How Millennials Could Reshape The Travel Industry

By: Kaydee Ambas · April 05, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Millennial Profile

Millennials, traditionally known for being tech savvy and socially conscious, are now officially hitting middle age. Elder millennials just turned 40 and the youngest of the generation are finishing out their 20s.

Because they came of age during the Great Recession, millennials have largely been on the short-end of the country’s wealth distribution.

But millennials aren’t letting a lack of generational wealth hold them back from spending on things that are important to them. For most millennials, this means spending on experiences over consumer goods. In particular, millennials love to travel.

Travel Habits

According to a recent American Express (AXP) survey, 46% of millennials would rather go on a trip, while only 37% would rather buy something new. On top of this, millennials book domestic flights at triple the rate of baby boomers.

When it comes to booking accommodations, millennials are also more inclined to use services like Airbnb (ABNB) over hotels. Millennials made up 45% of Airbnb’s customers in 2022 — more than baby boomers and Gen X combined.

This may be because millennials tend r to spend less per trip than older generations. In other words, while they travel often, millennials don’t splurge on vacations. Services like Airbnb make it easier to split accommodations between large groups. Many Airbnbs also have amenities like multiple bedrooms, kid’s toys, and full kitchens. This makes them more convenient for parents traveling with young children — a demographic now primarily made up of millennials.

Looking Forward To Hosting

The hospitality industry has taken notice of millennials’ preference for Airbnb, and many hotels are taking steps to win them back.

Some locations have gone so far as to create new properties that are “millennial-minded.” These new properties boast chic decor, wellness services, complimentary cocktails, and an emphasis on the family experience.

Airbnb may have the upper hand for now. But the company has also been widely criticized for certain practices, like charging excessive hidden fees. Over the next few years, thanks to millennials’ spending habits, we may well see many hotel properties getting creative to win back the loyalty of families.

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