The Millennial Traveler is Coming. Will Your Hotel Appeal To or Appall Them?
The millennial generation is shaping the hospitality industry. This is the generation born from the early 1980s through the early 2000s. A generation accustomed to instant gratification, constant technology updates and evolutions and the ability to both be alone and connected all at once. It’s imperative that your hotel management team understands this generation, and exceeds their needs and expectations. Especially considering within the next 10 years, this generation will comprise the largest customer segment within the travel industry. By 2025, this generation will account for 75% of the workforce, according to this study.
Attracting Millennial Travelers
The question remains – what can your hotel do to appeal to the modern day, tech savvy, millennial traveler? Focus on the following three, key, areas, and your hotel will likely build and maintain a loyal following of millennials.
Communicate and Engage With Millennials Through Their Preferred Channels
Texting, tweeting, messaging and more. Gone are the days when guests are happy to wait in line to check-in. Younger generations are less interested in seeking out the concierge for inquiries about local happenings and attractions, and more interested in accessing such information through an app, using a smartphone or tablet. It’s all about the apps and the gadgets these days. Successful hotels are making apps available to guests, which provide local news, events, and other information. Consider developing a system where guests can text to check in and out, without ever having to engage with the front desk. Have the concierge meet the guest outside their room, with a tablet in hand, ready to check them in right then and there. Free wifi was an attractive amenity in the past, now you must have free ultra-quick wifi, that can handle multiple devices per guest.
“Old-fashioned customer service is still key, but with a modern twist,” says Yolanda Bender, President of HMG Hospitality. “Engage and respond to guests through the channels they are most familiar and comfortable with – social media, tablets, and phones. It goes without saying, the more comfortable the guest, the more engaged and satisfied they will be.”
Related: Millennials and Technology Go Together Like Wine and Cheese
Customize Guests Experience
Cookie-cutter won’t cut it. This is the generation of being unique and standing out. Translation – provide customizable service. Have options for your guests. Don’t just tell them which amenities are provided, instead, perhaps, let them select a few amenities that resonate strongly with them. Instead of just offering use of the hotel fitness room, offer guided runs past local attractions. or provide yoga mats and yoga DVD’s in guest rooms. Instead of a regular happy hour, offer a mixology lesson of the hour where the bartender actually shows interested guests how to make a signature drink. Be unique, be different, be edgy, be trendy. Those are the details your millennial guests will remember and will come back for again and again.
Reflect Millennial Ideologies Within Hotel Design and Operations
Young, idealistic, and craving to improve society. This generation doesn’t accept stiff, plain, or replicated environments. They value energy, health, environmental awareness, and innovation. Big, inviting, open spaces, with small sitting and connecting nooks within, are what millennials crave. One idea is to have a grouping of bright comfy chairs, that also have charging stations within them. A perfect place for guests to connect to social media, while also engaging and meeting with new people.
Community tables are also a great idea, a place for singular travelers to meet and embrace other travelers. Imagine more of the vibe of a hostel, but with all of the class and comfort of a top-notch hotel. Be green, green as can be. Have local plants growing everywhere, make the lobby feel like a greenhouse. Offer reusable water bottles that can be dropped off at the end of the guests stay. You could even have free bikes for guests to use, supporting a decrease in guests carbon footprints. The main point is when designing a new hotel, or remodeling an existing one, consider the driving ideologies of the millennial generation.
With excellent imagination, research, and management, there’s limitless strategies a hotel can implement to enhance existing guests experiences while attracting the increasing millennial generation. Ignoring the expectations and requirements of this generation is unwise, and will negatively impact your bottom line. Change is constant, always monitor guest feedback and respond accordingly. Having a capable management team is key, if your hotel is in need of consultation or management on any of these topics, contact us!
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