The best kind of marketing gives people what they want, when they want it. To know how to capture interest and loyalty, you need to first know your audience.
Millennials make up about 22% of travelers, and the fact is, their travel habits are very different from the generations of tourists before them.
One key underlying concept behind many of the trends in attracting traveling Millennials is authenticity. While hotspot attractions seen in movies and TV are still appealing to many, Millennials would often rather experience a destination the way the locals do. They don't want to sight-see, they want an experience, to learn something new they can't from home. They want inexpensive, hole-in-the-wall places that they discovered from word-of-mouth or user-generated content.
Doing unique, outside-the-cruise-ship activities while traveling appeals to Millennials' desire for individuality. They want to stand out, and prefer customizable options vs. the packaged travel valued by older age groups. To put together their personalized trips, they'll often use trip-planning apps and websites like TripAdvisor and Airbnb, using reviews from other travelers to help them make decisions regarding their visit.
From needing a GPS to get around and using travel apps to find last-minute lodging, to sharing their own reviews, photos and videos on social media, Millennials want to be connected with everyone at all times. Their immediate impression of a destination can make or break its reputation. The good news is, Millennials trust user-generated reviews – often more than the travel company's self-promotion – so their social sharing provides free publicity to you.
What does this mean for destinations and tour operators? It means the tide has turned, but you don't have to get caught in the undertow. This new group of travelers is both a challenge and an opportunity. With the right adjustments to your methods and marketing, you can ride the wave to increased tourism and traveler satisfaction.
- Rebecca Loomis, Content Writer & Social Media Strategist, BBG&G Advertising, Rebecca@bbggadv.com
BBG&G Advertising & Public Relations is a full service advertising, marketing and public relations agency serving a wide range of local and regional clients within a broad range of industries.