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The Futurist: Experiences are the new currency

The rise of technology has radically changed the way we live, consume, work and share our lives.

With social platforms and different forms of crowdsourcing initiatives, consumer preferences – particularly those of Millennials – are constantly evolving. It’s an exciting time indeed, and the travel industry is in the middle of it all.

While digital may be everything today, not all things should be automated and digital.

Today’s travellers are connected and well-informed; they want to travel in evermore immersive ways. We use technology to connect travellers and local hosts for that truly authentic travel experience.

More importantly, we always try to provide authentic off-the-beaten path experiences. According to our study, if money was no object, 42% of Millennials surveyed in China, the United Kingdom and the United States would choose travel as the thing they would most do – ranking higher than buying a new home or car. Creating memories has surpassed the appeal of purchasing possessions.

Also, Millennials are the largest generation in history and by 2025, Millennials and the younger generations will account for 75% of all consumers and travellers – it is crucial that brands – both in the travel sector and beyond – pay attention to their evolving priorities and adapt their offerings to cater accordingly.

We also recently launched Trips which was based on the research of people wanting to create a truly meaningful and connective experience. One of the ways through this mobile first application, is Experiences.

Now, travellers can enjoy handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts that they would never find anywhere else such as a wasabi making workshop in Tokyo or learning about an organic vintage vineyard in Paris. As such, going forward, brands should also ensure relevancy and play a valued role in their lives, along with what is important to them.

With the ever-connectivity with global current affairs news, they are passionate about supporting various communities and causes.

Social impact experiences build on the inherent good of Airbnb travel, from economic impact to communities and neighbourhoods, to environmental impact of sustainable travel to the social impact of bringing people from different cultures together.

Any brand’s initiatives will not be possible without the combination of the interest in consumer needs and technology. People always think of new behavioural trends as disruptive and a replacement from more traditional forms of strategies, I think it’s more innovation. Now more than ever, technology is the business. And no company, not even Airbnb, can afford to slow the pace of its development.

The writer is Juliana Nguyen, regional brand marketing director, Asia-Pacific, Airbnb.

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