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April 21, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa: Redefining Luxury in The Age Of The Millennial

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Millennials are an influential group of travelers, and their understanding of luxury travel is redefining the industry. Gone are the days of gilded hotel rooms ...

Speaking at World Travel Market Africa 2017, Anthony Berklich, Founder, Inspired Citizen elaborates:

Millennials seeks unique, special and exclusive experiences and items that make them feel different, and separate them from the masses. Most importantly, these experiences must allow them to express themselves. They are a little narcissistic and will spend money to feel special.

Millennials, largely, do not save. They believe in living for today and enjoying their lives.

How does this translate into the way millennials travel?

Millennials travel spontaneously, going longer distances for shorter periods of time. Not everyone has two weeks off to go to Africa, so they might condense their trip to seven or even five days. Millennials are interested in new and exciting destinations, places that are special and make them stand out from their friends. They seek experiences that change them – that speak to their ego – but also their spirit.

How does the millennial look for new destinations, properties and travel experiences?

  • Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and other social media tools.
  • Netflix, fashion magazines, blogs and other media.

How does the destination or travel product get in front of a millennial and attract their spending power?

  • Cater to millennials
  • Create an environment or experience conducive to luxurious and memorable travel moments
  • Look through social media to see what people are photographing, showcasing and using for Instagram and Snapchat
  • Create social media friendly environments through rooms, public spaces, food services, etc. Or encourage your in-city/country properties to do so if you’re a destination.
  • Know who you are and what you offer. What do you have to offer a millennial traveller that is unique? How can you challenge yourself to take something boring or regular and turn it into something exclusive and fun?
  • Make an effort to pay attention to lighting, surfaces, décor, and the tiny details of an environment that encourage people to take photos and share them.
  • Make your social media presence known – supply your visitors with hashtags, social media handles and more so they can share with ease.
  • Know who influential travel, fashion and lifestyle bloggers are and follow them – watch what they do
  • Host trips for millennial influencers – paying attention not just to the amount of followers they have, but how they share and what their aesthetic is. Does it match yours?
  • Be sure to offer experiences that you can’t find elsewhere – train your staff to make the millennial traveller feel like it’s set up just for them.
  • Partner with other like-minded organisation, hotels, tour groups, etc. to share travellers and capitalise on each other’s’ offerings.

How can African destinations, hotels and travel experiences reach the millennial outside of Africa?

  • Africa is largely known, yet unknown to a lot of travellers overseas.
  • But. Through the constant consumption of media and information – millennials are expanding their knowledge of Africa and the diversity and variety of offer here.
  • Use your product and make it work for you – showcasing incredible imagery and effective, short, memorable writing to capture their hearts.
  • Don’t sell yourself short – invest in photography and video that can bring your magic to life- including a beautiful website
  • Conceptualise social media campaigns, hashtags and contests that bring your prospective millennial traveller in, and keep their attention
  • Know your weaknesses and use them in a way that help make you stand out. If your destination doesn’t rain for six months in the year, don’t write that season off. Use it to create incredible experiences that will attract the adventurous millennial.


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