The largest generation in history is demanding personalized, convenient and safe travel experiences and for the industry to know them even better than they know themselves.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 09 March 2017 – Expedia.com.my® today released findings from the 2017 Expedia® Millennial Travel Report, which was conducted globally to seek to understand the key factors for  Millennials – one of the largest generations in history that is also fast becoming the largest travel segment, when considering holidays.

The Millennial generation – those born between 1982 and 1999, is entering the prime spending stage of their life, however, unlike previous generations, they are holding back on the common life landmarks like marriage and mortgage. Instead, they are investing in travel experiences.

To some extent, this is to be expected. They have grown up with the Internet and through social media they have also grown up with deeper connections to the world, which is fuelling their desire to enrich lives through travel. However, this generation has very unique attitudes and expectation from the travel industry, demanding above all authentic, personalized, convenient and safe travel experiences.

“Here at Expedia, we see ourselves as a technology company in the business of travel, and we leverage our powerful data & insights to deliver a personalized customer experiences that come with more choice, flexibility and reliability”, said Simon Fiquet, General Manager for Southeastasia and India, Expedia group. “Perhaps the most valuable insight we have gained from this Report is that by tailoring the experiences for the Millennial traveller, we stand to gain their trust for years to come, as indicated by the importance they place on the opinion of their peers whom they trust and find relatable”.

Authenticity and personalization of Travel Experience

Authenticity to the Millennials means above all cultural appreciation, “living like a local”; independence and originality. The sheer amount of choices in travelling options is prompting the Millennials to demand perfect personalization – challenging the industry to understand them better than they even do themselves.

Based on the Report, three in four Millennials are interested in a service that could provide personalised travel recommendations based on their budget. However, when asked the same about a service that was based on personality alone, 2 in 3 were still interested – suggesting that the demand for personalised services extends beyond price sensitivity.

A majority of APAC travellers, and 72 percent of Malaysian respondents think that experiencing the authentic culture of a place is the most important aspect of their holiday abroad, while the figures for Western-based travellers are noticeably lower.

Convenience and Safety

The Millennials are the poster generation for today’s technology-solves-all mentality, applying it to improve every aspect of their lives.

Millennials expect convenience at all touch-points: fewer confirmation emails to clutter the inbox; being able to book or cancel a holiday last-minute, or even switch names on tickets if need be; having more payment options to divide, amalgamate or otherwise play with costs. 66 per cent said they were interested in a service that would allow travellers to split the holiday cost online with another person.

Malaysians go even further with 75 per cent saying they were very interested in having a wearable technology that could automatically adjust the hotel room temperature according to one’s own body temperature” and are only surpassed by Thailand, China and India. Such innovative features seemed to be a lot less important to the West.

The other important factor that stood out when choosing a travel experience was the concern for personal safety. For Asia Pacific travellers (with a few country exceptions) this seemed to be of a greater concern in contrast to Western travellers. Interestingly, the concern for personal safety abroad was greater for Malaysians, at 60 percent compared to Singaporeans at 59 percent.

Millennial risk- aversion extends beyond just bodily safety to even the “risk” of having a bad time. The Report observed that to this generation, the verified authenticity – peers vouching for both safety and success, was imperative. A travel experience without such ‘warranty’ was not of interest to this group.

In most non-Western markets, the influence of fellow consumers (review sites, blogs, travel forums) is the most important source of influence when it comes to their holiday decision-making – more so than close contacts (friends, family, social network contacts) and industry experts (travel agents, travel providers, expert opinion websites).

The Role of Social Media 

For the generation that grew up with Internet, it’s not surprising that inspiration for holiday plans are noticeably influenced by what has been seen on social media and 44 percent has admitted that holiday photos posted by contacts on social media influence the holiday plans. Although the final choice is influenced also by the advice from family and friends, (online) travel agents and peer-led reviews.

30 percent of Millennials find sharing images online that represent their lifestyle very valuable to their overall entertainment, with a further 63 percent finding this less valuable. On average, APAC travellers are about twice as likely to find such peer response important compared to travellers from Western countries.

Finally, the Report finds that APAC travellers across the Millennial demographics are much more willing to share personal data in exchange for recommendations, advice/tips, and personalised service assurance. Perhaps the most interesting finding from this Report is that a majority does not consider discounts a good enough reason to share their personal data – but who do consider other forms of personalisation valuable enough to be persuaded. This represents 32% of the Millennial cohort – double the size of those who consider personalised discounts to be the only good reason to share data.

More findings from the global Millennial Traveller Report can be found here.

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About the Study

Drawing on established and emerging trend research tracked by Foresight Factory, this report further explores the key trends that pose changes and pressures for the Millennial vacation and booking process. A 10 minute questionnaire was undertaken online in March 2016 with a sample of 1,000 consumers per country, 18-64, UK, Germany, France, USA, China, Australia, Brazil and South Korea. A similar 10 minute questionnaire was undertaken online in November 2016 to include a further 13 countries – with a sample of 1,000 consumers per country, 16-64, UK, Germany, France, USA, China, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Spain, Thailand, Mexico and Canada. In parallel, qualitative research was undertaken via Foresight Factory’s global network of Trendspotters.

About Expedia.com.my®

Expedia.com.my® offers travelers a wide selection of hotels, activities and travel services at attractive rates. With hundreds of thousands hotel partners worldwide and comprehensive choices of flight inventory made readily available on Expedia.com.my®, travellers can book everything they need for a holiday – rooms to meet every budget, activities of every kind and travel services to complement.

About Foresight Factory

Foresight Factory (FF) is a consumer analytics business and a global leader in consumer trends prediction, working with some of the world’s leading companies to help them ‘Own the Future’. Globally headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Singapore and Stockholm, FF are focused on deeply understanding consumer behaviour across the globe, spotting trends and disruption before they happen. 

For more information, please contact:

Lavinia Rajaram                                         Nicole Wee

Expedia group                                           essence Burson-Marsteller for Expedia.com.my

(65) 84280079                                           012 892 2033

lrajaram@expedia.com                            nicole@my-essence.com

 

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