Top 5 Incentive Travel Trends for 2018

Staff writer – April 23, 2018

Travel Trends StubHub CorporateCreating incentive travel trends programs for all generations is crucial for every organization, but with millennial’s set to make up half of the global workforce by 2020, focusing specifically on their preferences may lead to a successful and sustainable strategy.

Many critics addressed the Millennial Generation’s preferences for having jobs that offer them flexibility, a work environment that combines serious work and fun, as well as an inclination towards experiences instead of material goods. But just like fun increases productivity and loyalty, collecting experiences is what millennial’s need to feed their curiosity and appetite for learning. Besides contouring a career that perfectly merges pleasure and necessity, collecting beautiful moments, making memories with friends, family, and even strangers became this generation’s, as well as Generations Z’s, grand motto.


What Meets Millennials Traveling Expectations?

The times when a first class flight, 5-star hotel and elegant gala were in the top of your clienteles’ preferences are probably gone, because “the selfie generation” seems to be embracing exploration, uniqueness, authenticity and personalized experiences instead. Luxury is still “in” and will always be something all generations fancy, but millennials care less about lavish destinations and the number of stars a hotel has and focus on more profound reasons to visit a certain place.

If thinking about where these two generations want to be isn’t the best approach, what is? Generations Y and Z seem to be eager to go anywhere and everywhere, so what is important is how they travel.

Like all generations before them, Gen Y and Z have their priorities, tastes, strengths, as well as flaws. Understanding their desires and needs more clearly can help create meaningful traveling experiences. So, what are the traveling trends that have an impact on Millennials and Gen Z in 2018?

Millennials Yearn for Exclusive Experiences

These technology-addicted generations are characterized by a continuous longing for unique experiences. Whether we are talking about backstage access to top concerts, great tickets at major sporting events, exciting adventures in the middle of nature or the chance to discover hidden gems in great European capitals, millennials, as well as post-millennials, crave exclusive experiences, for travel packages that include unique activities or peculiar tours that give them a chance to enhance their knowledge.

Traveling Outside the Comfort Zone

While the generations before them were more focused on creating comfort for themselves, globalization made millennial’s not only more open to a diversity of lifestyles and backgrounds, but also made them want to experience life outside their comfort zone. Therefore, getting closer to very different cultures is one of the main reasons for their journeys. They want to have firsthand experiences that make them aware of the world around them even if this means vacationing in low-cost bungalows or adventuring into the unknown of a pilgrimage.

Travel Trends StubHub CorporateSatisfying Their Desire to Make the World a Better Place

Millennials have a strong desire to make the world a better place, so socially conscious and environmentally aware travel incentives can definitely help you gain this generation’s patronage. More and more, young travelers focus on “green” traveling and lodging. They look for unique ways to contribute to a cleaner planet, such as planting trees or cleaning different areas.

In addition, young professionals are interested in volunteering. There are more than 1.6 million volunteer tourists traveling each year while trying to make a difference across different communities, making “voluntourism” one of the growing travel trends.

Getting in Touch with the Locals

To have the authentic experience they long for, millennials like to get in touch with the locals. While the classic touristic adventures are great, seeing and experiencing things the way locals do is what attracts both millennials and Gen Z. They want to eat what the locals eat, feel the same way and discover the same hidden gems of the places they visit instead of just enjoying the stereotypical tourist activities past generations preferred.

Incorporating Wellness into Travel Incentives

With 11.7 million direct jobs all over the world and an economic impact of $1.3 trillion in the global economy in 2012, wellness tourism became one of the fastest segments of global travel trends. Since millennials are interested in making the world a better place and are also aware of how important their own health is, incorporating wellness into incentive travel will definitely meet their expectations.

We live in a rapidly changing society and trends will fade away in the future. However, right now, travel packages that combine wellness, luxury, authentic experiences and the chance to enact positive change can conquer millennial and post-millennial hearts and appreciation, because while they live with a persistent desire to gather information, improve themselves and have meaningful experiences, the idea of giving back is also constantly on their mind.

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