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Young & rich: how affluent millennials travel

And what agents should be finding them

It’s no secret millennials love to travel. But a new study has revealed the extent to which cashed up millennials travel more than the average young traveller, as well as how they travel differently.


Presented by the BBC at London’s World Travel Market, the 2017 Affluent Millennials Travel Study polled 2,000 young adults (aged between 16-34) across eight countries, including Australia. It defined affluent millennials as those in the top 25% by household income in a given market.



According to the study, two in three (66%) affluent Gen-Yers have travelled internationally in the past twelve months compared to just two in ten (42%) non-affluent travellers, with one in five (20%) travelling abroad for leisure every six months.


Looking ahead, even more millennials (70%) said they were planning to travel in the year ahead (compared to 45.5% of non-affluents).  


The study also shows the types of experiences wealthier millennials are seeking, with the top three experiences tied up with 1) shopping outlets and brands, 2) authentic cultural experiences, and 3) physical activity and adventure.


By contrast, the less well off travellers looked for 1) history and heritage, 2) unique and unforgettable experiences, and 3) peace, tranquility and relaxation.


Definitions of experiences differ too.


Whilst more affluent travellers may consider a chef’s table at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant an authentic London experience, a non-affluent millennial may look at an authentic local experience as fish and chips at an iconic fish and chip shop.


Cashed-up Gen-Yers are also able to go off the beaten track to seek adventure and activities, thanks to greater budgets.


According to the study, affluent travellers are 92% more likely than non-affluents to book a premium hotel, while they are also heavy users of ‘checking in’ to venues on social media as a way of passively signaling achievement, lifestyle and status.


Additionally, affluent millennials are deemed to be highly responsive to advertising, and much more likely to respond to travel advertising than non-affluents. 


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 10 November 2017

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