It’s 2020 and the millennial generation is now between the ages 26 to 40 years old and over 80 million strong! These potential millennial hotel guests are the perfect age to get serious about travel for work, or pleasure; so it’s time to strategize how to get them to choose your hotel.
Millennials are a curious, community based generation who see the world of travel and hotels differently than their predecessors. They place heavy value on experience, authenticity, community and tech, and expect more than ever before.
Millennial hotel guests want more out of their vacation or hotel stay than what was previously the norm and we see these desires as an exciting catalyst to innovate and re-create the hotel ecosystem of today.
So do you want to attract millennials to your hotel? We put together a list of 6 ways to attract the Millennial Hotel crowd.
1 – Community & Inclusivity for All
Millennials love connecting and community. This is why they often seek out hotels that have functional shared spaces where they can connect with others. In fact, the request for shared spaces has become so pertinent that over 10 percent of luxury, upscale and midscale properties have implemented communal rooms with shared living spaces.
But that’s not all; millennial hotel guests also seek inclusivity for everyone. Many millennials actively choose to book at hotels that outwardly support minority groups, while 44 percent of millennials choose to bring their kids along for the fun; some even opt to include their 4 legged friends!
In short, Millennials support hotels that are trying to be kinder and more inclusive to all guests; because making friends, or building relationships along the way is all part of the journey.
2 – Digital Everything – From How they Book to How they Look
Millennials love technology; they trust it and even opt to use tech options over in person traditional methods. Technology is even a part of the buying process and understanding these habits can help you attract more Millennial hotel customers.
How they Look:
87% of millennials use social media to inspire their booking options, making social media a crucial driver for travel research and decision-making. In addition to sharing and seeking out travel ideas on social media, studies have found that a high number of millennials book their trips on travel websites, with a smaller percent booking directly on hotel, resort and airline websites. With this in mind, consider some outside the box marketing such as guest blogging or advertising on travel websites or social media marketing.
How they Book:
When it comes to booking travel it was found that 66% of millennials book their trip using a smartphone, so it’s important to ensure that hotels create a seamless mobile booking experience. Some hotels might consider creating an app. Another fun fact about millenials is that they prefer digital payments and would rather connect with their hotel contact over text or through an app than over the phone or in person.
3 – Personalization & Playfulness
Millenials are self-sufficient and enjoy autonomy, but in a world that is so fast paced and anonymous they have a soft spot for some good old fashioned personalized service (who doesn’t)!
Millennials love experiences over things, so feeling recognized and remembered is one for the books. In such a fast paced and anonymous world, millennials love feeling recognized and seen, that is why we recommend you use personalization technology to attract millennials to your hotel! Personalization technology is the use of tools that tailor a product or service to improve the guest experience. These tools strive to answer guests’ needs efficiently and effectively. So millennial hotel guests can feel autonomous, and appreciated all at once.
4 – Health & Wellness – For the Planet & For Them
Millennials are conscious when it comes to their own personal health, as well as the health of the planet.
When it comes to their own health they seek healthy or plant based options for dining or snacking, such as grab and go good-for-you- foods or drinks. Millennials also are more likely to book hotels that have gym or fitness centers and are quick to book authentic experiences that involve physical activities such as kayaking, walking tours, hiking or being outdoors.
When it comes to the health of the planet, millennials are conscious of hotels’ green initiatives and are more likely to book at a hotel that has a green certifications or initiatives such as recycling programs or solar panels. They are also more likely to book at hotels who give back to their community or charities.
5 – Authenticity – From Food to Festival
As millenials scroll through their instagram feeds, they are overwhelmed with new information and experiences from people all over the world.This leads to a desire to try new things and have an open minded approach to life. As the sharing and seeking experiencing economy drives millennials to seek out authentic experiences themselves, the same old simply won’t do.
That is why millenials love authentic experiences when they travel; from experiencing a local concert, to trying artisanal foods and drinks at the hotel, or in a locals home. Research shows that 86% of millennials travel for experience and culture, while 60% rank authentic culture as the most vital part of the entire travel experience, and 78% want their travel to be educational and to learn something. (Internet Marketing Inc, 2020)
Hotels can cater to millenials by offering them authentic food and drink at their establishment, or by suggesting fringe or unique cultural experiences that can only be experienced in their town or region. Prepare your front desk staff to have some unique and authentic options they can offer guests during their stay.
6 – They Love Innovative Technology
Millenials love new technology and take to it naturally. They were the first generation to adopt share economy apps and VR so they are constantly looking for what is new and innovative.
Millennial hotel guests appreciate innovation & playfulness, so consider having some fun with how you can appease the millennial thirst for novel tech! Some great examples of hotels who have nailed this are those who have introduced concepts like the Robot Hotel or The W Hotel group, who developed a software to let tech-savvy guests unlock their rooms in some of their hotels with an Apple Watch or smartphone.
Catering to millennials is a fun and exciting experience and with their demographic now making up 50% of the workforce, initiatives will be well worth it. We look forward to seeing what change millennials might drive in the hotel industry!