MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger

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MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
                                           The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits

                                           June 2018
Photo AdobeStock / Ekaterina Pokrovsky
MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
Global Blue                                      Roland Berger
                                                       Alexis Gardy
    Group communication & Editorial                    Senior Partner, Tourism & Leisure
      Domitille Pinta                                  Gaëlle de la Fosse
      Head of Group Communication                      Partner, Retail & Luxury
      Ella Collier                                     Sébastien Manceau
      AVP - Editorial                                  Principal, Retail & Tourism
      Alison Cerles                                    Carolyn Breitenstein
      Editorial and External Communication Officer     Senior Expert, Consumer Goods & Retail
      Pauline de Clermont Tonnerre                     Mame Sambou
      Corporate Communication Coordinator              Marketing & Communication Advisor
      Gwyneth Holland
      Contributing Editor                            Roland Berger
                                                     62-64 rue de Lisbonne
    Data                                             75008 Paris, France

      Mathieu Grac                           
      VP Intelligence Strategy                         @BergerParis

    Studio & Publishing
      Fabio Gervasoni
      Art Director
      Yuese Shi
      Senior Designer

    Global Blue SA
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MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
                                     THE NEW GLOBE SHOPPER

  Who is the Millennial?
                                       Millennials lead the way

  Interview with Sébastien Manceau
                                       City focus
  and Laurent Delmas

                                       New retail

  A new traveller                      22-23
                                       New connections

  A new offer
                                     THE NEW GLOBE EXPERIENCER

                                       Going glocal

                                       Make Paris cool again

                                       About us & aknowledgements
MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
     Who is the Millennial traveller
     in 2018? What are they looking
     for when they travel abroad?
     How do they differ from other

MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
                                               born between                                       Digitally minded generation                                   Global community
                                          1984 - 2000                                               Security is top of mind                                      Tech savvy
source: WMFC

                                                                                                             Achievement                                        Optimism
                                                                    years old
                                                                                                           Avid consumers                               Street smart
                                                                                                                        High morals                         Looking for experience

                                        WHAT DO THEY REPRESENT?

                                                           300m-330m                                                            2 long trips
                                                           travellers                                                           per year on average
source: Nielsen, 2017 - UNWTO, 2016

                                                                                                                1/3                      4 long trips
                                                                                                                Millennials              per year

                                                                         50%                                                        $350bn              $
                                          shoppers in the travel retail market                                                    value of market

                                        SHARE OF WALLET WHEN TRAVELLING
                                                           CHINESE                                         AMERICAN                                             FRENCH
source: Expedia Media Solutions, 2017

                                                                 18% Shopping                                     8% Shopping                                        10% Shopping
                                              19% Other                                        18% Other                                    21% Other
                                                                                                                       11% Attractions                                     11% Attractions
                                        14% Flights                     16% Attractions
                                                                                                                         16% Food                                            15% Food
                                                                                          20% Flights                                    20% Flights

                                               17% Hotel         16% Food
                                                                                                           27% Hotel                                         23% Hotel

MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger

                                   Sébastien Manceau                                                    Laurent Delmas
                                  Principal At Roland Berger,                                           Global Blue Chief Operating
                                 Retail and Tourism                                                    Officer, South Europe

    What are some key characteristics defining                         Laurent Delmas:

    the Millennial globe traveller and shopper                         These differences between a younger set of consumers and
                                                                       older generations do not stop at the travel industry. In terms of
    compared to other generations?                                     shopping aspirations also, Millennial Globe Shoppers display
                                                                       distinctive characteristics. Regarding luxury shopping products
    Sébastien Manceau:                                                 first of all, our data show that Millennials prioritise leather
                                                                       goods and accessories over fashion garments. If anything, it
    In few sectors have Millennials had more impact than in travel     suggests that they first access to luxury through the purchase
    and tourism. Their expectations and behavior are significantly     of a staple designer bag, probably because these items are
    different from their parents’ and older generations’.              more heavily branded and identifiable than clothes. In terms of
    Their whole travel journey has changed, from the initial           shopping location also, their search for convenience, smooth
    inspiration phase to the actual travel and holiday experience.     shopping experience and additional services drives them
    The importance of social media as influencer on the choice of      towards department stores more frequently than other any
    holiday for example, the quest for authentic holiday experiences   other generation.
    and off-beaten track adventures, the demand for personalized
    services, their awareness of security threats…. Changes are        Budget wise, at 3,000€, if Millennials’ spending is below
    happening along the entire value chain.                            average (3,300€), it is still in line with their parents’ and highly
                                                                       promising for the luxury industry when the entire group will
    Millennials are changing the way industries used to function,      have reached its earning peak.
    mainly because they are the first generation to handle
    everything digitally. The travel and tourism industry has          Even better is Millennials’ use of Tax Free Shopping (TFS). In
    already undergone a massive digital transformation with offers     2017, they represented almost a third of all TFS transactions
    like and Airbnb being the new normal and the           emitted in the world, an impressive +14% growth compared
    expectations of Millennials are fueling further changes.           to the year before. They have become the leading users of
                                                                       TFS, far before baby boomers and the gen X. Jumping in on
    But if Millennials have set a new (digital) standard, their        Sébastien’s remark about their use of the digital, again, it is
    requirements have spread to other generations and today, it is     their absolute need for convenience which attracts them to
    difficult to tell who is driving change in consumer behavior.      digital TFS solutions. For brands, this new attitude towards
    What is sure is that Millennials are bringing a huge momentum      TFS has the potential to generate additional sales in store.
    to the travel industry.

MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
What is the impact of the Millennial traveller                      Other generations are permeable to the Millennial effect; they
                                                                    have started to imitate their offsprings’ demands and likings.
on the tourism and retail industries?                               For the retail industry, this phenomenon is a great opportunity
                                                                    to review its product design and retail model to address a wider
SM:                                                                 scope of consumers.

Firstly, Millennials impacted the overall destination mix. They
have helped revive city trips as most of their expectations         How can companies and organisations from the
towards holidays find an answer in a city environment. Some         travel industry best adapt themselves to these
cities have cleverly adapted their marketing and offers to this
target group. On top of that, international companies such          new consumers?
as WeWork or Regus offer global travellers solution to mix
leisure and business. This increasing “bleisure” trend helped       SM:
cities take the lion’s share of tourism growth.
                                                                    (Millennial) travellers are looking for new experiences,
Secondly, Millennials have forced historical travel players         combining a new destination with unusual activities, where
to adapt their communication. While in many industries              they authentically explore a city or a country and combine
Millennials are “only” seen as a communication target, travel       getting to know locals and local customs with enjoying typical
and tourism players have deeply re-invented their model             activities on site.
to correspond to Millennial expectations. For example,              Serving these needs for new destinations, personalized trips and
AccorHotels is accelerating the digital transformation of the       local activities will help appeal to the new consumers.
entire company, enriching its offering with the acquisition         And it does not have to be stiff or in a formal way. In contrast,
of lifestyle hotels (e.g. Mamma Shelter), developing a new          Millennial travellers feel at ease with a relaxed and informal
accommodation format (Jo&Joe) or setting up a Millennial            hospitality style as long as the service is excellent, and they get
shadow cabinet to impact senior management decision making          what they want.

