How millennials (and climate awareness) are shaping travel


What exactly does it mean? According to common understanding, millennials are the generation born between the ’80s and the early 2000s, which was linked with communication and digital media. A striking feature of the millennial generation, or, more specifically, of the millennial traveller is their affinity towards climate change.

The Reality of Climate Change

Climate change is a very real and very now problem. It affects millions of people globally, and its impact is not just restricted to the human race. The ghastly reality of climate change transcends onto nature, destroying tropical tourist destinations such as Bali as a result of high tides and flooding and pushes numerous species to the brink of extinction. Climate change is a prime concern of the modern day millennial traveller, and one particular aspect that it influences is airplane travel.

Modern Day Travel

Millennials today account for the vast majority of international tourists, and hence, it is their preferences and interests that are shaping modern day travel. For millennials, a large part of their travel consists of business travel: work-related trips that are usually short on leisure time.

However, with multitasking being a feat of this generation they often squeeze in time for miscellaneous activities whilst on work-related travel. Millennials also crave a customised experience, and so they prefer to remain tech savvy and use different apps to enhance their travel experience. They then like to use these platforms to utilise what is perceived as the best deal and stock up on (and consume) hard-earned loyalty points.

Perhaps, the greatest way millennial traveller has revitalised modern day travel is by inculcating the ever-growing concerns of climate change into their travel experience. Millennials have shown to prefer ‘experiences’ over ‘things’. These experiences can vary from visits to world-class beaches to exploring tropics and lagoons to activities such as cave exploring and rock climbing. If companies in the travel industry are accommodating towards these requests, a great ancillary revenue opens up.

Acts to Protect

Millennials are willing to pay a little extra if it means saving the environment, to put it simply. They prefer eating organic and Fairtrade, even though it is a costlier way of life. Moreover, millennials often engage in environmentally sustainable activities such as clearing up beaches, forests or water bodies of trash or perhaps, opting to use less plastic.

The average millennial traveller strives to ‘live like a local‘ and thus, opts for accommodation that is as closely situated to the natural landscape of the area. Since these areas are usually owned by locals, they are adamant of maintaining ethical practices and harbouring deep respect for flora and fauna of the area. In order to get all these things, they are more than willing to pay an amount that is somewhat heftier.

Airplane Travel

Airplane travel is one of, if not the biggest cause of climate change. As millennials are now entering the time period where they are fast approaching an affluent stage they spend more freely on international airplane travel. A survey has found that forty per cent of millennials prefer to use eco-friendly air travel options and that a smaller number even forgoes air travel altogether, where it is possible and goes by a means of transport that consumes less fuel.

All in all, the future of air travel and of the travel sector as a whole is deeply influenced by millennials and their growing concern for climate change and the havoc it will cause on our planet.