The Rise of the Millennial Traveler

With Millennials expected to soon surpass Boomers in overall travel spending, hotels, booking sites and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are retooling their product, branding, business models and communication methods. Here’s what they should prepare for.

With Millennials expected to soon surpass Boomers in overall travel spending, hotels, booking sites and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are retooling their product, branding, business models and communication methods. Here’s what they should prepare for.

by Greg Oates + Skift Team

Executive Summary

Millennials: The Connected Generation / Courtesy: Aloft Hotels

With Millennials/Generation Y expected to soon surpass Boomers in overall travel spending, hotels, booking sites and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are retooling their product, branding, business models and communication methods. However, many established players in the travel and hospitality industries are simply applying cosmetic changes to outdated methodologies. This is due to an under-appreciation of the magnitude of changes looming in the future, and a lack of true understanding about the root factors underpinning the motivations of Millennial travelers.

Presently, a large percentage of hotels and DMOs believe that technology and social media are the answer to engage Millennials. That’s true, but it’s only half of the answer. According to keynote speaker Jason Dorsey (The Gen Y Guy), Millennials are not necessarily technologically savvy; they’re technologically dependent. That dependence is merely a conduit through which to dream, research, share and experience travel. It is not the travel experience itself.

The biggest travel trends today, especially for Millennials, revolve around personalization and connectivity. The successful travel provider in the future will incorporate technology to deliver the ultimate travel aspiration for Millennials: Highly personalized experiences shared within larger connected networks of like-minded travelers—both real and virtual.

In other words, Millennials want more, and they’ve redefined “more.” They want the freedom to do what they want, when and how they want to, and they want to share those experiences with friends, family and colleagues when and how they want to.

Chris Klauda, a VP at travel and hospitality market research company D. K. Shifflet & Associates, discussed this in the The New York Times last year. Describing the Millennial desire to connect online in hotel lobbies versus guest rooms, he said, “We coined the phrase ‘isolated togetherness.’“

Michael Tiedy, senior VP of brand design/innovation at Starwood Hotels, puts it even more succinctly: “Millennials like to be alone, together.”

We call it the rise of independent social travel.

Already purchased ? Please Log In.
To subscribe see options below.

Individual
Trends Report

Buy single report

Select from a library of 60+ past reports

$295
Per Report
Annual insider
subscription

24 new reports going ahead

AND unlimited access to 60+ past reports

25% Ticket Discount For
Skift Global Forum

$133
Per Month (w/ 1yr subscription)
Company-Wide
Enterprise Subscription

Contact us to learn more about how you and ALL of your colleagues can get unlimited access to Skift Trends Reports.

Skift Reports are the hard work of our reporters and writers, this is the intellectual property we build our business on. After multiple instances of sharing/content violations of our copyrighted work, we now no longer allow print/PDF distribution of Skift Trends Reports. We hope you will support Skift and its effort to build a sustainable business to keep providing you the best insights.

If you'd like to read the reports offline, please leave your browser window with the report(s) pre-loaded, open on your laptop, tablet or mobile device.

If you have any questions please email us at: trends@skift.com.

.