Most Millennials would pay more for travel agent's expertise

Travel agents rejoice! New research has revealed that 60% of Millennials, that golden demographic the travel industry is investing so much time and money into courting, would pay more for a travel agent's expertise when it comes to booking a trip. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of nine out of ten respondents who had sought the services of an agent over the past five years agreed that this had enhanced their travel experience.

Data collated by American Express Travel via their 'Spending & Saving Tracker' and 'Future of Travel' studies discovered that despite the many differences in travel preferences between the Baby Boomer and Millennial generation, there were certain overlaps between the two demographics.

One of these overlaps was their attitude towards hotels with approximately three-quarters of both camps preferring to stay in a traditional hotel room. Additionally, both the Baby Boomers and Millennials chose 'in-room tech' as the most appealing hotel trend of the moment.

Another similarity between the preferences of the two demographics was pointed out by Claire Bennet, Executive Vice President of American Express Travel, at a panel assembled for the first American Express Travel Salon: "One thing is clear, people, regardless of their age and the cost of travel, place a high value on personalised service in their travel experience."

This statement further underlines the fact that personalisation is one trend that travel businesses simply can't afford to ignore, particularly due to the clear emphasis placed on this type of service when it comes to Millennials and their travel planning habits. Compared with Baby Boomers, over 25% more Millennials stated they would be willing to allow brands to create a more personalised travel experience using their data from previous travel purchases. There's simply no arguing with it – customisation is key for the younger generation.

However, prices certainly hold a certain degree of sway as a factor in Millennial travel planning. The American Express data demonstrated that though almost 70% of Millennials would prefer to put in the extra effort to plan a personalised travel experience over purchasing a pre-packaged trip, more than half of this demographic (58.7%) would acquiesce to a package deal if it proved to be less expensive.

Finally, the research revealed that 89% of Millennials reported that the value of personal service cannot be replaced - encouragement indeed for travel businesses seeking to find the balance between a sleek digital offering and human interaction when serving their customers.

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