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Travel businesses targeting Millennial travellers know that keeping these digital natives engaged online and appealing to their mobile mindset are key. Nearly half of all online bookings are completed through mobile apps and that percentage is only expected to grow. Millennials are increasingly using apps to search travel deals, connect with travel companies, and share their travel experiences. Here are a few of the latest developments in travel tech for Millennials.

When all you need is ??☕️ to see the ?

Kayak has started allowing its customers to search for travel using emojis. For example, the New York City emoji features the Statue of Liberty and a slot machine emoji represents Las Vegas. The travel site initially introduced 10 searchable emoji-city combinations and asked travellers to vote on the next 15 city-emoji combinations which were unveiled on World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing.) Just send a ? when searching travel to Mexico City.

The OTA disrupters 

Several new travel apps are taking aim at online travel agencies by capitalising on the personalised customer services offered by hostels and hotels. Hoperator is a live chat and social messaging platform that connects guests with staff throughout their stay, creating a virtual, on-demand concierge.

person taking picture of Austin skyline

It integrates seamlessly with Facebook and Google, so businesses can create guest itineraries by recommending places, events, and activities. Another new booking app and website,, enables hotels and hostels to use the social influencer engine to discover social posts, trends and socially influential people, so they can market to them and attract more young travellers.

What’s Insta-worthy anyways?

Recently released numbers by Instagram show that nearly 60% of US Millennials are active Instagram users. It is no secret that defining attributes of this generation, across nationalities, are the high values placed on experiences and sharing those experiences with others online. The quest for Instagram worthy experiences could mean heading to the North Pole for a selfie or shelling out $400 USD per night for picturesque glamping. But, the appeal isn’t limited strictly to photos. Instagram is increasingly being utilised by both businesses and consumers in new ways.

One of these variations was noted by the WYSE Travel Confederation research team while gathering responses to the New Horizons survey. New Horizons is the only recurring global survey of the youth and student travel segment and seeks insight into the habits and motivations of travellers ages 18-35. This is the fourth edition of the survey and, for the first time, travellers are accessing and taking part in New Horizons via Instagram. Respondents have a chance to win travel prizes, including two tickets to anywhere Emirates flies and three nights’ stay for two people at any Hostelling International hostel worldwide just by completing the survey. Instagram is a platform designed for visually inspiring content, so it is a natural fit for young travellers to be drawn to a survey which could land them in their dream destination – and undoubtedly an Insta-worthy opportunity.

Win prizes by filling out the New Horizons survey