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Bye Bye Backpacking, Hello Millennial Jet Setters

If there's no WIFI, there's no point.

16/10/2016 2:35 PM AEDT | Updated 16/10/2016 8:04 PM AEDT
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Millennials want gorgeous bathrooms and fast internet, and you can't always get that at a backpacker hostel.

You've probably still got the dusty old rucksack you took backpacking around the world when you were younger.

Maybe it's got a long-forgotten trekking buddy's Hotmail address scrawled in a compartment, or the code your Mum sent you to make international calls from India.

This backpacking rite of passage has been in place since the Baby Boomers flew their coop, yet today's Millennials have other plans.

And it's set to reshape the global travel industry as we know it.

Jupiterimages
Backpacking isn't what it used to be.

As Jessa Garland, 21, tells The Huffington Post Australia, backpacking doesn't really appeal.

"I'm more about getting a deal somewhere that has an amazing view or a stunning bathroom than go to a youth hostel," Garland said.

"Like when I was in Eastern Europe this year, I wanted to find amazing experiences and spend my savings on a little bit of luxury more than acting like a backpacker.

"It's not like I took a year off so my money was more about having a short, glam, fun time at places where I can meet like-minded people, than living like a wandering monk for a year."

The global travel industry is listening to this desire to stay somewhere unique and responding with a host of new hotel concepts.

JO&JOE
JO&JOE borrows hostel elements but with a highend twist.

AccorHotels has launched its new Millennial-centric brand JO&JOE with a focus on bold interiors, private rooms and communal share space that feel a bit like a co-working hub.

The new brand, which will launch globally over the next years with a target of opening 50 venues by 2020, will have an "open house' feel with shared laundries and kitchens "just like at home".

JO&JOE
JO&JOE wants a share space for guests that appeals to Millennials.

Best Western, meanwhile, has created a new brand called Glō that is designed to suit millennials with small rooms, large shared space and high-tech facilities.

It promises "selfie moments" and "pops of colour".

Closer to home, Queensland launched a major campaign last year to encourage Millennials from Britain to visit.

Tourism and Events Queensland Chief Executive Leanne Coddington said the partnership with STA Travel and 22 universities was about growing an already engaged market.

Tourism and Events Queensland
Millennials make up about half of all British visitors to Queensland.

"British visitors between 15 and 29 represent just under 50 per cent of all holiday visitors from the UK. Queensland also welcomed 143,000 youth holiday visitors from Continental Europe [in 2014], which is 60 per cent of the total visitor share.

Back to Garland and her next holiday plans. She said there was a simple way she and her friends picked travel destinations.

"Usually I find inspiration on Instagram," she said.

"I want to see that lots of people have had a brilliant time at the place I'm thinking about and I guess I'm also thinking about how my experiences and photos will be.

"Sometimes people I travelled with for, like, two days in 2014 will do something cool and I'll see it on Instagram and be like, that's where I'm going next."

So maybe Instagram has taken over from scraps of paper with friend's Hotmail addresses and email chains full of travel photos, but the goal is still the same -- to find somewhere beautiful.

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