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Marketing executive extraordinaire Anna Fawcett is particularly savvy when it comes to connecting with millennials and Generation Z travelers — and she believes this makes her a perfect fit for her new role as global head of marketing for Topdeck Travel.
The tour operator offers fully planned itineraries for travelers ages 18 to 39, providing trips that offer local experiences and an engaging social atmosphere. We chatted with Fawcett to hear her thoughts on the rise of millennial and Gen Z travelers, as well as upcoming travel trends for these booming demographics.
There are more millennial and Gen Z travelers now than ever before — what does this mean for the travel industry?The 18-to-39 age bracket — which now straddles the millennial and Gen Z line — is a defining time in life for most individuals, as they’re entering the real world, beginning to work and starting to have access to a disposable income. For the travel industry, this means new generations are exploring their interests, choosing the people they want to spend time with and figuring out their travel preferences.
What trends do you believe will capture this group’s interest in 2019?Customization is key with this audience, as they’re looking for experiences they can personalize to their own needs. For travel, there are many aspects of a trip they want to be able to fine-tune to their liking.
For example, Gen Zers value experiences that are genuine and authentic. Having the chance to meet locals and learn more about their lifestyles may be more important to them than crossing off the standard bucket-list items.
Additionally, many in this age group are frugal with their money. Gen Zers are more willing to book alternate accommodations, so travel advisors shouldn’t be shy to present a new airline or non-hotel stay as a viable option.
How do you see the increasing access to long-haul flights impacting traveler behaviors?The growing number of available long-haul flights makes destinations on the other side of the world — such as Asia and Australia — much more accessible to American travelers. Once considered “millionaire status,” locales such as Bali, Singapore and New Zealand will become more attainable to the everyday consumer. This will positively alter Americans’ perceptions about international travel, because visiting destinations farther from home will appear more realistic.
What destinations will be trending in 2019?We’ll see more travel to destinations such as Laos, which offers scenery that ignites the spirit and sparks the adventure bug in many who visit.
And as Nordic travel grows, Finland is likely to become another major hot spot. Remote areas — such as Lapland in the northern part of the country — offer incredible experiences for winter, such as bobsledding, visiting a reindeer farm and observing the northern lights.
Estonia is another hidden gem that I believe will see more visitors in the coming year. Its medieval Old Town offers rich history and classic cobblestone streets in addition to a huge nightlife scene. Some say it’s similar to Copenhagen, which was popular in 2018.
The DetailsTopdeck Travelwww.topdeck.travel