In addition to being hyper connected and digitally driven, Millennials are focused on personal experiences. And for many, those experiences happen away from home. Notably, Millennials are very interested in travel. In fact, they travel more than any other generation, including Baby Boomers, and they’ll likely travel more as their incomes and financial standings grow.
But Millennials don’t simply represent another generation of travelers. Their preferences and lack of predictability make them different from their older counterparts. At the same time, this uniqueness means that the travel industry will need to adjust in order to meet their specific needs and desires—particularly when it comes to retail. That’s because while the retail travel industry has evolved over time, it hasn’t faced major consumption shifts. In fact, traveler shopping habits have been somewhat predictable over the last few decades. That predictability ended with this new generation of consumers. Today’s Millennial travelers have distinct approaches to travel, largely because they want to control their experiences—a notable shift from how older generations were more likely to allow brands to drive their travel experiences.
Nielsen’s recent survey of global Millennial travelers found that more than 63% have purchased a premium or luxury item in the watch, jewelry, clothing, bag, accessory or spirt category in the past year. Additionally, another 4% said they plan make a premium or luxury purchase soon. And when asked about why they visit shopping areas after passing through the security of an airport, to buy themselves a treat comes up almost one-third of the time.