A recent report in partnership with The Global Business Travel Association and American Express Global Business Travel found that 81 per cent of millennial travellers want a variety of suppliers from which they can choose to book in order to find the best travel.
Social media also plays an increasingly important role. According to Agility Research and Strategy, 62 per cent of Asia’s well-heeled millennial travellers considered social media an important research tool when looking at travel options.
Likewise, a report by Internet Marketing Inc revealed 87 per cent of the world’s millennial travellers look to Facebook for travel inspiration.
Pan Pacific Hotels Group area general manager Oceania, Kurt Otto Wehinger, highlights the increasing importance of engaging young travellers digitally.
“Millennials lead the way in which we socialise, purchase goods and services, and travel,” he says. “As a worldwide hotel brand, we need to ensure we’re at the forefront of digital interaction with consumers to elevate their travel experience.”
Pan Pacific Hotels Group has recently implemented an interactive social media monitoring platform, Local Measure. Capturing real-time public content posted on social media within the geographic location of the hotel, the platform provides feedback and insights directly to hotel management who can then tailor the guests experience accordingly.
According to Internet Marketing Inc, 97 per cent of millennials posting content on social media while travelling, and 75 per cent posting at least once daily.
The report also found the increasing need of bespoke, authentic experiences to cater to millennials’ need of personal interaction, with 86 per cent of those surveyed saying they want to travel to experience a new culture, while 78 per cent want to learn something new while travelling. Eighty-four per cent stated user generated content had some influence on what travel options they purchase than advertisements, and 82 per cent considered first-hand travel reviews important.
Understanding the behavioural patterns of young travellers is critical. According to Brand Karma, Asian millennials alone are expected to spend $449 billion on international trips by 2020.
“Now more than ever, young travellers are looking to travel like a local,” says Wehinger.
Pan Pacific Hotels Group has responded to such demand with a newly launched branded mobile app, PARKROYAL Picks, a first-mover collaboration with technology start-up Townske to offer guests access to more than 1000 curated guides written by travellers, locals and the hotel concierges in the cities of PARKROYAL hotels.
“The app works in collaboration with our concierges, recommending nearby venues based on location to help our guests travel like a local. In this way, we can cater for the demands of both millennials and other travel generations,” says Wehinger.
With four in five millennials referring to digital platforms for their travels, it’s more apparent than ever that tourism companies worldwide create new products that engage, personalise and provide authentic, local and immersive experiences to customers.