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Millennials and their effect on Travel in Denver

March 30, 2016, DENVER, CO- With the soaring number of people moving to Denver on an annual basis, there has been a substantial change to the overall vision of what the city is most known for. While people still flock to the city looking hit the slopes, enjoy the scenic hikes, and taste a couple of microbrews, now there is another draw. Many are flocking to Denver to be a part of the startup boom that has hit the city over the past five years. Over 100,000 out-of-state residents have moved to the Denver metro area from 2010-2014, according to the U.S Census Bureau. This is the fifth-largest influx of migrant growth, surpassing cities like Seattle and Washington, D.C.

With all this growth and the potential for job opportunities due to the startup tech boom, Denver has become a haven for the millennial generation. The millennial generation can be defined as people born in between 1980 and 2003, and we can already see the generation’s effect on corporate America. According to a Cone Communications Social Impact Study, as of 2013, millennials account for over $1 trillion in U.S Consumer spending. A lot of that spending can be accounted for by the sheer number of individuals in this generation. By 2020, millennials will comprise of one in three of all adult Americans. There is a huge demand for this generation in the workforce as companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook have recently become top ideal employers for millennials.

One of the defining factors to the millennial generation is their affinity for travel. The United Nations estimates that 20 percent of all international tourists, or nearly 200 million travelers are millennials, and this is not going to change in the foreseeable future. According to the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, by 2020 young travelers will make over 320 million international trips which is a 47% increase from 217 million trips in 2013. On top of that, according to the Boston Consulting Group, millennials are more interested in travel than any other demographic by 23 percentage points. 

Millennials’ affinity for travel in their personal life has greatly affected the way they view business travel. According to Pew Research center 26 percent of millennials are married. If you compare that number to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers at the same age, there is a 20 percent decrease in the amount who are married. In addition an Urban Institute study showed that millennial women are having children at “by far the slowest rate of any generation.” These statistics support the theory that unlike other generations that felt the need to be home, millennials are traveling for business at a very high rate. Research is already showing that as of 2014, millennials comprise one third of all business flights.

The effect all this travel has had on the industry has been substantial. It can be seen in the way hotels are modernizing their images to include more open space to create a more interactive feel to fit the desires of the millennials generation, or the need for there to be WIFI everywhere for the young business traveler. We also see this technological push in small things such as being able to check in and out of a hotel via text or an app.

With a growing millennial population and a huge boost in business travel, Denver has become a hub for these innovative ideas that will only continue to move forward and grow in the future.

-Aaron Kocurek | aaron.kocurek@us.fcm.travel