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Millennial blast-off fuels Flight Centre’s Universal Traveller

June 12, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Millennials, along with people aged under 23, comprise the fastest growing travel segment – which is why Flight Centre is aiming its new brand, Universal Traveller (UT) predominantly at travellers aged between 18 and 35.

A couple of years ago, Expedia Media Solutions, Expedia’s advertising arm, polled 1001 American travellers who had booked a trip online over the previous 12 month period. Results showed clearly that millennials (ages 24 to 35) travel the most, 35 days each year, but are followed closely by Generation Z travellers (ages 18 to 23), who travel 29 days each year.

It’s similar in Australia – but Aussies get more annual leave to travel in.

Accordingly, the Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) is strengthening its offerings to the student and youth sectors, with FLT managing director Graham Turner saying UT will expand on the company’s previous Student Flights offering in Australia, by offering tailored and exclusive products to a broader range of travellers.

“This is an exciting brand enhancement for our people, our customers and our suppliers and is geared towards increasing our share of this large market sector,” Turner said.

“Student Flights, the brand that we have traditionally used to target this demographic, was launched in Australia in the mid-1990s as a dedicated flight offering for students and backpackers.

“Since then, the customer base and product offering have significantly evolved, but this evolution into a full-service agency – with world class offerings for younger travellers across a number of key product ranges – was not reflected in the brand name.

“This was hampering its growth potential.

“We believe Universal Traveller more accurately reflects the brand’s specialisation and will resonate with the broader customer base of students, backpackers and young professionals that its core products are targeted at and will appeal to.”

Through UT, FLT will continue to offer the student and youth fares that Student Flights is famous for, along with other exclusive and tailored products among six core product categories.

These categories are:

  • Flights – including the exclusive Black Market range of discounted and flexible fares for students and under-30s.
  • FIT (fully independent traveller)
  • Touring, particularly Topdeck and Contiki
  • Adventure – including small groups and expedition
  • Festivals; and
  • Ancillary, which includes tailored insurance and interest free offers

The 52 Student Flights shops in Australia will be rebranded to UT from early in the 2019/20 fiscal year. The Student Flights colours, style and Never Stop Travelling marketing tagline will be maintained in the new branding.

FLT plans to expand the Universal Traveller shop network in the future, predominantly within the youth precincts in major shopping centres.

The UT launch is the latest in a series of enhancements to FLT’s youth offerings in recent years.

Other enhancements include the acquisitions of touring business Topdeck and the Boston-based StudentUniverse online travel agency.

StudentUniverse, which currently operates in the United States and United Kingdom, will soon launch in Australia and will operate alongside UT as a dedicated online business targeting students and the broader youth sector.

The StudentUniverse platform allows travellers to book and verify restricted airfares online.

Edited by Peter Needham

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