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The Asian Millennials travelers changing the travel landscape

Author: Anthony Tan / Date: Fri, 12/22/2017 - 02:11

Millennials are bought up in a different world where the worldwide web was at an infancy and where digital revolution started in the 1990s.

Who are these Asian millennials travellers (AMTs)? Generally, those who were born from 1981 are considered to be Millennials. Millennials, a generation armed with higher education, better jobs, stronger income and an explosion of cheaper worldwide travel options are changing the landscape in travel industry.

Millennials are bought up in a different world where the worldwide web was at an infancy and where digital revolution started in the 1990s. With an extensive exposure to new ideas and increase amount of information easily available. Millennials consumption behaviours evolved. Based on a GfK study on Asian Millennial travellers (AMTs) in six countries Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan and Australia. Sixty-one per cent of AMTs said they want a customizable experience when sight-seeing, compared to only 38 per cent whom prefer a packaged or group-led tour. 80 per cent said they want to visit somewhere they have not visited before, while 77 per cent say they would choose destinations where they can do new activities and gain new experiences. In the study, surprisingly top travel destinations included Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Understanding the behavioural patterns of these young AMTs is crucial given the clout they wield now and definitely in the future.

AMTs thrive on gathering as much information as possible when making decisions. With travel, the choice of sources of information used by the AMTs depends on their comfort and trust levels (e.g., whether the source was recommended by a close family member or by an unknown online reviewer) as well as their knowledge and sophistication level, especially in terms of technology (e.g., use of online and mobile applications). AMTs refer to online sources as well as travel review and social networking sites. AMTs, surprisingly, still rely heavily (and, indeed, more so than the non-millennial travellers – Generation X and Baby Boomers) on traditional sources such as magazines, newspapers and travel agents. This need to compare multiple sources appears to be mostly necessitated by a paucity of good quality sources.

AMTs however, exhibit a distinct lack of brand. Although brand awareness of travel service providers appears to be high in Asia, airlines and hotels have largely been unable to persuade AMTs to exhibit any amount of brand loyalty. In part, this could also be due to the fact that the traditional value proposition of brands in offering familiarity and reliability has been diminished by a world overflowing with user reviews. For AMTs, price, opportuneness, fresh experience and other such considerations play a far more important role in determining their travel options. Given that Millennials are highly brand conscious and engaged in other consumer goods sectors, it appears that much more can be done to capture the hearts and minds of the AMTs whom are almost 40 per cent of travellers in the APAC region. New experiences like digital payment, virtual reality experiences could be new ways of building hooks and consistency in product offering will critical.

Anthony Tan has been involved in various aspects of market research in Asia Pacific over the last 13 years, amassing an abundance experience within industries covering travel & hospitality, medical devices, fashion, retail and automotive.

At GfK, he has undertaken many key responsibilities, including heading the project team for leading companies like Clubmed Asia-pacific, Airasia-Expedia and His expertise has also lent him the credibility to be frequently invited to speak at major international industry events and most recently at ITB Asia, Dutch Chamber of Commerce, World Travel Fair, China and Vietnam Tourism Exposition.

Anthony is a attentive listener and observer with the keen ability to identify business issues and propose constructive recommendations. He holds a degree in Business from Iowa, USA and a Master of International Economy from Flinders, Australia.

He takes a keen interest in traveling and exciting developments in the travel industry. Whenever time permits, he enjoys island hopping within the Asia Pacific region together with his family.