At this point, we’ve all heard enough about how different millennials are from their parents and grandparents; how they’ve “ruined” various industries; or how they supposedly bounce from job to job.
The truth is millennials do have important things in common with other generations, and travel is one of those things! The 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey, based on 16,425 participants across 42 countries found that 57% of millennials list travel and seeing the world as their top ambition, surpassing entrepreneurship, homeownership, and even starting a family.
With travel playing so significant a role in the average millennial’s life, it’s important to understand how to serve their needs as a travel consultant. That includes an understanding of the things that do set millennials apart from some of your other travel clients. Armed with this insight, you can better serve your millennial travel clientele.
Tip #1. Emphasize Corporate Social Responsibility
“Simply put, people — millennials most of all — want the companies they buy from to practice business sustainably and ethically.”
To say that millennials are unique in caring about the environment would of course be untrue.. But having grown up with an awareness of the finite nature of natural resources, most millennials will be quicker to incorporate being green into their purchasing decisions. Plus, they’re quicker to swap brands for a greener choice than other consumers might be.
There are a few ways to help your millennial clients find the travel options that resonate with their passion for environmental sustainability.
- Promote your own business’ eco-friendly practices (you can easily include an e-brochure in their Umapped itinerary).
- Emphasize green and eco-ethical hotels, resorts, and tour providers.
- Offer ways to include them in eco-friendly initiatives such as purchasing carbon offsets for flights.
You should also highlight socially responsible travel experiences. For instance, emphasize the travel partners who collaborate with indigenous communities, take active steps against modern slavery, focus on fair trade, and go above and beyond to protect wildlife.
Tip #2. Use a Digital Itinerary
More often than not, millennials are digital natives (although it’s not a complete overlap; older millennials might be better characterized as digitally savvy). They’re comfortable with technology integrated into their daily lives and their purchasing journeys, which includes their travel experiences.
A 2018 Pew Research Center survey showed that millennials are also quicker than other generations to say that technology has an overall positive effect on society. (One of our previous articles on smartphones and travel might resonate with them).
You can offer your millennial travellers a seamless digital travel experience with Umapped. Our Trip Publisher traveller features include:
- Integrated flight notifications
- Web check-ins
- Offline access to itineraries, destination guides, and other important travel documents
- And more!
Switching from paper itineraries to digital ones is not only the tree-friendly choice, it’s incredibly convenient for both you and your clients.
Tip #3. Make it Personal
“This generation doesn’t dislike brands. What they don’t like is advertising.”
~ Erin McPherson, Maker Studios’ chief content officer
Millennials have been bombarded with advertisements from a very young age, and most simply aren’t interested in anything that seems inauthentic.
If you’re struggling to appeal to millennial travellers, try going beyond your conventional sales material and emphasize your own personal recommendations. Draw from your team’s unique travel experiences as much as you can to demonstrate that you’re not just trying to give them a cookie-cutter travel experience.
Use the Notes function in the Trip Publisher to provide suggestions on cool things to do around their hotel or resort, or Umapped Messenger to check in with tips while they’re travelling.
Tip #4. Highlight Authentic Cultural Experiences
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that millennials don’t like a good all-inclusive getaway. But many are also very interested in getting off the beaten path and immersing themselves in the local culture.
You can help them design a trip that incorporates the true spirit of the destination they’re visiting. Show them where to find the locals’ favourite beaches, or book their transportation to a hidden gem where they can find the tastiest (and most Instagrammable) meal. Show them optional tour add-ons that bring them up close and personal with the real communities of the places they’re exploring.
A note of caution: steer clear of excursions that draw from cultural stereotypes or that redirect profits from actual locals in order to provide a less authentic “local” or “indigenous” experience. Remember that social responsibility plays a vital role in your client’s travel decisions.
For more tips about millennial travellers, why not ask them yourself? They’re the experts, after all. And we’re the experts on time-saving, productivity-boosting, client-impressing solutions for travel consultants. Try our Productivity Boost Calculator to get a taste!