Investigating the Consumer Behaviour of Millennials in the Tourism Industry

Categories: IndustryTourism


For this chapter, the author will explain the background of the research, define consumer behaviour in tourism, the difference between international tourism and domestic tourism, aims and objectives, millennials’ travel trends, and last but not least the structure for the next chapter dissertation.

The author will discuss the factors influencing millennials’ choice of international travel or domestic travel in the dissertation. Do Millennials prefer to travel internationally or domestically, this is why the author is interested to investigate the consumer behaviour of millennials towards the tourism industry.

Background of the Research

To understand the perception of millennials is important for the tourism industry in Malaysia. This is why the research is important for the Malaysia tourism industry. In the future, this might help to improve the revenue of local agencies in Malaysia. In addition, the author is interested in finding out the factors influence millennials’ choice of travel.

Meaning of Consumer Behaviour

According to (Khaled, 2008: p.37), consumer behaviour is the actions the consumer engages in when they decide to buy the good or service to fulfil their personal need and want.

During the purchasing process, involvement of evaluating, obtaining, using and disposing of it can be named as decision-making processes.

There are many factors that affect consumer behaviour such as: Marketing factors which is the packaging of the product, the price, promotion and the product positioning in the market; Personal factors for example: the age, gender, education, last but not least the income level of the consumer;

Psychological factors the motivation of purchasing the product, the feeling towards the product or service; The situational factors such as physical environment during the time of buying, and social surroundings.

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Social factors can be included as social status, the family and reference groups. Cultural factors like religion, social class level. All above it will affect the consumer during the process of purchasing (Chand, 2019).

Consumer Behaviour in Tourism

Horner and Swarbrooke, (1999: p.4) described tourism as the short-term movement of people to the areas some distance from their current places. This might consist of business purpose during the travel. Tourism is defined as the activity which is worked together with other industries, for example: hotel, transport and food and beverage services.

Collin, (1994) explained the meaning of “Hospitality” is to take good care of the consumers who pay for the service. Afterward, the meaning of hospitality has been replaced by hotel and catering. Horner and Swarbrooke recommend the tourism can be merged with leisure.

Besides that, Collin describes leisure as “free time to do what you want. Marketing in tourism is increasing and the marketer is conscious of they should know how the target the consumers to purchase the product and understand their decision-making process.

Tourism marketing is depending on the segmentation, different consumers have different perceptions towards tourism product. The marketer should focus on the consumers’ needs and wants and implement the right marketing strategies to fulfil the consumers’ needs and wants (Horner & Swarbrooke, 1999: p.80).

Different between International Tourism and Domestic Tourism

The tourism industry, can be differentiated into different categories and is depending on the period of the stay, the method of transportation, the distance, price, and intent of the trip. In general, tourism can be defined as four different types which are international tourism, domestic tourism, long-distance tourism and short distance tourism (Gee, No Dates: p.4). The below shows the relationship between international tourism and domestic tourism.

Figure 1: The relationship between international tourism and domestic tourism (Chand, 2019)

International Tourism – United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) described international tourism as involving the activities of the consumers traveling to and staying at the areas outside their usual permanent areas for a certain period not more than 12 months for the purpose of leisure, business and so on (SESRIC, 2010: p.3).

In other words, international tourism can be defined as the consumers cross the boundaries to many countries and exchange the money to local currency, different languages and meet with different types of peoples from the country. In addition, consumers have to hold a passport or visa during traveling (Chand, 2019).

Domestic Tourism – For those consumers traveling without visa or passport can be defined as domestic tourism or for those who travel in their own country. In domestic tourism differentiated as a local excursion, regional trips to national.


The aim is to investigate do the millennials prefer international travel or domestic travel, the case of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur


The main objective of this dissertation is the following:

  • To investigate the factors that influence the millennials to choose international travel or domestic travel
  • To examine how important the perceptions of millennials are towards the tourism industry
  • To evaluate the consumer behaviour of millennials in Malaysia
  • To explore the characteristics of Millennials which affect their decision-making process

Millennials’ Travel Trends

Millennial travellers are those born between 1981 and 1999, and in the future, the Baby Boomers are the largest travel spenders. According to the data provided by Airbnb, they found out travel is important for millennials. The report shows that, the millennials prefer to travel than purchase the house or pay off the debt, they would like to have a travel plan in the next five years.

