Analyzing How Millennials Are Revolutionizing the Travel Industry

Category: Marketing Dilemmas



You don’t have to look around very long to see that the Internet has evolved in the past few years – so much in fact that as it has shaped the way we think and act. Wherever you are right now, stop and take a moment to look around. What do you see? Chances are you will see the people by your side, with their heads looking down at their phone, buying something, or performing another related action. They could be messaging their friend, researching something on Google, or simply checking their Facebook news feed. As the internet has shaped the actions of humans, it has also shaped the way businesses reach consumers. If humans are using their mobile devices for an extended part of the day, wouldn’t it make sense for businesses to showcase their products or services via mobile devices as well?

Going Mobile: Travel Industry Revolutionized by Mobile Consumers

One industry that has been revolutionized – thanks to the recent mobile revolution – is the travel industry. Reading printed brochures and sitting through long visits at the local travel agency have become obsolete as people begin to plan and book their trips via mobile devices. The new way to plan and book travel arrangements, are led by a young group of tech-savvy, avid travelers. Who are the men and women behind the mystery of the travel revolution?

It is the millennials; a group of people aged 25-34 who flock to travel websites via their smartphones and tablets. Travel companies have been taking advantage of the young, mobile-dependent travelers, seeing the group’s actions as a golden opportunity to grab their attention and turn them into loyal consumers by constructing targeted messages and relevant offers.


If travel companies want to make sure millennials are planning and booking through their websites or landing pages, they need to make sure their websites are set up to be mobile-friendly and make sure their ads are compelling enough to convert. This means that consumers can easily access their websites through their mobile device, and find the information they need right away. The main challenge travel companies and agents face is to be in front of the tech-savvy millennials when they are ready to book their travel arrangements. This means they need to be visible and accessible through mobile devices. Recent statistics show that 32% of millennials use a smartphone and 20% use a tablet to book their travel arrangements. Travel companies that are willing to embrace the millennials’ desires to use mobile devices to make travel arrangements will prove to be on the leading edge of the travel industry.


As the #1 online destination for hostels in both the U.S. and Europe, offers the most comprehensive selection of hostels and related accommodations. By providing consumers with over 35,000 properties to choose from, the company completes 600,000 bookings on an annual basis. It is clear that the company’s online search presence is powerful, however the issue they were experiencing was that their conversion rates remained critically low relative to the number of website visitors. To combat the issue, turned to the paid search specialists at NetElixir. The team put in a plan of action to immediately increase the amount of conversions.

A main part of the strategy was to tailor efforts toward mobile users to increase reach. Always on the leading edge of digital consumer trends, we understand that mobile search is now a big part in the way consumers (especially millennials) make decisions. Our own research shows that mobile shoppers convert 160% more often on sites optimized for smartphones.

As a result of tailoring efforts toward mobile users, experienced drastic drop in cost-per-booking once mobile users were provided with strategic ads customized for consumers who book their travel arrangements on-the-go. By implementing this mobile strategy, experienced a 39% increase in conversion rate and a 29% increase in bookings – all in the span of 4 months!


Before devising a strategy to target millennials – the largest group of people who go mobile when making travel arrangements – we must understand their habits. Here are some interesting facts regarding the habits of millennials – all which enforce the notion that travel companies should target mobile consumers (specifically millennials) and integrate mobile paid search into their PPC campaign:

  • As of 2014, one-third of U.S. travelers owned all three popular forms of mobile devices including a smartphone, tablet and laptop.
  • Smartphone penetration for U.S. leisure travelers has reached 75%
  • Millennials perform mobile transactions such as booking a flight or hotel rooms, last-minute – proving to be a sporadic generation!
  • Millennials represent more than 10% of U.S. online leisure travelers
  • Approximately 32% of millennials around the globe make business travel arrangements via their smartphone
  • Approximately 20% of millennials around the globe make business travel arrangements via their tablet
  • By 2025, it is expected that millennials will make up approximately 75% of the global workforce

The future of consumerism is in the hands of the millennial age group. This group of “digital natives” and innovators of technology are actively changing the way travel is arranged. Whether the reason for travel is for business or pleasure, arrangements are made easily and quickly, via mobile devices. Travel companies can be a part of the revolution by ensuring millennial consumers that their website is user-friendly and that structured, customized ads are visible on search engines.


Please join us on Today, October 21st at 2pm EDT for our next webinar in collaboration with PhoCusWright, based on understanding how digital consumer insights are shaping a travel revolution. Click here to register for this exclusive knowledge-sharing experience!


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