Meet Your Lucrative Millennial Traveler

8 things you need to know about this influential generation of travelers.

Today’s younger traveler is your potential customer for decades to come.

And with their own unique preferences, motivators and purchasing behaviors, Millennials are already transforming today’s travel landscape. This generation born between the early 1980s and early 2000s is here to stay – and, more importantly, here to travel.

Based on TripBarometer, the world’s largest accommodation and traveler survey, here are key trends and insights about the Millennials you should be courting for your hospitality business.

1. Millennials spend less time planning ahead.

While the majority of Millennials prefer to start planning trips 3-4 months in advance, this spontaneous generation of travelers is also two to three times more likely than older travelers to start planning within just two weeks of departure.

2. Millennials choose destinations by activities and reviews.

Tourist attractions and activities are a huge draw for Millennials, and steadily become less influential for older travelers. The second most important factor for these under-35 travelers when choosing where to travel? Online reviews. See the line graph below for more details.

Traveler age vs influence when choosing a destination

3. Millennials choose accommodations by more than just price. 

While it’s tempting to think younger travelers are purely cost-driven, all age groups put top emphasis on price. Compared to the prior generation Millennials are more influenced by special offers, proximity to transportation options and sustainable travel. Conversely, Millennials are slightly less likely to care about brand name, proximity to the beach or water and prior experience.

4. Millennials are more likely to book upon arrival.

Compared to earlier generations, Millennials are two to three times more likely to book their accommodation when they arrive at their destination. The most common reasons for booking this way primarily revolve around convenience.

Why Millennials book upon arrival

5. Millennials are less likely to book via the accommodation’s website.

Older travelers are slightly more inclined to book through the property’s own website. Good news for TripAdvisor Business Advantage subscribers:  both travelers 18-34 and travelers 35-54 are equally likely to book via travel review websites. Why? They like how easy it is to compare different options.

6. Millennials like some things to be old-fashioned.

Yes, Millennials are more likely to book via mobile apps and bring their tablets when traveling. But did you also know that more so than older travelers, Millennials want accommodations to have printed tourism information available onsite? With less advance planning time, this lets Millennials be spontaneous yet informed at the same time.

7. Millennials compromise to make travel happen.

The most common reason Millennials are spending more on travel in 2014: they’re saving up for it. They’re more willing than other generations to sacrifice nights out, entertainment and even grocery budgets. When Millennials compromise on some travel aspects, they cut costs by choosing cheaper transport, cheaper accommodation type and taking fewer long trips.

How Millennials compromise on travel costs

8. Millennials are flocking to Asia and Europe.

While the United States looks to be quite popular this year, Asian and European countries fill out the list of top 10 expected destinations for Millennials in 2014:

  1. U.S. (20%)
  2. Japan (14%)
  3. Italy (13%)
  4. UK (13%)
  5. France (12%)
  6. Thailand (12%)
  7. China (11%)
  8. Spain 11%)
  9. Germany (10%)
  10. Indonesia (8%)

To learn more about what travelers and your competitors are doing this year, check out TripBarometer 2014

Download Global Report

Last Updated: February 3, 2017