Creating new trends in the tourism industry, Millennials become the group of travelers to be focused on studying psychology and behavior in travel, especially the habit of using technology as well as the habits of using mobile devices while preparing for the trip and during the trip.
In general, the Millennials are the generation that highly concentrates on ‘ME’ (individualism) and prioritizes experiences first in life; Vietnamese millennials are no exception. The generation of Vietnamese Millennials (aged from 26 to 35 years old) accounts for only 25.5% of the total population (2019) but makes most of the changes and creates new trends in tourism.
According to the report “Mobile Device Usage Habit Of Vietnamese Millennials Travelers On Their Travels” (Outbox Consulting, August 2020), mobile devices play an indispensable part of Millennials’ decisions and consumptions: from exploring and researching information to buying things, booking services and making payments. Vietnam is a market that uses mobile devices (mobile phones or tablets) more than the global market and the Southeast Asia market, with more than 50% of Vietnamese Millennials getting internet access via mobile devices (only using mobile phones) (Comscore Mobile Metrix, 2017)
72.3% of Vietnamese millennial travelers feel comfortable to use mobile phones thorough their travel journey.
To Vietnamese Millennials, nowadays service and experience touch-points are the continuous interchange of physical touch-points and digital touch-points on mobile devices. Customer experiences in tourism are not only limited to physical touch-points in the real-life environment anymore but a balanced combination touch-points in the real-life environment and in the digital environments.
Mobile phones are considered as the ‘must-have’ object of millennial travelers on both domestic and international trips since they can help Millennials easily search, update and share information anytime and anywhere. Up to 72.3% of Vietnamese millennial travelers are comfortable to use mobile phones thorough the trip, from looking for ideas and booking services to planning detailed trip itineraries with scheduling information at the destination (“Mobile Device Usage Habit Of Vietnamese Millennials Travelers On Their Travels”, Outbox Consulting, August 2020).
As Millennials embrace individualism and the need of sharing and expressing their personal opinions, most travelers of this generation use social media during their for sharing suggestions and recommending outstanding images and experiences. It is the behavior of sharing and searching for information on mobile devices of this generation of travelers that creates strong and diverse needs among the community of millennial travelers.
Vietnamese millennial travelers seek inspiration and information for trips mainly on Facebook and Youtube
Millennials are the generation attached to digital technology and they are also the first generation to use the internet to connect with each other. These informed consumers are willing to spend their time conducting research to examination before consuming any products or services.
Facebook is still the most popular information channel that Vietnamese Millennials looks for inspiration and information for their trips, with 44.4% of Millennials in Vietnam considering it as a great platform to learn about new travel experiences (“Mobile Device Usage Habit Of Vietnamese Millennials Travelers On Their Travels”, Outbox Consulting, August 2020). With the bloom of travel vlog channels and the increasingly diverse and attractive content from travel bloggers, Youtube is also selected by 24.4% of Vietnamese millennial travelers when searching for their travel ideas. Following Youtube is the source of information from online newspapers or magazines and Instagram chosen by 19.3% and 9.2% of millennial travelers in Vietnam respectively.
According to the report “Mobile Device Usage Habit Of Vietnamese Millennials Travelers On Their Travels” (Outbox Consulting, August 2020), among the entire information Vietnamese Millennials search on their mobile phones to prepare for the trip, up to 26.1% of information related to tourist attractions, 22.7% of information about places to eat at the destination and 22.5% of the information to estimate total expenses for the trip.
More than half of Vietnamese millennial travelers prefer website platforms to application platforms
Currently, the most effective way for brands and travel service providers to approach Millennials is through digital channels as this generation spends most of the free time surfing the internet. Millennials spend an average of more than four hours a day just being online and this is more than the total time spent on other media (Kantar, 2019).
When searching for information as well as realizing their journey from booking services to payment, Millennials in Vietnam favor website platforms with 66.3% of the surveyed said they feel that website platforms provide higher reliability and more connecting functions (“Mobile Device Usage Habit Of Vietnamese Millennials Travelers On Their Travels”, Outbox Consulting, August 2020). This percentage is almost double the number of Vietnamese millennial travelers who choose to search for information on application platforms (33.7%) although travel applications may integrate more convenient features than websites.
In addition, the need for continuous connection at the destination is also one of the prominent features in the behavior of using mobile devices while traveling of Millennials. Nearly half of the Vietnamese millennial travelers choose to use 3G/4G connection when traveling domestically (47.9%) and more than a quarter of them choose to connect to free wifi at the hotels and other public areas (25.9%).
Mobile technology will continue to play an important role in the need for traveling and exploring the world of millennial travelers of Millennial visitors, and social media will not just be a channel of sharing and helping others discover. that world becomes the way to learn more about different cultures and destinations. Gradually, Millennials will see travel applications as an inevitable requirement, not a utility anymore. Therefore, in the coming future, it is likely that there will be a wave of application development from tourism product providers in addition to traditional information channels.
Considering this generation’s increasing purchasing power along with their habit of using mobile devices in travel activities, DMOs as well as travel service providers should take a variety of factors such as speed, mobile optimization and application development trends into account in order to satisfy this target group of millennial travelers, the trend-setters.