After Baby Boomers and Generation X, Millennials are the next big key market and the largest age group for international travel. Usually defined as people born between 1980 and 2000, they are technology-savvy, highly educated and grew up with internet and digital communication.
In 2017, outbound trips of Millennials grew by 15 percent compared to 2016 and therefore twice as strong as the total market. Today’s Millennials are between 18 and 38 years old and hold a market share of over 40 percent of all worldwide outbound trips, which means they make up the largest age group for international travel. However, it should be pointed out that this is group is quite inhomogeneous. While on the one side it contains those that are just about to leave school, on the other side, there are those in their thirties who already have a stable income and a life with kids.
With more and more Millennials entering the workforce, there has also been increasing disposable income - with more money for travelling. Today, half of all international luxury trips, being defined as trips with expenditure of more than EUR750 per night on short trips or more than EUR500 per night on long trips are made by Millennials, a share that has steadily increased over the last years. Furthermore, among luxury travellers Millennials are those with the highest average expenditure. However, on the other hand there are also more favourable holiday makers among millennials compared to the total market. This is another indicator that millennials are a rather segmented target group.
The biggest source market of millennial outbound travellers are the US, followed by China, the UK and Germany, which combined hold a market share of 35 percent of all millennial outbound travel. Also in terms of destinations, the US is leading and received the highest number of millennial visitors in 2017, followed by Spain, Germany and France. In a worldwide comparison however, destinations with an above average share of millennial visitors are the Asian destinations Japan, South Korea, India and Australia and in Europe especially Ireland and the Scandinavian countries. In contrast to that, destinations with a below average share of millennial visitors are Spain and Austria, but also China.
Travelling for holidays is the primary purpose of Millennials going on an international trip, while only 15 percent of trips are for business purposes. However, this pattern is in line with the total market. Within the holiday segment, city trips are the most preferred type of holiday for Millennials with a market share of around one third, which is higher than in the total market. When exploring foreign cities, Millennials enjoy visiting sights, soaking up the atmosphere in the city, shopping as well as good food. The second most important holiday type are Sun & Beach holidays, with the main motives relaxing, swimming and sunbathing, but also enjoying nature and good food.