Millennials desire experiences—over things. Travel and adventure are priorities for this generation. But Millennials aren’t traveling the same way, on the same timeline, with the same technology, or with the same expectations as their parents.
According to the Pew Research Center, the Millennial generation— born between 1981 and 1996—is 71 million strong. That makes them the largest living generation. Hotels that want to stay relevant to this enormous group of adults will need to leverage the trends vital to them.
Don’t fall behind—keep your hotel portfolio up-to-date for the Gen Y wave by understanding Millennials and the experiences that turn them into loyal customers. Read on for a rundown of the top 8 strategies for targeting Gen Y, with tips for experiential services they’ll love.
1. Modernize your website and go mobile
Put everything—everything—online. From researching hotels to booking a room to check in to ordering room service: Millennials are looking for opportunities to do it all online. Accustomed to conversing with AI, they’ll also appreciate the option of a chatbot to guide them through the reservation process.
Remember that Millennials are event planners now, too. While phone calls and in-person meetings are still important for group bookings, give as many details as possible online about event spaces, parameters, A/V setup, F&B options, etc. Have a way to request more information online, and give potential customers the option to choose whether they would prefer outreach via email, text, or phone call.
Think beyond the computer display, as well—a lot of Millennial travel activity is researched and scheduled through mobile devices. With 46 percent of Millennials booking travel through a smartphone or tablet, a site that’s hard to use on mobile is a non-starter for this generation. Don’t lose customers right off the bat: Make certain your mobile site is easy to navigate.
Consider developing a hotel app, even. Millennials interact via text and place food orders on mobile; they’ll value an app that lets them chat with a concierge or order room service. (Or, even order a burger while en route to the hotel—something any weary traveler or family can appreciate.)
Mobile check-in and check-out, and room key options are also popular with this group. No more waiting in line upon arriving and leaving the hotel, and no triple-checking for the hotel key card, when the phone IS the key.
Finally, for this set of travelers, Wi-Fi is not considered an add-on service or a perk. It’s more like water for the shower—if it’s not fast and easy to access, they will spend their hotel dollars elsewhere. Powerful Wi-Fi supports conference experiences Millennial attendees appreciate, such as video Q&As and live social media feeds with event hashtags (free exposure for your venue, so make your visuals Instagrammable!).