PHOTO: Music drives travel thanks to Contiki. (photo via Flickr/Audio Technica)
It’s important to concentrate on the sounds and not so much the sights — especially if you’re trying to connect with the younger generation of travelers.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Melissa da Silva, president of Contiki, on how music can be a major driving force for millennial travel as well as an awesome opportunity the company is now offering – an astounding 10-day trip to a major music festival.
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It’s all to champion findings the global tour operator found when it asked millennials about their respective travel habits.
The study found that a whopping 60 percent of this generation’s respondents said that a song triggered a nostalgic emotion that made them want to travel.
The study is a wonderful dive into the musical inclinations of a generation that is quickly becoming the go-to demographic to target for travel groups and travel agents.
In discovering the close tie between music and travel, Contiki launched Travel Remixed, a website dedicated to the sweet sounds of globetrotting possibilities.
And, for those who need a bit more of enticement, it launched the Travel Remixed Sweepstakes.
Simply enter and you may get a dream vacation. Contiki promises the winner, anyone falling between the ages of 18-35 (sorry, grandpa), a 10-day holiday in Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Budapest.
READ MORE: Millennial Families Are Turning to Travel Agents
In Budapest, you will enjoy the Sziget Festival, which will have you steeped in a musical paradise. Obviously, it’s the kind of trip that will pepper your brain with memories you will remember for a lifetime.
And, as we now know, it takes just one song to have you on the Internet looking for the next flight out.
As mentioned, we spoke with Contiki’s president on the study, the contest and how the findings might help those close to the industry such as travel agents.
Here is that interview.
TravelPulse: Music seems to be a great driving force behind Millennial travel. How might travel agents take advantage of Contiki's recent study on music influencing future trips?
Melissa da Silva: We wanted to see if music directly influenced millennials before, during and after their travel experiences. The recent survey we conducted confirmed our inclination with findings that an overwhelming majority of millennials agree that listening to certain songs evoke a positive travel memory. In fact, 60 (percent) of millennials feel inspired to book a trip after hearing a song that reminds them of a past travel experience. This shows that there is a connection to music during the consideration phase, when travelers are speaking with a travel agent, and that connection can then become a travel reality which is only a booking away.
Music and travel relates the travel agent with the millennial even if they are not millennials themselves. They can talk about their own travel experiences and how a song takes them back to a past travel memory. The emotion crosses generations even as music styles change.
TP: Is there merit in tour groups based heavily on music and touring a city with, say, a playlist on? Or perhaps a concert tour, or festival laden itinerary?
MD: Absolutely, many young travelers are music enthusiasts or just enjoy the overall culture or vibe of a given music festival, therefore they will likely be attracted to tours that incorporate a music element. In fact, we found that 96 (percent) of young travelers believe music makes for an overall more positive travel experience – so touring a city with a specific playlist on is sure to create some good vibes and memories. With this in mind, we’ve curated a few itineraries that are music-focused, such as Sziget Festival in Hungary, Rhythm & Alps in New Zealand, or our Greek Week Pride trips in Athens and Mykonos. These trips include the festivals, while allowing the traveler to experience a Contiki (tour) and explore different countries and cultures along the way for the ultimate social travel experience.
TP: What's the first thing you might do as a travel agent to take advantage of this information?
MD: When a travel intender walks into a travel agency, the travel agent will usually ask consultative questions to get a better understanding about the travel experience that person wants. By digging deeper into the expectation of what that traveler wants, they can then offer the best possible travel style and trip that suits that person – especially since we know that no two travelers are the same. At that time, music may be an important part of their travel and therefore may meld into their ideal travel experience. If that’s the case then determining the best trip surrounding a festival, concert, etc. may need to be a part of the trip selected. If anything, it’s a conversation starter.
TP: Please expand on this awesome 10-day trip giveaway Contiki is offering.
MD: We love festivals...Contiki’s 10-Day Sziget Festival Trip (August 5 to August 14) starts in Berlin then travels to Prague and Vienna before making tracks for Budapest. This Contiki trip is simply amazing and a must-do for music and travel enthusiasts. It’s more than just a festival; the trip combines a cool Contiki adventure through some of Europe’s best cities, finishing off with the grand finale – (three) days at one of Europe’s biggest multicultural events: Sziget – Island of Freedom, with performances this year from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Queens of the Stone Age, Calvin Harris, Lily Allen and many more. With accommodation, festival tickets, as well as plenty of ME Time Optionals, combined with new friends, festive vibes and the awesome sights of Europe – this really is a new kind of festival experience.