Generation Y, or millennials, (those born in 1980s and 1990s) are leading a change in the way we holiday or spend our leisure time, which is fuelled by the sharing of experiences on social media platforms such as Instagram, writes Natalie Gudger.
Photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram are really having a defining effect on the type of content we share. Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users who have shared over 40 billion photos to date – that’s around 95 million photos and videos per day. #snaphappy
Instagram is without a doubt driving a boom for holidays where travellers can ‘access the inaccessible’. It’s said with no new destinations to discover by 2030, travellers will seek out spots that enable them to impress their followers in other ways. Destinations that challenge expectations, were previously perceived as ‘risky’ and/or are very hard to access will be in demand. Extreme activities will also be more popular for the same reason, with travellers spending more on specialist guides and excursions to help them find hidden gems.
A recent report from Eventbrite revealed that younger generations are also seeking more experience-led leisure pursuits, than material goods – which in turn, is having an effect on the way they spend their pennies.
For past generations, owning a first car was a rite of passage and buying a first home signalled achievement. These life milestones were once important factors for identity-creation, but for Generation Y they see real value being derived from experiencing, not possessing.
Eventbrite found that more than three-quarters would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable. The report also highlighted that 60% of millennials share their lives online, compared to only 17% of 65+ year olds and 45% of 35-44 year olds.
So, what does that mean for the future of the tourism industry?
Young travellers prioritise ‘experience’ and creating bespoke trips to maximise their leisure time and shareable online content, making them dubious of impersonal hotels and well-trodden tourist trails. However, you also have to consider the already well-travelled baby boomers who are less likely to compromise on comfort or experience as they grow older.
Operators in the future will therefore need to focus on tailoring their offer include unique and personalised experiences, be that for young single travellers or older couples, to continue to capture their custom.
As a Millennial, I’m all for seeking adventure off the beaten trail and generally my only question on check in, is: ‘what’s the wifi code?’ After all, what is travelling the world if you can’t find a way to share your experiences with others?
Follow me and my travels on Instagram: @Nathalie7890