American Express Travel is the latest big name to try to get inside the mind of the Millennials, and its findings show that when it comes to hotels, this demographic isn’t that different from their Baby Boomer parents.
Data from Amex Travel’s US-focused Spending & Saving Tracker and Future of Travel studies found that 76.3% of Millennials prefer to stay in a traditional hotel room, a similar response rate to the Boomers.This finding sits awkwardly with a study commissioned by Airbnb a few weeks ago which found that 74% of US Millennials have a “favourable impression” of the so-called sharing economy in general, with 58% having a favourable impression of Airbnb. The glass-half-empty interpretation of the Airbnb findings is that one in three (35%) of American Millennials has”no opinion” about the brand, despite the hype.
Back to Amex Travel, another area where Millennials and Boomers agreed was that “in-room tech” was the most appealing hotel trend but the specifics of what in-room tech means – free wifi or app-enabled curtain opening? – was not specified. The study also discovered that nearly 70% of Millennials would prefer to create their own trip rather than book a pre-packaged trip. But having said that, if the package worked out cheaper they would choose that. And nearly 60% of Millennials polled said they would pay more for a travel agent’s expertise. More than nine out of ten of the sample who had used an agent over the past five years said using an agent enhanced their travel experience.
Amex Travel did identify one area of notable difference – Millennials are significantly more willing than Boomers to let brands use data from their past travel purchases to personalize future experiences.
As travel companies roll out new product offerings for this generation, the industry will be pleased to note that Millennials are traveling more than other generations and spending more as well. Some 58% said they will spend more on travel over the next five years, compared with only 41% of Boomers who are planning to increase their travel budget.
Click here to read American Express Travel’s press release.
Click here to read the Airbnb-commissioned research.