Forget backpackers and flashpackers, the hedonistic Gen Y have graduated and are all grown up. Today’s 20-something and early-30s millennials are the biggest generation in history and with many at the peak of their careers and earning potential, their spending power is mighty. Add to this a love of travel, a world view beyond their doorstep, and a thirst for individual vacation experiences that go beyond the cookie-cutter resorts and you have a supergroup of new luxury vacationers.


Millennials generate in excess of USD $180 million of tourism revenue each year, according to the UN. An affluent and aspirational luxury travel market.


Millennials know what they want and understand that life is not simply about accruing for some far off Neverland future. They want to feel alive right here, right now, and to make the most of the ride. Aspirational they may be, but with a quarter of those earning half a million US dollars a year being from this age bracket, the reality is that they have the wherewithal to live the luxury vacation dream. Through their love of luxury they are defining the concept of individual travel experiences.


Focused on experiences, with a penchant for traveling abroad, the millennials are looking for unique and memorable vacations that promise a more personalized touch. They want activities and state-of-the-art facilities as well as a cool vacation pad to enjoy with their friends and extended family groups.


While luxury-led millennials may have a global outlook, the travel industry is fast realizing that affluent Gen Ys not only come from the West. In fact, according to the latest findings published in the Hurun Report magazine, China overtook the US in terms of number of US dollar billionaires in 2016, with Beijing-based billionaires overtaking those from New York City for the first time too. Many of these well-off Chinese are millennials and these young luxury travelers want to travel abroad 3-4 times a year and are spending somewhere in the region of $65,000 USD per year on tourism.


With the average Chinese millennial having visited 13 countries, their focus is not simply a personalized experience but an exclusive one, such as private dining. Luxury villas with a personal chef and al fresco dining with a spectacular view satisfy the desires of these new breed of super travelers perfectly.


Back in the West, close to three out of four millennials want to splurge on a vacation according to market researchers, Mintel. The Cassandra Report, an ongoing study of emerging trends and generational insights reveals there is a real shift toward experiential spending rather than investing in possessions. Millennials want to travel and they want to travel light.


Luxury villas, by the beach, in a jungle setting or atop a cliff, and nestled in the rich green landscape of a tropical island beckon millennials. The relaxed, comfortable, and flexible vacation lifestyle vacation villas promise connects with a millennial’s sense of interactive fun and live-in-the-moment attitude.


With in-villa staff, stays that inspire the wow factor, and customizable vacation experiences villa rentals in Southeast Asia, such as in Bali as well as Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand, stand out as made for millennials. Infinity pools, games rooms, and al fresco dining along with cinema rooms and entertaining areas fit with the millennials’ zest for life and quest for new adventures.


Indulging in luxury, staying active, and entertaining with friends and loved ones is a Gen Y travel dream and in 2016 and beyond millennials can afford it as they check in to gorgeous villa destinations and share their awesome adventures through social media.