There’s something rather interesting on the minds of the millennial traveller these days as they wander the halls of Heathrow, and for the retail travel industry in particular it means a massive shift in consumption previously unseen from other generations of travellers.

A recent study by Nielsen has uncovered a number of interesting insights about our powerful 1.8 billion wide audience.

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They’re travelling more
Millennial travellers will make a long-haul journey at least twice a year and almost half will generate retail spend both on the way to and from their destination. They’re often choosing smaller, easy to carry items such as perfumes, accessories and cosmetics based on a desire to simply treat themselves.

They’re travelling smarter
It’s no surprise that Airbnb is a favourite of the millennial travellers – well versed in the sharing economy. But money saved on hotels is not money saved, merely spent elsewhere, typically freeing up funds for use on indulgences throughout a holiday, including impulse purchases.

They expect experience
The study found that many young travellers are readily engaging with retail environments that focus on creating an experience. While the revenue benefits are clear, operators and airports have a significant opportunity to develop “innovative, differentiated products, services and environments that directly appeal to Millennials and new travellers.”

This can be seen in digital and connected spaces, such as “expanded Wi-Fi and charging loungers to click and connect services to the use of humanoid robots (like in the Netherlands).”

Explore the full travel report here.

Explore Underscore’s travel retail work with Gatwick Airport here.

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