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Authentic experiences and social share ability among key travel demands for Millennials in Thailand: Expedia study

The study also uncovered the impact of social media on Millennial travels, with 44 percent agreeing that the holiday photos they see on social networks influence their choice of travel destination.

BANGKOK — released findings from the 2017 Expedia Millennial Traveller Report, which revealed that authenticity of travel experiences and share ability on social media are two integral components for travel among the Millennial generation.
The 2017 Expedia Millennial Traveller Report, which surveyed 21,000 consumers from 21 markets, also uncovered the unique motivations and aspirations driving the demand for travel among Millennials in Thailand and around the world. Known for their distinctive attitudes towards spending, Millennials born between 1982 and 1999 tend to place higher value on investing in experiences such as travelling, than on owning high-value possessions. According to the study, seven in 10 (72 percent) Millennials expect to go on a dream holiday in the future, while a smaller proportion – six in 10 (64 percent) Millennials expect to buy a brand new car in the foreseeable future.
In addition, Millennials in Thailand are more likely to invest in travel experiences compared to the older generations. 84 percent of the Millennials surveyed travel at least once a year, compared to a smaller proportion – 82 percent of Generation X, and 73 percent of Baby Boomers doing the same. With a stronger desire to enrich their lives through travel, Millennials today also expect a higher level of personalization from their travel brands of choice.
Natural Affinity with Technology and Social Media
As digital natives, Millennial travellers are extremely mobile and active on social media, even when they are on holiday. More than half (55 percent) of Millennials surveyed globally said that they have posted photos or videos of their holidays on social networks, compared to only 34 percent of Non-Millennials. Millennial travellers are also more inclined to log their globetrotting trips on social media, with four in 10 Millennials using social media to record the most important moments of their lives, compared to only two in 10 Non-Millennials.
When it comes to the expectations for comments on social media, Millennials tend to hold social media comments with higher regard compared to Non-Millennials. 62 percent of Millennials in Thailand agree that it is important that people comment on the holiday photos they post on social networks, compared to just 50 percent of Non-Millennials.


Authentic Travel Experiences Matter
For Millennials, authentic travel experiences come in various forms: cultural appreciation and living like a local; independence and finding those hidden gems; originality and balancing the iconic with those experiences that are more off the beaten track. 7.6 in 10 (76 percent) Millennials in Thailand concur that experiencing the authentic culture of a destination is the most important aspect of travelling. As much as uniqueness is crucial to authenticity, Millennials are also a risk-adverse bunch. Travel activities or itineraries that are untested are not particularly attractive. Instead, Millennials seek authentic experiences that are verified by others, and rely on peer-led reviews for such verifications.
Taking Inspiration from Social Media and Fellow Consumers
As Millennials take to sharing their holidays on social media, holiday-seekers also turn to social media platforms to seek inspiration for their next travel destinations. 44 percent of Millennials surveyed globally said that holiday photos posted by their contacts on social media play a part in influencing their choice of destination for the next holiday, compared to 30 percent of Generation X and 18 percent of Baby Boomers sharing the same sentiment.
When it comes to doing research for travel and booking their holidays, Millennials are more likely to reach out to a wide variety of sources and consult fellow consumers and close contacts for information. 54 percent of Millennials consult fellow consumers on review sites, blogs and travel forums during the research stage for their travels, versus 42 percent of Non-Millennials. Similarly, 52 percent of Millennials turn to friends, family or social network contacts for travel information, compared to a smaller proportion (40 percent) of Non-Millennials who would do the same.


Demand for Personalised Travel Experiences
With a number of varying demands to factor into consideration, the study identified several improvements that Millennials in Thailand want for an enhanced travel experience, all revolving around a common theme – personalization:
– 73 percent are interested in a service that could provide surprise holiday recommendations based on their budget and personalities.
In addition, Millennials are also interested in exploring innovative technology-enabled travel services:
– 66 percent are interested in a service that allow travellers to split the cost of a holiday (e.g. travel, accommodation) online with another person;
– 52 percent are interested in wearable technology that automatically adjusts the hotel room temperature according to your own body temperature;
–  47 percent are interested in an online shop assistant that they can talk to for advice as they browse products online.
Millennial travellers are a dynamic bunch– they simply love to travel and enjoy experiencing global destinations in their unique ways. While authenticity of experiences and social shareability are key components of their travels, personalisation is also getting increasingly important as technology plays a crucial role in how Millennials book their holidays. As the travel industry continues to evolve to meet the demands of the Millennial generation, we also want to be ahead of the curve to anticipate their needs, and roll out new products and services that cater better to their dynamic needs. These are extremely exciting times for us, and we look forward to leveraging the insights from the Millennial Traveller Report, to better serve our customers in Thailand and around the world,” said Simon Fiquet, General Manager for Southeast Asia and India, Expedia group.


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TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific editorial team has an experience of over 35 years in B2B travel journalism as well as in tourism & hospitality marketing and communications.