Millennials (people born between 1982-2000) are a huge focus in today’s market, as they are not only a larger group than the baby boomers, they are also just starting out, making it important to build early loyalty. Additionally, they want to travel- up to 75% have a vested interest in traveling abroad.
Due to financial constraints like lower salaries and student loan debt, especially amongst American travelers, millennials are looking for the best value for their money; two-thirds will stick to a budget on a trip. For example, they would rather book a discounted room than a room that costs less at its regular price, because the perceived value is higher for the discounted room- if it cost more originally, it must be worth more. Especially in the new sharing economy, in order to bring millennial travelers to a hotel, the hotel’s online presence must be up to the standard that this group is used to seeing. This means that not only will they be looking at the user friendliness of the hotel’s website and its social media presence, they are also most likely to see negative reviews of a hotel on a website like TripAdvisor. 73% of millennials will use an online review site in planning their trip, so the hotel’s service standards should be a focal point for those looking to attract millennial travellers, whose choices are heavily influenced by other guests’ experiences.
Millennial travelers are looking for customized experiences, such as those offered by Starwood’s Aloft hotels, whose offerings include a hangover kit. This option is available on a guest-facing app, but will lose its “exclusive” quality if hotel employees lack the means necessary to communicate the request to the proper department. They also consider a lack of air-conditioning and Wi-Fi to be a deal-breaker, making these both areas that the hotel should consider when making a preventative maintenance plan.
Most millennials have spent hours online researching and planning their trips, so it’s essential to exceed their expectations not just for the sake of online reviews, but for the purpose of future loyalties as well. Impress this group with the quality of service in a hotel now and reap the benefits of repeat business from the most travel-focused generation ever.