Millennials are changing how we plan and book travel—take note.
By Rieva Lesonsky
My niece Cassie just got back from an amazing trip to Iceland. While that might seem like an unusual destination for a 20-something, according to Google’s 2016 Travel Trends Report, Reykjavik, the nation’s capital, ranked at the top of Google’s fastest-rising searches in the first half of the year. And, like Cassie, the people most interested in visiting Iceland are young Millennial women, ages 25-34.
The other cities in Google’s top 5 were Havana, Toronto, Mexico City and Tokyo, and those most interested in traveling to these destinations were men ages 35-44 (Havana and Mexico City) and 25-34 (Toronto and Tokyo).
“The reasons people travel haven’t changed much from year to year, let alone from decade to decade,” the report says. “And yet the paths people travel before they travel have been transformed.”
And it’s not just where travelers are going—it’s how their planning their trips. According to the report, “Consumers increasingly turn to mobile to get itinerary ideas, compare flight fares or reserve experiences.” While the bulk of booking trips (the most popular booking day is Tuesday) still takes place on desktop computers, much of the research phase is conducted on mobile devices. In fact, on weekends more travel planning takes place on mobile than on desktop computers.
The mobile experience doesn’t end when the planning is finished. Google reports consumers say mobile allows them to be more spontaneous; in fact, 85 percent of vacation travelers decide on their activities after they get to their destination city.
This is crucial information for entrepreneurs in the travel business. You need to address your marketing efforts to this target audience—and your website and online marketing, including e-newsletters and emails, need to be mobile-friendly.
Photos Courtesy: Cassie Kreitner