Last but not least, Millennials have set the ground for
new business models in previously non-existing markets.             How can retail brands benefit from Millennial
Companies, such as Airbnb (with their accommodation and             travellers’ expenditure when they shop abroad?
“Trips” offer), have been founded to serve needs initially
expressed by Millennials. Now these needs are becoming              LD:
universal and Millennials do not necessarily represent a direct
business target anymore.                                            For brands and retailers across the world, offering Globe
                                                                    Shoppers innovative TFS solutions, digital especially, and
LD:                                                                 services is a great incentive to stimulate Millennial tourists’
                                                                    spending when they shop abroad. Global Blue’s portfolio
Millennials’ impact on the retail industry is unprecedented.        includes digital solutions where Chinese tourists can receive
Their behavior has forced retailers to review their products,       their VAT back instantly onto their Alipay or WeChat digital
pricings, services and the way they engage with them.               wallet.
For brands, one of the greatest challenge is to provide a
differentiating retail offer to a volatile generation, accustomed   In parallel, back in 2017, we launched Mobile Customer Care
to cross-border and offline/online shopping.                        (MCC), to bring real-time support to travellers. MCC relies on
                                                                    a notification service where a series of personalized transaction-
The value they attribute to “experience” when shopping              triggered emails and SMS are sent to Globe Shoppers’ phones
represents a great opportunity for retailers to win them over.      to guide them from the initial TFS transaction all the way
In stores, these one-shot experiences take the shape of cultural    through to confirmation of the refund payment. From July to
events, art installations, exclusive concerts at Selfridges in      December 2017, we estimate that Millennials represented 40%
London or sports classes at Saks 5th Avenue, New York.              of all MCC transactions.
Outside the stores, iconic brands have at heart to promote
their strong heritage by way of opening their own fashion           We have also developed a suite of services targeting high
museum such as Prada in Milan, when invited to display              spending shoppers. Spread across key European shopping
their own fashion archives such as Dior a few months back in        capitals, our VIP lounges offer an exclusive experience in a
Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs or when curating their own         relaxing environment at the end of our customers’ spending
exhibition like Gucci in Chatsworth House, England.                 spree. Millennial Globe Shoppers were over-represented by
                                                                    10% in the Milan lounge, which ties in well with their desire
Regarding products, much like when they travel off the              for out of the ordinary experiences.
beaten-track on the lookout for extra-ordinary adventures
and encounters, Millennials apply this similar way of thinking      More than ever, being able to offer in-store TFS solutions has
when shopping. Today, rarity is the new luxury. Several             become a key leverage for brands wishing to make the most of
retailers have been quick to identify this trend. For example,      Millennial Globe Shoppers’ increasing spending power.
British skateboard brand Palace has taken the road of a smaller
quantity of products manufactured in the bid to generate a
“must-have” sentiment. In parallel, collaborations between
Louis Vuitton and streetwear label Supreme for example create
a sense of urgency around these limited-edition products.

MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
     Who is the Millennial traveller in
     2018? What are they looking for
     when they go abroad?

MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger

            illennial travellers display signif-    And while older generations still consider      nities for high-tech interactive experiences,
            icantly different travel expecta-       travelling to be a luxury, Millennials see it   or simply as a way to capture moments,
            tions and behaviours compared           more as a necessity, becoming an integral       through the omnipresent smartphone.
 to other generations. From their favourite         part of their lives. According to the Ameri-
 travel destinations and preferred holiday          can Society of Travel Agents, in 2016, Mil-     Millennials are looking for new travel des-
 activities, to the people they travel with         lennials took 44% more holiday time and         tinations and extraordinary activities that
 and how they choose to spend their mon-            trips than the average Baby Boomer. They        give their holiday a unique feel. They still
 ey, Millennial differences can be observed         are now the fastest growing demographic         visit the top sights of a city, but get to know
 along the whole travel value chain. How-           for the international travel market, rep-       destinations by mingling with the locals in
 ever, considering their large numbers and          resenting around 20%, reports the World         bars and restaurants, to ensure an authentic
 the multitude of nationalities they include,       Youth Student and Educational Travel            experience.
 it would be naïve to think there is only one       Confederation.
 type of Millennial traveller. This group has                                                       For this generation, sharing snaps of expe-
 varied demands that are fuelling the trans-        Travelling is no longer seen as an indul-       riences on social media preserves precious
 formation of the travel industry. Due to           gence, but a great opportunity to develop       memories as well as nourishing their care-
 their spending power, as well as their influ-      life and work skills. For the Millennial, ex-   fully curated online identity. Instagram,
 ence on surrounding generations, Millenni-         perience is the new social currency.            Facebook, Snapchat and WeChat are also
 als clearly deserve the full attention of retail                                                   becoming key influencers on how and
 and travel industry stakeholders. So, what         For Millennials, the quest for new experi-      where to travel. Rather than relying on tra-
 are the key facts, preferences and needs of        ences is a fundamental desire which can be      ditional sources of information, social me-
 this generation?                                   observed across all moments of life, not only   dia is shaping Millennials’ decision-making
                                                    when travelling but also when shopping          process, often led by one question: “how
                                                    or eating. The fast-paced, digitised world      “Instagrammable” will my holiday be?”.
 Who are Millennials?                               serves this need well, by creating opportu-

 Millennials, also referred to as Generation
 Y, are the demographic group following
 Generation X. Typically, demographers
 consider Millennials to have been born be-
 tween the early 1980s and the mid-1990s.
 In 2018, this generation is aged between 18
 and 34 years old.

 According to WYSE and UNWTO fore-
 casts, there will be 370 million youth trav-
 ellers by 2020, spending over USD 400
 billion. Around three-fifths of the world’s
 Millennials are from Asia, with a third of
 these coming from India and China, while
 US Millennials are the country’s largest de-
 mographic group.

