How Millennials are Reshaping the Travel Industry
Millennials are now actively part of the labor force and a significant part of the economy. With an estimated $200 billion in buying power, they are reshaping the travel industry, and prompting marketers to adapt their communication strategies, travel services, and engagement platforms.
Millennials have been shaped by the boom of online media platforms and the rise of digital technologies. Their unique experiences have led them to approach work, life and travel differently from their parents and previous generations. Millennials travel more extensively than other generations. They see travel as an opportunity to develop life and work skills, and they seek experiences beyond traditional tours and activities.
According to a study from the American Society of Travel Agents:
- In 2016, millennials took 44% more holiday time and trips than the average baby boomer. They view travel as an integral part of their lives, and not as a luxury.
- 89% of millennial travelers were inspired to plan travel activities by looking at online travel content after booking their vacation.
Clearly, travel and hospitality companies need to sharpen their engagement strategies to reach this digitally savvy audience.
- Create and prioritize mobile optimized content
Mobile is at the heart of the travel customer journey. According to the “Adobe Digital Index Summer Travel Report”, 1 out of every $5 spent online in travel is through mobile devices. Smart phones have overtaken tablets for percentage of sales booked for travel. Mobile plays a key role as more travelers, especially millennials, use their phones to plan and book trips, research activities to do while on vacation, as well as share their experiences on social media.
- Create editorial style content for social media
Write editorial style content that will integrate easily into social media and build social stories. For example, instead of listing traditional hotel photos on your website, post an inspirational, lifestyle video and Instagram images. Social media is a useful way to reach and influence all travelers, but it is especially effective to reach millennials who are active on their mobile devices.
- Create content around the experience
To attract millennials who are looking for new experiences, create descriptive content to heighten their interest about unique attractions and activities. Instead of photos of clean rooms and private beaches, invoke a sense of adventure with videos and stories that capture moments of discovery and achievement.
- Keep millennials engaged during and after their vacation
Engage millennials to be your brand ambassadors with user generated content. Inspire them to share their experiences on Instagram, Facebook, and your travel blog. Authentic testimonials about their travel experience are the best way to promote your brand.
- Real time, mobile notifications
On the go notifications can enhance the customer experience, and reduce the stress of travel to new and unfamiliar destinations. Personalize push notifications through email and text messages to provide real-time updates on flights, transportation, events, and accommodations. Updates on flight changes, gate connections, hotel location, and bus schedules are informative and ease the anxiety of the worried traveler.
For more information and other tips to optimize your online travel campaigns, view our webinar on “Digital Strategies to Engage the Savvy Traveler”.