MILLENNIALS represent more than 45 per cent of Asia Pacific’s population, and with 60 per cent of the world’s millennials expected to live in Asia by 2020, according to the latest survey by Amadeus.

According to the survey it’s a group that no one can afford to ignore. What does it take to win their hearts, minds and wallets?

Amadeus shines a light on what 18 – 35 year olds in APAC want when it comes to travel.

Journey of Me Insights: What Asia Pacific Millennial Travelers Want is the latest in a series of Journey of Me reports that Amadeus first launched in August 2017. Conducted in collaboration with YouGov across 14 markets in Asia Pacific, the research surveyed 6,870 respondents, 45 per cent of whom were millennials at the time the data was collected.

More so than the generations that have come before them, millennials are embracing new technology, experiences, and ways of traveling. 42 per cent of millennials say they often use ride-sharing apps when they travel, and 35 per cent frequently use sharing economy services for trip accommodation.

They are also overall more open to new technologies that enrich their experiences. For example, 77 per cent of Thai millennials show interest in augmented reality apps that delivers digital overlays containing interactive information about the culture or history of the site, compared to 67 per cent regionally.

Targeting millennials’ desire for new experiences is a golden opportunity for travel providers. In fact, the research found that after recommendations that help them save money (37 per cent), millennials are most interested in recommendations that expose them to new experiences (27 per cent).

They are also open to travel providers sending them these recommendations or updates through alternative platforms. While APAC millennials prefer to be contacted by email, 45 per cent of Thai millennials actually prefer to be contacted via social media.

Karun Budhraja, Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Asia Pacific, Amadeus said, “The Millennial generation is indeed an extremely interesting generation. They grew up with the Internet and technology is second skin to them. They have an openness to new experiences and a willingness to rattle the status quo. They want different experiences in travel, so the industry must serve them differently. Travel providers will need to adopt new technology, new strategies, and above all, new mindsets if they want to secure millennial mind and market share.

By understanding what drives Asia Pacific millennials and what they value when they travel, businesses will be better placed to meet their needs.”

“While millennials may still look to influencers to curate trends, ideas and inspiration, I believe they are also becoming more sophisticated in how they evaluate them. With so many influencers becoming brands unto themselves, some of the authenticity that made them so appealing in the first place starts to get lost. ‘Real’ is more important than ‘perfect’, and that is an important lesson for the industry to understand,” added Budhraja.

The research shows that Thai millennials are less likely to avoid visiting a destination that has extreme weather, a recent terror attack, or safety or security issues like a spike in crime. While 71 per cent of Thai baby boomers would avoid a destination which has had a recent terror attack, only 61 per cent of millennials say the same.

However, the research also finds that millennials are less open than older travelers to sharing their personal information with travel providers, in return for more relevant offers or personalised services.

73 per cent of Thai Generation X travellers say they are somewhat open to sharing their information, compared to 65 per cent of Thai millennials. This caution may be due to millennials being tech-savvy digital natives, and therefore more likely to be aware of security and privacy issues.