 Travelling: a seismic generational
 Young people have different life priorities
 compared to their parents. While previous
 generations focused on acquiring their own
 house and car, many Millennials are reject-
 ing these traditional achievements, placing
 a much higher importance on intangible,
 life-enriching moments, such as travel.

MILLENNIALS The generation reshaping travel and shopping habits - June 2018 - Roland Berger
Show me the money
     Millennials have not yet reached their peak
     earning period, meaning their budget is not
     as ample as older generations. But it does
     not mean they are more frugal. Instead,
     they are strategic in the way they book their
     flights, accommodations or activities, to get
     the most value for money.

     With the commoditisation of travel, it has
     never been cheaper or easier to go abroad,
     thanks to the rise of digital services from
     Online Travel Agencies (OTA), tour op-
     erators, hotel chains and accommodation
     booking giants. To satisfy their need for
     convenience, quality and value, Millennials
     have developed strong online tracking skills.
     According to Expedia, “convenience” ranks
     as the highest driver for booking through
     an OTA, at 23%, while being “cheaper”
     follows at 16%. Most notably, “security rea-
     sons” still drive 9% of OTA bookings.

     Crusoe syndrome
     Current geopolitical unrest means Millen-
     nials are highly sensitised to security threats.   To comfort worried travellers, brands are      rity app indicating the security level for a
     This impacts their travel destinations and         offering tech-enabled reassurance. In re-      location based on information from Interpol
     habits: according to Carlson Wagonlit              sponse to the increasing number of terrorist   and the UN, as well as local users.
     Travel, 29% of Millennial travellers have          attacks, Facebook has launched the “Crisis     With these worries, it’s no wonder that only
     cancelled a trip for security reasons, com-        Response” function to get information on       7% of Millennials travel alone. Half of them
     pared with only 12% of Baby Boomers.               nearby terrorist attacks with the possibil-    enjoy travelling with their family, while
                                                        ity to activate a “safety check” answer to     42% go away with their partner or 37%
                                                        reassure family and friends when abroad.       with their friends, according to Expedia.
                                                        Meanwhile, GeoSure is a personalised secu-

                                                                           BLEISURE: WORKING OR LEISURE?
                                                                           Bleisure is an attitude that blends business and
                                                                           leisure. In travel terms, it means extending a
                                                                           business trip into a holiday, a growing trend that
                                                                           is driven by Millennial workers. Enabled by the
                                                                           digitisation of booking and communication, 77% of
                                                                           Millennials aim to mix business and leisure travel,
                                                                           compared to only 43% of Baby Boomers, according to
                                                                           WWGY research.

                                                                           A prime example of the bleisure mindset is the
                                                                           strategic partnership between WeWork, the worlds’
                                                                           largest co-working company, and Millennial favourite
                                                                           Airbnb. The companies are offering a “WeWork Day Pass”
                                                                           to Airbnb booked business accommodations.

 The traditional tourism model has changed.
 New digital advancements are disrupting the
 travel industry, forcing key players to adapt to                                                “As critical consumers,
 the new standards demanded by Millennials                                                       Millennials are looking
                                                                                                    for authenticity, not
 Destination Marketing Organisations:            genuine stories about a destination is much
 the first window to your destination,           more credible than using photoshopped               advertising lingo. ”
                                                 pictures with perfectly worded messag-
 digitally                                       es. Instead, DMOs can follow the crowd-
                                                 sourced content model, by engaging the
 The traditional role of Destination Market-     local community as tourism ambassadors          are also the ideal method for DMOs to pro-
 ing Organisations (DMO) is to promote           — a great way to gather honest testimonials     mote shareable moments, so popular with
 their territory as an attractive tourism des-   and develop storytelling around the desti-      Millennials.
 tination, bringing into the limelight the       nation, both key components of a success-
 best of their locality, be it accommodations,   ful branding framework. For visitors, it also
 transport networks, events, festivals or oth-   generates a more personal and sentimental
                                                                                                 Online Travel Agencies: embracing
 er attractions. The digital world is creating   attachment to the destination.                  digital experiences
 both upheaval and opportunities, leading
 many organisations to rethink their role        Here, the medium of communication is as         Millennials are known to be savvy travellers,
 within the travel industry ecosystem.           important as the message it is sending. Bro-    looking for the best value, optimising con-
                                                 chures and visitor guides are less relevant     venience and doing in-depth research when
 Millennial travellers are gravitating towards   when promoting a destination to digitally       planning their holiday. Cost and value re-
 more authentic experiences when holiday-        savvy globe travellers such as Millennials.     main key drivers when deciding on a des-
 ing, and many don’t perceive the voice of       Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat — there is a      tination, especially with Millennials, who
 DMOs to be relevant or genuine. As crit-        plethora of digital and promotion-friendly      may have smaller budgets than Gen X and
 ical consumers, Millennials are looking for     platforms to choose from, especially rele-      Baby Boomers. They now have advanced
 authenticity, not advertising lingo. Sharing    vant to the image-led travel industry. They     tech tools to aid their research, such as aug-

mented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) expe-         As well as offering excitement, AI and AR      This has consequences for airline loyalty,
     riences. Brands across the travel industry are     can offer reassurance. These technologies      where the airline’s brand is less important
     using these immersive tools to support the         offer a way to relinquish the stress and en-   for Millennials than its flight prices.
     curiosity of a more demanding customer             hance the experience around booking a
     eager to be better informed prior to book-         holiday abroad, while ensuring travellers      So where does this leave air companies?
     ing an expensive trip abroad.                      are still in control of the itinerary.         What opportunities can they leverage to
                                                                                                       encourage air ticket purchases?
     Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital tech-
     nologies are reshaping the way travellers
                                                        Transport: show me the way!                    One way to capture their interest is be-
     research and book their trip.                                                         ing explored by Air France KLM, who
     predicts that immersive experiences will           Due to the success of price comparison         launched “Millennial airline” Joon in De-
     reach the next level in the coming years,          and review websites with Millennials, the      cember 2017. Joon introduced itself as “a
     “with travellers looking for technology to         commoditisation of air travel has led to an    fashion brand, a rooftop bar, an entertain-
     help better understand a destination or ac-        industry-wide race to the bottom in terms      ment channel, a personal assistant… and
     commodation before they book”.                     of price, transforming loyal customers into    also an airline.” Inside, cabin crew uniforms
                                                        bargain-hunters. On the same level, low-       take inspiration from Millennials’ beloved
     Hence, 29% of travellers confirm they are          cost carriers such as Ryanair or easyJet are   athletic leisurewear, while the bar serves
     willing to let algorithms plan a trip based        increasing their market share.                 smoothies and virtual reality entertainment
     on their travel history. A further 50% said                                                       is available for business class travellers. Six
     they did not mind speaking with a person           Millennials have started                       destinations will be served in the first year
     online or a virtual service as long as all their   booking trends which                           of the launch — Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon,
     questions are answered. Surfing on the AR          have quickly spread                               Porto, Fortaleza and the Seychelles — all
     trend, Millennials will increasingly be able       across the market.                                top of Millennials’ travel lists. Compared
     to “try before they buy” thanks to VR pre-         Consumers of all                                   to Transavia, the low-cost offer from Air
     views, while immersive glasses or helmets          ages are now us-                                    France KLM, which is also popular with
     could be great incentives to promote excep-        ing aggregator                                      Millennials, Joon is a fresh offer which
     tional destinations and experiences. These         apps to find the                                     takes inspiration from Millennials to
     devices could help adventurous and less ex-        cheapest op-                                          serve the needs of travellers of all ages.
     perienced travellers to discover uncharted         tion possible.
     territories and get off the beaten track.

