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How to make LGBT Travel Matter to Millennials


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Millennials are shaking up technology, politics and society around the world, and are joining the global workforce in ever greater numbers. However their attitudes have been strongly defined by the times in which they grew up. This includes the era of great advancements in equal rights for LGBT people, which Millennials have both witnessed and benefitted from. As a result, this generation is increasingly flexible and open-minded in its attitudes towards sexuality, calling into question whether LGBT-specific travel products and experiences will be so relevant in the future.

In this presentation, given at the 2016 IGLTA Annual Global Convention in Cape Town, South Africa I discuss all these issues and give recommendations on how to upgrade LGBT product development and marketing for the Millennial generation.

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How to make LGBT Travel Matter to Millennials

  1. 1. Peter Jordan Founder, Gen C Traveller Senior Tourism Analyst, Toposophy How to Make LGBT Travel Matter to Millennials IGLTA Annual Global Convention, Saturday 16 April 2016, Belmond Hotel, Cape Town@GenCTraveller
  2. 2. @GenCTraveller • Specialist in Millennial traveller trends • Strategic advisor on understanding and engaging with Millennials • Author of industry-leading reports on Millennials, the emerging markets, the sharing economy and LGBT travel • Consultant to the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and IGLTA • Lead tourism industry research section at Toposophy Peter Jordan Founder: Senior Tourism Analyst
  3. 3. Research that asks “Where Next?” @GenCTraveller
  4. 4. @GenCTraveller How to Make LGBT Travel Matter to Millennials
  5. 5. @GenCTraveller Who are Millennials?
  6. 6. @GenCTraveller
  7. 7. @GenCTravelle r
  8. 8. Who are Millennials? 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 Born during this period Enters teenage years – becomes an independent consumer, post-2000 Gen X Baby- boome rs Gen Z @GenCTravell
  9. 9. @GenCTravelle r “But they don’t spend much”
  10. 10. • Millennials have are driving technological, political and social change, globally • Within 10 years they’ll make up 75% of the global workforce • They are driving growth now from the emerging markets • Think Millennials are all
  11. 11. @GenCTravell Not all Millennials are the same
  12. 12. @GenCTraveller The same, but different SCHOOL LEAVER / APPRENTICE YOUNG PROFESSIONAL / STUDENT / ‘NEET’ PARENT / PARTNERED / MARRIED / SINGLE 16-18 , 18-20, 20-22, 22-24, 24-26, 26-28, 28-30, 30-32, 32-34
  13. 13. @GenCTraveller The same, but different Millennials are defined by the times in which they grew up: world events, the economy and social dynamics. Experiences of these differ around the world. Gen Y Gen Z
  14. 14. @GenCTravell Mature market Millennials • High youth unemployment • Unstable career paths • Rising cost of higher education • Unstructured work • Wage stagnation • Lack of affordable housing • Lower income than parents • Entering highly competitive jobs market • Stressed and lonely
  15. 15. • # YOLO Mentality • Understand need for self-reliance • Serious about skills • Less interested in acquiring material things. More about experiences • Selective spending
  16. 16. @GenCTraveller@GenCTraveller Emerging market Millennials • Benefitted from economic boom, rising education and improved gender equality • Upwardly mobile & ambitious
  17. 17. @GenCTraveller Millennials are: • Hyper connected • Globally aware • Fast paced • Open to new concepts • More realistic • Looking to get ahead • Seeking advice and reassurance • Craving offline interaction • They just want to be happy @GenCTraveller
  18. 18. So, how do Millennials travel? 5 defining characteristics @GenCTraveller
  19. 19. 1 The obvious one… CONNECTIVITY @GenCTraveller
  20. 20. This is the generation that grew up with: • ‘Internet everywhere’ (3G, Wi-Fi) • E-Commerce (Amazon, eBay, Google) • Mobile devices • Social media • E-travel (leading in reviews, metasearch, last minute booking, group deals) • …All helping to create the effect of advertising travel as part of a ‘personal brand’
  21. 21. 2 Right here, right now… CRAVING INTERACTION @GenCTraveller
  22. 22. ONLINE Comfortable with interacting with friends, relatives, colleagues and, umm, ‘acquaintances’
  23. 23. @GenCTraveller OFFLINE • Keen to meet the locals • Appreciate ‘fireside’ moments • Seeking authentic experiences & local ‘insider’ knowledge • Creates an opportunity to develop soft skills ‘The Mix’, by Marriott’s The Residence
  24. 24. 3 HAPPY TO SHARE @GenCTraveller
  25. 25. @GenCTraveller DRIVING THE SHARING ECONOMY • Prizes access over ownership • Pushing demand and supply • Confident smartphone entrepreneurs • Comfortable with the concept, driven by trust and reviews
