ASATA Column: Welcome the Millennials

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Apparently, by 2020 half of all business flights will be travelled by those much-maligned Millennials, who appear to be ubiquitously attached to their iPhones and want everything right now. The ‘now generation’ means business.

That’s only five years away…

This is the generation that’s going to want to change their travel plans at the last minute; the generation that wants to be connected 24/7 and wants to share; the generation that sees definite boundaries between work and play.

Millennials will most likely use travel agents to help sift through the information overload and provide travel information that’s relevant to them and ensure they’re getting the most bang for their buck.

Nellie Morris, Co-Founder of Kantian Advisors, says: “Millennials will check an average of 10.2 sources before booking travel. Further, 32% won’t book accommodation without first reading others’ opinions— peer reviews are Millennials’ number one source of trusted information.”

This online generation has saturated itself in the details of a trip and now wants to rely on the destination expertise of a travel agent to fine-tune it. Millennials are seeking the authenticity that an expert with on-the-ground knowledge can deliver. They’re looking for a highly customised, personalised experience that a professional ASATA travel agent can deliver.

They are a travel agent’s blessing. Millennial’s believe travel is their birthright and happily spend their money on it. Their excitement about visiting faraway places is infectious and they share their experiences and reviews online. They get their networks interested in travel and when we deliver a service that wins them over, they ensure everybody knows about it.

As a global travel industry, we are fast coming to grips with the demands of this ‘new’ business traveller. This new generation of ‘road warriors’ has encouraged us to reinvent our service offering, from advising where to find Wi-Fi hotspots in their destination to providing leisure travel tips for bleisure-minded Millennials travelling to a destination for business.

We’re developing mobile travel apps and paying attention to their feedback to ensure that as a 21st century travel industry, we are ready to satisfy their demands for speed and efficiency. 

Otto de Vries
ASTA CEO