Seeing the world on the palm of your hand. That is what goes on with Millennials when they peer at their smartphones engaging the Internet. The wonder of the unexplored, the fascination of color and culture are mesmerizing these young people, propelling them to serious consideration of travel. In the words of British historian, Miriam Beard, “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on. Deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” This is where the Internet plays a crucial role, providing them with all necessary information to plan a customized trip like Jordan Tours. They are not into the pre-arranged group tours of earlier times. They want tours that cater to their specialized interests like photography, paddle boarding, bird-watching, cycling, trekking, to name a few.
The global travel industry is gradually fathoming that today’s young travelers are a different breed from travelers of earlier generations. The Baby Boomers and their predecessors traveled to see new places, experience the exotic and fulfill their desire to travel. However, as millennial Tara Cappel said, “Millennials don’t just see travel as something we do, we identify with it. We consider ourselves citizens of the world and we have an enthusiastic desire to immerse ourselves in another place and return rejuvenated, inspired, and ready for our next adventure. We are travelers.”
The Millennial perspective on life is something the world had never seen before. Being the first generation to grow up with the smartphone and the Internet has a significant bearing on this. They see life in a more macro, complex manner, and understand the interacting and contradicting forces that push the days one into the other. This is through the endless fount of information washing over them every minute of every day and night. Their view is simply, “I’d rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff.” They don’t care for brand names or fancy houses. A recent report by Washington DC-based Resonance Consultants, says that Millennials will probably influence the travel industry as they take travel seriously, valuing it above material possessions.
In the same vein, the Millennial traveler is seeking to do more with less. Having less vacation time and less money to spend, they are allowing their creative capabilities full rein.
Millennials have been weighed down by students’ loans and let down by an economy unable to provide good jobs in line with their aspirations and level of education. Many Millennials therefore are delaying marriage and starting families as well as buying houses. They are heeding the call of the exotic and the transformational. They want travel to change who they are, change their perspective from meaningless materialism to rich engagement with a natural and cultural world. Says Rachel, a typical millennial, “Even while we struggle in the current economy to make ends meet, in the back of our minds, we are always wanting to discover new places and cultures.”
Unlike in earlier generations where travelers depended on information provided by tour organizers and travel agents, Millennials know exactly what they want and what is available in the places they choose to visit. What they expect from the travel industry is to make their trip a fulfilling and memorable one, ensuring their expectations are met at the highest levels of customized care and quality.
From the perspective of the travel industry, dealing with Millennials has required a strong shift in strategy. The needs of the Millennial traveler are far more sophisticated, detailed and feedback-oriented than the industry has been used to. But it is a challenge they are rising up to meet. American travel expert, Matthew Karsten, said, “Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” The global travel industry is providing Millennials profound opportunities to invest in themselves through exclusive and unique travel experiences.