Travel Impressions Talks Caribbean Travel, Millennials

Travel Impressions Scott Wiseman and others show how travel trends are looking good for the future.

 PHOTO: The Caribbean may have some competition. (photo via Flickr/

By Gabe Zaldivar, Travel Pulse
The modern travel agent has an amazing opportunity as well as some hurdles in the Caribbean as well as for travel in general.
[post_ads]Travel Impressions president Scott Wiseman was at the Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference and spoke to the audience gathered at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel during Caribbean Week New York.

Wiseman took the opportunity to bolster confidence in the industry and tout the Caribbean as a market that remains one of the best products in the world.

The president also had comments for the way the industry has shifted thanks to a younger generation eager to enjoy both the Caribbean and the great beyond.

He offered some words of caution as Latin American countries promise to entice a great deal of travelers in the near future: “You can look at any tourism barometer and see that travel to the Caribbean is trending upwards.”
As the press release further explained: “Wiseman cautioned attendees about some of the Caribbean’s tourism-hungry neighbors, many of which are on pace to provide stiff competition in the coming decade. He noted Central American destinations such as Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua in particular.”

When it comes to selling the Caribbean, Wiseman offered salient advice to anyone in the industry: “Marketing is a lot like agriculture. It’s an essential exercise to grow your tourism product. As decision-makers for your destinations, you’re responsible for planting the seeds that will ensure your tourism appeal remains vibrant for years to come. This is true for destinations worldwide, but is especially crucial for the Caribbean because of your economic dependencies on tourism.”

In particular, Wiseman points to the millennial generation that has forced travel marketing to evolve:

“Pristine pictures in ads have given way to social media accounts that show more raw images, footage and on-the-fly media sourced organically by influencers they trust or hope to emulate. This group and the rising generation are looking for more connected experiences—pictures and quick videos that are immersive, destination-specific, and happening in real time. They don’t want to be sold; they want authenticity, visual storytelling and virtual experience.”
Bank of America unveiled its study of 40 million transactions this past April and showed millennials illustrated a remarkable growth in the sector with a 31 percent increase in travel transactions. FutureCast announced last year that it found this younger generation was responsible for $200 billion annually on travel.

The younger generation, however, also continues to find value in a classic booking model. TravelPulse’s Janeen Christoff previously explained millennials are using travel agents to book family travel and quotes Eileen Ogintz of the website Taking the Kids: “Advisers in the Virtuoso network, which specializes in luxury travel, gathered recently in Las Vegas and reported that families, in particular, are looking for special experiences that they may not be able to arrange on their own.”

It’s that urge to find a unique trip and the means to experience it that should have travel agents targeting this demographic en masse.

Wiseman echoes that sentiment, stating, “Millennials are more likely to book their vacation through a travel agent than any other age demographic.”
And it would be wrong to dismiss them: “a lot more complex than the ‘selfie generation’ label might suggest. Millennials aren’t coming to your shores to spend their entire week tanning poolside. They come to experience things worthy of their Instagram feed—and they want to cram as much into their vacation as possible.”

The younger generation is getting older, however.

That means it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and utilize such budding Google searches as the ones pointed out by Wiseman: “Best Vacations for Kids Under 10, Inexpensive Family Vacations, Baby-Friendly Vacations, Family Trip Ideas, and Family Vacation Ideas with Toddlers were the top five breakout search trends.”

Using the generation’s online vernacular is paramount for travel agents. The most important takeaway, however, is that this generation understands how indispensable agents are to the cause.


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Travel Magazine: Travel Impressions Talks Caribbean Travel, Millennials
Travel Impressions Talks Caribbean Travel, Millennials
Travel Impressions Scott Wiseman and others show how travel trends are looking good for the future.
Travel Magazine
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