Accommodation reboot
The challenge for hospitality companies is
to address a multi-faceted consumer whose
travel perceptions and needs are constant-
ly changing. Millennial travellers can offer
a great source of inspiration for hoteliers
to renew their offer, going beyond simply
selling a place to sleep, to becoming all-en-
compassing experience platforms.

AccorHotels has done exactly that, by
launching a range of initiatives to cater to
the new target group, from involving Mil-
lennials in senior management decisions to
launching new brand Jo&Joe, and updating
the food & beverage offer. Likewise, Hilton
Garden Inn’s new hospitality strategy focus-
es on three pillars: product design, food and
beverage and guest service. In a bid to get
away from a standardised
hotel offer, the company
has launched six new pro-
totypes around the world,         “Insider access is one of the                                  ments, one of the greatest luxuries a hotel
                                                                                                 can now provide for a traveller is insider
each with different rooms,                                                                       access. Affluent travellers need to feel they
décor and menus to reflect
the local culture.
                                  greatest luxuries a hotel can                                  are in-the-know. The future challenge for
                                                                                                 hoteliers will be to get away from the run-

The hospitality industry is
                                  provide for a traveller”                                       of-the-mill activities found in travel guides
                                                                                                 and on OTA or DMO websites, so that they
also moving away from the                                                                        can provide luxury thrill seekers with curat-
traditional, stiff approach to luxury accom-      ty. Hoteliers around the world are adapt-      ed and shareable first-hand experiences.
modation, with its formal communication           ing their luxury service approach towards
style and service offer that no longer fits to-   a more nuanced and personalised offer, so      Technology is incrasingly part of the travel
day’s needs. The new goal is to treat guests      they can address the full spectrum of guests   experience, so it was only a matter of time
as individuals and provide a more down-           they encounter today, Millennials included.    before the smart home concept invaded the
to-earth hotel service by becoming more                                                          hospitality industry. From lighting, heating
informal, more relaxed and more personal          While luxury used to be defined by refined,    and voice control to sound and air condi-
— without neglecting the service quali-           highly polished experiences and environ-       tioning devices , automation systems are be-
                                                                                                 coming mainstream conveniences in hotels,
                                                                                                 as a way to make visitors’ lives easier. Hilton
                                                                                                 is currently working on tying its Hilton
                                                                                                 Honors app to room controls and entertain-
                                                                                                 ment, aware that well-considered room en-
                                                                                                 tertainment, content streaming on the TV
                                                                                                 or a simple digital key can add great value
                                                                                                 to a customers’ stay, especially to tech-savvy
                                                                                                 Millennials. These smart hotel rooms an-
                                                                                                 swer customers’ need for a more personal-
                                                                                                 ised and enhanced hotel experience.

                                                                                                 However, it is important that technology
                                                                                                 does not replace guest interaction, but is
                                                                                                 used to enhance guests’ hotel experience.
                                                                                                 Such tech services have benefits for both
                                                                                                 hotelier and guest: the qualitative and quan-
                                                                                                 titative data collected can provide valuable
                                                                                                 insights to maximise customer experience,
                                                                                                 encourage repeat visits or even identify
                                                                                                 cost-saving measures.

                 Millennials are the most analysed,
                 most targeted and most vilified
                 generation ever. Why are they so
                 powerful, and how is their influence
                 affecting retail, luxury and other
                 consumers’ demands?

                      WAY  THE WAY

            illennials are a market obses-
            sion because they are the largest
            generation in Western history,
 the first generation to grow up with the
 internet and smartphones, and a driving
 force in international travel. These factors
 make them hugely influential, not only in
 terms of how they spend, but also the im-
 pact of their preferences on service, pricing
 and product. Their spending power is set
 to grow considerably: according to UBS,
 Millennial wealth could hit $24 trillion by
 2020, approximately 1.5 times larger than
 the value of US economy in 2015.

