Get Us in Your Inbox
I’ve noticed an interesting contradiction that comes up when I talk to some travel agents. When I ask them to describe the typical millennial, they paint a picture of a recently graduated, underemployed, feckless drifter, who is probably living in his or her parents’ basement. Then, when I ask them about today’s family travelers, the advisors describe overworked professionals in their 20s or 30s, who choose to spend their hard-earned income on exposing their young children to the wonders of the world through travel.
Of course, logic dictates that those hard-working parents are also likely millennials.
I think some agents have an image of this generation that’s out of date. Like all demographic groups before it, millennials are maturing and moving on to the next stage of their lives. An advisor who rejects them as not being worthwhile will probably miss out on an important pool of potential business.
This was made abundantly clear in this year’s “Portrait of American Travelers Forecast,” by MMGY Global. This study of leisure travelers showed that of all the demographic subsets, the only one predicted to spend more on travel in the coming year are millennials — and the only subset of millennials who plan to take the same or more trips next year are millennial families. And, according to the report, this is part of a multiyear trend.
“Millennial families were dominant in their travel spending and trip incidences in past years, and they remain the highest performing millennial subsegment due to both their sheer size and travel spending intentions,” said Steve Cohen, senior vice president of insights and research for MMGY Global. “Importantly, the best potential for growth within the millennial market in 2018 is tied to the families subsegment.”
Most agents understand the potential of these clients — the rest need to discard their outdated ideas or risk being left behind.