Gen Y is the fastest growing demographic in most sectors and industries in today’s day and age. So who does Gen Y refer to? Gen Y, also known as the ‘Millennials’, covers individuals born between 1977 to 1995. So, in the tourism & hospitality industry, travelers between 19 to 37 years of age cover this demographic. In the U.S. alone, this represents 33% of all hotel guests.
Hospitality industries world over have a dynamic opportunity to ensure that they have a marketing strategy in place so as to entice Gen Y travelers to frequent their hotels. How do they do this? They need to first understand what Gen Y expects from hotels.
What does Gen Y exactly want?
One of the major requirements for today’s traveler is to have access to free internet, and it better be Wi-Fi. They cannot fathom the thought of having to pay for internet when they are already paying for the room at the hotel. Gen Y wants information as it happens, and there should be no barrier in getting that. They require information at their fingertips, as well as access to posting real-time information 24/7. Hotels offering free Wi-Fi actually shall warrant that guests end up hanging out in their hotel and using their various facilities whether it is for business or pleasure, since they don’t need to find an alternative venue to get free Wi-Fi. (Also Read: Wi-Fi in Smaller Hotels: No more a Luxury!)
Self Service Check-in/out
Patience is not a virtue with the Gen Y; this is more of the instant generation. New age travelers prefer online or kiosk check-ins rather than face to face check-in/out. It is faster and saves time.
Accurate up-to-date Information
With access to numerous travel and review sites; TripAdvisor, Yelp, Booking.com, etc, Gen Y does a lot of research before they finalize their hotels. Peer review makes a large impact on their final decision. Hotels need to be extremely wary of this fact and ensure that the information across all their social media networks is up-to-date and accurate. Hotels should also be vigilant in monitoring the feedback received for their properties across numerous sites. So that in the case of bad reviews, they get a chance to offer their side of the story.
24 Hour Availability to Food
9 to 5 work timings are bygone, with jobs demanding crazy hours, business travelers don’t know what time work gets over and when they shall get the time to eat. Gen Y prefers hotels that offers food 24/7, be it in terms of room service, a 24 hour cafe or a well-stocked mini bar. (Read: Mini Bars in Hotels: Boost your Business & Entice your Guests). Even holiday goers want access to food any time of the day because if they come back to the hotel after a night of heavy duty partying they still would want to get a bite to eat.
Apart from the above mentioned expectations, travelers nowadays enjoy staying at hotels which are unique and have their own sense of style, especially in the lobby. Gen Y travelers enjoy networking in the lobby whether it is for pleasure or even work, rather than in their room. This is a great marketing opportunity for hotels and a chance for them to attract more guests to their property.