It is people who have reached adulthood in the 2000’s that are generally accepted to be a part of the age of millennials, who replaced the previous generation known as baby boomers.
Millennials are doing things differently and inventively. They are driven by different influences than the previous generation, largely due to the fact that millennials have grown up in a digital world, where technology is no longer a thing of the future but is a common place part of life.
With this in mind, hotels are becoming more aware of their digitally conscious market and Hotel Interactive has published what it believes are the top eight hospitality trends that define millennial travellers.
Millennials want things now
As we touched on above, millennials are a generation who have and are growing up in a world where just about anything is within reach of their fingertips.
Millennials no longer see the internet as a luxury, it is instead a part of the daily routine and it won’t occur to this generation of travellers to ask whether or not a hotel has Wi-Fi or broadband. It is standard now for hotels to have a wireless connection throughout the building and it is becoming general practice for the connection to either be included in the price of the room or be completely free.
They listen to their peers
Due to most millennials obtaining their information from the internet, hotels are advised to ensure that they either have enough information on their home website, or have a good social media presence to satisfy the need of this target audience.
Limited information can lead to millennials searching for reviews on Tripadvisor, which can be beneficial to hotels, but it can also be detrimental as millennials can be fickle and trust negative reviews from their internet peers. It’s best to limit this as much as possible.
Real time information
Millennials expect information quickly, that much we know, but this goes further than a fast internet connection in the lobby and hotel rooms. This generation of travellers will appreciate being able to enjoy their hotel experience in a digital manner, for example by checking into their room via the hotel website, or even better by mobile application.
This is good for hotels too, as it reduces the risk of unnecessary queuing in the lobby and should instantly create a higher level of customer satisfaction.
Similarly, millennial travellers like being able to connect with people through chat apps, for example Facebook Chat or WhatsApp. Many hotels now have a chat app for their concierge service, meaning that a customer can speak to someone in real time, without having to search for someone to help them or ring down to the desk.
They search differently
As millennials are digital and tech-savvy, often they will be looking for the best hotel for the best price and will be signed up to services like Groupon, which promotes travel deals that are perfect for spontaneous holidays.
This is the mindset of the millennial traveller, this person will comb through different Facebook pages, groups and Twitter accounts finding information on where they can get the best deal for their holiday. Searching for holidays this way, also means that there is little to no need for direct conversation with someone connected with a hotel as everything can be booked online with a couple of taps on a tablet.
Websites are now specifically targeted at these kinds of travellers who also want to find what they’re looking for as easily and quickly as possible. This is where websites like Trivago will come in handy for the millennial traveller, as all of the price comparison work is already done.
Previous generations will have required a decent desk space in their hotel room if they are travelling on a business trip. Although this is still expected to some degree by a millennial, this generation will also look for, if not prefer, a decent-sized lobby area or bar in which they can work.
Millennials are social creatures who like to be in public spaces most of the time, as such hotels are beginning to design their bars and lobbies to be an inviting working space, that also has a social element.
The cool factor
Millennials are a group of people who enjoy sharing their experiences with their friends and other people online. A boring hotel room or a standard bar isn’t worth taking a picture to post on Instagram, instead a millennial will be looking for the cool factor in a hotel. This will be something that is worth whipping out their smartphone for to take a picture or log on a post or tweet.
Making sure your hotel has a cool factor isn’t as difficult as it sounds, in fact it can be as easy as having a locally produced beer in the mini-fridge, or serving quinoa crisps in the bar. Even if the post by the millennial is incredulous, it will be a tweet worth posting, which is added free publicity for your hotel.
The local feel
A millennial traveller heading to stay in Paris will not be interested in seeing the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower or any other tourist attraction. This generation of traveller is usually set against seeing any cliched versions of cities or countries that they visit.
Instead, the millennial will be more interested in absorbing the proper local culture and will expect the hotel in which they stay to be able to tell them which side streets to go down to find an obscure restaurant with five tables and food they can’t pronounce.
This feeds into the previous point about the cool factor and having experiences that are worth sharing on social media. Services that have allowed millennials to ingratiate themselves into local communities when they travel are things like Airbnb and couchsurfing, which promote an ‘at home’ feeling and give a more authentic holiday experience.
Pod hotels are a unique creature in the hospitality industry, they are small, luxuriously designed and usually feature many gadgets in the room and throughout the rest of the hotel. Due to their small and unique size, pod hotels tend to be located in strange places and best of all they are cheap and it is all of these things that appeal to a millennial traveller.
These new types of hotels might have been specifically designed with the millennial audience in mind. Everything about them, from their odd features to their connectivity and location is worth talking about, a millennial might even live tweet the whole holiday from their pod