The majority of news and media outlets have spent tens of thousands of words deciphering the millennial generation - that the group aged 21 to 35 - and for good reason. Since the fastest growing consumer demographic, as well as one that is spending at an amazing pace, companies in each sector are coveting this high-potential industry. Already, the demographic spends almost $600 billion a year, equal to nearly a third of daily-per-person expenditures.
The tendency has spread to almost every major consumer-facing sector, for example, luxury goods market, property, technology, and retail.
Millennials are also traveling longer, even matching retirees as one of the biggest demographics spending money on trips and reservations. Some experts have noticed the significance of this generation to the travel industry, but it appears that the rest of the industry has been slower to change their offerings to fit this burgeoning customer group's demands.
The travel industry is now defined by some significant names at the top of the shrub, and also a powerful centralization of power and processes, which leads to disadvantageous prices and deals for consumers alongside fewer options.
Even excursion planning has its challenges thanks to sites like TripAdvisor which are believed to be negatively impacted by their centralization and much more primitive monetization model. In addition, it is far from the sole supplier with these kinds of problems.
Booking sites like Expedia and Kayak assess fees at each stage of the supply chain, charging significant rates and moving the majority of the prices to consumers. This increasingly runs counter to the preferences of millennials, including more personalized solutions, experiences more than products and extra flexibility.
Modifying The Millennial Paradigm
While these travel businesses tighten their stranglehold on the market, they open the door for upstarts to disrupt the market with solutions that are geared more directly at millennials.
The move may seem useless at first, but when one considers that the current marketplace for millennial traveling is valued at about $200 billion yearly, new organizations are speaking more directly to generations Y and Z in the hope of carrying a larger piece of the rapidly growing pie.
For most entrepreneurs and possible disruptors within this area, the reply to breaking up the millennial traveling marketplace rests in blockchain technology. The decentralized community and immutable ledger strategy make the technology an ideal partner for the customized travel experience millennials seek, some have posited.
Indeed, more young individuals are turning back to travel agents - 34% of them in 2016 based on reports - and - blockchain fills the most significant checkbox: an individual touch to the reservation procedure.
As a result of their focus on this critical facet, blockchain-based travel businesses are benefiting from changing demographics and demand, especially for younger generations who shy away from larger companies think they are too corporatized or profit-driven to care about consumers.
Above all, blockchain-based options match with trends found by observers. For example, younger adults share their travel experiences on social media and demonstrate stronger loyalty to firms offering rewards.
Blockchain and associated IT of those Distributed Ledged Technology (DLT) is claimed to be perfectly set up to harness these trends thanks to increased Peer-to-Peer (P2P) communications and far better client incentivizing methods via tokenization. The technology has made important progress penetrating the market, with a few businesses already making an important splash.
Enhancing Travel, One Bit at a Time
Since journey encompasses more than simply booking flights, even blockchain-based start-ups have discovered success attacking portions of the process, as opposed to supplying vertically integrated solutions that centralize all facets.
For example, recommendation platform Cool Cousin attempts to turn users into de facto travel brokers in their own cities. Visitors can request recommendations and "Cousins" are poised to participate thanks to the platform CUZ tokens, letting customers make rewards for assisting others and offering great advice.
For millennials who report sifting through many sites before making any travel decision, this impartial and private interaction is well known as providing a more holistic solution. "What we've heard from excellent services like Netflix and Spotify is that when you provide both - millennials are the first to embrace and consider it because a buck well spent"
He added: "Information overload and biased articles in the centralized travel market makes it impossible for travelers to find relevant info. No matter how hard they try to steer clear of dubious recommendations, a lot of the vacation time - and dime - can be wasted on mediocre places that don't fit their vibe"
The executive further noted: "Our cousins are all local, they are in the know, they're just like you and also their primary incentive is for you to have a wonderful time in their specific city."
In the same way, US-based Loyyal claims to provide companies improved ways to incentivize millennial travelers by producing "gamified" loyalty platforms (i.e. making things into a type of sport for greater interaction and participation), as well as expanding the limited salvation system.
Instead of being made to devote things with a specific service provider, this blockchain business permits for interoperability and much more expansive rewards plans that improve retention and consequently profits.
French blockchain start-up Fizzy meanwhile is aiming to give millennials that are quickly ditching travel insurance a much better method to protect themselves utilizing transparent Ethereum-based smart contracts.
By resolving these ancillary problems, millennials are more inclined to participate and continue spending on the journey, it's argued. The goal of blockchain-based businesses entering the market isn't necessarily to replace existing constructions, but rather to fill gaps in services that many of the bigger corporations cannot - or simply won't mend.
CryptoCribs, by way of example, is driving competition with leasing giant AirBnB with its P2P home-sharing platform, is accompanied by no commissions, penalties or gatekeepers.
And, by tackling such problems, the business is staking its promise and so is generating financial opportunities - not just for the companies making the services - but also for millennial stakeholders who are willing participants in their ecosystems.
Just like much of the blockchain and crypto industry, there remain skeptics who are unsure whether the technology will really help catch a piece of the millennial industry. But generations Y and Z represent a gigantic client base, and their purchasing power has been extensively established.
For the travel sector to enhance its services aimed at this growing market, it would appear sensible that is must take larger steps to accommodate their own ways of life and preferences. And, for a business that earns billions per year from millennials, better retention rates will ultimately depend on embracing innovative new solutions which resolve perceived pain points for this burgeoning generation.