Are hotels catering for millennials?

‘Millennials’ has become a buzz word over the past few years, but does the hospitality industry truly know how to reach this generation?

Millennial population is large enough to carry significant influence, both socio-culturally and economically. They have grown up in a world where digital technology and the internet are a critical part of daily life.

Millennials embrace brands on social media – research shows that five out of six millennials connect with companies on social media networks (SDL, 2016) and 46% of millennials consult on social media before making online purchases (Sproutsocial, 2016).

Worldwide, 69% of millennials want businesses to better facilitate customers getting involved in social issues (Shopify, 2016). In addition to this, millennials have shown that compared to other generations, they have a greater passion for environmental issues and corporate social responsibility when making purchasing decisions.

Catering for millennials is becoming increasingly essential for a large number of industries with many companies now defining their strategies based on demographic personality traits and habits. In the case of millennials for example; they travel a lot; are early adopters of technology; like personalised interactions; are environmentally conscious and are spontaneous.

Hotels will want to please them with easy check-in and ability to book last minute rooms at discounted prices in eco-friendly facilities. In return, satisfied millennials will actively promote their businesses on social media channels.

Whilst various strategies have been implemented across the industry to satisfy the demands of the millennials market, in our experience as consultants and auditors servicing the hotels and hospitality sectors, we have identified there are a number of additional considerations that are often missed:

1. Consideration of cyber and data security when leveraging technology to improve guest experiences

From keyless check-in and robot concierges to mobile apps and messenger-based booking, hotels are continuously experimenting with new technology to enhance traveller experiences, from booking to check-out. With any new technology comes additional risks both to the user and the company. GDPR is a key concern along with the susceptibility to wider network infiltration by third parties.

2. Environmental and social management to ensure greater adoption of green practices

With climate change continuing to make headlines, ‘green’ isn’t going away anytime soon. Sustainability has also become increasingly important to the travel and hospitality industries, especially to their customers. Commitments to both environment and communities must be supported by KPIs, strategies, policies and reports. Effective environmental and social  management and governance not only increase customer satisfaction, but can result in more creative and cost-effective ways to facilitate services.

3. Forecasting to determine optimum pricing points for last-minute bookings

The number of last-minute bookings is expected to grow due to the rise of globalisation in a volatile economic climate along with increased spontaneity by millennials. Whilst last-minute booking services, search tools and applications exist as sales tools direct to the customer, determining the optimum last-minute price offer is a key element; an element that rarely attracts an adequate level of informed consideration. Building pricing models using a more scientific approach and adding stochastic variability analysis can be an invaluable tool, maximising margin and ensuring occupancy targets are achieved. 

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