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Millennial Travelers - US - April 2016

"Based on their travel behaviors and attitudes, Millennials are emerging as one of the most valuable population segments for the growing US travel industry. Mintel’s consumer research data indicates that not only are they leading in leisure travel and business travel spending, but they are also blurring the lines between leisure and business travel."

Rupa Ghosh, Analyst - Leisure & Travel

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Millennials are emerging as the most important travelers
  • Millennials want to splurge
  • Millennials most interested in sharing economy
  • Increase in travel booking competitiveness for foreign markets

While the tech-savvy, trendy Millennials draw travel inspiration from a variety of sources, many have families of their own and as they want their kids to have fond family vacation memories, they also reflect some traditional American values and look for travel experiences that will appeal to children – as well as satisfy their desires for authentic travel experiences.

The purpose of this Report is to identify Millennials’ travel attitudes and behaviors, and to better understand which factors inspire and influence them.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Millennials are emerging as the most important travelers
              • Figure 1: Travel types and attitude, by generation, February 2016
            • Millennials want to splurge
              • Figure 2: Splurging categories, by generations, February 2016
            • Millennials most interested in sharing economy
              • Increase in travel booking competitiveness for foreign markets
                • The opportunities
                  • Millennial families with children and key consumers
                    • Socioeconomic diversity and attitudinal preferences for marketing to Millennials
                      • Destinations and activities are key components for marketing travel to Millennials
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Travel market stable and growing, Millennials becoming greatest contributors
                            • Factors point positive for Millennial travelers in 2016
                              • Older Millennials leading the way in travel
                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • Figure 3: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of vacations and tourism, at current prices, 2010-20
                                  • Figure 4: Total US value sales of vacations and tourism, at current prices, 2010-20
                              • Millennial Snapshot

                                • Millennials account for one quarter of the US population
                                  • Figure 5: US population, by generation share, 2016
                                  • Figure 6: Projected US population, by generation share, 2016 and 2021
                                  • Figure 7: Distribution of Millennials by race and Hispanic origin, 2016
                                • Millennials gaining financial stability
                                  • Figure 8: Median household income, by age of householder, 2014
                                • Married older Millennials are important players for the US travel market
                                  • Figure 9: Marital status, by age/generation, 2016
                              • Market Factors

                                • Declining gas prices points to increased leisure travel
                                  • Figure 10: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-December 2015
                                • Shorter, more frequent vacations appear to be picking up
                                  • Strong dollar may prompt US travelers to go abroad
                                    • Figure 11: One Euro to one US dollar exchange rate, weekly, not seasonally adjusted, March 2011-16
                                    • Figure 12: Foreign travel in the past 12 months, by generation, February 2016
                                  • More Americans willing to spend – Particularly Millennials
                                    • Figure 13: Perceived change in spend on vacations, January 2013-16
                                  • Millennials soon to lead average trip spending
                                    • Figure 14: Average trip spending, by age, 2013
                                  • Households with children are a key demographic
                                    • Figure 15: Households with own children, by generation of householder, 2013
                                    • Figure 16: Vacation in the last 12 months and two or more vacations, by parent status, March 2014
                                • Market Perspective

                                  • Travel is an important personal goal for Millennials
                                    • Figure 17: Personal goals, December 2014
                                  • Travelers are motivated by experiences and look to de-stress
                                    • Figure 18: Attitudes toward vacation – March 2014
                                  • Kids have a strong influence on vacation decisions
                                    • Figure 19: Kids’ role in vacation decisions, kids’ influence on vacation decisions, November 2012-December 2013, February 2014
                                  • Quality is the cornerstone to loyalty
                                    • Figure 20: Aspects of favorite brands according to Millennials, December 2014
                                    • Figure 21: Millennials’ interactions with companies and brands, December 2014
                                • Millennial Market Drivers

                                  • Older Millennials driving the market
                                    • Older Millennials travel for business and take foreign vacations
                                      • Figure 22: Travel in the last 12 months – Type and destination, by older and younger Millennials, February 2016
                                    • Older Millennials are more likely employed, have higher earnings, families
                                      • Figure 23: Employment status, household income, parent status, by older and younger Millennials, February 2016
                                    • Millennials with families are a key segment for leisure travel
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Millennials are inspired by and lead trends in multiple travel categories
                                        • Activities on vacations key component of travel “experiences”
                                          • Short domestic vacations more popular among Millennials
                                            • Family travel opportunities for Millennials
                                            • What’s Working?

                                              • Visual imagery inspires travels
                                                • Social media influences Millennial travels
                                                  • Millennials and off-peak travel
                                                    • Balancing the message, delivery tools, and considering all angles
                                                      • Personalizing the experiences
                                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                                        • Establishing brand loyalty among Millennials
                                                          • Figure 24: Tru by Hilton Fly Through, January 2016
                                                          • Figure 25: Welcome #AtTheMoxy, July 2015
                                                        • Can the tech-savvy Millennials truly disconnect?
                                                          • Hesitant to take time off, Millennials work while on vacation
                                                            • Figure 26: Work while on vacation – By season, by generation, March 2014
                                                        • What’s Next?

