A new survey conducted by Global Data suggests that once restrictions are lifted, younger and wealthier traveler groups will be the first to resume international leisure tourism.
The report showed that, even among the younger segments of today’s travelers, anxieties remain high—48 percent of Millennials (also known as Gen Y) and 35 percent of Gen Z are still very concerned about the risk of contracting Coronavirus.
Global Data says that social-media influencers, many of whom are drawn from these key demographics, will play a pivotal role in bringing back that confidence and contributing to the recovery of the tourism industry at large.
Pew Research Center mentions that Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living adult generation, making them key targets for consumer marketing efforts.
Travel & Tourism Analyst at Global Data, Johanna Bonhill-Smith, clears out that, “Social media traffic has dramatically increased as consumers have used this as a tool to escape rigorous lockdown restrictions. Certain changes are likely to become long-standing, as individuals will be more dependent on this to soothe anxieties, and influencers should be a key consideration in travel recovery strategies.”
The Likeliest Candidates are those Millennials who are willing to travel sooner and less risk-averse than both Gen X-ers and Boomers. This doesn’t seem too surprising, given that COVID-19 is assuming to be more likely to prove fatal in senior patients.
With the oldest Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) turning 39 this year, most of their generation is concerned less with the consequences of contracting the virus than, perhaps, their parents, who may have developed pre-existing conditions over time. And, as many Millennials have children of their own who’ve been out of school and homeschooled for several months, they might be among the most eager to get everyone out of the house and have a good time.
According to an American Express Travel Survey, the recent Memorial Day weekend produced a similar trend, which revealed that 48 percent of Millennials had traveled over the holiday weekend, while only 22 percent of Gen X-ers and 27 percent of Boomers reported doing the same.
“Amid the pandemic, consumer habits have changed and the importance of having an effective social media presence has been heightened. Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) should engage with influencers and operate across multi-channel platforms to ensure a stronger position for recovery” mentioned Bonhill-Smith.
This is so obvious that, with the youngest generation of current adults having grown up so plugged into internet streams and social-media channels these days, marketing methods across the board have been transforming from the traditional style, such as TV commercials or direct-ad campaigns, to indirect promotions via social-media influencers; whereby consumers perceive the messages as more authentic, organic or credible than transparent advertising.
Ranking highest on GlobalData’s for ‘Destination Influencer Dashboard’ are DMOs Visit Greece and Failte Ireland. They have utilized influencers in their destination marketing campaigns to captivate and connect with worldwide audiences in real-time, with posts and messages designed to inspire travelers with the little will to travel to take action.
Bonhill-Smith agrees that “DMOs should recognize the paramount power of an influencer to promote new activities, experiences or even to gain attraction within a new area and a new market.”
Pointing out Global Data’s reports, Twitter and YouTube have topped the list of widely-used platforms for travel promotions amid the pandemic, but fresher favorites like TikTok also hold marketing potential. For instance, VisitNorway’s #DreamNowVisitLater campaign has performed well on this platform, crafting a positive perception of the destination and raising the interest of younger generations.