Lightning and mountains (courtesy Mike Lewinski on Flickr CC)

Lightning and mountains (courtesy Mike Lewinski on Flickr CC)

Friday Flash – an occasional series of short notes when you only have about 5 minutes and, hey, WE only have about 5 minutes. 😄

Let’s get real about Millennial travelers.

We’re in our 50’s and we are very glad that we are not Millennials, because we would be super-tired of hearing all of the ridiculous stereotypes about ourselves.

Let’s blow some of them up.

Millennials are Young Twenty-Somethings

Some are, but here in 2018, the older Millennials are 37.

Many are married with kids, and yes, they have money.

Millennials were born from 1981 to 1996 (we use Pew Research Center generational data.) This means that in 2018, they range from ages 22 to 37.

That is a big range of life experience.

It requires a range of destination marketing communications approaches, not “let’s throw in some random social media stuff for the young ‘uns.”

Baby Boomers Outnumber Everyone

Not for long.

It’s estimated that in 2019, Millennials will overtake Boomers as the largest adult population demographic in the U.S. (and sorry to be morbid, but Boomer numbers will continue to decrease.)

We’re certainly not saying that you should now ignore older generations in your tourism marketing, but please be realistic about your visitor ages and numbers.

Millennials are Picky & Spend All Their Time Online

Yes, this generation has spent many of their formative years online, on social media, and learning about all of their options in this world.

They can be selective and “picky” because they are used to a world that has reviews for almost everything; they can instantly find peer assessments of restaurants, museums, hotels, etc. without having to ask someone at a Visitors Center. The mobile device in their hand connects them to the world’s information plus word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.

You know what?

EVERY generation of traveler can do that today. We’re all carrying mobile devices. Billions of us are on social media, all expecting interaction and responsiveness from brands and organizations.

Yes, Millennials want immersive, special travel experiences that are personalized.

You know what?

EVERY generation of traveler would like special, tailored travel experiences!

That’s why we said that our one 2018 tourism trend is experiential marketing.

Summary – Millennials Aren’t the Future. They Are the Now.

There’s nothing magic about succeeding with any generation.

Deliver great experiences. Deliver great visitor, guest, and customer service. Make sure tourism partners understand that they need to be open when they say they’ll be open, with tidy storefronts and quality merchandise or services. Don’t settle for being mediocre in your destination’s food, downtown appearance, hotel rooms, or attractions.

Be ready to communicate effectively online, and know how to warmly welcome and interact with people on social media (we can teach you how if you need help.)

Do those things, and visitors of any age will enjoy themselves in your town.

What do you think? Let us know down in the comments …

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