Much is written about the Millennial Generation, which those of us in the digital media space are very familiar with … they will make up 50% of the global workforce in less than five years . . . digital-first . . . mobile-obsessed . . . brand loyalists . . . socially conscious . . . to name only a few. One other thread of Millennial core values that we find very intriguing is the global mindset of this generation. There is a spirit of discovery, wanting to explore new cultures, foods, and regions. And once they discover, they love to share about their discoveries and experiences on social media. The reach, the influence and the new spirit of adventure—the travel industry is rejoicing. But surprisingly, there isn’t a huge digital success story in the hospitality/travel sector . . . well, not yet.
In a recent study featured in an article on Forbes (“The Rising Wave of Millennial Travelers”), the WYSE Travel Confederation reported on some interesting findings:
- By 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by Millennial travelers each year, a 47% increase from 217 million in 2013
- Family and friends are the most influential source of travel information for 67% of travelers
- 80% of respondents feel travel reviews have a real influence on their decisions, with 56% posting online reviews after a trip
We are seeing hospitality brands focusing on creating new branded content to reach these audiences, and we have previously mentioned Marriott’s venture with its own digital studio. We expect to see more brands come out in similar ways. Additionally, there is a great opportunity for companies that aggregate, report, and provide reviews in the hospitality and travel space. The vast majority are text-based now. But to reach this target audience, digital transformation is greatly needed. Existing offerings will want to add and integrate short-form video on digital platforms, integrated with the growing number of digital travel management tools and apps. Global Travel MCN, anyone?