 Millennials are more globally minded than
 ever before, thanks to increasing levels of
 international travel. The UNWTO reports
 that the number of annual tourist arrivals
 has doubled from 674m in 2000 to 1.3bn
 in 2017, and is expected to reach 1.8bn by       Experience                                       classes and events, while sportswear brand
 2030.                                                                                             Sweaty Betty’s London flagship also offers
                                                  Famously, Millennials value experiences          fitness classes alongside its clothing.
 Consumers are looking for foreign travel         over things, an attitude that is having ma-
 to expose them to new experiences, brands        jor repercussions on the retail industry. But    Meanwhile, bringing culture into store
 and products. Expedia research found that        how can retailers attract Millennials, when      — in the form of music events and art in-
 US, UK and Chinese consumers enjoy               they are less interested in products than ex-    stallations — finds favour with Millennial
 travels which offer unique and cultural ex-      periences?                                       consumers. A master of retail experience,
 periences. This extends to their shopping                                                         Selfridges runs a program of installations
 behaviours: as more brands become availa-        For many, it comes down to the experience        and pop-up shops that tap into the zeitgeist
 ble back home, it is essential that shopping     around the product, with a growing num-          and offer unique points of view. Events
 abroad offers something different – some-        ber of brands creating immersive events and      range from the “bodega” store curated by
 thing they cannot get at home.                   store environments, but for others the focus     hip-hop star A$AP Rocky, to the Radical
                                                  is about creating a valuable experience first,   Luxury concept, which explores new fron-
                                                  and promoting the brand second. Iconic           tiers in luxury, and the recent Astrolounge,
 Price vs. quality                                brands are emphasising their unique prod-        which keyed into Millennials’ interest in all
                                                  ucts, heritage and quality by creating exhi-     things mystical.
 The value equation is clear for Millenni-        bitions and even museums devoted to their
 al consumers, as they consider price and         creations.
 quality to be equally important. It’s a tough                                                     Drop culture
 expectation for retailers to meet, so brands     Gucci recently sponsored and curated an
 are trying different methods to demonstrate      exhibition at the historic Chatsworth House      Millennial demand for unique products and
 both factors.                                    in England, while museums have hosted            experiences is driving “drop culture” — lim-
                                                  exhibitions devoted to brands ranging from       ited edition, much-hyped products and col-
 For example, Louis Vuitton focuses on em-        Comme des Garçons and Azzedine Alaia             laborations that are only available for a short
 phasising the quality of its products by in-     to Dior and Balenciaga. Saint Laurent has        time or in a particular location. Streetwear
 troducing “journées particulières”, an initia-   gone one step further by opening a Par-          brands such as Palace and Supreme, which
 tive where consumers can meet and observe        is museum showcasing different eras of its       only produce goods in small quantities, are
 the artisans making the brand’s famous bags.     iconic fashion.                                  key proponents of drop culture, and Su-
 Other brands are exploring the price angle,                                                       preme has collaborated with leading luxury
 with labels as diverse as Longchamp and          Brands can also introduce experience into        brands such as Rimowa and Louis Vuitton
 Off-White introducing items and collec-          the retail environment by playing on Mil-        to create even more sought-after products.
 tions with lower entry prices, while others      lennials’ key interests in store. Wellbeing is   Likewise, collaborations between designers
 have launched accessories that offer afforda-    important for this generation, and depart-       and sportswear brands, such as Off-White
 ble luxury, like Fendi’s furry bag charms.       ment stores such as Saks 5th Avenue and          and Riccardo Tisci’s collections for Nike,
                                                  Debenhams are introducing in-store fitness       and H&M’s popular designer collections,

create a sense of occasion and urgency
                                                              around products, which many Millennials
                                                              find irresistible. These collaborations are
                                                              key to attracting the attention of younger
                                                              consumers, enabling brands to profit from
                                                              increased brand awareness, and even a cool
                                                              new edge.

                                                              Redefining luxury
                                                              As the leading force in the luxury market,
                                                              Millennials are redefining what luxury
                                                              means. Not only are they changing the way
                                                              luxury goods are being purchased, they are
                                                              also challenging what luxury means.

                                                              Since many young people consider luxu-
                                                              ry to be a feeling, rather than a category,
                                                              they are finding a sense of luxury in unusu-
                                                              al places. They are no longer relying solely
                                                              on famous international luxury brands to
                                                              provide a sense of luxury, but looking to
                                                              limited-edition, bespoke and sustainable
                                                              products too, or those which have a strong
                                                              personal value. For Millennials, exclusivity
                                                              is now about the rarity of the experience.

                                                              With this mindset, Millennials are shifting
                                                              the luxury product mix into a more casual
                                                              realm, turning away from formal dressing
                                                              towards low-key pieces such as t-shirts and
                                                              sneakers. Many brands have been quick to

     Millennials may be the biggest generation current-
     ly living, but they’re not the only focus for brands
     and retailers, and as Millennials begin to move into
     their late 30s, attention is turning to their suc-
     cessors, Generation Z. Born between the mid-90s and
     2010, Gen Z will account for 33% of the global popu-
     lation by 2020. They exhibit many similar character-
     istics to Millennials – the pursuit of experience,
     savvy shopping behaviours and a need for uniqueness –
     but they also have distinct preferences of their own,
     which retailers need to prepare for now.

     Growing up with devices in their hands, Gen Z ex-
     pect fast, seamless and smart digital services, with
     research by the IBM Institute of Business Value and
     the National Retail Federation stating that 60% of
     Gen Z will not use an app or website that is too slow
     to load. The research also found that Gen Z place a
     premium on quality, which is the deciding factor for
     66% of their decisions, and on product availability,
     as 66% want very few products to ever be out of stock
     – an especially important consideration when search-
     ing for sought-after brands and products abroad.

     They also expect even more interaction with brands
     than Millennials and they’re also much more influenced
     by social media stars than conventional celebrities,
     according to Google, as they value word-of-mouth mar-
     keting and relatable spokespeople.

recognise this shift, introducing more lines     We’re all Millennials now                       tion products, niche brands and experien-
influenced by street- and sports-wear, such                                                      tial environments. Millennials’ demand for
as Balenciaga’s down jackets, Louis Vuit-        Millennials are increasingly impacting          high-value products is pushing many brands
ton’s chunky sneakers and Dior’s slogan          how other consumers behave, what’s being        to improve the quality and sustainability of
t-shirts.                                        called a “Millennialisation” of the market.     their products, while keeping prices fair.
                                                 Their demand for unique products and
Millennials’ easy-going approach to luxury       engaging experiences has made shopping          Whatever the target market of a brand, it
is also leading to another major shift for the   more transparent, more efficient and ex-        is important for brands and retailers to un-
industry – the rejection of head-to-toe lux-     citing for consumers of all ages. Millennials   derstand the needs of Millennials, not only
ury dressing. Millennials are keen on mix-       are not only transforming their own shop-       due to their size and purchasing power, but
ing their luxury labels with niche brands,       ping behaviours but those of their parents,     to meet the growing needs of consumers of
premium labels and even mass-market              as they become more tech-savvy.                 all ages.
brands, so they can reflect their own style
rather than that of a major brand.               This “Millennial state of mind” is perme-
                                                 ating product design, services and stores,
Luxury brands that are able to tap into Mil-     as Boomers and Generations X and Z also
lennials’ needs are already seeing the ben-      benefit from Millennials’ preference for
efit, with Kering chairman Francois-Henri        youthful fashion, seamless online/offline
Pinault stating that 50% of the sales of its     services, and stores that offer limited-edi-
booming Gucci brand come from Millen-
nials, while the turnaround at Saint Laurent
has been boosted by increasing its customer
base to 65% Millennial.

                  ravellers’ love affair with French       This is a trend prevalent amongst Chinese
                  high fashion remains unabated as         Millennials in particular. This group wants
                  the Fashion and Clothing catego-         to find the ultimate ‘cool’ French souvenir;
          ry accounts for 30% of Millennials’ spend        a product from Paris that they cannot find
          in Paris. And, with high average spends of       anywhere else and that displays this senti-
          €22,000 (Elite shoppers*) and €1,800 (Fre-       ment in a unique and fashion-forward way.
          quent shoppers*) amongst Paris’s Millennial
          Globe Shoppers annually, this is an undeni-      Several local brands have understood and
          ably important demographic for the city’s        capitalised on this demand; for example,
          fashion brands.                                  Chanel Beauty launched its latest range ex-
                                                           clusively in Paris, a month before any other
                                                           store in the world, giving visiting Chinese
          “Savoir faire” versus “à la mode”                Millennials the opportunity to be one step
                                                           ahead of trends. Another example is offered
          While its heritage fashion brands have made      by the much-loved concept store, Merci,
          the city famous, Millennials are demanding       whose “Merci”-engraved bracelet has be-
          a more contemporary Parisian experience,         come an icon, resulting in queues of young
          forcing brands, both new and legendary, to       Chinese travellers looking to secure their
          continuously reinvent their offering.            Parisian keepsake at the store.

