What is the big hype about the millennial travellers, why does every industry including the hospitality industry give so much time to the millennial generation?
Well for one thing, globally, millennials alone are 79 million strong, making them the largest generation till date. Millennials are between the ages of 19 to 34 (in 2016) and in the US, they account for 25% of the nation’s population. In 10 years, millennials will represent 50% of US travellers. So, with such statistics, no one can refute that they deserve some extra attention.
The millennial generation wants it all, they want to be technologically connected, require instant gratification, a trip needs to be an experience and they demand value for their money. Hotels need to ensure that they cater to the needs of this segment.
So, what can hotels do to draw millennials to their hotel?
Complimentary breakfast, packages including cocktail hours and airport pick-ups, free spa treatments etc. These are a strong draw. Hotels can be smart and adjust their pricing accordingly so that they are not making a loss, but are able to up sell a higher category room with the extra perks.
A hotel must be technologically connected. Strong Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, charging options in the lobby, state of the art business and conference facilities, tablets in the room, ‘Smart rooms’ and so on. These are all must haves for the millennial traveller. Our previous blogs; ‘2016: Top Trends in Hotel Technology’ and ‘How mobile devices are influencing the future of Hospitality’ showcase the importance of technology in hotels and the ways in which hotels can benefit from implementing them
Cocktail hours or a lounge area is a great way to attract this generation. They love to meet new and interesting people at the comfort of their own hotel. This gives them the chance to meet others staying at the same property
•Experience over luxury
Hotel marketing campaigns targeting the millennials should offer information about the local culture and local experiences. This traveller wants to do it all, they like to engage the areas that they visit and get the most out of them. Adventurous experiences are also a strong selling point.
•Have mobile friendly websites or apps
75% of millennials have travel apps on their mobiles, they prefer to book their travelling requirements via their mobile and do extensive research before finalizing a property. A hotel would be at a disadvantage if their websites are not mobile friendly and hard to navigate. A hotel app would be a very profitable added advantage. This group wants information at their fingertips, they don’t want to have to go and ask around for things to do, or information about the hotel etc. Everything needs to be available via their Smartphones’.
•Capitalize on social media
When marketing to millennials, social media is an absolute must. They love to stay active on social media and expect the businesses they frequent to be active. Hotels can use this as a mode to communicate with their guests also. Create an online community for your guests where they can post pictures, interact with the hotel, post reviews, and get to know about the latest hotel deals and offerings.
Hotels should also encourage their guests to post reviews. 82% of millennials consider travel reviews to be relevant and decide their hotels based on that.
It doesn’t make much effort for hotels to target millennials, they just need to ensure their marketing plans and campaigns have initiatives that cater to that target group.