5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials

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Autumn 2019
Autumn 2019

(Source: Waira)

Are you worried about the future of your travel agency? The secret is understanding your market and adapting to it. In recent years, many travel agencies have suffered in the face of technology progression and have relied on traditional methods. Travelling is an important part of the Millennials’ (age range 20-36) lifestyle, making this demographic a significant segment of your consumer market. Whether this is for business purposes or for hedonistic desires, they are travelling like never before and yearn for new experiences. Millennials are self-reliant on booking their holidays, forcing travel agencies to employ methods that attract this key demographic. This blog will give you 5 great tips to help ease your worries!

Use technology for personalisation

(Source: Segs)

Travel agencies can create new personalised apps for millenial consumers.

Customers that download the app would be instructed to select their personal preferences for destinations, hotel type, flights, restaurants and tourist experiences. The app would then give them choices which are tailored to them, which would save time for the consumer.

Another key features of the app will be asking travellers for specific dates which are personal to them in order to design personalised packages for the event. As the date approaches, the app alerts the customer encouraging them to book.

In addition, the app provides accessible 24 hour chat function to assist with questions. The agency can then use the platform as a communication tool to ensure the travel experience is running smoothly. For example, contacting the traveler on the day of departure and arrival and checking if they need any additional help. This makes the service more personal.

Use social media influencers to endorse your products

(Source: Pinterest)

Celebrity endorsements are certainly not a new trend, however the travel industry is not using it enough. A lot of young people use social media platforms such as Instagram to look for inspiration, and a lot of them follow travel influencers and trust their opinion, and as a business, a great tactic to promote your company is by getting a celebrity to share what you can offer, not only verbally but also by posting pictures, giving others a visual representation.

Celebrity/social media influencers endorsement can lead to enhanced credibility of the business, boost brand awareness and is a great promotional tool that adds significant value to a company’s PR.

Creating innovative partnerships

(Source: LinkedIn)

Collaboration with universities and phone network companies can increase sales!

Partnerships between travel agencies and universities can be beneficial as the university can provide a platform to share the travel agent’s products (such as special packages tailored to the students) and establish better brand recognition for Millenials. The university could benefit from guest speeches and attendances on graduate fairs.

There is an opportunity to connect with phone network companies to further push sales by offering free roaming data to all customers travelling outside the EU. This would also apply to EU travelers if data roaming legislation changes after Brexit.

Combining leisure with business travel

(Source: Wallpaperswide)

Travel agencies can appeal to more Millennials by offering special packages to extend their work travel to incorporate leisure time. Customers travelling for work purposes often do not get the chance to explore and see the sights of the area. However, research has shown Millenials are more likely to blend their business with pleasure. Agencies can offer discounted packages for business travellers, to enable them to extend their stay for a few days and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time. There is also an opportunity for link sales, by purchasing other products such as tourist attractions through the agency.

Promote referrals

(Source: Conversionxl)

An interesting idea that travel agencies could use to expand their market share is to provide discounts to those customers who help endorse and recommend good products or services they have received from the company in question.

People tend to value the opinions or experiences of others who have previously hired a company’s services. Word-of-mouth broadcasting is quite useful for a company to increase its client portfolio.

For customers who successfully disseminate the services or products of the company, certain discounts or vouchers could be offered to encourage active promotion from existing customers. A reward scheme of this kind both; helps the growth of the company and shows active involvement with current customers.

We want to hear your opinion! Please comment below what you think of these tips to attract Millenials. What would you add to this list?


Megan says:

I love the idea of promoting travel agencies in universities – especially with new graduates wanting to work in the travel industry and providing work placements or graduate opportunities more to bring in fresh employees with new ideas. Younger employees will be able to provide new marketing techniques to promote the younger generation of travellers to their business.

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

Thank you for your comment Megan. We believe travel agencies forming partnerships with universities would be beneficial for both parties. Special packages can offered to university students. Also, as you mentioned, young graduates working in travel agencies can be an asset to the company, with a fresh perspective on what Millennials’ are looking for when booking travel. Would you be more interested in booking with travel agencies if they offered this student package?

Shudan says:

Very thoughtful ideas of the travel agent! I personally really keen to go travel in my spare time. As a Millennial, I’ve already attracted by that travel app, it definitely will help to smooth my trip. One small thing to add is when I travel I tend to find the place where local people go, I like to experience the local culture and attend the traditional event. I think providing a channel of local’s advice would be useful.😃

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We appreciate your comment Shudan. The app could be a great tool for Millennials, creating a personalised travel experience which is more suited to each individual. Thank you for your insights about the additional features that you would find particularly useful. Integrating this in the app and providing options for local cultural events and attractions would be a great addition. If you used the app and were happy with the service, would you be likely to recommend this to friends?

