I’ve noticed a trend at travel industry events that sounds a little something like this: “How are we going to deal with those entitled, distracted, self-centered Millennials?” Now, indulge me while I take some offense to that outlook. While yes, we present some unique challenges, we bringing more opportunities to reach and influence a whole new generation of potential visitors.
Here are my top three:
Willing and ready to adopt any and all new tech
Between social sharing, mobile apps and finding online resources in real-time, Millennials are willing to embrace new ways of doing things with arms wide open. In the past year, I’ve gone on trips without booking a hotel or picking restaurants in advance – when I’m ready to decide, I simply open an app and reserve right then and there. While this throws the traditional marketing funnel out the window, it allows DMOs to connect with visitors directly while they move throughout the destination with tailored insights.
Plugged in to every communication channel, every minute of the day
Before getting out of bed in the morning, we’ve checked the news, Facebook and emails. We’re used to engaging all the time, which means that we’re expecting instant and constant information. For travel marketers, it means communication is moving from one-way message delivery to a two-way dialog. So rather than blasting out an email, keep watching and responding to the comments on Instagram posts to interact directly with users.
Seeking experiences more than possessions
Because it’s easier now than ever to show off via social media, we can brag about what we’re doing more than about what we have just bought. Millennials care about checking in at the most buzz-worthy restaurants, or posting artfully filtered selfies from remote beaches to shamelessly promote our cool factor. Can’t you see the limitless opportunity that travel marketers have here? Millennial travelers are searching for unique experiences – and you’ve got lots of that to offer.