During the trip, the millennials will look for adventure, local and personal experiences. They prefer something new and special. Based on the survey, 80 percent of the Millennials thought that the best way to find out and learn about the area is through the local experiences (Morris, 2017). Millennials seek for authenticity which is cultural appreciation “living like a local”.

They would like to gain their knowledge based on the trip. The millennials would prefer the service which can recommend them some suggestion for travel depends on their budget. According to Expedia travel news, 72 percent of the millennials prefer to experience the authentic culture of the areas is important for them during the overseas holiday (Rajaram, 2017).

The report shows that the travel habits of millennials, they prefer the accommodations located in local neighbourhoods. This is to found out the hidden gem of the local places, the result shows that, the millennials prefer local neighbourhood rather than tourist’s attractions. For the trip will be full of exploration and adventure for them to discover more information about the cultural country.

They prefer to dine in a local restaurant over the top restaurant. Most of the millennials would like to travel alone, because this will easier for them to meet the locals. The millennials prefer to plan their own itineraries rather than follow the tour package. Millennials described themselves as uniqueness, novelty, adventuress, sociability, authenticity, independence and self-direction (Brown, 2017).

The millennials were born with the technology, 87 percent of the millennials influenced by social media for choosing the travel destination. Besides that, 46 percent used the internet to book for travel through the smartphone. 97 percent of the millennials will post their traveling experience to social media platform such as: Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter. The reports show that, the millennials willing to share their personal data to exchange for the suggestion, tips and personalized service (Ogg, 2016).

Structure of the Dissertation

The next chapter literature review, to research to analyze the areas of consumer behaviour, the factors motivate target market and associated aspects as well as an international tourism and domestic tourism. The author chooses to investigate research in Malaysia. In chapter three are methodology, the information using primary research will be done by the author.

The author will use a quantitative method (questionnaire) to get 100 respondents and the question will be opened question, the target market is millennials in Malaysia. The purpose of primary research data is to carry out the research on a sample of the millennials in Malaysia, and to examine of which factors influence them to choose international tourism over domestic tourism when they plan for the holiday.

In chapter four, will evaluate the factors influence the millennials to choose international tourism instead of domestic tourism. The author will describe and the graph will be used to explain which factors that influence the millennials choose international tourism in Malaysia when they plan for a holiday.

Chapter five will be the conclusion, in the chapter, the author will provide the suggestion for the tourism industry in Malaysia, such as the local travel agencies, the local travel agencies will understand the perception of the millennials and develop the domestic tourism for the millennials in future.

List of References

  • Brown, N. (2017). What Millennial Travel Trends Can Teach Us About Millennial Motivation. The Content Standard by Skyward. [online] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019]
  • S. (2019). 2 Types of Tourism: International and Domestic Tourism. Your Article Library [online] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019] S. (2019).
  • Consumer Behaviour: Meaning/Definition and Nature of Consumer Behaviour. Your Article Library [online] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019] C. (2019). International Tourism: A Global perspective. Australia: WTO Education Network [ebook] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019], p.4
  • S. and Swarbrooke, J. (1999). Consumer behaviour in tourism. London: British Library Cataloguing, p.4.
  • Horner, S. and Swarbrooke, J. (1999). Consumer behaviour in tourism. London: British Library Cataloguing, p.80.
  • Khaled, A. (2008). Consumer Behaviour [ebook] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019] p.37. C. (2017). Understanding Millennial Travelers Leading the way. [online] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019]
  • A. (2016). The Millennial – Travel Trends of the Largest Generation. Travel Professional NEWS. [online] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019] L. (2017). MILLENNIALS WILL SHAPE THE NEXT 20 YEARS OF TRAVEL: EXPEDIA STUDY. [online] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019] (2010). International Tourism in the OIC. The statistical, Economic [ebook] [Accessed 7 Mar. 2019], p.3.

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Investigating the Consumer Behaviour of Millennials in the Tourism Industry. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

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