In travel, as in any industry, success is defined in part by identifying and marketing to the right audience. As travel clubs increase in popularity, one of their largest target audiences will be millennials. This is a natural fit thanks to the millennial desire for exclusivity, their high expectations and their desire for new experiences. Travel clubs can deliver all three, along with efficiency and peace of mind, making it ideal for those belonging to the millennial generation.
The Millennial Longing for Exclusivity
Perhaps the most compelling reason to fit together millennial travelers and the travel club is exclusivity. A travel club, by definition, is one that offers services specifically to its members. Belonging to a travel club means that a millennial has made it, and now has access to vacation deals and experiences that are unavailable to most of their peers.
”A powerful feature of travel clubs is that they allow for the distribution of non-published travel products and rates as they are inherently ‘protected’ by being disclosed only within the Membership environment and not openly disclosed to non-member retail consumers, something even the biggest players cannot achieve. This provides immediate relief from the ‘bait and switch’ click-through-driven approaches used by even the largest meta-search players such as Kayak or Trivago where consumers learn quickly that 99.9% of rates published are identical by the time they reach the end of the booking process.” …Paul Kitching, VP, Trip-Smart / Custom Travel Clubs, customtravelclubs.com.
Millennials view traveling as an opportunity for social networking and personal branding, both when they are staying overseas and when they come back home and can recount their adventures to friends, family and colleagues. Through social media, something most millennials use daily even when traveling for pleasure, they can share their exclusive, luxury escapes with the world. This, in turn, only boosts the profile of travel clubs, which are seen as more luxurious than ever before as a result.
High Expectations of Millennial Travelers
For digital natives of the millennial generation, there can be high expectations for any travel experience. They say comparison is the thief of joy, but it may also be what drives millennials to seek out the best. Online reviews are readily available for every destination, accommodation choice and restaurant, and many millennials simply aren’t willing to make concessions or opt for average. Some of the many details millennials expect as standard include wireless Internet in hotel rooms and excellent food at onsite eateries. Since they are constantly comparing their experiences to the experiences of others, they know the difference between good and great more than previous generations ever could. This is just another reason that travel clubs can benefit from discerning millennials by offering the full experience, providing luxury and cutting through the online overload of reviews.
The Drive Toward New Experiences
While finances may cause millennials to turn increasingly to the idea of a staycation, or exploring their own hometown rather than venturing abroad, affluent millennials often prefer to seek out new experiences. Millennials have more exposure than any previous generation to destinations around the globe, bringing the idea of a week in Bali or a trek through Nepal closer than ever before. In addition to the desire for exploration and personal growth through these experiences, many millennials place a high value on showcasing their unique adventures to the world through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Although millennials are by and large a generation that turns to online reviews and booking services for everything from upcoming concerts to Friday’s dinner at a trendy restaurant, the travel club can still target and benefit this generation. By appealing to the millennial’s drive toward new experiences, high expectations and desire for exclusivity, travel clubs can reach a new audience that will appreciate the services and design of this travel booking revolution.
SACO, a serviced apartment company, recently produced an infographic detailing the intricacies of the millennial traveler. View the infographic below:
Author & Co-Author: Mike Putman & Dennis Payne
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