Millennials – Who they are & What Kind of Guests they are?

Patricia PetrinjakTourism Marketing
10 min read

The travel industry and tourism, in general, have been affected by the most significant disruption in decades.

And no, we are not talking about a pandemic. 🦠

No generation so far has expected such a high level of digitalization, modern design, quality amenities, and locally inspired experiences from the hospitality and travel industry. Millennials are guests who want to adapt their experiences to their own needs.

Who are the millennials? The future, literally.

A recent study by the Pew Research Institute considers people born between 1980 and 1996 to be millennial generation members.

Millennials grew up amid the rapid technology development and the Internet and became part of the workforce during the economic recession.

Several characteristics collectively affect members of this generation, which also affect different aspects of their travel expectations:

Demographically fastest-growing group

According to the Pew Research Institute, the highest projected number of millennials in the mid-2030s will be 81.1 million people, 79.2 million by 2050.

Millennials are the future and a vital force in shaping the present.

Ethnically more diverse than previous generations

Millennials in North America and other Western countries often speak more than one language, and 24.6% of them speak a language other than English.

For millennials, multiculturalism is the norm.

They love brands reflecting their values

The millennial generation wants to communicate with brands that reflect their values, identity, independence and creativity.

Millennial Expectations

Members of the millennial generation love contactless (mobile) payments and experiences before, during and after travel and holidays.

73% of millennials check the social networks of the selected accommodation before confirming the reservation, and 33% of them will change their mind if the chosen option is not present on social media.

Most millennials (97%) will share their travel experiences via social media.

90% of millennials use Facebook to find travel inspiration, and how much the offer is instagrammable is a crucial feature when choosing.

Giving priority to experiences, the expectations of millennials are completely different from previous generations.

The Unbreakable Link Between Online Presence and The FOMO Effect

According to statistics, 60% of millennials admit being inspired by other people’s travels and want a similar experience. It is the definition of the FOMO effect (Fear Of Missing Out – fear of missing / some activity, event, etc.).

While their smartphones are full of endless photos showing colleagues and friends attending various events and activities, millennials are concerned that someone somewhere has more fun than themselves.

FOMO embodies the anxiety of a generation that grew up in an age of social media.

Millennials love to share their experiences on social media. Publishing images, updating the status on several different channels is an activity of many members of this generation.

The FOMO effect promotes everything, and it works.

Activity on social networks, regular updating and publishing of content – in combination with the activities of such guests will pay off.

The Law Of Authenticity

Millennials appreciate authentic and unique experiences. They gather information about tradition, local specialties and specifics, and want to know everything.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Bring them closer to your roots.

By publishing blogs and regularly updating your website’s information, you can discover exciting things in one place. Use videos and photos to liven up the atmosphere and offerings, cultural sights and gastronomic specifics.

Everyone will like this, not just millennials. 😉

Rewards and Loyalty Programs

Millennials are less inclined to accept standard offers and choose accommodations that understand this.

Millennials don’t want to nourish a depersonalized marketing engine. So gone are the days of proposing the same kind of offers. Instead, they are in constant search of attractive packages and loyalty programs.

Scalable loyalty programs are a handy tool to attract this guest segment. Add happy hour discounts, free tickets, services and similar experiences that they will remember and for which they will return. In addition, you can easily create promotional codes with Rentlio and use them for special offers.

Show prices consistently and transparently, where you will need booking engine integration, as well as the possibility of booking from all social media profiles.

A direct sales channel has never been more reliable or desirable. By providing additional information and points of interest that millennials prefer, you will surely increase direct bookings. More about the combination of website and booking engine integration find here.

In return, millennials will share their experiences on social media and in reviews and help talk about you, which will allow you to reach even more potential guests.

Focus On Reviews

Millennials often check reviews.

That is why maintaining a positive online reputation is essential today. The more positive your reviews are and the more visible it is that you respond to them regularly, millennials are more likely to choose your apartment, hostel, hotel or campground.


The most significant way the millennial generation has already influenced the hospitality offer is the abolition of traditional hotel lobbies that now reflect the energy of new guests allowing for more interactions and a contactless experience at the same time. Therefore, the second segment is wellness.