Ranggada says:

Personally, I look forward to travel agencies using more influencers. A very popular IG page, Beautiful Destinations, already ‘hire’ a lot of content creators who are somewhat kind of like influencers in the realm of travel to advertise where they’ve been and i think some of their content are mind boggling. I totally agree with that statement of using more influencers to promote travel.

5 great ways for travel agenices to attract Millennials says:

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and leaving your thoughts Ranggada. We agree that social media influencers can play an important role in the current travel marketplace. The content that they are able to share, could impact the travel decisions of thousands of their followers. Companies are already using this tactic to attract more of their target market. Travel agencies can benefit greatly from this strategy, by reaching out to social media influencers who correspond with their values and share the same passion of the travel experience. How likely would you be to book with a travel agency if you saw an amazing location being shared by a popular Instagram figure?

nashwan Ahmed ghaleb says:

There is still a large gap in the travel industry, with many grey areas.

I like that this is concentrating on the millennials. There are many millenials who travel for work. The idea of promoting leisure time is primary, as job satisfaction is key and focused upon more than ever today.

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

Thank you for reading our blog and taking the time to leave a comment Nashwan. We believe that combining business trips with leisure could benefit companies by motivating their workers. It is important to have a work-life balance and for employees to have time to unwind and enjoy the local area of the destination they have travelled to for work. Special discounted packages for extending business trips to include leisure, could be an attractive prospect for Millennial travellers. If you were sent to a location for work, how many days would you feel is optimal for leisure time after your work is completed?

Anon says:

I’m all in support of the strong points that were made. I also second the use of social media to promote business as this seems like the way forward for almost all businesses whether up and coming or already established. Providing an app to aid in choice based on personal preferences is and would be very innovative as well as time saving. Bearing in mind most people now spend the majority of time of their mobile phones; it makes it easier for the client with less hassle and stress of having to go back and forth between pages just to change preferences to get the best deal out. Needless to say it also gives the service user the ability to book their trips on-the-go.

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We appreciate you taking the time to read our blog and sharing your thoughts. We agree that social media influencers can play a pivotal role in the promotion of travel products. Travel agencies can start to implement this tactic to further increase their sales with the Millennial market. Would you be more likely to book travel through a referral from a friend or from seeing promotion from a popular social media influencer?

Charlotte says:

It is a very insightful perspective to look at the Millennials for the Travel Agencies.

As other someone commented before, I also like the perspective of combining job opportunities and student packages by working together with Universities or maybe certain student societies.

I also think there is a lot of opportunity in the social media business, but the agency does have to stand out in a certain way as there is currently a lot of competition.

As to the business-travel combination, I think it has a lot of possibilities. Maybe if you work from the same perspective as working together with universities?

It would be nice if you can combine an app that can match the wants of every traveller. It does need to have a good working system worldwide and accurate information, because otherwise I think people will delete the app again.

Small hole-in-the-wall restaurants, local experiences and trying to avoid the mainstream, is very important for me when I travel. If you can manage that as a travel agency, I see no reason to book with them instead of on my own.

Thank you for creating this blog, it gave a very interesting and thought about perspective!

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We really appreciate you giving your detailed feedback on a lot of the aspects of our blog, Charlotte. Thank you for expressing your thoughts on the concepts we shared on our blog. We are grateful for your recommendation about travel agencies creating partnerships with businesses, to facilitate business travel. Many companies use smaller travel agencies to organise business trips for their employees, but there is an opportunity for the larger travel agencies to focus more on collaborating with businesses. Special corporate rates can be created for the workers who travel with the businesses that have partnered with the large travel agencies. Thank you for your insights Charlotte.
Would you be more likely to book a trip with the travel agency app, if reservations for hole-in-the-wall restaurants were included in your package?

Tochukwu says:

This is very insightful, and creative. I have been well educated from reading this . I definitely recommend this .

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We are grateful that you read our blog Tochukwu. Thank you for expressing your thoughts about our ideas. Our aim is to create awareness for how travel agenices can attract more Millennial consumers. Which sections of the blog in particular did you find most useful to you?

