News & Views

Five Ways For Destinations To Reach Canada’s Millennial Travellers

It was reported that in Canada, millennials are taking the most trips each year (Expedia). Not only do millennial travellers take more trips than any other generational group in the country, but they also prefer to travel internationally and are least likely to plan ahead, with 38 percent of trips booked less than three months in advance.

But what inspires Canadian millennial’s travel decisions? Millennials are most likely to plan their vacation around food and drinks – think Craft Beer Tours and Food Truck Trails. Approximately 70 per cent prefer “off the beaten path” locations and strive to fill their itineraries with arts and cultural experiences. And when Canadian artist Drake preaches the motto YOLO (“You Only Live Once”) – millennials couldn’t agree more. In fact, 80 per cent agree that crossing off bucket list items is a major consideration when planning a trip.

The average Canadian millennial spends 26 days a year travelling, and while it likely comes as no surprise, millennials are most influenced by Facebook, with Pinterest and Twitter coming in as social media influences number two and three. Instagram’s travel influence is by far most revered by Gen Z, with millennials as a close runner-up (32 per cent). By contrast, more than half of the Gen X and Boomer respondents agree that social media does not influence their travel decisions at all.

Whether it’s to visit family, kick back and relax, check out the latest art collection or grab a bite at a notable restaurant, millennials in Canada are travelling more than any other generation. To best reach this target audience, travel destinations should consider these tips when planning their Canadian marketing efforts:

Tip #1: Tailor Your Destination’s Website Content

Given that search engines are the first stop for travel planning, it’s important for a destination’s SEO and SEM to be optimized when millennials hit the keyboard with a general search. Using long-tail keywords ensures that the most relevant search queries are targeted and directed to your destination marketing content. Also, structuring campaigns around specific landing pages will help streamline the search and point millennials directly to the content they need on your destination website. Another millennial-focused consideration is to make sure the content is mobile-friendly. The Visit California website, for example, generates top results for keywords like “California road trips,” which drives to the direct “Road Trips” page on the destination website, making research easy and convenient – and it’s mobile-compatible.

Tip Two #2: Curating Engaging Social Media

Destinations should leverage their social channels to make their online presence consistent across multiple platforms. Ensuring that key destination information, including travel deals, booking links and trusted testimonials are easily accessible make the planning process memorable and enjoyable.

Social channels are not only an opportunity to direct relevant content to an audience but are a way to directly engage with them. For example, Visit Scotland maintains a consistent tone across all social platforms and actively engages with their audience by retweeting, sharing and commenting on posts, making followers feel heard and valued.

Tip #3: Negotiate Digital Influencer Partnerships

As the media landscape continues to evolve, digital influencers are stepping in as key agents to tell destination stories. Authentic influencer partnerships go a long way with Canadian millennial audiences who trust and value the opinion of their peers. While mega-influencers and celebrities have the advantage of reaching a vast audience, niche influencers have the benefit of reaching a hyper-targeted audience and generating a high engagement rate. For example, to promote their vibrant culinary scene, Tahiti Tourisme partnered with three influencers to create and share culinary-focused content across their multiple social channels. The campaign generated awareness within the Canadian millennial market and allowed Tahiti Tourisme to re-purpose the user generated for their owned platforms, attesting to the destination’s credibility and authenticity.

Tip #4: Land Editorial Coverage in Print

Hardcopy magazines still hold weight with Canadian millennials. A beautiful magazine adorned with real, relatable stories and dreamy destination photos continues to captivate and inspire travel plans. Some destinations and destination partners have even begun producing their own quarterly magazines that are coveted by millennials, such as enRoute Magazine by Air Canada and Airbnb Magazine by Airbnb. The added bonus? Beautiful print magazines tend to find a permanent home with millennials (think trendy coffee table décor) compared to rapidly consumed online content.

Tip #5: Brand Partnership

Canada’s millennials are brand loyal and trust the direction that their favourite brands steer them in. Finding the right brand that aligns with a destination’s values helps to reach a previously untapped market. The Singapore Tourism Board, for example, made an interesting and compelling partnership choice with the popular subscription box, FabFitFun. The goal was to expand the Tourism Board’s brand into North America and millennial female consumers were the target, which made the FabFitFun brand a natural fit. FabFitFun included a Singapore branded tote bag in the subscription boxes and the Tourism Board gave away a trip for two to consumers who shared their subscription ‘unboxing’ online and tagged both brands. By joining forces with a like-minded but unexpected brand, destinations can creatively target their ideal audiences.

Millennials in Canada generally turn to the digital world for travel inspiration, from social media and search engines directly to destinations’ websites, but that’s not to say that a strategically placed print article won’t also go a long way with this group. The bottom line is that content is key and destinations need to think strategically about how their stories are being told across multiple platforms.

For more information on Canadian Travel Trends and Millennial Preferences, consider purchasing this research study on Canadian travelers for $450 at

Written By

Ashley Kotar

Ashley Kotar is a destination marketing and public relations practitioner who is an ambassador for the power of Millennial travel dollar.

More Articles by Ashley Kotar

Interested in how DCI collaborates with our clients to increase visitors and business inquiries?

Get In Touch
We have updated our Privacy Policy to include GDPR. If you continue we will assume that you agree to our privacy policy.