Millennials are the trailblazers for new ways of booking travel – and these new trends are fast approaching.
According to the 2017 State of Travel Report from comScore, young people's preferences differ significantly from the older generation. The most marked difference is their preferred websites for leisure travel research and booking. This research suggests that the travel industry needs to adjust its marketing approach to accommodate the lucrative Millennial market. Below is a summary of the findings of the report that can be applied to business strategy.
What the research shows
Millennials prefer peer review
The comScore report defines 7 categories of website for leisure travel research. Millennials were far more likely to select review sites as their most trusted kind, with 19% citing these as their preferred research method. As such, Millennials were twice as likely as Generation X and Baby Boomers to trust review sites above all others.
Millennials trust social media
Younger consumers are also far more likely to use social media to research leisure travel. 1 in 10 Millennial respondents to comScore’s survey said that social media was their preferred travel research destination. This is a stark contrast with Generation X and Baby Boomers, of which a mere 1% preferred to use social media for travel research.
Millennials are moving away from suppliers
Compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers, Millennials are far less likely to go directly to suppliers to research travel. For instance, a Millennial is far less likely to visit the website of a package holiday retailer for vacation inspiration.
Mobile devices are leading the way
The age of the smartphone is fast approaching – in fact, it is already here. Unsurprisingly, Millennials prefer to use mobile devices to book travel – of those surveyed, 73% used a smartphone to book leisure travel. Equally, many respondents had also used a tablet to book a vacation. In comparison, less than half of respondents from Generation X had used a tablet (47%) or smartphone (38%) to book travel recently. Amongst Baby Boomers, these statistics were even lower.
However, despite the prevalence of mobile device usage, many Millennials said their preferred device was still a desktop computer or laptop. In total, smartphones accounted for 19% of digital travel spending and tablets accounted for 8%. However, this is 4 times higher than the share from 2014 and is greater than mobile’s share of all online retail sales, representing 22% of the market.
Less than half of the Millennials surveyed said that car rental was their preferred form of transportation whilst on vacation, compared to 62% of Generation Xers and 69% of Baby Boomers. As would be expected, Millennials tended to prefer ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber. When surveyed, 20% of Millennial respondents said that ride-hailing apps were their transportation method of choice. Furthermore, Millennials also said that they preferred ride-hailing apps to traditional taxis when on vacation.
These trends are fast approaching
In the travel industry, adaptation is key. Attracting and maintaining Millennial customers is key to increasing revenue. Therefore, companies need to augment their marketing approach to adapt to these fast approaching trends to cater to this profitable market segment.