  26. 26. 4 The essential ingredient to every trip… AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES @GenCTraveller
  27. 27. AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES • In a globalised world, they are the key to discovering the true character of a destination • Travel is a vehicle for indulging your personal passion FOOD / DRINK / FASHION / DESIGN / ART / CRAFTS / WILDLIFE / ARCHITECTURE / LANSCAPES / LANGUAGE / MUSIC / DANCE / SPORTS / WELLBEING / FESTIVALS / RELIGION / URBAN CULTURE / PEOPLE
  28. 28. ‘Stepping Out of the Crowd: Where the Next Generation of Asian Travellers is Heading’ @GenCTraveller Travel attitudes survey of >1000 Millennials from 13 outbound markets in Asia
  29. 29. @GenCTravellerStay with local people (homestay) Feel safer than in the city Practice the local language See a specific religious site Eat modern food/drink Meet local people Experience city-city transport (e.g. high speed train) Attend a specific event (concert, festival) Feel calmer than in the city Stay in unique accommodation Do an adventure sport Experience local transport (e.g. local subway, bus) See famous places from TV/movie Do walking/hiking Visit specific town or village I’ve heard about Try traditional/unique drink Experience the lifestyle of the local people See specific historic or cultural sites See the coastline/beach Try traditional/unique foods Visit family or friends See beautiful landscapes 14% 16% 16% 18% 18% 20% 20% 21% 25% 28% 29% 29% 30% 32% 33% 35% 35% 43% 51% 51% 52% 74% What motivated you to take a trip out of the city?
  30. 30. 5 Budget + luxury = SELECTIVE SPENDING @GenCTraveller
  31. 31. “Millennials are spending their money in a curated way that sends a message about themselves and their own brand” Josh Wyatt Chief Strategy Officer, Generator Hostels (Skift, 2016) • The internet makes it possible • Conspicuous consumption isn’t fashionable. Being a savvy spender is! • Where does your product
  32. 32. @GenCTraveller Putting Your Place on the Millennial Map (and Staying There) • INSIGHTS • INSPIRATION • PRACTICAL ADVICE Free download:
  33. 33. Despite our youth, us Millennials have witnessed and benefitted from great advancements in rights for LGBT people @GenCTraveller
  34. 34. Equal marriage @GenCTraveller Anti-discrimination laws Improved education in schools Increased visibility & awareness Celebrity coming-outs Popularisation of pride events In our time…
  35. 35. Lesbian @GenCTraveller Asexual Bisexual 12 shades of gay… Pansexual Demisexual HomoflexibleHeteroflexible Queer Gay Sapiosexual Questioning Straight
  36. 36. @GenCTraveller “Homosexuality should be accepted by society” 0 20 40 60 80 100 United States Canada United Kingdom Spain South Korea Brazil Mexico China Indonesia 18-29 30-49 50+ Source: “The Global Divide on Homosexuality,, 4 June 2013
  37. 37. Will established LGBT destinations remain attractive to emerging market Millennials? To what extent will sexuality really define vacation choice? Is the LGBT travel industry keeping up with the pace of change in Millennial attitudes? What travel criteria will LGBT travellers always have?
  38. 38. The Answer… INNOVATION & PERSONALISATION @GenCTraveller
  39. 39. INNOVATION IN PRODUCT DESIGN AND EXPERIENCES OFFERED • LGBT Millennials are more adventurous and have greater accessibility to travel • They increasingly seek to go ‘off the beaten track’ like everyone else
  40. 40. • Craving offline experiences and a chance to widen their network • Want to acquire soft skills and find ways to improve themselves (fitness, good food, life skills…) • Appreciate opportunities to ‘meet the locals’ in an offline environment @GenCTraveller
  41. 41. PERSONALISATION IN MARKETING & CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT • How’s your digital strategy in general? • Where do you sit on the path to purchase? • In your marketing, are you reflecting the true
  42. 42. OVER TO YOU @GenCTraveller
  43. 43. Will established LGBT destinations remain attractive to emerging market Millennials? To what extent will sexuality really define vacation choice? Is the LGBT travel industry keeping up with the pace of change in Millennial attitudes? What travel criteria will LGBT travellers always have?
  44. 44. • What do you find most difficult about reaching the Millennial market? • In what ways do you think geo-location based apps (Grindr, Scruff, Tinder…) have changed the way gay men and women travel? • Which of the pressing issues facing gay men and women is the LGBT travel industry best placed to address? How might you go about it? • What kind of opportunities does the diversification of LGBT ‘tribes’ present for the travel industry?
  45. 45. NICE TO MEET YOU! Peter Jordan Find me at: @GenCTraveller