Sophia says:

As mentioned by someone before me, I like that this idea focuses on millennials. We are of an age where we are about to graduate and are seeking career opportunities either here in the UK or abroad so an app like this is ideal for booking such a trip. I like the idea of the reward scheme and really think that using celebrity/influencer endorsements would help such an app thrive especially as we are such a technology focussed generation who have eyes and ears on all things social media

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

Sophia, we appreciate you taking the time to read our blog and highlighting the sections which interested you the most. We share the same viewpoint that we are a technologically focussed generation, where social media is a significant part of our everyday lives. The tactic of promotion through social media influencers could be fruitful for travel agencies to attract more Millennials consumers (including graduates). If the app alerted you when specifically important dates to you (such as your birthday) were coming up and offered special packages, would you be more likely to book travel with the agency through this app?

Pablo Caruso says:

I find your ideas very interesting, particularly the one about creating innovative partnerships. More and more millenials are very concerned with environmental and ethical issues and I believe that establishing partnerships with companies and partners that are committed to fair trade and ecological tourism can be an unique selling point when trying to attract millenials as new customers.

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

Thank you very much Pablo, we are very grateful for you sharing your thoughts and providing feedback for the concepts we shared on our blog. We support your outlook that innovative partnerships with ecologically-friendly companies could be an effective implementation for attracting more Millennial customers. We value your insight and recommendation. Because Millennials value environmentally-friendly practices, if travel agencies placed emphasis on forging alliances with ecological tourism organisations, this could open travel agencies up to engaging with the Millennial market. If travel agencies provided environmentally-friendly tourism products this would encourage sustainable tourism. Would you find it useful if travel agencies included environmentally-friendly destinations as part of the preferences to select on the personalised app?

Jess says:

I like the idea of the App, however as mentioned before in the comments it would need to suggest more local/traditional/unusual places to go supported by actual visitor photo’s, videos, testimonials, you need to avoid just creating standard ‘package holidays’ glammed up to attract millennials, who through the use of social media want to give the impression of having a unique holiday experience.
Cost is obviously the biggest selling point, through the app you would need to offer same cost as other sites because if millennials find a cheaper option themselves that’s what we will go for! Celebrity endorsement could be a potentially good advertising tool but would have to be done carefully and creatively otherwise it will be clear that the celebrities have been paid to advertise your app and potentially become a bit corny/obvious.
I really like the idea of working with universities especially ones that have courses in travel and tourism, getting these students who are studying a relevant course involved in travel agency work experience, free trips / visits in exchange for their social media endorsement (instead of celebrities all the time), word of mouth, get the people on those courses to actively set up and run travel experiences/trips for the students at their universities – group travel for example when the uni’s are on holiday. This could then lead to the reward or discount scheme idea mention in your article, for all those who have already travelled with the agencies.

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We are very thankful to you for your feedback and your recommendations about the concepts displayed in our blog, Jess. We appreciate you taking the time to consider the points shared in our blog and providing a detailed response to our article. Your recommendation about suggesting local hole-in-the-wall restaurants and unusual experiences is an interesting concept, which I think would enhance the popularity of the personalised app. By providing local options which are in contrast to the mainstream experiences, this would give potential Millennial customers the special and authentic experience they value. This would really epitomise the purpose of the personalised app.

We are in agreement with you that partnering with universities can be a lucrative tactic for travel agencies to reach more Millennials. The point you made about the hospitality and tourism students setting up group travel during academic breaks is exactly the kind of activity which would be beneficial for travel agencies, if they adopted the innovative partnership idea which we outlined in the blog. Furthermore, reviews and referrals from peers, would increase the likelihood that Millennial university students would then subsequently purchase travel products from that travel agency.

Thank you for the time you took to provide feedback for our blog article. In your opinion, which would be the best approach to making the celebrity endorsements not appear as if it is an unauthentic endorsement? As you mentioned in your feedback the risk is that potential Millennial customers may not feel the advertisement is genuine.

Alekho Mendoza says:

I really liked all five ideas! they seem great to me, I would value them in the same order in which they are published… the first one is very good and so on, the only thing I can add to contribute whith something else is that within the use of social networksit could be possible to organizate contests that with a prize of a modest value, could attract a wide audience…

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We appreciate your thoughts about our blog article Alekho. Thank you for your feedback and the strategy which you suggested. As you mentioned, partnering with social media networks to promote special contests with travel prizes, can be an attractive tactic for travel agencies to implement. Millennial travellers who may not have initially thought to use travel agencies, may be drawn to such contests if the tourism prizes are worthwhile. The customers would be more likely to continue using the travel agency’s service for subsequent travel plans, after they have the prize experience. In your opinion, which social media network would be the best platform for travel agencies to promote contests to win travel prizes?

Alekho Mendoza says:

I think Instagram and Facebook

5 great ways for travel agencies to attract Millennials says:

We agree that Instagram and Facebook would be important social media platforms for the promotion of contests. Once more, thank you for your feedback Alekho.

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