BANGKOK, 31 May 2017: Authentic travel experiences and the ability to share them on social media are two integral drivers for Millennial generation travellers, according to 2017 Expedia Millennial Traveller Report.
Released Tuesday, the report surveyed 21,000 consumers from 21 markets on motivations and aspirations driving the demand for travel among Millennials in Thailand and around the world.
Millennials, according to media pundits are born between 1982 and 2004 and tend to place higher value on investing in experiences such as travel, than on owning high-value possessions such as a car or a home.
But according to the study it is close call as 72% of Millennials said they expected to go on a dream holiday in the future, while a 64% Millennials suggested they would buy a brand new car in the foreseeable future.
In addition, Millennials in Thailand are more likely to invest in travel experiences compared to the older generations. 84% of the Millennials surveyed travel at least once a year, compared to a smaller proportion – 82% of Generation X (1965 to 1984), and 73% of Baby Boomers (1946 to 1984) doing the same.
With a stronger desire to enrich their lives through travel, Millennials today also expect a higher level of personalisation from their travel brands of choice, the report said.
In addition, 55% of Millennials surveyed globally said that they have posted photos or videos of their holidays on social networks, compared to only 34% of non-Millennials.
Millennial travellers are also more inclined to log their globetrotting trips on social media, with four in 10 Millennials using social media to record the most important moments of their lives, compared to only two in 10 non-Millennials.
When it comes to the expectations for comments on social media, Millennials tend to hold social media comments with higher regard compared to non-Millennials.
62% of Millennials in Thailand agree that it is important that people comment on the holiday photos they post on social networks, compared to just 50% of non-Millennials.
For Millennials, authentic travel experiences come in various forms: cultural appreciation and living like a local; independence and finding those hidden gems; originality and balancing the iconic with those experiences that are more off the beaten track, it said.
As much as uniqueness is crucial to authenticity, Millennials are also a risk-adverse bunch. Travel activities or itineraries that are untested are not particularly attractive. Instead, Millennials seek authentic experiences that are verified by others, and rely on peer-led reviews for such verifications.
Moreover, 44% of Millennials surveyed globally said that holiday photos posted by their contacts on social media play a part in influencing their choice of destination for the next holiday, compared to 30% of Generation X and 18% of Baby Boomers sharing the same sentiment.
When it comes to doing research for travel and booking their holidays, Millennials are more likely to reach out to a wide variety of sources and consult fellow consumers and close contacts for information.
54% of Millennials consult fellow consumers on review sites, blogs and travel forums during the research stage for their travels, versus 42% of non-Millennials.
Similarly, 52% of Millennials turn to friends, family or social network contacts for travel information, compared to 40% of non-Millennials who would do the same.
With a number of varying demands to factor into consideration, the study identified several improvements that Millennials in Thailand want for an enhanced travel experience, all revolving around a common theme – personalisation:
- 73% are interested in a service that could provide surprise holiday recommendations based on their budget and personalities.
In addition, Millennials are also interested in exploring innovative technology-enabled travel services:
- 66% are interested in a service that allow travellers to split the cost of a holiday (e.g. travel, accommodation) online with another person;
- 52% are interested in wearable technology that automatically adjusts the hotel room temperature according to your own body temperature;
- 47% are interested in an online shop assistant that they can talk to for advice as they browse products online.
About the Study
Drawing on established and emerging trend research tracked by Foresight Factory, this report further explores the key trends that pose changes and pressures for the Millennial vacation and booking process.
A 10-minute questionnaire was undertaken online in March 2016 with a sample of 1,000 consumers per country, 18 to 64, UK, Germany, France, US, China, Australia, Brazil and South Korea.
A similar 10 minute questionnaire was undertaken online in November 2016 to include a further 13 countries – with a sample of 1,000 consumers per country, 16 to 64, UK, Germany, France, US, China, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Spain, Thailand, Mexico and Canada. In parallel, qualitative research was undertaken via Foresight Factory’s global network of Trend spotters.
(Editor’s Note on generations: There is a Generation Y that has been declared irrelevant. An emerging generation yet to be described (TBD) for kids born in the last 10 years still lacks a designation. They are not Millennials. Pew Research asked people what the group should be called without a definitive result.)