Summer Vacation and the Millennial Audience: A Snapshot

June 5th 2015

With Memorial Day more than a week behind us, the travel industry has officially entered summer vacation season: the time of year when everyone in the industry strives to capture consumer attention to build visitation and occupancy.

So, what is really happening in the industry right now? It’s no surprise that Millennials are the hot topic.

Based on our deep expertise with the Millennial market (we’ve been creating campaigns targeting this audience for travel, sports, products and lifestyle brands well before the term Millennial was coined!), and some of the latest Millennial and travel industry research, we’ve put together a snapshot of the most important trends to think about for summer travel.

  • According to AdWeek, Millennials will spend more on summer vacations and are the most likely to book international travel this year. Domestically, they’re seeking experiences in Hawaii, while internationally they prefer the Caribbean, Asia and Europe.
  • Millennials are driving multigenerational travel. They’re not only traveling with their parents, but with their own children, who they are involving in the travel planning. According to HomeAway, 34% of Millennials let their kids pick the vacation destination!
  • This group travels to volunteer overseas, and embraces opportunities to give back while on the road.
  • Not surprisingly, they also seek hotel properties that support a tech- and wellness-driven lifestyles. Properties that provide free WiFi, easy access to plugs and USB ports, and amenities like Bluetooth-friendly speakers, healthy beverages, organic and/or local ingredients on the menu, and spa showers all rank high among Millennials. Hotel brands all over the world are rolling out Millennial-centric amenities and even new Millennial-oriented hotel chains to capture market share.
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    If you’re a tourism or hospitality brand, how can you engage and interest this critical audience leading into summer vacation season?

  • Dive into wellness, with an emphasis on local offerings: a local hiking trail, a suggested biking or running route, a fresh juice menu available in-room or on-the-go, connections with local agritourism purveyors, meditation videos, and more.
  • Embrace ‘bleisure’ – aka the fusion of business and leisure – making it easy for Millennials to make a vacation out of business travel.
  • Capitalize on Millennial reliance on crowdsourcing. Leverage your existing fan base by developing anincentive program that turns them into brand ambassadors who are active on social media on your behalf.
  • Develop campaigns targeting GenZ, since Millennials involve their own children when making travel decisions.
  • Make it easy for Millennial travelers to give back on vacation.
  • Explore unfamiliar digital territory and utilize emerging platforms before they become oversaturated.
  • Listen, engage, and market wisely. And most importantly, make experiences. What can you create and provide that Millennials (and their families) can ONLY get by booking a vacation with you? As Millennial income continues to grow and young Millennials age, having Millennial ambassadors and authentic, bespoke experiences will truly be of utmost importance.

    By Samantha Lacher, Director

    About Samantha:
    Sam is Mfa’s Travel and Culinary Director. More than just a travel PR group, the team secures in-depth travel, spa and food & beverage coverage in top tier travel and culinary publications while also reaching targeted consumers through integrated earned, owned, paid and shared campaigns leveraging lifestyle, fitness, business, architecture and fashion journalists and influencers. Although technically a Millennial, Sam can’t imagine letting her son choose a family vacation locale. She is equally happy exploring a destination’s nature, culture and culinary offerings as she is lying on the beach with her nose in a novel.

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