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Last week Thomas Cook announced that it was considering the future of its Club 18-30 holidays but has the brand made a mistake by referring to millennials as “ego travellers”?

In 2011 my A Level exams had begun, and I had two things to look forward to, university and my first girls holiday. This girls holiday was a rite of passage before we all moved away to start the next chapter of our lives, so we chose a typical Club 18-30 destination, Ayia Napa in Cyprus.

We packed our suitcases along with a couple of cameras to capture the moments and memories from our first holiday together. Seven years ago, I had never heard of Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist. Fast forward to now and things are very different.

The Thomas Cook franchise announced last week that it was ‘exploring options’ due to the explosion of “ego travel” as more than half of young people surveyed confessed that social media posts were a consideration during their booking process. Millennials are also reported to value extended, meaningful trips over cheap and cheerful breaks.

Thomas Cook has chosen to label this as “ego travel”.

With the boom of social media and the rise of Instagram you would have thought that Thomas Cook would have seen this change coming. Unfortunately for the brand, a week in Magaluf isn’t going to cut it with 18-30-year olds anymore.

The Oxford dictionary describes the word ‘ego’ as ‘a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance’. I think Thomas Cook have gone down the wrong route in labelling millennials as “ego travellers”. This label could be perceived as insulting and – if anything – it’s going to drive 18-30’s further away from wanting to book a Thomas Cook holiday.

Millennials, just like every other generation, have adapted to the changes in society and adopted them in the best way that they can. If Thomas Cook wants to appeal to millennials, maybe it should approach one of its main target markets with a little more caution as opposed to recklessness?

Social media is now a huge part of everyone’s lives but if millennials want to book a holiday based on social media, isn’t that their choice? Surely as a travel-based company you would be trying to make positive changes to attract new consumers not push them away? Thomas Cook has an opportunity to completely rebrand Club 18-30 and instead of embracing the opportunity they are coming across as bitter.

Thomas Cook are complaining that Millennials want to spend more money on meaningful and lengthy travel, you would have thought a travel company would have been happy about that. Apparently not. Thomas Cook’s stance on the issue has come across as if Millennials are the reason an area of its business is collapsing. In my opinion, the travel company is digging a huge hole and if it continues to describe millennials as “ego travellers”, that hole is just going to continue getting deeper.

As a Millennial myself, I feel that we get painted with the same brush. We get told our generation won’t be able to afford to get on the property ladder because we spend too much money eating avocado on toast for brunch. I think Millennials are living in a very care free generation and it’s very refreshing. I think it’s now time Thomas Cook do the exact same thing for Club 18-30, embrace change and refresh it!

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