International Travel: On the Move with the Millennial Traveler
She is 27, single, and sells real estate in San Diego. She is paying off a college loan, shares a house with two roommates and gets to the beach as often as possible. He is 31, living in New York and working for an investment firm on Wall Street. If you were born roughly between 1982 and 2000 (the millennial), you are classified as a millennial or member of Generation Y.
The publishers of the Millennial Traveller report studied data collected from 7,600 young, international travelers between the age of 18-30. Millennials from more than 100 countries were surveyed and asked questions about their international travel preferences.
The Number of International Travelers who are Millennials
In 2014, more than 1 billion people, in all age groups, will have made a trip beyond the borders of their country. That is about one out of every seven people on the planet. Roughly 220 million, or about 20 percent of those international travelers, were part of the millennial generation. By the year 2020, the number of millennial travelers is expected to increase by 47 percent to 320 million.
What Type of International Travel Experience do Millennial Travelers Want?
It is dangerous to generalize or make any blanket statements about where the younger generation likes to travel, or what they like to do when they arrive at their destination. Some would prefer an all-inclusive resort in the Bahamas where they can lay on the beach and play golf. Others might want the solitude of a National Park. A significant number are looking for more authentic travel experiences.
They want to blend in to the local culture and learn about the native way of life. They want to go into a local restaurant, order the local cuisine, and engage the waiter or waitress in conversation. Many are willing to sacrifice some time at the touristy attractions so they can interact with the people in a more genuine way.
The Millennial Traveller Report
When the results of the survey were tabulated from respondents in 100 countries, the top-3 “preferred next trip destinations” were the United States (11 percent), Australia (11 percent) and the United Kingdom.
67 percent of the millennial travelers relied most often on travel information from family and friends when planning their international excursions.
80 percent felt that online travel reviews were very important in helping to make decisions such as what hotel to choose, the best attraction to see, or where to have a great meal. 56 percent said they would write reviews of their travel experience.
Millennial travelers are highly attached to their mobile phones. They don’t leave home without them. 43 percent of the respondents said they used their mobile phone about every 5 minutes.
On average, Millennial travelers spend about $125 more per trip than members of other generations. 50 percent said they spent 1,000 euros or roughly $1,250 dollars on an international vacation.
If trends continue as expected, the millennial traveler will be an even more important player in the global hotel and hospitality industry. Just about every hotel that wants to attract more guests in the future will have to focus on the millennial generation today.