L.E. Hotel’s recently conducted travel agent hospitality trends survey provided insight on Millennial traveler patterns and the coming 2016 travel industry projections. Among many of the findings, the survey revealed that Millennials are increasingly depending on travel agent services instead of handling the booking themselves.
In fact, 51.5% of respondents acknowledged a growth in Millennial clients. Of those that observed these increases, 60.6% have Millennials making up 10-25 percent of their new business for the past two years. Another 12% of those who saw an increase said Millenials account for 26-50 percent of their new clients. While the remaining 18% said Millenials only make up less than 10% of new clients.
Millennial travel isn’t the only thing that travel agents saw rising. The survey revealed a prediction of rising prices in 2016, due to the higher demand for hotel rooms. Most likely destinations to see a flood of travelers were the ever popular Italy, Australia and France. However, countries such Cuba, China and Croatia are emerging travel destinations.
When it comes to amenities provided, travelers are most concerned with customer service, followed by free Wi-Fi. Next in the line for traveler priorities were food and beverage, early check in/ late check out, a loyalty program and a spa/fitness center bringing us to the bottom of the list. Travelers are also seeking out authentic, unique experiences and higher level of personalized service. This was the prime reason as to why travelers prefer a boutique hotel to corporate brands like a Hilton or Sheraton.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, 60% of respondents saw an increase in bookings over the past year. While 36% saw bookings stay the same, the remaining 3.9% saw a decrease.
While a strong majority of travel agents found an increase in bookings, they were more split on the use of social media for destination and hotel discoveries. A small majority of 53% percent said social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram would not influence a suggestion to their clients.