Millennial Travelers

Young travelers are a huge, untapped—and surprisingly affluent—market.

By Rieva Lesonsky

The Herman Group reports that according to Skift’s Portrait of the Millennial Traveler 2016: A Study in Contradictions, businesses in the travel industry are struggling to reach Millennials. And they’re a demographic definitely worth reaching—Millennial travelers spend between $200 billion and $300 billion every year.

Millennials, who take more frequent, shorter trips and stay closer to home than the average traveler, make up 20 percent of world travelers. But the Boston Consulting Group forecasts that by 2020 Millennials will account for one-half of business travel spending. And according to the Portrait of the U.S. Millennial Traveler, 22 percent of Millennial travelers combine business and leisure in the same trip.

The Skift report also says Millennial travelers are more educated and wealthier than expected and that they prioritize travel when it comes to their discretionary spending.

Most (57 percent) Millennial travelers are married and 54 percent have kids. The Herman Groups says, “As more Millennials have families, we expect them to choose more family destinations. And because this generation is so experience-oriented, they will ‘splurge’ on experiences for both themselves and their children.”

If you’re in the travel business, or your business is in an area that attracts tourists, you might want to market to Millennials.