          Indeed, recent Fashion Weeks in Paris have
          seen many of France’s landmark labels pre-       Retaining the fashion capital crown
          senting designs that speak directly to the
          Millennial market, from eye-catching ac-         While Paris’s luxury brand heritage is a
          cessories to mix and match looks.                draw for fashion-fluent travelling Millenni-
                                                           als, the message is clear: to keep this savvy
          Beyond the catwalk, Paris’s historical luxu-     and experimental market enticed, Parisian
          ry maisons, famous for their “savoir faire”,     brands need to continuously update their
          still attract Millennials thanks to their high   offering. But as brand heritage is no longer
          quality. However, the quest to discover the      the only concern for Millennials, the focus
          ‘soul’ of the Parisian shopping scene is om-     should shift to offering unique and inter-
          nipresent, as Millennials seek an authentic      esting products, which can be showcased
          experience they can share, or a unique sou-      through social media, or released in exclu-
          venir they can show off.                         sive “drops”.

          * Frequent shoppers: shoppers who have done more than 3 trips in the last 24 months
            Elite shoppers: shoppers who have spent more than €40,000 over the last 24 months

 Millennials have not only strongly impacted the travel industry, they are also fuelling
 changes in the retail industry. A new wave of retail innovations is being launched
 that serves convenience, excitement and exclusivity.

 Changing landscape                                Phygital retail                                  around AR is leading consumers to demand
                                                                                                    added-value interactions in store. Hence,
 While there is much discussion of                 Physical and digital retail are blending into    Digi-Capital forecasts that there will be
 Millennials driving online shopping, they         “phygital”, uniting the best of online and       900 million AR-enabled smartphones in
 are still keen on the in-store experience.        offline shopping in the store environment.       circulation by the end of 2018, rising to 3.5
 The majority of Millennials visit                                                                             billion by 2022.
 a physical store at some point in
 their path to purchase, whether
 to research new products, check
                                        “Augmented reality is emerging                                         Many retailers have developed
                                                                                                               AR apps to help consumers
 out how items feel in real life, or
 to make a purchase. It just has to
                                           as a technology that is both                                        picture their products in their
                                                                                                               homes — like the Ikea Place
 be an enjoyable and convenient
 experience.                              useful and exciting as it adds                                       app, which allows users to see
                                                                                                               how products might look in
                                                                                                               their home — and on their
 While      they     are    in-store,    extra layers of information and                                       faces — like L’Oreal’s Make-up
 Millennials      are    harnessing                                                                            Genius app. It’s also proving
 technology to make payments
 and to make product comparison
                                        entertainment to the real world.”                                      popular in store environments,
                                                                                                               to help consumers choose and
 easier. Brands such as Farfetch and                                                                           personalise products.
 Tencent have unveiled ideas for the “store        Augmented reality (AR), geolocation and
 of the future”, full of Artificial Intelligence   smart personalisation are all being employed     Zara is rolling out AR displays in 120 stores
 (AI), magic mirrors and virtual reality:          to capture Millennials’ interest in-store, and   around the world, to attract Millennials
 this technology can offer opportunities           make the shopping experience seamless.           inside. By holding up a smartphone to a
 to capture valuable shopping behaviour                                                             sensor in store, shoppers can watch models
 data, but for customers, technology is only       AR is emerging as a technology that is           wearing key looks and click through to buy.
 useful when it makes shopping easier and          both useful and exciting for consumers,          Nike is employing AR to help consumers
 replicates the best of online shopping in         as it adds extra layers of information and       create personalised trainer designs, through
 bricks-and-mortar spaces.                         entertainment to the real world. The buzz        the Nike Makers’ Experience. At the Nike

By You studio, visitors can choose images,        Luxury department store Nordstrom takes           Taste makers
     colours and trims to create their shoe, which     the idea even further with its new local
     can then be projected onto a blank shoe to        concept store in LA, which carries no             Making stores that are welcoming,
     help users refine and envision their designs.     inventory at all. Customers go online to          memorable and unique is key to capturing
     Mark Smith, Vice-President of Innovation          book a session with a personal stylist, who       Millennials’ interest — and their spend.
     Special Projects at Nike said, “The Nike          will order in clothes for their specific needs.   One approach proving popular with food-
     Makers’ Experience is a fast, fun, interactive,   The 3,000-square-foot space has only a            obsessed Millennials is the introduction
     one-of-a-kind design experience. It takes         meeting space, styling room, and 8 dressing       of foodie spaces into fashion and lifestyle
     most people longer to come up with their          rooms.                                            stores. Luxury brands have been pioneers in
     idea than it does for us to make it. In our                                                         creating chic eateries that allow fashion fans
     minds, this is tomorrow, today.”                                                                    to discover what their favourite brands taste
                                                                                                                  like. Ralph Lauren has introduced

     Online/offline                           “The future of retail is multi-                                     Ralph’s Coffee bar, a Manhattan-
                                                                                                                  style deli, into its New York and

                                              faceted, leveraging technology
                                                                                                                  London stores, while Gucci has
     Click-and-collect is proving to be                                                                           created a fine dining restaurant in
     one of the simplest –— and most                                                                              its new Florence outpost, Gucci
     effective — methods of blending
     online and offline shopping. Part
                                             as well as localism, exclusivity,                                    Garden, and Tiffany & Co has
                                                                                                                  opened the Blue Box Café at its
     of the appeal of click-and-collect
     is its combination of the choice of
                                               brand immersion and home-                                          New York flagship.

