The hotel industry has managed to crawl out of the economic downturn and is ready to contemplate the group of travelers whom the industry is now considering most crucial for their economic growth. The specific generation that has grabbed attention of the travel and hospitality industry is known as Millennials. They are a demographic cohort, often referred as Generation Y. Normally those born between 1980 and early 2000 fall into this category.
Why is a particular generation the focus of the travel and hospitality industry? It is expected that the Millennials will soon surpass the other generations in overall travel spending. The majority of the airlines, hotels and travel companies will benefit from this group and will soon be the core customers of the hospitality and travel industries within five to ten years. Almost six in ten Millennials say they travel for leisure. This generation is also taking more business trips than their older colleagues.
It is obvious that there persists a stark generational gap between the Gen Y and its previous generations. The majority of the established players in the travel and hospitality sector are adopting cosmetic changes to impress the next generation travelers. But, this won’t work. The industries have to analyze what is truly unique about these travelers and understand their expectations before introducing any changes in their services with a view to grab their attention. So, let’s explore a few trends common with these young digital travelers.
The Gen Y is usually called a tech savvy generation. Often the hotels and the travel brands conclude from such comments that social media and technology are effective ways to engage Millennials. But, it is better to tag them as digital natives or a technologically dependent generation. That dependency is in reality a channel through which they plan, research, share and experience travel.
The Millennials aspire that the technology will provide them with personalized experiences and will connect them with like-minded fellow travelers.
Desire for more
Millennials want their needs to be satisfied quickly starting from the hotel check-ins to any service requirements. They do not hesitate to switch to a different hotel website if they cannot find comprehensive information swiftly in a hotel website. Since this generation is surrounded with the technology that enables them to access the information instantly, they seek immediate gratification from every sphere.
In traditional hotels it is the common visual front desk personnel greeting guests. They still now consider it as an essential part of the service. However, the Millennials will prefer a kiosk providing fast check-ins instead of the conventional system. Automated kiosks in no way affect the quality of the service and can be accessed easily and quickly.
Expectation for real time information
This group of travelers prefers to have reports of an event as it occurs. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are an integral part of their life. They grab the information and share it with their friends and colleagues in these social media platforms. They expect the same level of engagement in the social networking sites from the hoteliers.
It is quite difficult for the marketers to convince the Millennials with advertisements. They instead trust on their friends’ opinions. They will consider various review sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp to get a real picture of hotels or restaurants, or before finalizing a travel destination.
Compared to their previous generation, this new generation of travelers makes hasty decisions. Tempted with a lucrative deal they can book a hotel at the last minute from their mobile devices. However short timing they may have, before booking they will consult the social media profiles and go through the website of the hotel. For that the hotel must have an updated website and constantly monitored social media profiles.
Millennials do not prefer the journey of cookie cutter. Hopping to the noteworthy places is not the aim of their journey. They want to integrate with the culture and imbibe the local experience of the places they visit. For that they are ready to stay in home exchanges, private villas or rent a timeshare property.
The travel spending potential of this generation is immense. Therefore, the hospitality industry has to closely study their new trends and modify their services accordingly. Remember, millennials are not so loyal and do not fear to try new brands and new ways.
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