Millennials and the rise in “ego travel”

Millennials are reshaping the travel industry with their desire to explore Instagram-friendly destinations rich in culture and escapism.

They take more foreign holidays than any other age group and are seemingly more consumed by collecting experiences than they are owning goods.

The challenge for a travel industry desperately trying to court this Millennial generation is that these holiday exploits need to be uploadable, with the priority for many tourists on finding locations that deliver the perfect photos.

Thomas Cook highlighted this rise in “ego travel” in its 2018 Holiday Report. It said that social media posts were a factor when choosing a hotel for over half (52%) of 18-24 years olds during the booking process.

“Cool pictures on Instagram”

These changing priorities were highlighted by Thomas Cook’s recent decision to discontinue its Club 18-30 package holiday brand beyond this summer. It is focusing instead on the launch of a new brand called Cook’s Club, which offers popular DJs and upmarket cocktails.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the brand was “aimed at attracting a different audience to Thomas Cook”, with clientele who “want to have fancy and cool pictures on Instagram”.

Some travel companies are now dedicated to selling trips based around the perfect holiday snaps. Others even have professional photographers on hand so holidaymakers can record their trips in the best possible fashion.

This also serves as an essential marketing tool for companies themselves as a reported 87% of Millennials look to social media for travel inspiration.

Millennial destinations

This quest for the perfect backdrop means Millennials are looking further afield and in different directions for their holidays.

For example, there’s been a significant uptick in interest in cruise holidays, with travel organisation ABTA reporting that one in ten holidaymakers between the ages of 18-24 were planning a cruise in 2018.

In terms of river cruising, that might mean visiting Instagram or Snapchat-worthy rivers such as the Danube, Rhine or Rhone. Many cruises now offer a “full on, activity packed, culturally enticing immersive travel experience”, with some sailings hosted by personalities from social media.