     online shopping, with the ability
     to get your goods whenever and                 like experiences.”.                                           A tasteful blend of food and fashion
                                                                                                                  is proving particularly popular with
     wherever you want.                                                                                           Asian Millennials, as food and drink
                                                                                                         continues to drive mall visits across Asia, as
     Retailers are now adapting the method in          And while technology is key to the retail         well as in Europe and the US. Chanel has
     new ways. Hip US eco-brand Reformation            landscape - just as it is to consumers’ lives     created a pop-up concept called Coco’s
     only offers the top 20% of its products on        – it is not the only factor changing the          Café, where shoppers can try out new
     the shop floor, but shoppers can check            shopping experience. The future of retail is      beauty products with a complimentary
     out the full product range on touchscreen         more multi-faceted, leveraging technology         drink. The shop/café hybrid has so far
     mirrors, and order product in their size          as well as localism, exclusivity, brand           appeared in Hong Kong and Singapore.
     directly to the fitting room.                     immersion and home-like experiences.              Key luxury brands are also creating café
                                                                                                         concepts exclusively for their Chinese

stores, with Vivienne Westwood running           together at 86 Champs, where patissier           recently launched its Residence concept, a
a Shanghai café and Mercedes opening a           Pierre Hermé and beauty brand L’Occitane         fully furnished apartment where consumers
space in its Beijing showroom where local        have collaborated on a 10,000 sq ft lifestyle    could book a night, just like in a hotel,
restaurants can showcase their skills.           store that includes wellbeing products,          to test out appliances, mattresses, home
                                                 a terrace restaurant, in-store perfumery,        entertainment tech and furniture.
Niche brands are also bringing food into         coffee, cocktail and macaron bar.
their stores to allow shoppers to fully                                                           In Paris and New York, womenswear
immerse themselves in the brand. The new                                                          brand Sezane’s L’Appartement stores aim
Marais store for beauty retailer Buly 1803       Apartment stores                                 to immerse shoppers in the brand, through
houses skincare and make-up products as                                                           plush seating, a screening room, café and
well as a café and Japanese bakery, while        In their effort to make stores more              library, while the personal shopping area for
dinners at the café of New York lifestyle        welcoming to Millennials, retailers are          online trunk sale retailer Moda Operandi is
store Guild receive a card that details all of   creating multifunctional concepts that feel      a classic New York townhouse, filled with
the dinnerware and cutlery used in their         like home and offer an indulgent way for         refined furnishings and selective products.
meal, and where it can be found in store.        consumers to interact with products.
Meanwhile, two French icons have come            British department store John Lewis

   In 2 years, EuroPass has become a major player in the
   European digital payment industry. Guillaume de Roquefeuil,
   Founder & CEO of EuroPass, explains this success.

    What motivated the launch of EuroPass?                               How are brands and institutions responding to this
    The creation of EuroPass came with the realisation that upon
                                                                         new technology in Europe?
    arriving in Europe, Chinese travellers were not able to use We-
    Chat, their digital wallet WeChat Pay, WeChat Moments and            In France, we really noticed a difference in brands’ interest in
    the numerous other services and functions within the platform.       our solution during the second half of 2017. Merchants and
    For brands, it caused a major communication gap with their           institutions are attracted by EuroPass because we provide an
    clients, who they usally target through marketing banners, ge-       all-in-one solution mixing digital payment and marketing ca-
    olocation adverts and drive-to-store notifications in China.         pacities alongside geolocation facilities that send relevant drive-
                                                                         to-store incentives to Globe Shoppers’ mobile phones.
    It was obvious there was room to innovate and propose a solu-
    tion benefiting both retailers and travellers in Europe. Europass    In addition, thanks to EuroPass, Chinese customers may flash
    also allows us to work with other stakeholders in the travel ex-     and share the QR code of a brand they have spotted locally.
    perience, such as railway companies, tour operators and muse-        This is another way for local brands and international mer-
    ums, to develop solutions that can engage with travelling Chi-       chants alike to benefit from the social media platform and surf
    nese Globe Shoppers in a more strategic way.                         the brand advocacy trend.

    How is EuroPass changing the retail and tourism                      Can you tell us more about upcoming developments
    landscape in Europe?                                                 and projects for EuroPass?
    In Europe, we support brands with their digital communication        EuroPass has successfully created a Chinese digital ecosystem
    and payment solutions. We set up marketing and communica-            in Europe. Our recent collaboration with Global Blue has
    tion strategies targeting Chinese Free Independent Travellers        strengthened our position in France and we are already work-
    (FITs) or create brand-certified WeChat accounts in Europe.          ing with over 100 clients from the retail and tourism industries
    For passing tourists, it means they no longer have to download       across the country.
    the brand’s local app, but simply log into WeChat and look for
    the brand’s account, just like they would back in China.             We are also developing other shopping - and travel-friendly
                                                                         solutions and multiplying our partnerships with the retail and
    We also offer an online and in-store mobile payment solution         travel industry. In parallel, we are looking to extend our ge-
    by handling all transactions to allow brands to accept payments      ographic footprint across Europe, beginning with the United
    in yuan while collecting the payment in their local currency,        Kingdom, Spain and Italy, followed by Germany and Switzer-
    without being subject to banking commissions.                        land.

     Brands are connecting with savvy consumers by satisfying their needs for exciting
     and enlightening experiences, as well as their demands for exclusive access and
     personal advice. The best ways to engage with Millennials offer a combination of
     smart digital tools and in-person interactions.

     Spheres of influence                              Leandra Medine and Mr Bags have used this
                                                       power to their own benefit and have built         Particularly popular in China, livestreaming
     Undoubtedly, one of the biggest stories in        their own fashion empires, as well as collab-     allows an all-access view of retail events,
     the fashion and lifestyle industries in recent    orating with major brands to create special       where consumers can buy directly from the
     years is the shift in power from professional     collections.                                      stream. Retailers and influencers livestream
     opinion leaders such as fashion editors and                                                         key events direct to their followers, with
     retailers, to social media stars and self-ap-     The power of influencers has become so            links to the products featured in the stream,
     pointed influencers.                              great that brands are now collaborating           so viewers can immediately buy anything
                                                       with virtual influencers too, such as Lil Mi-     they like.
     Their power comes from Millennials’ trust         quela, a computer-generated model with
     of personal recommendations over brand            almost a million followers on Instagram.          According to a 2017 report by China Inter-
     advertising. This makes recommendations           Miquela has modelled for leading make-up          net Network Information Center, 47% of
     on social media such as WeChat, Instagram,        artist Pat McGrath and influential magazine       China’s internet users (344m people) have
     Snapchat and blogs more powerful influ-           Interview, as well as featuring in Prada’s lat-   watched a livestream. Key platforms in-
     ences on consumers’ shopping choices.             est digital campaign.                             clude Tmall, Taobao, Meipai and Yizhibo.
                                                                                                         According to research by L2, 69% of glob-
     The lifestyles and preferences of popular so-                                                       al beauty brands have used a livestreaming
     cial media figures, known as influencers or
                                                       Exclusive for everyone                            platform in China, with Maybelline selling
     KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), are becom-                                                              10,000 lipsticks during a 2-hour livestream
     ing increasingly influential and are driving      Consumers have become used to gaining             hosted by KOL Angelababy.
     significant traffic to stores, niche brands and   access to products and environments pre-
     limited-edition collections.                      viously reserved only for the elite, thanks       ShopShops is a platform connecting US re-
                                                       to live catwalk show streaming and be-            tailers to Chinese shoppers by livestreaming
     Many brands are now harnessing the power          hind-the-scenes Snapchat Stories from their       events from American stores for 2-3 hours.
     of influencer recommendations by inviting         favourite influencers and brands. Now,            The platform reports an average of 15,000
     them to appear in their catwalk shows, ad         brands are finding new ways to offer ex-          viewers and $8,000 in sales per event, with
     campaigns and even co-create products             clusive glimpses of hyped-up products and         as many as 160,000 viewers for special
     with them. KOLs such as Chiara Ferragni,          events through livestreaming.                     showcase events.

