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Millennials “take more holidays and use more agents”

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Cruise line sales chief tells agents to grab younger generation
Travel agents must remember to keep innovating and should be focused on the millennial generation – those who reached adulthood around the year 2000. That was the message at a recent cruise convention from Celebrity Cruises’ vice president for sales.
In a speech that won her several applauses, Dondra Ritzenthaler urged agents at the Clia Cruise Convention in Southampton to remember that Millennials were set to outnumber baby boomers in 2015, and had around $226 million to spend.
“Everyone needs to be marketing to Millennials, even if you’re not trying to get them. They use travel agents more than everyone else – you wouldn’t intuitively think that.”
The Millennial generation are also keen to take more holidays, she said. Those aged 18-30 take a break on average 4.2 times a year, compared with 3.2 times for those aged 30-45 and 2.9 times a year for 46-65 year-olds.
Ritzenthaler also told agents to focus on more than price, because the millennial generation demands more than this.
“These Millennials are only using travel agents that they believe in – they want experts that they can trust. You have to be the expert. Just saying the price doesn’t make you the expert. [This generation] is more adventurous and they want an expert.”
This is why agents cannot afford to ignore the internet. “[Millennials] use the web to find travel agents more than any other way. The web first, word of mouth second. Everyone should be using tools like Vine.
“Who you know has become even more important to this generation,” she added. “You could be tagged in someone’s Facebook post [about their holiday] – 83% of Millennials make decisions based on other people’s recommendations.”
Ritzenthaler told delegates they should also dismiss any fears of failure when trying something new. “It’s OK to try something and have it not be perfect. Failure is an option,” she stressed. “You have to innovate, you have to stand out. You can’t be like everyone else. You have to be the green apple amongst all the red. And if you’re still doing business the way you were several years ago, then you could become a rotten apple.”
TTG Digital
[pictured: Kayaking in Långeskär, Bohuslän, Sweden; photo by Henrik Trygg /imagebank.sweden.se]

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