Are Millennials The New Traveler and are they Shaping the Hospitality Industry?
The millennial generation, aged 20-36 years old, who as they are getting older, graduating college, beginning their careers, and moving up in the workforce have already begun to have impacts on the economy. However, if trends keep moving the way they are currently, one thing is for sure, travel is of the upmost importance to the millennial generation. Many millennials are even quoted saying they placing saving money to travel over saving money to buy a car, or if they had more money they would spend it on travel. While still a relatively young generation, many are still single and without kids, so their desires and the way they travel is very different from past generations, and that is beginning to have an impact on the hospitality and design industry.
Rise in Secondary Locations:
With the abundance of social media in their lives, and the ability to share all of their experiences and information with their friends. Millennials are always looking for new adventures that way, their social media image doesn’t become a cookie cutter replica of everyone else’s posts. The hospitality and travel industry are noticing the spike in travel preferences for secondary cities that have less normative tourist experiences. Hotels have been looking to secondary cities such as Washington DC, Rameswaram, and The Azores to give millennial travelers a unique travel destination that is more grounded in local culture than focused on tourist. Much of the rise of secondary cities also comes from companies like Airbnb, which gave millennials the opportunity to travel anywhere, and rent a room. The appeal that the secondary cities have for millennials comes from their desire to understand the culture, taste local cuisine, and even befriend a local or two, to really get immersed in the cities.
Millennials want opportunities to explore the cultures best and while many of them have been turning to active lifestyles the hospitality and design industry has taken notice. In an effort to attract more millennial guests’ hotels have been partnering up with local chefs to alternative and cook in the hotel restaurant, some have gone even as far as to hold farmer’s markets in a way to let guests purchase local produce or other souvenirs. Some hotels have found that something as simple as offering vegan and local treats in the mini bar is what millennials are looking for and appreciate. While millennials love adventurous activities they often don’t travel with gear, so hotels have begun to rent hiking and mountain biking gear, while partnering with local tour guides to give millennials views and adventures that are individualistic based on skill and time of day.
When traveling millennials are looking to make a more personal connection with their destination. Rather than it just be white sheets and guided tours, the millennial traveler is looking to learn and experience the culture in a way that feels like they got their money’s worth and photos to prove it.