Brand immersion                                 other inspiring places. The feature allows       and learn in a way you haven’t been able to
                                                fans of the brand to immerse themselves          before. It’s also a place where we can build
As well as experiencing brands through          in the inspirations and lifestyle of Gucci, as   a far more personal relationship with our
trusted influencers and livestreams, con-       well as serving as a chic travel guide.          customers”.
sumers are increasingly willing to jump into
the world of a brand, if it means adventure,
excitement and discovery. Now, leading
                                                Building relationships                           Selling service
brands are creating tools and experiences
that allow consumers to get inside their fa-    Augmented experiences, brand immersions,         An important way to build relationships
vourite brands.                                 influencers and KOLs are all in the service      with Millennial consumers is to offer es-
                                                of creating a deeper relationship between        sential support and seamless service. Main-
Footwear brand Converse recently created a      consumers and brands. Knowledge-sharing,         tenance and repairs are essential services to
London pop-up hotel to immerse consum-          advice and support are becoming another          offer consumers, especially for high-cost
ers in the culture surrounding the brand.       key way to build stronger connections with       products, or those particularly prone to
The One Star Hotel featured rooms curated       consumers.                                       wear and tear, such as luggage. At its Paris
by different artists, as well as performances                                                    flagship store, luggage brand Rimowa has
from new musicians such as Princess Nokia,      “Shop, do and learn” is the founding princi-     introduced a repair shop where customers
IAMDDB and Skinny Macho, and exclu-             ple of British department store John Lewis’s     can have suitcases fixed for free, regardless
sive product offerings.                         new 230,000-square-foot store in London.         of when they were originally bought.
                                                As well as the retailer’s famously knowl-
Gucci is another brand focused on creat-        edgeable staff, the store includes a Discov-     Hermès has turned laundry into a chic expe-
ing an interesting life for its customers and   ery Room where shoppers can learn how            rience, with the introduction of its pop-up
fans. Its app features exclusive artwork from   to perfectly light a room or integrate smart     laundromats. Owners of the brand’s icon-
Gucci collaborators such as Coco Capitan        home technology, as well as beauty and           ic silk scarves can drop off their cherished
and Gucci Ghost, as well as its Gucci Places    cookery demonstrations around the store          accessories to be professionally cleaned and
feature, which highlights buildings, stores     and a Style Studio for individual or group       re-dyed, with advice from Hermès-trained
and institutions that have influenced Guc-      fashion consultations.                           colour specialists. Even less delicate items
ci’s collections. Gucci Places currently rec-                                                    need expert maintenance: Dutch brand
ommends Castello Sonnino castle in Rome,        Paula Nickolds, Managing Director of John        Denham has created a denim maintenance
bookshop Maison Assouline in London, the        Lewis said, “This shop demonstrates our lat-     shop in its Tokyo store, where owners can
Los Angeles County Museum of Art and            est thinking on how the department store         see their favourite jeans be altered, mended
the Bibo restaurant in Hong Kong, among         can be a place in which you can shop, do         and laundered by denim experts.


 Millennial travellers are pushing back the frontiers of the travel industry, as they
 look for ways to get under the skin of their destination.

 The travel industry is starting to get     The app also includes
 used to the idea that pre-planned
 holiday tours no longer attract the
                                            the “Meetups” function
                                            where Airbnb users can
                                                                         “Today, Millennial travellers
 crowds. Today, Millennial travellers
 are looking for the authentic, un-
                                            meet each other, and
                                            “Nearby Now” to re-
                                                                         are looking for the authentic,
 discovered and fascinating reality of
 their destination. There has been a
                                            ceive community-cu-
                                            rated information and
                                                                         undiscovered and fascinating
 shift from travellers just talking about   advice.                      reality of their destination.”
 what they saw or did to who they
 met on location, as they’ve realised       Airbnb fully embraces
 local insights make for deeper, more       this generational shift
 unique experiences. But while expe-        currently reshaping the
 rience is a key driver of Millennial       travel industry, where travellers feel     Bringing back meaning to travelling
 travel, how is this trend developing?      less like tourists but more like locals.
                                                                                       Millennial travellers express a strong
 Millennial travellers: feeling more than   It suggests a more personal approach       desire to connect with their destina-
                                            to travelling, away from standard-         tion’s community. The challenge to-
 just tourists                              ised tourist tour packages and guide-      day lies in bringing back meaning to
 Millennials are out to experience          books.
 cities’ multi-layered qualities just
 like locals, be it the food and culture
 scene, the local craftmanship or the
 best sightseeing spots and parks.

 Back in 2016, home-sharing giant
 Airbnb launched “Live There”, its
 largest communication campaign to
 date, as a way to help travellers feel
 like locals, “in response to the grow-
 ing dissatisfaction and disappoint-
 ment with standardised tourist offer-
 ings that have become the hallmark
 of modern tourism”. Along with this
 campaign, the company introduced
 peer-to-peer platform “Places”. The
 concept relies on locals’ tips, gathered
 into highly curated “Guidebooks”, a
 collection of recommendations for
 the best places to visit in every city,
 as seen by Airbnb hosts. Recommen-
 dations include getting your morn-
 ing pastry at Tartine Bakery in San
 Francisco, going for an afternoon
 walk on London’s Hampstead Heath,
 siping cocktails in Amsterdam’s Bar
 Bukowski and enjoying a candlelit
 dinner in Rio de Janeiro’s Zazá Bistrô

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