With the help of technology and the growing and widespread use of social media, younger generations in America are beginning to have more in common with people of the same age across the globe than they do with older generations in their own country. This is especially true for Gen Z, the youngest generation of teens and tweens, who spend a large chunk of their lives online.
This is not necessarily the case for all Millennials quite yet, particularly when it comes to their travel and spending habits. In fact, it is Millennials in Asia who are shaking up the travel industry in a completely new and mystifying way.
According to a recent article from Apex, Chinese Millennials represent one of the biggest populations of the millennial group. Sixty percent of Millennials worldwide live in Asia, with a third originating from either China or India. But it’s not just the amount of them that’s notable: according to a study commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board, Chinese Millennials are the biggest spenders among Asian Millennials, with some feeling comfortable spending nearly $14,000 on travel per year!
But it’s not just in their travel spending habits where Chinese Millennials differ from American Millennials. It’s in how they use technology and bridge language barriers.
“Millennials in other places tend to be less tech-savvy, more tech dependent,” said Jason Dorsey. “They don’t know how tech works; they just know they can’t get on without it. In China, though, you tend to have a much higher threshold of technical skills. It’s a whole new level. There’s a complete integration into that digital world, which to them is as important and almost as real as the physical world.”
Chinese Millennials also value independence and small luxuries in their travel. Many of them piece together trips on their own instead of using travel agents and tour operators, and they have an affinity for perks. Dorsey explains that this is a huge opportunity for airlines especially since they could make big loyalty gains with small details on board.
“Here’s where Chinese Millennials really differ from other generations,” said Dorsey. “They like small luxuries. What that means is that a nicer soap or a nicer cookie, or anything like that, that adds just a touch of luxury to the experience is meaningful to them … If the airlines thought like that, that would be one of the important things.”