Millennials, a clientele that is revolutionizing the hospitality industry
The Y Generation also called the Millennials, were born between the 1980s and the 1990s. It is a generation that grew up with the creation of the first computers but also with the beginning of Internet, social media, collaborative comparators such as TripAdvisor and low cost airlines.
These customers are remodeling the hospitality industry, particularly by encouraging properties to reinvent themselves, to think differently, to adapt their offers in order to target their guests’ needs and to face one of its competitors, Airbnb.
Who are the Millennials?
Considered to be the most nomadic, flexible, demanding and connected generation, the Millennial generation referred by the “presentism”, also known as culture in immediacy. Often represented by start-up creators, autodidacts, entrepreneurs, artists or even self-employed workers, the Millennials like to travel, to share a different vision of things and are constantly seeking for fulfillment in their professional or personal life. Fond of unique experiences and discoveries, 80% of them declare that these would help building their own identity. As legitimate potential customers for the hospitality industry, this generation has forced hospitality actors to rethink their methods quickly and become more flexible in order to focus more on their guests. You have to be aware that it is a less wealthy clientele and that it is common for these individuals to use community platforms such as Airbnb. Therefore, the Millennials are not loyal to only one brand because they love to discover and try new things. Conscious of having a wide choice of accommodations, they are very sensitive to different criteria such as style, price, flexibility, comfort, values of the establishment but particularly in to its customer experience.
How to attract them to your property?
In order to successfully attract the Millennial customers, you must understand their behavior and buying habits first. Indeed, it’s important to know that they will prefer an “experiences consumption” rather than an “objects possession”. Thereby, 70% of them prefer to invest in experiences rather than in material goods.
First of all, you need to be transparent. Remember that you can’t hide anything from them because they have previously made researches on your property, even without having stayed there. The e-reputation of your property becomes very important, whether it is on your website, on social media or on online review websites. Nowadays, travelers rely more on electronic word of mouth especially thanks to online reviews, comments and recommendations made by other travelers.
Furthermore, it would be relevant to adapt your offers or to create specific offers that could suit them. Indeed, the Millennials have a smaller budgets compared to their parents but still looking for attractive and affordable prices. Overall, Millennials combine business with leisure and they don’t hesitate to extend their business stay so that they have more time to discover new places. Therefore, do not hesitate to offer more than a simple room, opt for facilities with a refined design, large common areas as well as a local touch. An authentic, unique and original customer experience is also an asset for your property if you want to attract the Millennials. Bet on a personalized experience that will create a strong sense of belonging such as special welcomed gifts or discovery activities whether it is outdoor activities, culinary workshops or discoveries of atypical places. Also, don’t hesitate to use customer data collected by your hotel management software including preferences, previous stays and reasons for the stay, to personalize the experience of your guests.
Thus, remember that this generation has grown with the beginnings of new technologies. They are fond of technology and connected 24/7 to their devices. 93% of them prefer to stay in an establishment equipped with technologies that would make their life easier during their stay. Once again, it’s not enough to provide them with free Wi-Fi but invest in innovations that would save them time such as online check-in, mobile applications, mobile payment services, check-in and check-out kiosks, connected robots and so many other possibilities. Moreover, keep in mind that your property must be present on social media because the Millennials are extremely active. They don’t hesitate to publish, consult online reviews and interact with others. In addition, 97% of them use social media including Facebook and Instagram, to publish content related to their travel experience and thus influence the choice of other travelers. As hoteliers, you need to optimize your online presence by modernizing your website, opting for an efficient booking engine and above all, mastering the management of your social media. Your social media are excellent advertising tools for your property, but also an opportunity to interact directly with your audiences and encourage them to book at your hotel.
There are many properties that decide to undertake sustainable development initiatives and it is not a coincidence. Respecting the environment is becoming an increasingly important criterion for travelers. Indeed, 75% of Millennials prefer to choose an environmentally friendly establishment. It would therefore be relevant for you to enhance your actions, whether for reducing waste or even reducing carbon emissions.
From a marketing perspective, it would be interesting to identify them in the database of your property management software. Indeed, identifying this type of clientele will allow you to communicate specifically with them and offer them stays according to their expectations. The Millennials like to discuss directly about things they like such as hobbies or interests. Also, it will allow you to follow changes in their consumption habits and thus adjust your speech according to their new habits.
We all know that the Millennials will be at the heart of the hospitality industry in a few years. It becomes essential to reinvent yourself and rethink your strategies, especially by focusing more on your guests and on the customer experience that you offer them. Having a customer-centric approach which allow you to better meet your future guests’ needs.