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Travel is booming, and it’s not because of Boomers.
As more Millennials have reached higher levels of affluence, they’ve started to take more exotic trips. In fact, Millennials have the highest average spend per trip at $879 according to Mintel. Young people are spending a higher percent of their free time and income on travel. Traveling has become a part of their identity, an important step in understanding the world and themselves. What’s more, this travel itch is not unique to Millennials; it’s helped define what it means to be a modern consumer.
Millennial Mindset Consumers have created the experience economy: this modern consumer isn’t defined by age and now values badge experiences – often as much or more than a badge product. I saw this firsthand during my recent visit to Europe. In Switzerland, I took the train to the top of Europe:Jungfraujoch. There, I met a young family from Austria who had just scaled the mountain, a grueling day-long journey starting a few hours after midnight. You may be surprised by what greeted these mountaineers on their return: an ice palace, classes on Swiss chocolate, restaurants, year-round skiing and even a hole-in-one golf course. Had they shown up in summer of 2014, they may have been able to watch a tennis match between Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn.
The question is then, does all of this actually attract more customers? Apparently yes, as over a million people visited Jungfraujoch in 2017. And how do they hear about it? Well, it’s a pretty safe bet that it has something to do with Matthias Bütler, chief marketing officer of Jungfrau Railways. I took the opportunity to interview Matthias and gain insights into attracting modern consumers.
Jeff Fromm: I imagine when a tourist plans their trip to Europe, they’re torn between wanting to visit Paris, Rome, and the Swiss Alps. How do you convince them to come to Jungfraujoch?
Matthias Bütler: There are many reasons to visit Jungfraujoch. We have a historic train culture built around the incredible accomplishments of Adolph Guyer-Zeller and Europe’s highest train station. We enjoy incredible views of the Bernese mountains and our neighbor the Aletsch Glacier. We even offer gourmet dining and Swiss chocolate tempering classes. This place is a UNESCO world heritage site. Ultimately, we provide more than pretty views, though we have plenty of those! Everything we offer adds to the experience. When a person visits Jungfraujoch, they truly adventure. They ride the trains. They can hike the glacier. They can even try skiing in summer or playing a little golf!