More than a for mofe scapism, travel has become somewhat of a rite of passage these da ys. The value of the journey lies not with the destination, but in creating stories and collecting experiences. For the millen nials, glitzy and world-famous destinations have made way for obscure and of f-the beaten track journeys.
According to a United Nations report published last year, 200,000 million millennial tourists generated more than US$180 billion in annual tourism revenue – an increase of almost 30 per cent since 2007. Unlike generations before them, a ritzy hotel and an all you can eat champagne breakfast just doesn’t cut it anymore. Millennials want to sit on plastic stools and tuck into piping hot bowls of pho with traffic bustling away on the side; they want to drink small-batch craft beer from an obscure back-alley brewery in Yangon and get their feet dirty trekking up mountains in Sri Lanka. It’s all about the experience.
TRAVELLING IN TRIBES
Millennials with means are constantly seeking out collective experiences in their “tribes”, usually comprising large groups of friends and/or family. Luxurious and spacious accommodation with both indoor and outdoor facilities that can house a large number of people is all the buzz. This group may not be as receptive to short-term lodging and vacation rental sites like Airbnb or Vaystays, choosing instead to bunk at luxury villas or well-appointed serviced apartments.
Fomo, an acronym for “fear of missing out”, means wealthy millennials are constantly seeking out novel experiences. This could be a trip to Cuba before gentrification sets in, or a visit to North Korea before ties get more strained than they already are. The idea here is to diverge from the norm, to travel to destinations where people wouldn’t normally go. The more exotic and obscure, the better.
AUTHENTICITY IS KEY
Not one to follow a fixed itinerary put together by a tour operator, millennials value the ability to pick and choose their own experiences according to individual interests. They’re big on online research and gathering information from forums, but they also want to hear voices on the ground, so having a local go-to person is key – a fixer or a local student guide of the same generation who might be able to show them a good time around town, without the tou risty gimmicks.
01 OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Novel experiences such as a trip to Cuba trump glitzy destinations.
02 LUXE ABODE
Luxury villas or well-appointed serviced apartments are the accommodation of choice for wealthy millennials.