How Tour Operators Can Appeal to Millennial Travelers

Do any of your tour options appeal to Millennials? If the answer is no, then you are missing out on a substantial part of the travel market that could otherwise bring in regular bookings to your tour operation. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, about 50% of all travel bookings will be made by Millennials, so there is a pressing need for tour operators to act quickly to bring in this market.

Appealing to Millennial travelers takes insight into how Millennial travel differs from other generations, so let’s take a closer look at how tour operators can ensure that their tours have appeal for the Millennial generation.

How Millennial Travelers Differ—And What You Can Do To Appeal to Them

First, let’s differentiate what makes Millennial traveling habits different from the traveling habits of Baby Boomers or other generations. Then, we’ll discuss how tour operations can better appeal to the Millennial traveler demographic.

Technology: Millennial travelers are more prone to using technology to make bookings than other generations. An estimated 98% of Millennial travelers bring their smart phones and smart devices when taking trips, whether it’s a local destination or abroad, and they prefer researching and booking tours with their devices.

How to Appeal: The Millennial preference for technology means that your tour operations must allow online booking, as it is considered the standard method of booking for the Millennial generation. If you do not allow online booking, you will lose a significant chunk of the Millennial market.

Social Media: Millennial travelers prefer tour operations with some kind of social media presence, and not just so they can tag a tour operation when they post photos of their vacation: social media presence is one way that tech-savvy Millennials can verify that a tour is legitimate and safe. This is especially important for tour bookings that are off the beaten path.

How to Appeal: Start up a social media account on at least one popular social media site, such as Instagram, which is very popular with travelers. Use your account regularly and update it with information about your tours, such as special deals, photographs, and more. Encourage people who book tours to tag your business in their photos to increase exposure.

Experience Over Comfort: Millennial travelers prefer unique experiences over ultra-comfort. This isn’t to say that they don’t like comfortable travel, but Millennial travelers would rather get a feel for local, authentic experiences when traveling to a new place, rather than stay in high-end hotels that are far removed from the destination. For instance, popular tours with Millennials include island boat tours where accommodations can be as simple as tents under the stars, staying in local apartments or with local families in European cities, and itineraries that focus on experiencing local culture.

How to Appeal: Create tours that emphasize unique experiences over traditional comforts. Unique experiences can include tours from locals, staying in local areas with easy access to cultural and social attractions, and interesting itineraries that stay away from crowded tourist attractions and focus on lesser known sights instead.

Remember: with how much the Millennial travel market is expected to grow over the next few years, now is the perfect time to begin appealing to the Millennial travel demographic.

For more information and assistance in appealing to Millennial travelers, visit TourTools.