Shapiro // © 2017 TravelAge West
In recent years, a lot of marketing buzz has focused on the millennial generation, as companies create products to appeal to these consumers. I know some agents might be tired of hearing about millennials, but if you want to succeed, it’s important to embrace this generation of travelers. This is especially true when it comes to family travel, as you can read in our cover story, “Mastering the Millennials.”
Here are just a couple of reasons why you need to care about this demographic.
They have numbers. Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history — taking that title from baby boomers — so just ignoring them is entirely out of the question.
They are grown-ups. Mark Zuckerberg, perhaps the quintessential millennial icon, is now 32 years old and a father. Millennial consumers make up the 18- to 36-year-old demographic that marketers covet. Although there may be a general impression that this entire generation lives at home and engages in a patchwork of part-time jobs, there are plenty of millennials who are seeing their careers take off and their earning power grow significantly. And many are also starting families.
They love to travel. Dozens of studies have shown that millennials are active consumers who are more willing to spend on travel than previous generations. It has yet to be seen how this generation will integrate travel into family life, but given the value they place on unique experiences, it’s a safe bet that millennials will want to expose their children to travel opportunities as well.
They need your help. It’s hard having young kids, as many millennials are discovering, but it gets better when they can rely on the expertise of others to make life a little easier. Travel agents should be prepared to lend a hand and provide millennial parents with unique options for family vacations. And try to resist making assumptions; even though a millennial client may have young kids, that doesn’t necessarily rule out international travel. In fact, for many in this demographic, short, convenient trips to an exotic destination are preferable to a vacation that feels prepackaged or mass-marketed.
Given the likely influence this generation will have on travel for many years to come, developing a “millennial-friendly” approach is essential to agents’ future success.