We’ve been internally and externally discussing the rise of the demanding Independent Chinese traveller, the increase of the Millennial business traveller, how they reshape the travel industry and what millennials want and look for when they travel. So, we’ve started to gather more data around it and will share more of our insights in the coming months – you can also check out Chinese Travel Trends 2017.
Most trend reports focus on flights, accommodation and the need for WiFi. We’ve dug a little deeper. And gone beyond the wants from your accommodation. A clean Airbnb, a hotel with an easy check in process, express check out, no check in, no check out, and well, preferably, to have little conversation if any at all with the front desk or your Airbnb host. Platforms like Conichi have nailed that when it comes to hotels.
We asked some of our most frequent members who fit the title of Millennial Business Traveller from Shanghai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh and Melbourne two very simple questions:
1) What do you want as a traveller at your destination?
2) What are your needs when travelling for business? (*excluding hotels and flights).
5 common themes stood out. Here they are.
“Things to be easy. To be convenient, accessible. Things to just go my way”. Well, that’s one way of putting it. These responses came up time and time again. And really, when you think about it, it is that simple. We all just want our travels to be smooth. Easy. Everything; from packing, to leaving home, transit to the airport, baggage dragging around, airport check in, immigration, security checks, airport snacks and coffee, accessible WiFi, boarding the plane without tripping, seating on the plane without smelling your neighbours bad breath, air on the plane but not too cold, taking off smoothly, landing without feeling like we’re on rollercoaster, exiting the plane with ease, not losing our bags.
Blah. I’m exhausted and I’ve just walked out my airport destination. No wonder I want convenience.
The rise of convenience as a ‘trend’ amongst millennials is actually redefining the meaning. It now goes beyond the ‘state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty’ and is moving towards proceeding with something that has no difficulty at all. Consumerism for millennials now means ‘immediately fulfilling and even predicting their needs so the transaction itself will no longer be an event, but more part of a seamlessly integrated experience in ones lifestyle’.
When travelling for business, people simply don’t have time to “hit the pavement” to find a professional service they may need. We just want things now, to our liking. Access, to easy, on-demand services is now a given.
It’s not surprising given how crazy our society is for every fitness fad possible at the moment that fitness is high on the millennial traveler agenda. In Shanghai (where chozun’s HQ is), there’s a couple of new fitness studios opening weekly. Crossfit, yoga, barre, boxing, raw eating, fitness as a lifestyle. You name it.
We’re part of a society that is so conscious these days of looking and feeling good – particularly millennials.
98% of our millennials we asked mentioned exercise as a core part of what they look for when travelling; whether they are on the road for work, leisure or (dare I say it), “bleisure”.
Millennial travellers look to maintain the same fitness regime they have back home, when they are on the go. Whether it’s through a personal trainer, sneaking in the odd class here and there or finding the perfect studio or instructor to keep up their Yoga, Pilates training. Millennials want to maintain their hot bods – and expect to be able to do that. Being able to access training in their native language or English is also a common want.
How many times can one see Big Ben, the Shanghai Tower, Flinders Street Station, Colosseum. Us millennials spend a day or three site seeing, and, we’re done. Give us something new and cool to explore.
We want to explore a city/ country’s true culture and have authentic local experiences. “I want to sit in the kitchen of an old Chinese grandmas, watch her cook and listen to her life”, said one of our participants from the UK.
Millennials want to travel and explore new underground places. Eat where the locals eat. See a locals house. There’s this great initiative in Shanghai currently, Citizens of Shanghai – it gives us all insights into people who helped shape the history and rich culture of China.
There are so many players now getting into this space, particularly with the release of Airbnb’s new feature, to provide a local experience. But are we, as millennials still truly getting a local experience, yet?
“Give me somewhere cool, exciting, surprise me. Tell me where to go, so I don’t have to trawl. But I better like it.”
With the want for local ‘culture’, also comes the want for food – local food. Good local food. Oh, and it needs to cater to all dietary requirements. We still don’t know quite where to look for the foods we want that will really cater to our gluten intolerances, our celiac diet, our veganism in the South of China, do we?
Even with the likes of Uber, Lyft, Didi and all the other ride-share platforms globally plus local taxis; transport still comes up as a need for millennials when they travel, particularly for business. 87% of our millennials surveyed simply just want a private car service, accessible, just for them. A knowledgeable driver. To pick them up, drop them off safely, and privately. And perhaps someone that can take them somewhere hidden and tell a story about the city. Millennials want their name on a piece of paper, with their driver waiting for them at the airport. Simple. Easy.
On the contrary of that, millennials do know how to “slum it”. And by slum it these days, we’re talking access to public transport around them, and generally, want to know how how best to get around.
“Jumping on a local train or tram to take me around a foreign city can lead me to my own local adventures. Except, I don’t want to get lost on the way to a meeting. If I have an extra hour or two in my day, it’s worth jumping on a local bus, seeing where it takes me.”
Phone calls. As an original Australian, we have one of the most expensive roaming plans. Instead of roaming, when you land, buy a SIM. You’ll end up going back there time and time again and it’s so worth it. For data. For calls. For drivers. For chozun.
Generally millennials, “just want my technology to work” when they travel. Nothing worse than the wheel of death when you’re away.
Oh, and whilst we speak of tech working – millennials want access to adapters, universally. Most hotels nowadays have adapters. Airbnb’s and other home stays don’t necessarily.
“Wouldn’t it be great if someone handed you an adapter as soon as you stepped foot off the plane. And really, just a card to say, here, call this guy if your tech crashes when in KL.”
Ok we said there were 5. But there’s one more thing millennials want when travelling. Time. Millennials want time, particularly when travelling for work. Time to themselves. To regroup. Turn on some trash TV. Have a bath. Get a massage. See the destination they’re in. Recharge the brain.
And that’s fair. Most millennials are time poor, particularly when we travel.
So to keep millennials satisfied, companies in the travel industry have to work harder than ever before provide access to conveniences that will keep them satisfied. chozun partners with hotels, serviced apartments, airlines as well as corporates to help them meet these needs. Contact us if you would like to discuss a partnership.
We’ll leave you some amusing responses and unique insights into how these travellers think:
And lastly, from one current millennial to the ‘millennial on steroids’;
“To be able to ignore the self taking selfie culprits, and to have a super power that can snap selfie sticks in half. No matter how busy I am, or how many times I am running for a final call to get on that flight, I still catch them out the corner of my damn eye.”
Safe travels, fellow millennials.