Most people around the world categorize travel as a luxury expense, however for millennials, it’s part of their identity. Research shows that millennials travel at an average of 35 days a year, more than any other generation. This age group places travel above spending money on luxury items, fostering better relationships with friends and family, starting families of their own and even paying off student loans.
It’s crucial for companies in the travel and hospitality sectors to take this information into account when strategizing business and marketing plans. Keep in mind that although this age group is spending about $5,000 or more on one single vacation, most of their travel money certainly isn’t going to towards souvenirs and other tangible items – for millennials, it’s all about new experiences and creating memories.
Here are two of the most important things this wanderlusting generation looks for when making travel arrangements:
Live like the locals
Millennials want to explore beyond a city’s typical destinations. For example, a tour of the White House isn’t a top priority for a millennial exploring Washington D.C. They want to experience the city as a local would – discovering a park that isn’t crowded with tourists or enjoying a latte from a lesser-known but locally favored coffee shop. What can you as a hotel offer to bring in more millennials? Ensure your breakfast buffet offers a dish or ingredient that is locally sourced. Try fostering relationships with some of the locals’ favorite spots where your guests could enjoy a discount from staying at your establishment. Offer guests a discount code for a nearby music or art festival. This is a sure way to convince more of this generation to choose your establishment over others.
Millennials live on their phones, so it’s no surprise that 66% of them book trips and make reservations via apps and mobile sites. Your website should be mobile-friendly and if you have an app, even better. Millennials don’t want to print out a bunch of travel itineraries or even search through the emails to find out what time check-out is. An app with push notifications to remind your guests about dinner reservations, tours and check-in/check-out times is exactly what they are looking for so they can focus on immersing themselves in the local culture stress-free and without wasting time.
Get familiar with nearby events and festivals, be aware of the restaurants and shops local bloggers are raving about and always stay plugged into what young adults in your city are enjoying during their weekends and free time. Before you know it, your guests will be back home giving recommendations to their friends and sharing pictures of their trip all over Instagram.