29 AUG, 2012
What are millennials’
Every generation experiences the world around them in a different way. In the process, they develop a clear set of attributes to uniquely reflect who they are. The year 2000 ushered in a new millennium and with that year there were a lot of young people coming of age. These young people, born through 1980-1990 are called the Millennials and they are coming of age post 2000. A PGAV destinations research has predicted that over the next two decades most of the world’s population would be the millennial population.
The Millennials grew up in an internet age; with search engines, instant messengers and tons of data spread across numerous websites. With electronic mail and instant messengers at the behest, the world clearly shrunk. It now became just a matter of seconds to get in touch with a complete stranger living in a different corner of the world. With inter-continental friendships, emphasis was laid on relationships.
Attributes of Millennials’
It is the business of every business around the world to serve customers and hence make money, not only in the present but also in the future. Clearly, the Millennials are our new customers. This new consumer segment shows some clear attributes:
- Millennials are all about relationships –They make friendships across the world. Hence they love to travel along with their friends. To them, the world is simply not enough.
- Millennials are tech savvy –Cell phones are appendages. Not to forget, most of these phones are configured for data services. Millennials love to be informed and they need to be informed. Hence it is imperative to focus on technology that helps them be informed.
- Millennials love experiences –Passive experiences bore them. Hence, there is a need to use more immersive, interactive and entertaining tactics to keep them engaged.
As compared to the traditional consumer, the Millennials make extensive use of technology. A particular research by PGAV destinations could conclude that while the young Chinese were extensively wired to their technology throughout their day for work and other purposes, their counterparts in the Americas and Asia Pacific had a positive perception about technology. A striking characteristic with respect to the European Millennials is that they think Technology consumes a lot of their time. However, this was attributed to lack of access to effective technology.
What Millennials expect from travel industry
The Millennial attitude towards technology clearly affects the manner in which they view their travel needs. A few of these points are stated as below:
- Shorter Decision Times –By making use of effective technology, the Millennials are able to make faster decisions about their travel as compared to the traditional traveler.
- Online Travel Agencies –To book their travel, Millennials frequent online resources such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline. As against them, the traditional travelers till date used to rely majorly on offline travel agents to book their travel.
- Information about Travel Destinations –To know more about their travel destinations, the consumer would traditionally rely on individual websites of the place they were visiting (for example : The Hotel they would check-in to, The destination they would visit etc.). However, the Millennials rely more on blogs and opinions of people who have already traveled to the same destination.
- Green Travel –The Millennials have a great sense of responsibility towards the environment around them. When they book travel, they do not hesitate to spend for a greener cause.
The travel technology space is an ever-evolving arena. Social presence and Mobility are probably the two big trends today that the industry cannot ignore. However, while a lot of travel technology companies are creating offerings and targeting them towards these two trends, this may simply not be enough. Today, the world is clearly divided between the Baby Boomers, the Gen-X and the Millennials. Each of these consumers probably has a different need. While the baby boomers had limited access to technology, the Gen-X began to adopt it. The Millennials grew up with it. However, as the boomers retire in the next couple of decades, the Millennials will form a major part of the active population.
As stated earlier, this new breed of consumers wants to be informed at all times. Citing an example, if these travelers are reaching an entirely new destination, they probably want information from credible sources so as to create a personalized guide. Moreover, they are happy to collaborate with people and businesses alike for better, hassle-free service. This can possibly mean that the Millennials are ready to part with more personal data for the want of a better travel experience. While the other consumers may have not been comfortable to share a lot of their personal data, they would definitely be happy to avail a stress-free experience.
Hence the key to a successful travel technology business probably lies in tuning in to the millennial frequency, blending in their needs with those of the traditional traveler and thus enabling travel companies to deliver an enhanced travel experience to their customers.
Everything said and done, the Millennials are here and they are glaring at us. Are we ready for them?
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