Travel Meets Tech: How the Industry Is Digitally Catering to Young Travelers

To cater to the next generation of travelers, the travel industry is tapping into the latest tech advancements…

Millennials want to get away. When we asked 18-34-year-olds the kinds of entertainment they spend on in an average month, 41% said travel/vacations, and we consistently see that when given the choice between travel and physical belongings, the majority will pick the escape. A recent study by Airbnb revealed that 56% of 18-35-year-olds from the U.S. are spending more on travel this year than last, and even placed getting away above purchasing a home in their list of priorities. Our holiday wishlist roundup also echoes their desire, with travel coming in second after money as the one item 13-34-year-olds wanted most for the gift-giving season.

Their wanderlust has been increasingly pushing the travel industry into high gear to cater to this next generation of travelers—something we’ve kept tabs on for years. We’ve seen chains remodel their locations, begin to focus on incorporating local culture, create social experience marketing, offer exclusive events, create Millennialized spin-off brands, and more. But now that free WiFi and touchscreen check-in are par for the course, we’re seeing travel brands experiment with more and more advanced technology to impress Millennial travelers. Convenience is always key for young consumers, and there probably isn’t an experience more in need of seamless solutions than travel, which is why, according to New York Times, traditional hotel chains are targeting young travelers through “customized experiences, digital convenience, and relevant information on social media.” Digital also plays a role in hooking in Millennial travelers before they even book their tickets: creative agency Blitz revealed that 84% plan trips based on someone else’s…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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