The elusive millennial travelers… the group every hotel wants to attract, yet only some are skilled, or lucky, enough to succeed.
Just to be sure we’re all on the same page, let’s define who the “millennial” traveler is: aka Generation Y, millennials are essentially young adults born after the early 1980s and are well-versed in technology, own anywhere from 1 – 10 “devices,” and are active on just about every social media channel.
So now we know more or less “who” the millennial travelers are, how do we, as hoteliers, attract them? What are millennial travel trends?
Millennial Travel Trends To Embrace
Here are a few of our suggestions on how to attract, engage, and impress this bottom line – enhancing travel group:
Be “Tech” Accessible
Millennials speak technology first, words later. Be the hotel that can be accessed on every device, without a decrease in aesthetic and efficiency. Be the hotel that has a social profile on every channel. Be the hotel that has free wifi, readily accessible outlets, an app, text update regarding happy hour specials and the like, etc. etc. Right now, technology is cool, though we hesitate to use that word knowing it’s not cool to say anymore.
Seriously though, it’s no longer that you should have a mobile-optimized website, you must have one, and if you don’t, then don’t expect many millennial travelers to be booking rooms.
To keep this simple – every step of the travel experience must be supported digitally.
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Transparency is Key
Millennials will not be patronized, lied to, or tricked. Not that anyone enjoys any of those things, but trust us, millennials are particularly offended by such behavior, and will be loud and clear about their mistreatment across all social channels.
If you’re offering a great deal, hold up your bargain. Be sure your website is displaying accurate, up-to-date photos so when the millennials arrive, they are not sadly disappointed at your lack of trendy decor and furnishings.
Have open and honest reviews. We understand, this is tricky, no hotel wants bad or poor reviews anywhere in sight. But, when millennial guests arrive and find things less than ideal, or less than what they were led to believe, again – the wrath will be felt upon social media. The best practice here, is to use all negative input as constructive criticism and attend to internal issues immediately.
Frugality is Necessary
This is a generation feeling the pressure of financial stress around every corner. Between student loans, skyrocketing urban rent rates, and vicious credit card marketing, money isn’t “nothing.”
If your hotel wants to attract this group, you must have room rate options. Advertise your package deals, shout from the roofs the depths of your “inclusivity.” Are swanky, high ticket, restaurants the only dining options on property? Don’t bank on those millennial bucks being spent there, then. Millennials have a phone full of apps and they know how to use them – to find the best deals, on, well, everything. Find a way to be the best deal, or fall behind.
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Have Trendy Social Media
Most hotels are at least on social media these days, but very few are actually trendy. Millennials have exhibited a taste for taste – style, design, innovation. They aren’t impressed or swayed by run-of-the-mill content on social, they want to see something unique and different. Just having social media isn’t enough, you need to be engaging on social media.
Provide an Experience
Yes, this generation is all about selfies and statuses, but surprisingly, they’re also all about authentic experiences. Cheesy isn’t trendy with this group, but having an authentic experience is. How can your hotel help foster authenticity? How can your hotel help the millennials to explore the area, bond with locals, do as the Romans do, so to speak? If you can figure this out, you’re one step closer to having an in with the gen Y’s.
That may sound like a lot, but you can take it slow – incorporate one suggestion at a time. Also, you’ll know where you’re on-point and where you’re not, because the millennials will tell you, in their reviews. Read your reviews and utilize them! Reviews can be your greatest weapon!
For some solid direction and guidance regarding this topic, contact the knowledgeable and experience team at HMG Hospitality – leaders in the hospitality management industry – today. Take steps to secure your future, with the current and future travelers of the travel industry.