How to market to tech-savvy millennial travelers

UK-based HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts recently released a guide on millennials, highlighting the generation’s preferences and advising how to best market to them. According to the guide, “How to Market to Millennial Travelers,” millennials are expected to number 78 million by 2030 (defined as those born between 1980 and 1999).

To first market to millennials you need to understand them — millennials are technology-driven, social beings, visual learners, socially responsible and, well, arguably more demanding than any generation before them, the guide says.

For example, 93 percent of millennials are avid Internet users, while 80 percent sleep right next to their smartphone. Of course, millennials love social media — about 75 percent have at least one profile on a social networking site. Forty-eight percent of millennials check Facebook right when they wake up.

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"Some of the key trends identified in our guide are that millennial travelers expect high-tech facilities yes, but they also crave authentic and exciting accommodation experiences,” said Sharon Wimborne,  marketing and e-commerce director for HotelREZ, in the paper. “And it's here that independent and smaller hotels can really shine. As an independent, a hotel has both the flexibility and leverage that other bigger chain hotels sometimes don't. They can offer millennial guests a genuine, unique one-of-a-kind experience. It is normally easier to add on the high-tech facilities and services to this offering than trying to build authenticity."

“By 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by youth travelers each year, a staggering 47 percent increase from 217 million in 2013,” David Chapman told Forbes. Chapman is director general for the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation, a global not-for-profit membership organization based in Amsterdam. He presented findings from the Millennial Traveler report during the World Travel Market (WTM) in London late last month. “The millennial generation is growing up in a technologically advanced world where traveling and communication go hand-in-hand and are easier than ever before.”