Young professionals gain voice within tourism association, share insights with leaders.
Lexington, KY.—Members of the Millennial Generation shared their outlook on life, travel and the tourism industry with the NTA Board of Directors this week, and the association’s leaders were listening. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, were born between 1980 and 1995 and, according to projections, will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.
The impending generational shift is important for associations, whose members and leaders have been Baby Boomers, according to Lisa Simon, NTA president.
“As Boomers phase out of the workplace, associations will rely on Gen X and Gen Y,” said Simon. “And because young professionals engage differently, the NTA board knows it’s important to understand their needs in order to meet their expectations.”
The Millennials session, held Monday during a board meeting in Lancaster, Pa., included a focus-group discussion and a presentation from board member Cathleen Johnson of Edelman, a global public relations firm whose research on Millennials has powerful implications for the travel and tourism industry, including the following:
- Millenials travel in groups but don’t think of it as “group travel”; they’re simply seeking shared experiences.
- Their travel is focused on how they will change the world; good works is a way of life for Millennials.
- Sustainability is not merely important to Millennials—it’s necessary.
“One of the most enlightening points is that Millennials like traveling in groups and they expect value for their investment,” said Simon. “That means they want two of the most common and important ingredients that packaged travel has to offer: camaraderie and value.”
Millennials will be the topic of a presentation by Johnson at Travel Exchange, NTA’s annual convention to be held in concert with the United Motorcoach Association in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20 to 24. The seminar, “Pathway to Understanding the Millennial Generation,” will explore demographic distinctions and marketing strategies.
Also at Travel Exchange is the first meeting of a new group that encompasses the Millennial Generation: The NTA Young Professionals Town Hall will give younger members of the association an opportunity to network and discuss career development, generational marketing and personal branding.
For more information on the board meeting discussion, see “The Millennial Mindset,” an NTA blog entry. For the full lineup of education at Travel Exchange, follow this link. For more information about Travel Exchange—including the schedule and “Stay & Play” options—visit NTA Online.