Whether hailing from developed or emerging markets, Millennials – those currently under 30 years of age – grew up in the world of mobile devices, the internet and social media.
Because the self-service age of digital systems seems innate to this age group, not only do they have higher trust in the internet but also higher expectations about how sites and apps will deliver great personal experiences using that information and the speed at which that should happen. The Millennial generation expect to be in control and make their own decisions.
For Millennials, service doesn’t mean having someone else help you as much as having something help you. For this generation, technology, particularly mobile is their personal assistant, enabling them to stay in touch, ensuring they remember their meetings or friends’ birthdays, telling them when to be where and how to get there.
Expedia and Egencia research shows that Millennials are planning and booking travel using their smartphones more than any other group.
49% of Millennials use a smartphone to plan travel, a ratio that drops to 39% for those aged 31-45 and 26% for 46-65 year-olds.
Considerably more Millennials book leisure travel on personal devices than any other age group. Our data put this at 41% vs. 14% of over-45s. The younger group are also more likely to use their smartphones and tablets for booking business travel (52% of under-30s against just 21% of over-45s).
Once on the road, Millennials are making their demands felt; they’re twice as likely to care about on-board Wi-Fi when booking business travel – globally 14% of the younger workers report this as important vs. 6% of workers aged 46-65.
If there was just one statistic in the report that paints a picture of travel’s self-service future it is this:
Only 18% of those under 30 haven’t used a smartphone for travel.
This compares to 45% of the 46-65 year-olds surveyed.
They are also using these devices to aid and inform their journeys when on the road.
It is settled: Travel providers have to be fully enabled through any platform, knowing that buyers interface, interact and navigate through different devices in very different ways.
For independent or smaller travel businesses this represents a significant technological challenge and investment – intermediaries such as OTAs will increasingly help in this area.