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Millennials flock to travel agents in three big surveys

September 4, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Despite forecasts that use of travel agents would decline in the face of online booking, the opposite is true in the US, according to three recent studies that stand many of those gloomy forecasts on their heads.

The “Millennial generation”, usually defined as the tech-savvy generation born between 1982 and 2000 (so aged 17 to 35, roughly), have discovered the value of relying on travel agents. Millennials, often associated with technology and social media, are using agents not just to book their trips, but also as advisors on making travel decisions.

Big US travel magazine Travel + Leisure cited three studies which tended to support that finding.

The “2017 Portrait of American Travelers” by MMGY Global found that one in three millennial respondents said they intended to use the services of a travel agent over the next two years. That figure (33%) was twice as many as gen Xers (17%) and baby boomers (18%).

It reinforces the finding of the same MMGY study last year, which found that use of travel agents in the US had reached a six-year high, a trend being driven not by the baby boomer generation but by millennials.

Another survey, the “How America Travels” national study from the American Society of Travel Agents, also indicates that millennials are more likely to use a travel agent. It shows that 44% of millennial respondents felt that it was worth using an agent, a higher proportion than either gen Xers or boomers.

A presentation from Virtuoso during Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas meanwhile reported increased interest and business from millennials, many of whom are affluent.

Virtuoso research shows that millennials and gen Xers are the fastest growing segment of its client base.

But, a senior Virtuoso executive admitted, “the real money right now continues to be in boomers.”

Written by Peter Needham

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