How the millennials experience the outdoors looks much different than how previous generations experienced it.
The millennials (children born between the early 1980s and early 2000s) now outnumber the baby-boomers to occupy the nation’s largest generation. Roughly 1/3 of the U.S. population belongs to this group, and they are changing the outdoor experience.
The millennials, as consumers, behave differently than the generations before them, and they are seeking different kinds of experiences. The travel and tourism businesses who do not appeal to these consumers will quickly find themselves losing future customers.
Luckily, the outdoor industry is recognizing these trends and adjusting to attract millennials to the great outdoors. And please keep in mind, this article is a generalization, based on research, and cannot accurately describe every person born into this generation.
Johnathan Jarvis, director of the National Parks Service, spoke about recent trends in an October National Geographic interview. In terms of numbers, our national parks had over 307 million visitors, an all-time record, but the millennials were under-represented. Baby-boomer retirees made up for the difference to keep the parks afloat.