$8.8 Trillion Travel Tech Boom — Are You In?
- Millennials are fueling a massive travel tech boom. This is so big it’s flooding record amounts into the global economy.
- Here’s a great way to invest in this mega trend before it surges even higher.
I fall right between Gen X and the millennials.
My teenage years included both dial-up services such as CompuServe and the internet as we know it now.
But when it comes to spending, I’m definitely more millennial.
You see, I prefer to spend money on experiences instead of possessions. I’ve always liked to travel. But you could probably guess that from Monday Market Talks, when I pop up in a different location almost every week!
I got the travel bug early on.
After college, I saved as much as I could and traveled through Europe. But instead of booking my trip through established tour companies or buying expensive Eurail passes, I opted to wing it.
I went wherever I wanted, when I wanted, and shifted my schedule on a whim. I ended up exploring Eastern European cities such as Zagreb, Croatia; Budapest, Hungary; and Prague in the Czech Republic.
I built my own travel plans using the World Wide Web. I was able to duck into internet cafes to find schedules, get help with different languages, book accommodations and get local tips.
I was seeking an authentic experience rather than a managed tour.
The reason I’m sharing all this with you today is because there is a growing industry catering to this mindset, which millennials are all about.
And that means there’s a great investment opportunity here. I’m going to tell you how to tap into this new travel tech boom and the companies leading it.
Grab the Record-Breaking Millennial Travel Trend
Bloomberg reports these travel tech stocks outperformed the benchmark measure of U.S. equities last month, in part due to rising demand from millennials and people like me.
Travel and tourism contributed a record $8.8 trillion to the global economy last year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, which represents more than 170 industry companies.
Millennials want the experience! There’s a reason the younger generations are putting off owning cars and homes and making big purchases.
That’s what’s fueling the travel tech boom.
And, like me, a lot of millennials prefer to plan and design their own travel experiences, so they can build authenticity into their trips.
According to Michel Karam, CEO and founder of online travel planning platform muvTravel:
Travelers are looking for local experiences, whether cultural, natural, artistic or culinary. They want to go where the locals go and do what the locals do, even if it means to “dump the Eiffel Tower visit.”
Millennials also value:
- Personalization or experience — the ability to customize an experience to unique interests such as food, art, music or sports.
- Spontaneity — the chance to mix things up on the fly, rather than follow a rigid plan set in stone in advance. Younger generations prefer “spur of the moment” adventures.
- Efficiency — the assurance they are getting a good bang for their travel buck.
They also prefer visiting cities, with urban trips growing 82%, according to World Travel Monitor. And the most popular city? The Big Apple, according to a July 2017 Ipsos Mori study of 18,557 people from 26 countries.
The tech that enables these experiences includes sites such as Kayak. The company lets you book everything from flights to hotels to rental cars all around the world, set travel alerts for price declines and organize booked trips in one place.
Uber — which went public this year — is another that enables efficient travel. Rather than scramble to find the local transportation option in every city, make sure you have the proper currency, negotiate with the driver and pray that you aren’t being taken for a ride (pun intended!), Uber can be a reliable option in 60 countries and 400 cities.
And pretty soon, the company will have its own payment network, which will save travelers money on currency conversion and transaction costs while earning them loyalty rewards.
AirBnb is another company catering to millennials’ wanderlust. The company, which is expected to issue an initial public offering (IPO) next year, is one of the biggest game changers we’ve ever seen in the travel industry.
The trend toward experiential spending is only getting stronger as younger generations move up the wealth ladder.
So, how can you leverage this major mega travel trend as an investor?
One way is by investing in these millennial-fueled companies through their IPOs. Over time, more than half of IPOs go up 100% or more. Even the smallest stake can turn into a huge profit opportunity.
But here’s another way: Invest in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that gives you plenty of exposure to the millennial generation.
The one I recommend is the Global X Millennials Thematic ETF (Nasdaq: MILN). Adding this one to your portfolio not only lets you profit from companies that specialize in millennial fads, but also gives you a great way to raise the capital for your next vacation too!
Editor, IPO Speculator