Before we continue, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about who we mean when we use the term ‘millennial traveler’.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or Next Generation, are people who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. They represent around 20% of international travelers and it is estimated that by 2020, they will represent more than 320 millions of international trips.

Phew. Those are some staggering numbers right there! It’s no wonder hotels woo them with everything they have. But despite all the effort they’re putting in, do hotels really have what Millennials want? Do they even know what Millennials are looking for?

If you’re not sure, let me give you some clues.

Track n. # 1: technology is your life force

Technology is to Millennials what water is to fish: life itself. The perks that most of us consider good – Internet, Wi-Fi, high-speed mobile data – are essential to your way of life.

What does this mean for hotels

According to one report, nearly 71% of millennial travelers consider free Wi-Fi to be an important factor when choosing a hotel. So hotels, roll up your socks and put the technology in its place. Or they are likely to walk up to your competitor and book a room with them.

Track n. # 2: millennials love their smartphones

‘Technology at your fingertips’ is an expression that Millennials take very seriously. You will likely go hours without food or water, but not without checking your smartphone. Work, play, chat, network, write emails, watch videos, and keep up with the news using your phone. Other more complicated actions, such as reserving tickets, making hotel arrangements and paying bills, can also be handled competently by your phone.

What does this mean for hotels

It is absolutely imperative that hotels invest in superior mobile technology, starting with a website that accommodates different screen sizes and resolutions. With more than half of millennial travelers using mobile devices to discover and book hotels, the hospitality industry is paying a heavy price for not investing in a mobile responsive website. You may also want to consider getting an app for your hotel to facilitate features like check-in and check-out, payments, and loyalty point collection.

Track n. 3: millennials are ‘social’ creatures

Generation Y is often criticized for avoiding the forms of social interaction that their parents liked. They are considered aloof, aloof, and a bit asocial. But the truth is that millennials tend to connect with each other, but not in a way that is familiar to us. The online world, especially social media, takes precedence in your social life. Facebook, Twitter, What’sApp, GChat, and Snapchat is where they hang out, check-in, upload photos, start conversations, and share details of their life.

What does this mean for hotels

Since social media is one of the biggest influencing factors in a Millennial’s life, hotels must make a concerted effort to have a presence on multiple platforms. In fact, they must go beyond the symbolic Facebook and Instagram page and build an online community. Communicate with your audience, engage with them, solve their problems, and invite them to leave comments. An active profile on social media inspires confidence among millennials and is likely to earn you brownie points in the long run.

Track n. # 4: millennials place great faith in peer reviews

Gen Y’s are suspicious and may recognize a marketing stunt from a mile away. For this reason, they rely heavily on “peer review” to gather information about a place. Whether they’re shopping for a new device or trying out a neighborhood restaurant, you’ll see them pouring out criticism before deciding to do something. They consider it a more authentic and “real” source of information. And you can be 100% sure that they will read about your hotel before deciding to stay there.

What does this mean for hotels

Don’t try to patronize or mislead the Millennial traveler. All your online properties (website, blog, social media profiles) must display accurate information, accompanied by up-to-date images. If you are offering an offer or a discount, please set the terms in black and white. Encourage your visitors to leave you a review on platforms such as Trip-advisor or your Facebook page; incentivize the process, if necessary. If you receive a negative opinion, take the necessary steps to address it and resolve the situation.

Millennials don’t expect you to be flawless. However, they expect you to be transparent and sincere. Errors are an unavoidable part of your industry and if you have taken every possible step to rectify the problem, you will be forgiven. Otherwise, you will find yourself on the receiving end of a nasty review posted for the whole world to see.

Track n. 5: Millennials like Bleisure

Generation Y is relatively free from responsibilities at home and is more open to traveling on business. However, unlike the previous generation, almost 62% of millennial travelers will extend their business vacations to explore the place and gain cultural experiences.

What does this mean for hotels

Gone are the days when that lonely desk in the hotel room catered to the “business needs” of travelers. Millennials don’t like working inside their bedrooms. This is the generation that goes out to a coffee shop to sit with their laptops and work for hours. The concept of ‘third space’, independent of home and office, has been popularized by them. Design hotel lobbies to meet this demand so that when they go out in search of a place to work, they don’t have to go far.

Track n. # 6: millennials seek authentic experiences

Despite what their concern for the cyber world might seem like, Millennials are always looking for unique and meaningful travel experiences. They want their stay to be personalized and they won’t pass up the opportunity to learn something valuable. Not content with reaching the high places of a tourist destination, they crave interaction with the locals and enjoy immersing themselves in a variety of cultural experiences.

What does this mean for hotels

Refuse the cookie cutter’s focus on the services you offer to your guests. Offer them a genuine, immersive, interactive and practical travel experience. Don’t just take them on a regular sightseeing tour that shows the city from behind the glass of a bus or car window. Take them to meet local artisans, show them the way to the trendy and lively underground bar, and expose them to interesting customs and traditions. That is the only way to add real value to their life and create an experience that they will cherish for a lifetime.

There is no denying that Millennials are driving the hospitality industry in full force. They already represent a third of hotel guests in the world, and by 2020, the figure is expected to rise to 50 percent.

To keep up with growing demands, hotels must show a willingness to evolve and reinvent themselves. They should put aside traditional methods of operation, review their marketing strategy, and select unique experiences for Gen Y.

In addition, it is in their interest that hotels improve their game. By updating their offerings, hotels remain relevant within the industry and are equipped to cope with the demands of changing times. Millennial travelers are the revenue stream every industry dreams of, and by serving them, hotels ensure a solid revenue stream for decades to come, at least.

By admin

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