A good digital experience is key to winning the attention of Gen Y travellers, but not at the expense of tried-and-tested basics of customer success, according to a new study.
Travelport’s Global Digital Traveler Research 2019 found younger Australians’ priorities of convenience and service extend this expectation to be delivered via their digital devices.
Two-thirds of Millennial Australians rate a good digital experience as a top priority when choosing an airline, ahead of traditional customer programs like frequent flyer points (59 per cent).
Their preferences are stark in comparison to their parents’ generations, with the study finding that 46 per cent of younger Aussies do most of their travel booking and research via mobile phones, compared with 28 per cent Gen Xers and nine per cent of Baby Boomers.
Travelport’s research also revealed that younger Australians prefer to be well-researched when jetting off, compared to their older counterparts, using a mix of in-person and online techniques.
Almost half (48 per cent) almost always rely on traditional review websites and flight comparison sites (49 per cent), and are experimenting with new technology like voice search (43 per cent), compared to just 28 per cent of Gen Xers and 11 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Millennials are also the most likely to frequently look for recommendations from travel professionals (79 per cent), like travel agents and tour operators, compared to 72 per cent of older Australians.
According to the study, when researching a trip, 79 per cent of travellers in Australia have now viewed videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media, and 22 per cent ‘nearly always’ do this.
Facebook is considered the most influential social media platform by Millennials in Australia. This view is shared by Gen X travellers and Baby Boomers; however, preference of Instagram is on the rise.
While the younger generations may prefer digital experiences, Travelport found a human touch is still important for many Australians, with more than half (52 per cent) of Baby Boomers and 41 per cent of Gen Xers frustrated by not being able to speak with a person when booking a trip.
When it comes to flights, Australians of all generations prioritise value for money (91 per cent), a trusted/reliable airline (91 per cent) and great customer service (85 per cent) above added extras like a digital experience and frequent flyer rewards.
Similarly, for accommodation, cost (89 per cent) and location (91 per cent) are the main priorities for all Australians.