|ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby|
Millennials are leading the way when it comes to travel agents, according to a recently-released study by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), “Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money.”
The study, which was sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line and conducted by market research firm TNS Global, surveyed more than 14,000 U.S. households with at least $50,000 per year in household income and who travel at least once per year.
ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby and Director, Industry Affairs and Research Kevin Wang shared some further insights on the study in a recent press conference, and the results indicated good news for travel agents looking to attract Millennial clients.
30 percent of Millennials surveyed had used a travel agent in the past 12 months, says Kerby, the highest of any age group. Additionally, 45 percent were extremely likely to recommend a travel agent to a friend or family member.
“We’ve talked before about the aging demographic of the travel agent community — that’s no secret to anyone,” says Kerby. “But I think the really good news is that people who come into this business are going to find customers in this business already.”
Other highlights from the report? Millennial travelers are well-connected, and tend to usually search online or on social media for travel information, says Wang.
“When travel agents have a prominent online presence, they are more reachable by Millennials,” says Wang. “They have additional information that Millennials can research and find.”
Kerby points to one stat that surprised him in particular: While the average age for Millennials is 30, a full 40 percent of Millennials surveyed reported earning over $100,000 per year.
“I was surprised how Millennials seem to be coming into their own in terms of joining the workforce and having lucrative jobs,” Kerby says.
The survey showed positive trends for other age groups, too. Across each of the four age categories in the survey — Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and Matures — travel agent use rises with income, says Kerby. Additionally, travel agent users tend to have a higher travel budget than those who book themselves, says Wang.
The report is available for download at ASTA.org.