The New Digital Travelers Have Landed: Meet the Millennials

Updated on February 21, 2019

Today’s digitally savvy travelers are using technology like never before. In the Asia-Pacific region, online travel has grown by a whopping 21 percent every year from 2011 to 2016, and it’s poised to grow by 13 percent per year from now until 2020. So if you’re a travel advertiser in APAC, how can you take advantage of the biggest opportunities in the region? Start by getting to know the newest generation of frequent travelers. Here’s a sneak peak at insights from our recent travel report, which unpacks insights on this influential demographic — millennials.

What are millennials like?

Understanding who they are, what factors are influencing their choices, and which devices they’re using to search and book is key to capturing their business — now and in the future. Let’s start by getting familiar with some top characteristics. Millennials are:

  • Currently the largest global generation, at 2.5 billion worldwide
  • Early- to mid-career professionals, from 20-36 years old
  • Heavy tech users, owning an average of 4-5 devices
  • Social media enthusiasts active across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, and WeChat
  • Regular globetrotters, traveling about 5 times a year

How are they searching for and booking travel?

Across all markets, Asian millennials are heavy smartphone users, and mobile continues to show promising growth. Here’s how else these savvy digital jetsetters are using tech to plan and pay for travel:

  • In Indonesia, India, China, and Taiwan, millennials are leading the steady rise in both mobile browsing and booking.
  • In Australia, smartphones are preferred for browsing but not for booking.
  • In Singapore and Vietnam, millennials prefer using laptops for both browsing and booking.
  • In Japan and South Korea, smartphones are slightly more preferred than laptops for browsing, however, both devices are used equally for booking.

Are they really using travel apps?

Yes, oui, sí! No matter where they are in the world, millennials are using apps more than ever to optimize their mobile-first lifestyles. And for travel, smartphone apps are used for both browsing and booking, before as well as during travel. A few more trends to watch:

  • 37% of our respondents most often use smartphone apps or browsers for booking travel
  • Over 30% of respondents use apps as their go-to platform for booking in-destination activities like dining out, sightseeing excursions, theme parks, and ticketed events — beating smartphone browsers, tablets, and laptops.
  • In less digitally developed countries like Indonesia, India, and China (where connectivity tends to be patchy) travelers have leapfrogged directly into some of the highest app usage in the region. In more established markets, including Singapore, Australia, and Japan, look for advertisers to enhance in-app features and usability to drive more conversions in the future.

For more details and intel on what’s happening in the new age of digitally savvy travelers, check out our latest report here.

*Based on an online consumer survey sponsored by Criteo in partnership with Euromonitor International that was conducted in February 2017 among 1,900 travelers in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam who search or book for travel products online.

Michelle Pruett

As Global Head of Content at Criteo, Michelle leads a high-performing, multi-disciplinary team of marketers packaging insights, copy, design, and video into integrated campaigns. Her own writing has been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, AdWeek, eMarketer, and more. Before joining the ...

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