open access

Abstract

Purpose: The main purpose of the paper is to profile the needs and wants of millennials in the tourism industry and their implications for tourism operators in Zimbabwe.

Methods: The study adopted a qualitative design approach with document analysis being the data collection method. Data were analyzed thematically. 

Results: The major finding was that millennials desire authentic and memorable experiences, they are highly knowledgeable, have strong digital skills, they are social media creatures and are permanently connected online, they are particular and question everything, they prefer leisure and recreational activities, they prefer hotel facilities with health-oriented facilities like fitness centers and they practice volunteer tourism.  Millennials are different, they think and act differently, and their travel choices and preferences are different from the generations before them.

Implications: Tourism operators including hotels should adapt their service delivery systems to the needs and wants of millennials to achieve superior business performance. There is a need for the adoption of proactive marketing strategies as well as taking full advantage of the opportunities presented by millennials in the tourism industry in Zimbabwe.