Millennial travelers motivated by causes, learning new things

UNITED STATES Travelers in the up-and-coming Millennial generation are motivated more by connecting with causes and learning new things than are older travelers, a new study finds.

The U.S. survey, called “Meet the Millennials,” commissioned in association with Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts and conducted by Jerry Henry & Associates, shows important differences between the Millennial sample group and travelers over age 30.

Nearly six in 10 Millennials (58%) say they travel for leisure with friends, which is nearly 20 points higher than older generations. Relationships are vital to Millennials, and they are highly influenced by others who help to select places to visit and things to do. Through social media, they tell stories to one another, make recommendations and assessments often in the form of real-time descriptions of their experiences. 

With their technology acumen, Millennials make quick decisions. They plan trips in far less time (75 days) than older generations (93 days). They are adept at accessing information online, where they can search for a deal, read the reviews, book it and go. Implications for destinations are twofold: ensure that messages are easy to follow, timely and relevant; and innovate in the creation of appealing experiences with memorable moments that will be quickly shared.

This most highly educated and diverse generation has a real appetite for learning. More than three in four (78%) prefer to learn something new when they travel. Fully seven in 10 Millennials expect special places to offer immersive experiences. They look for places that are fun and entertaining (78%), and interactive and hands-on (68%). 

Millennials are also good citizens. About 77% of respondents believe it is essential to connect to causes that are important to them, a trait more important to them than older generations.

“Millennials are not your traditional guests,” says Mike Konzen, principal for PGAV Destinations, which cosponsored the study. “They do not take leisure trips ‘just because,’ but are looking for something that resonates with their need to make a difference.”

To read the full report, including how Millennials make decisions, visit