                                                          • Solo travel trend taking off
                                                            • Subscription-based travel set to grow
                                                              • Curated travel
                                                                • Food tourism – What’s in a name?
                                                                  • Figure 27: Toledo, Spain “Capital Española de la Gastronomía,” 2016
                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Millennials don’t always know where to go
                                                                  • Domestic travel most preferred, but desire to travel abroad exists
                                                                    • High income, urban Millennials key targets for vacations
                                                                      • Travel is the glue that holds Millennial families together
                                                                        • Splurging means different things to Millennials with children versus those without
                                                                        • Leisure Travel in the Last 12 Months

                                                                            • Short domestic vacations most popular among Millennials
                                                                                • Figure 28: Leisure travel in the last 12 months – Nets, Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                • Figure 29: Leisure travel in the last 12 months – Duration/destination, Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                              • Affluent, urban Millennials aged 25-39 most likely to travel
                                                                                • What motivates Millennials to travel?
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Millennials’ domestic and foreign leisure travel in the last 12 months, by age, household income, and area, February 2016
                                                                                • Millennial families key contributors to leisure travel
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Millennials’ leisure travel in the last 12 months – Duration/destination, by gender and parent status, February 2016
                                                                                  • Race and Hispanic origin impacts Millennials’ travel habits
                                                                                    • White Millennials more likely than Blacks to vacation in the US
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Millennials’ domestic leisure travel in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                    • Hispanic and other race Millennials travel internationally
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Millennials’ foreign leisure travel in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                    • Business Travel in the Last 12 Months

                                                                                        • Millennials are traveling for business
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Business travel in the last 12 months – Nets, Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                        • Older Millennials more advanced in their careers, traveling for business
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Millennials’ business travel in the last 12 months, by younger and older, February 2016
                                                                                      • Most Recent Vacation

                                                                                          • Similar to travel overall, most recent vacations are to US destinations
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Most recent leisure travel – Duration/destination, Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                          • One in five Millennial dads most recently vacationed out of the country
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Most recent leisure travel, by gender and parent status, February 2016
                                                                                          • Domestic vacations make financial sense
                                                                                            • Figure 38: Most recent leisure travel – Domestic, by household income, employment status and education, February 2016
                                                                                        • Type of Vacation Travel

                                                                                            • Millennials more likely to have traveled for all reasons evaluated
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Type of vacation travel in the past 12 months – Any, Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                              • Millennial parents experience a greater variety of vacation types
                                                                                                • Figure 40: Millennials’ type of vacation travel in the past 12 months – Any, by parent status, February 2016
                                                                                              • Hispanic Millennials more likely to enjoy cities, theme parks, cruises
                                                                                                • Figure 41: Millennials’ type of vacation travel in the past 12 months – Any – Select, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                            • Most Recent Vacation Planning Research

                                                                                                • Internet used most widely, Millennials also using other sources
                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Research for most recent vacation travel – Nets – Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                                • Millennials aren’t commitment shy – But they do seek validation from others
                                                                                                  • Mobile research lags – For now, traditional methods still relevant
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Millennials’ research for most recent vacation travel, February 2016
                                                                                                  • Affluent Millennials seek traditional vacation planning tools
                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Millennials’ research for most recent vacation travel, by household income, February 2016
                                                                                                  • Parents – Particularly dads – Using a variety of research methods
                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Millennials’ research for most recent vacation travel, by gender and parent status, February 2016
                                                                                                  • For some activities Millennials seek out traditional planning tools
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Research for most recent vacation travel, by most recent travel type, February 2016
                                                                                                • Splurging versus Saving

                                                                                                    • Good news: Millennials more likely to splurge in nearly every area
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Saving versus splurging on vacations – Splurge – Millennials indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                                      • Millennial men more likely than Millennial women to splurge on vacations
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Millennials splurging on vacations, by gender, February 2016
                                                                                                      • Parents more likely to splurge in all areas – Except for restaurants, meals
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Millennials splurging on vacations, by parent status, February 2016
                                                                                                    • Vacation Interests and Inspiration

                                                                                                        • Millennials seek immersive travel
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Vacation preferences and interests, by all, all vacationers, Millennials, Millennial vacationers, February 2016
                                                                                                          • Multigenerational trips have a stronger audience among Millennials
                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Millennials’ interest in multigenerational trips, by gender, parent status, gender, and parent status, February 2016
                                                                                                          • Hotel alternatives even more attractive to parents
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Millennials’ interest in lodging alternatives to hotels, by gender and parent status, February 2016
                                                                                                          • Millennials have varied travel inspirations
                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Vacation inspiration, by all, all vacationers, Millennials, Millennial vacationers, February 2016
                                                                                                            • Males, younger Millennials look for technology to inspire their travels
                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Millennials’ interest in technology for making vacation decision, by gender and age, February 2016
                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward Vacation

                                                                                                              • The more the better – Millennials on a quest for new experiences
                                                                                                                • Are Millennials addicted to travel?
                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Travel attitudes – Destinations, by all, all vacationers and Millennials, Millennial vacationers, February 2016
                                                                                                                • However, safety concerns may temper travel
                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Travel attitudes – Concerns, by all, all vacationers, Millennials, Millennial vacationers, February 2016
                                                                                                                • I travel, therefore I am: Millennials define their identity through travel
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Travel attitudes – Importance, by all, all vacationers, Millennials, Millennial vacationers, February 2016
                                                                                                                  • Millennials are budget conscious but willing to splurge
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Travel attitudes – Cost, by all, all vacationers, Millennials, Millennial vacationers, February 2016
                                                                                                                • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                                  • Overview
                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Millennial traveler segments, February 2016
                                                                                                                    • Spendy Experiential Travel Addicts (45%)
                                                                                                                      • Definition and demographics
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                            • Enthusiastic Invincible Travel Investors (27%)
                                                                                                                              • Definition and demographics
                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                    • Budget Conscious Contented Travelers (28%)
                                                                                                                                      • Definition and demographics
                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Attitudes toward vacation, by Millennial traveler segments, February 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                                                  • Terms
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Household income distribution, by age of householder, 2014

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                  Millennial Travelers - US - April 2016

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