Millennials now make up a significant portion of the working population. Adventurers by nature, this generation certainly loves to make the most of that paid time off. But when millennials travel, the trends suggest they value experiences and culture above luxurious pampering and room service. Targeting this group of travelers requires a completely different strategy than the traditional hotel experience.
To attract these social media-driven guests, hotels are making some big, millennial-minded moves. And more than likely — this is just the beginning. Read on to learn how the hospitality industry, as well as our team at HotelierCo, is accommodating its newest generation of clientele.
1. Utilizing Social Media
Hotels have caught on to the fact that millennials love a good Instagram post. While past generations have shown loyalty to preferred brands by returning for multiple visits, Generation Y expresses loyalty on social media and in online reviews.
With this information in mind, hotels are starting to design, promote, and decorate accordingly. Neutral, classic designs are out and bold, beautiful, and colorful is in. Designated areas that encourage guests to snap photos with fun props featuring hotel hashtags also encourage brand engagement through social media.
Hotel owners are taking all the stops to create post-worthy aesthetics in the hopes that millennial guests will be inspired to do what they do best—take some selfies.
2. Creating Authentic Experiences
For millennials, the hotels themselves are less important than the experiences they get while staying in them. For this group—luxury equates to beautiful views, peaceful moments, and authentic cultural experiences.
Their desire is less about escape and more about human connections and personal growth. And of course, they want to be get some good posts for social media, too. After all, if you didn’t post about it, did it really even happen?
To quench the millennial thirst for connection, hoteliers are working to create situations where travelers can interact with one another and gain new experiences. Some locations have begun facilitating events that bring in local businesses, restaurants, and food trucks (millennials also love great food). Guests get to sample some of the staples of the community, while also having some fun and probably snapping a few pictures.
3. Explorers vs. Tourists
If there’s one thing millennials don’t want to be, it’s tourists. The tourist experience is actually the complete opposite of what these young travelers want. Millennials want to be wherever the locals are. Hidden gems, dive bars, and historical sites are all attractive to this generation.
Smart hoteliers are putting an extra emphasis on being able to offer guests these kinds of recommendations. There is great value in being able to direct guests to the best local restaurants, breweries, workout studios, and more. Many hotels are also making walking/running maps more readily available so travelers can get out and explore on their own, satisfying their need to leave the fanny pack behind and blend in.
4. Environmentally-Friendly Offerings
It’s no secret that millennials are concerned about environmental issues—perhaps more than any generation has been before. They prefer sustainable options over extra thrills and frills, and they generally prefer their services to be quick and easy.
Catering to both these needs, some hotels are shifting toward room service delivery using recyclable materials that can be taken on-the-go. This is a win/win for adventurous Gen Y travelers. Openly eco-friendly hotels are also a huge draw for these environmentally conscious globetrotters.
5. Starbucks-Style Hotel Lobbies
Whether they’re working or playing on their electronic devices, millennials have a strong need to feel part of a group. Young people are now working from home and from their electronics more than they ever have in the past. They’re also traveling a lot more frequently for business purposes.
Solo entrepreneurship can be extremely isolating, whether you’re at home or holed up in a hotel room. For today’s young professional, collective workspaces with accessible wifi are a huge draw.
To accommodate this, hospitality leaders are now re-thinking the function of hotel lobbies. Expect to see an increase in open floor plans with a multitude of workspace and outlets for electronics alongside eateries, coffee shops and plenty of extra seating.
6. Incorporating and Utilizing Technology
Companies like Uber and Postmates are direct evidence that millennials are fans of services with limited actual human interaction. Some hotels have taken note of this, developing apps that allow travelers to do almost everything from their phones.
Users can book hotel rooms, extend their stay, and even request room service—all with the click of a button. Some places even allow you to use your mobile phone as your room key. How convenient is that?
For millennials interested in becoming hotel owners themselves, HotelierCo has incorporated a new digital platform that allows access to investment opportunities on-the-go. There are also a variety of organizations now offering [Virtual Vacations]. These are realistic virtual travel experiences customers can access from the comfort of their own home. As technology continues to evolve, one can only imagine what the future holds.
7. Serving the Greater Good
Maybe one of the biggest markers of the millennial generation is their tendency toward social consciousness and humanitarian issues. One of the best things about this generation is their innate desire to make an impact and contribute to the greater good in some way.
Hotels are making some positive impacts themselves by supporting local businesses, using recyclable materials, and even making the transition to going completely paperless. Some have even promised to contribute a portion of their profits to specific charities. Eco-friendly hotels are becoming more popular and sustainable initiatives are becoming the norm.
Hotels are changing rapidly, that much is certain. And in terms of millennial-minded attractions—they’re covering just about every base.
Whether you’re a millennial, a member of Gen X or a Baby Boomer, click here to become a hotel owner today with HotelierCo.