A flexible understanding of traditional spaces (such as the lobbies above) of apartments, hostels, hotels and campsites, which are increasingly accessible to diverse lifestyles – such as working from home, exercising or similar activities is another relatively new expectation.

Millennials will appreciate it if any segment of the offer reconsiders the traditional accommodation and additional services framework.

Relaxed Business Trips

By traveling for business purposes, most millennials extend their stay to gain insight into the culture and destination where they reside.

Not only in this way – but business flexibility is also a feature of this generation. The digital nomads popularized by the pandemic are primarily members of the millennial generation.

Sustainability As a Priority

Assessing the impact of hotels, restaurants and activities on the environment is a priority for many millennials.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

It affects the way destinations and accommodation providers evaluate and promote their own business.

According to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020, 64% of millennials said they are taking action to reduce the use of disposable plastics; another 52% said they buy more organic, homemade food. In addition, the pandemic has impacted a stronger sense of individual responsibility in the context of climate change and sustainability.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said the pandemic had oriented them to the needs of others and that they intended to take actions that positively impact the lives of the entire community.

The installation of solar panels, automatic lighting and optimization and savings in the use of air conditioning and energy in general, together with the search for ways to reduce waste, are practical steps to use the sustainability of your business in promoting the offer.


Regardless of the quality of the experience, millennials will share their opinions and experiences through social media. This generation knows how marketing works better than anyone else. They expect the promises made through marketing channels and messages to be fulfilled and match the actual situation.

Asking questions and actively seeking feedback will strengthen your relationship with the guest. After the review, try to respond within a reasonable time frame.

You will have the opportunity to interact actively using social networks. Video content, live broadcasts, accommodation and destination information, surveys, offers and discounts will help you stand out.

They want you to be at their disposal whenever they need it, whether at the time of booking, check-in or something else. Connect FB Messenger to the Rentlio Booking Engine easily, and be available. 🙂

For those who want to know more 👇

Millennials are the last ever to remember what it was like to grow up without the Internet.

Because they are highly accessible and can recall times when this was not the norm – they are more sensitive to boundaries than some might assume.

And because of that, they almost collectively despise phone calls.

For millennials, phone calls seem invasive because they require an immediate response. While messages, emails, and DMs pile up, they at least have the option to choose a time to dedicate to replying. Keep this in mind when communicating with members of this generation.

If any information could have been a notification or an email, let it be.

Digital Wizards

Always advanced, millennials embrace anything that simplifies and speeds up everyday tasks:

Digital Payment

Millennials rely on card payments, online banking or payments in general.

Furthermore, digital payments offer benefits like collecting points, cash refunds, free tickets, and similar promotions that this generation loves.

Mobile Consumers

Mobile payments, mobile communication, mobile applications – these are all solutions based on a mobile device, which millennials love.

Whatever you do, make sure you consider this device.

Everything On-demand

The user experience is no more necessary to anyone than the hyper-connected millennial, with high expectations of versatile digital experiences before, during, and after a stay.

Unchanged Requirements

Despite all the specifics of the millennial generation, what remains unchanged is the desire to travel and stay without complications.

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

Millennials are not only changing the way they choose, but they are also changing expectations from hospitality and travel in general. The implementation of technological solutions, accommodation offer and loyalty programs are not the only segments, but they are the most comprehensive. These are the changes that have affected previous generations and paved the way for technologically even more innovative generations to come.

Let us remember how the millennial generation designed Airbnb, which had an immeasurable impact on tourism, further changing the traditional accommodation offer.

How millennials expect and depend on technological solutions for faster and better services forces the entire hospitality sector to invest and further enhances service.

This constant need to update and implement technology will help you protect your business from future changes and identify new opportunities promptly. Although 15 years ago, free Wi-Fi was considered a luxury for most, today it is expected – thanks to a generation of technologically intelligent travelers.

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Although she would love to read all day, Patricia enjoys writing for Rentlio. Constantly trying to adapt to the Dalmatian way of life, you can find her walking her two dogs and/or reading on most evenings 📚