Why Millennial Travelers Prefer Europe As Their Travel Destination

Indeed a crucial question for marketers associated with the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. According to the Boston Consulting Group, millennial generation in between the age groups of 16 to 34 are more interested in travel than their previous generations. Besides that they will choose destinations with natural tourist spots rather than commercial ones. With a rich history, grandeur architecture and exposure to multiple styles of cuisines, Europe becomes an automatic choice for the young explorers majority of whom are from the millennial population.

There’s something else changing as well. Some time back international travel was considered a standard vacation that required a lot of savings and that meant working for years. That approach is missing in the millennial generation who desire extended and meaningful experiences rather than the urge to go for a luxurious travel. They seek challenges which explains why the average trip duration has increased from 2 weeks to 58 days as quoted by the Atlantic. This is not just a niche we are talking about. It’s the segment of people who have easy access to social media and economical tools like Airbnb. Well of course they are price sensitive. A great majority of millennials are not economically strong yet.

After all, their oldest members are only 35 years old which makes around 20% of the Millennials who are just entering their peak spending ages, while 40% of them have yet to enter the full-time workforce. Also in a few year’s time, millennials will be accounted for 50% of all employees worldwide. Hence it’s interesting to note that when this generation reaches peak earning years, majority of their spending will be served in travel and leisure.

“Millennials have created a new definition of what luxury means,” says Robert Mandelbaum, director of research information services at PKF Hospitality Research. “Their bells and whistles are more simplistic, like technology and accessibility.”

Why Europe

People from around the world have been flocking to Europe but millennials prefer it as the top choice for travel destination. Spain is amongst the top European destinations followed by Italy, France and the UK. Here are the top 10 reasons why millennials are attracted to part of the world.

  1. Unlimited festivals throughout the year
  2. The serene countryside experience
  3. The historic importance
  4. Diversity in food and cuisine
  5. The majestic rivers and canals
  6. Vineyards and wine cellars
  7. The art museums
  8. For local shopping experiences
  9. Picturesque Waterfalls
  10. They get a sense of belonging everywhere

Millennial Travelers Prefer Europe

Millennial Attributes In Favor/Against Europe Tourism

It’s a different breed from the boomers and generation X, but how different? When it comes to lodging experiences, millennials are attracted to places that offer adventure, activity and opportunities to socialize with diverse groups. The preferences of the previous generation of the travelers were luxury beaches, and they were famished by gateway cities. As for the millennials, they seek remote locations and countryside. Check out some more reasons why millennials would prefer Europe as their travel destination and guide them how to plan a trip.

Social Autobiographer

An experience never goes undocumented in the life of a millennial. If they find anything artistic, unique or humorous, they have this instant urge to share it with their peers and in their social circle. The idea of an exciting activity thrills them and narrating their story makes them feel elated. In true sense this is an opportunity for people in the hospitality business who are smart enough to identify millennials as a source of peer-to-peer marketing.

Social Autobiographer

Travel Police

One bad experience with a millennial and consider yourself out of business! They are bold enough to criticize you on your face, post their negative experiences on social media sites and groups that you might never be able to trace. Those are some possibilities, however, in reality, they are more likely to leave a negative feedback than leave a complaint. They will act more like the under-cover critic, leaving out reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor. Viewing this shift in consumer trends, some hotels in Europe are creating customer care and query platform online. Also their representatives are keen to know verbal feedback from the customers after each and every encounter or experience they’ve been through. Indeed a smart way to attract more millennials.

Young Explorer

They are never convinced by what they’re told and so they will set out to explore by themselves whether they’re traveling for business or leisure. The curious young explorers will try local cuisines and fancy dressing up like locals and celebrate their festivals. This is indeed a unique demand from millennials who want to learn about local culture and traditions. Airbnb identified this unique phenomenon and created a decentralized peer-to-peer market to address this newly emerged market segment that was in its infancy. Moreover, the hotels, airlines and local lodges across Europe are trying to set the cultural ambiance by incorporating local music and culinary taste along with trekking packages and tour guides. A young explorer’s soul can never be truly satiated, but understanding millennial needs is a good step forward.

Look Like a local

Smart Spender

We have already discussed why millennials are picky when it comes to mobile purchase decisions. The same idea applies in the travel and tourism business as well. They’ve limited spending capability but they live in a time when traveling local as well as overseas has become fairly cheap. Combine that with calculated spending and you will see millennials having a good time in limited budget. Strangely, against common belief, Europe is not amongst the priciest destinations except for a few places that do not fit the millennial preference criteria anyways. They are comfortable in smaller spaces but would like free amnesties like wifi.

Now you know why Millennials prefer Europe. Try using some of their techniques to focus on attracting millennials. Device a portion of the customer-centric strategy that is more millennial-centric.

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Mehreen is a social media buff and design blogger, who keeps a keen eye on graphic design trends. She has a passion for experimenting with design ideas, and wouldn’t mind if it means going out of her way to find them in Timbuktu. Follow her on twitter for daily inspirations and findings.

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