventure, and of course a good spot for an Instagram story upload.

Some countries have become particularly attractive for Millennials, like the Philippines, a country which did not invest a ton of money to attract tourists. The Philippine Tour Operators Association is actually responsible for the large numbers of bookings in this country. How did they do it? They set up a major social media campaign. And there you have it – a new top destination was born. Other exotic destinations that Millennials prefer include countries like South Korea. The fact that flight fees for these trips are usually more expensive does not disturb Millennials, they are willing to pay extra in order to have a custom-designed, frequently adventurous, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Airline companies also have to make certain that they improve their offer and make it user-friendly, user-friendly meaning smartphone-friendly. Millennials are known for their multi-tasking skills and their lack of time – ergo booking flights via apps and other tools is the optimal solution. As they are taking over the tourism industry, each industry related to it – such as the airline companies – need to address this shift among generations if they do not want to suffer a significant decrease in their incomes. Millennials are not known for their patience and understanding. If an airline company messes up – Millennials will post about it, and there will be consequences for the company. Experts are giving similar advice to the hotel industry as well as travel agencies.

So, if you are a part of these industries, make sure to keep your social media accounts updated, post photos as often as possible, arrange custom tours for each Millennial, and watch out for social media ratings.

Read 252 times Last modified on 23/1/2017 - 11:52 am
Lejla Becar

Lejla Becar is an MA candidate in archaeology from Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is an activist, working for several international NGOs focusing on human rights particularity freedom of expression. Her other passions include arts, traveling, basketball, cultural heritage conservation and restoration.

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