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Published by Nicole Kow | Dec 10, 2016 | | 2 MIN READ

Myth buster: What the travel industry has gotten wrong about Millennials

Millennials, or those born between 1980 and 2000, are currently the largest demographic to date. They've been through multiple recessions, eagerly embrace globalisation and multi-culturalism, live online as much as they do offline and refuse to "settle down".

But are these characteristics really true about them? Despite being labelled "Millennial", someone aged 18 will have very different travel behaviours compared to someone aged 24 or 30 and that's because behaviours and preferences change as people get older.

So, apart from the fact that not all Millennials aged 18 to 34 possess the same preferences and behaviours, what other myths about Millennials has the travel industry bought into?


Beach Vacation


MYTH 1: Millennials are the only demographic driving the demand for global travel

In fact, many of them are time rich but money poor, where 20% of them make an annual household income of less than $50,000. With such limited spending power, they make a much smaller impact on the travel economy, contrary to the general consensus.

According to Clayton Reid, CEO of the international marketing firm MMGY, there's simply an increase in interest to travel across all generations and that increase in interest is driving global demand for travel.


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MYTH 2: Millennials want to travel to exotic and far-away destinations

While many Millennials say they want to travel to exotic places like Hawaii, Brazil or Thailand, the reality is that they are likely to take a vacation closer to home. Staycations make up 43% of all trips taken by Millennial families, especially those who wish to reduce environmental impact or save for a larger trip in the future.

Want to get more locals on your tours or activities? Read this article to get started.  

Young millennial families


MYTH 3: Millennials don't want to settle down

Au contraire. Goldman Sachs found that Millennials want to settle down (i.e. get married, have children and buy a home) just like the generations before them, the only difference is that they're doing it much later than previous generations.

Older Millennials, those in their late 20s to early 30s, and Millennials families are entering their prime spending years and spend twice as much as than their younger counterparts, generating more revenue for the tourism industry.


MYTH 4: Millennials prefer to book a trip on their own

Interestingly, some Millennials are turning to travel agents to help them plan a trip. In a survey by MMGY, 34% of Millennials were found to use a travel agent and they're more likely to turn to professional planners when the upcoming trip is more expensive.

To read: 8 ways to adapt your tours for Millennials 


Get up to date on other travel trends that are shaping the industry:


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Nicole Kow
Published by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.
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