Until a COVID-19 cure is found, developed and available worldwide to protect travellers, we will live in uncertain times. It does not mean people will stop travelling but it does mean that many will change the way they travel. Once the stay-at-home orders expire, studies show that there is a greater willingness among young people to gather in smaller numbers closer to home – and a reluctance to immediately resume former leisure activities that involve distance and large crowds.
According to the New York Post, millennials are expected to be the first to start travelling once the restrictions are relaxed to take advantage of the crazy low prices right now. It’s a matter of fun – and affordability – over fear. They are worried about the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most show no fear of the virus knowing they are in the low risk category.
Millennials are the largest group of travellers today and attracting them is an essential step of a hotel’s recovery plan.
Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials make up the largest portion of the world population with children born in the shadow of growing global climatic catastrophe. Most are conscious at all levels and prefer to support, invest in and work for companies with ethical business practices and take responsibility of their impact on communities and the environment with transparency.
Tech savvy, curious and independent, they are raised in a networked world and are the most open-minded and ethnically diverse generation. Not shy about supporting diversity and inclusion at all levels of life, they develop friendships with people across all races, ethnicities and genders, and they fight for equality and human rights.
Social and spiritual awareness encourage them to conserve the environment for future generations. 79% of millennial employees are loyal to companies that care about their effect on society. They believe that corporate social responsibility is key to alleviating poverty and improving life outcomes. Most are trying to make the world a better place by pushing for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Millennial travelers prefer authentic and experiential travel experience that connect them with people and nature in the destination. These are activity-based travel focused on cultural/educational, culinary, voluntourism, and adventure tourism.
Hotels and tourism companies with integrity and a commitment to sustainability with accountability and transparency plus support SDGs will be their preferred choice. Millennials value authenticity over hyped messages of perfection and greenwash marketing. Initiatives should be tech-savvy, adopt technologies and personalized messaging to simply communicate deals and offers, and the extra mile focus on coronavirus protection that promote health, wellbeing and sustainability for people and planet. Communicate this early, often and openly.