Millennial Destination Desirability Index (MDDI) is the newest tool for destinations looking to attract Millennials. It’s being developed by Al Chen and Roger Wu, co-founders of Cooperatize, a marketplace that connects brands and bloggers. They’re working with a professor and students from St. John’s University to create MDDI, making its debut at DigMe ’16 in Philadelphia this April.
The index will be derived from an algorithm analyzing reviews from a variety of social media and review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp along with reaction to posts on Facebook and Instagram. Other criteria include such factors as selfie-friendly sites and availability of craft beer and food trucks.
“The overriding theme is that Millennials are looking for an authentic experience when traveling,” says Chen, who points out that while a good number of the criteria are fun, the pursuit is not trivial. The MDDI is analyzing city, state, and country-level information as well as hard numbers.
In order to determine weighting of criteria, Cooperatize is partnering with St. John’s University’s tourism students to help figure out what factors deserve more attention than others.
Chen offers these three tips for destinations trying to attract Millennials:
- Get on social media. When Millennials snap pictures on Instagram or Facebook, being able to tag the picture with your destination, hotel, or travel product not only increases your numbers, but also increases your chances of being discovered and shared.
- Tell personal stories. This plays off the authentic experience Millennials are looking for. Instead of talking up the benefits of your destination’s blue skies, sandy beaches and good food, highlight individual stories of a wine proprietor or a taxi driver to show the authentic experience that draws in your millennial audience vs. selling them on your destination.
- Focus on the “why” instead of “what.” Hyping a 20% discount on hotels or a voucher for a casino will only give you a short-term return from Millennials. Build off that storytelling tip; Millennials travel for deeper reasons, so the “why” part of your destination is more important for this audience.