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Tapping On Trends: Importance Of Discovering Travel Tastes Of Millennials

Millennials are storytellers who act as brand ambassadors. Their shared stories hold the potential to influence a majority of consumer preferences across the globe.

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Forming the world’s largest population, millennials are innovating old norms and transforming societies, making this generation the most lucrative segment that influences trends. Millennials have grown up in a transformative era of globalisation, technology, an interconnected world; which reflects in their ideologies, values and way of life. According to a Deloitte India report ‘Trend-setting millennials: Redefining the consumer story’, millennials form 47% of the working population. Owing to this growing millennial population, we are seeing a new wave of travelers who are looking for unique experiences, beyond the realm of traditional tourism, hospitality and cultural nuances. 

An Expedia Generational Study found that 91% of millennials save to travel, out of which a whopping 63% spend on experiences rather than products. Additionally, a 2019 study by Global Data Plc identified that across the world, 62% of millennials travel between 2-5 times annually. This new-age consumption pattern derived by the largest set of consumers means growth for travel, tourism and hospitality worldwide.

Speaking of India, tourism contributes nearly a tenth of India’s GDP. For the industry to tap on this booming/expanding opportunity, companies must understand what ever-evolving millennials think, feel and aspire. 

Trend-setting millennials are on the lookout for unique and personalized experiences

Millennials are looking beyond the ordinary. Travelling is no more just a holiday or time away with family and friends. Today, it’s all about inspiring and being inspired. It’s landing a perfect Instagram moment. This cohort spends hours scrolling from one social media app to another, especially Instagram. In such an interconnected and published world, every millennial is looking for personalized experiences to share. Overall, a tried and tested mantra to ace the business is to create local experiences with global standards. For instance in the hospitality industry, by simply creating a space that is recreational yet functional, tailoring food preferences and differentiated offerings in comparison to competitors gives the brand an edge above others. As we understand that more and more trends are significantly bringing about a change in the traditional tourism industry, it is of utmost importance for companies to innovate, reinvent and most significantly, stay relevant to best suit the millennial way of life. 

The rise of ‘bleisure’ travelers

In the past decade, millennials have changed the face of corporate travel. In today’s fast-paced lives, millennials are looking to do more with less. Many startups and emerging businesses have given their employees the freedom of flexibility owing to increased connectivity. Embracing the power of technology and the internet of things, it is now possible to communicate via video calls without compromise, greatly reducing the need to be physically present. Leveraging the efficiency brought about by tech-revolution, many brands have created spaces with elegant design language and great functionality that cater to the professional demands of these guests including easy access to wifi, convenience, proximity to central locations, privacy and unique experiences. With such convenience being offered by hospitality brands, more and more business travelers are now extending their trips for leisure as well, especially across off-beaten locations worth exploring. The travel and hospitality industry recognizes this trend and thereby, addresses the requirements of bleisure travelers, offering them a holistic experience.

The tourism industry gears up to cater millennial travelers; especially hospitality

A recent report ‘How does India travel’ estimates that Indian travelers will spend $136 billion in three years, with $42 billion available in incremental spending for various travel firms to tap into. 

As the largest working population with the highest disposable income, millennials are poised to reshape the economy. Millennials are a generation that shop online, book their flights and hotels through mobile phones, consume content on the go as well as make payments through digital platforms. In such an advanced world, brands can leverage online platforms to introduce offerings to their potential consumers. They are also looking for experiences that stand out, hence, personalization of offerings and services is very important. 

Millennials come from a different worldview. They care about brands with a purpose and prioritize connections over transactional relationships, look for access over ownership, convenience, comfort, value for money, standardization of quality and most importantly, unique experiences. With the government’s initiative to boost tourism through infrastructure, the introduction of new-age transport systems and digital solutions, it is driving the industry to its pinnacle. Foreseeing the huge opportunities that lie in the future, the industry is gearing up to tap the next wave of growth through the ever-evolving consumption demands of the rising millennial in India.   

In conclusion, millennials are storytellers who act as brand ambassadors. Their shared stories hold the potential to influence a majority of consumer preferences across the globe. Given the power of this aware, involved and connected generation, brands should significantly invest in adapting and understanding their lifestyle, cultural ideologies, behaviors and aspirations.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Ankit Tandon

The author is Chief Operating Officer, Operated Business, OYO Hotels & Homes

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