There is a new generation of guests booking nights at your hotel or dining in your restaurant and they are having a big effect on the hospitality industry. The millenials, people born anywhere from the early 1980s to early 2000s, are slowly taking over from the baby boomers as the core customer for the industry as this group is expected to outnumber the previous generation by about 18 million by 2030 (HVS).
So what does this mean for you as an owner or manager in the hospitality industry? Well, you’re going to be catering to a whole new demographic in as few as five years. This is a generation that has been by and large raised with a wealth of information instantly available at their fingertips and that is going to translate into a number of factors as businesses work to keep up.
Needs for millenials will need to be met quickly, which is going to mean upgrading WiFi to faster speeds and better connectivity and services that allow them to skip waiting in line, such as automated check-ins at hotels.
Their constant connectivity also means that they are generally more informed about businesses before making a buying decision, looking up reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, or niche sites like Thrillist. As these sites are populated with reviews from users as opposed to professional reviewers, they have become more trusted by millenials as they represent a certain authenticity they can connect with. This is great for the hospitality industry though as it represents the opportunity to interact with and respond to reviews, both good and bad, to help manage the reputation of a business through its responses.
MIllenials are social creatures both on- and offline. A major trend seen in the industry now is the need for spaces in hotels that offer a place to gather, work, meet others, and socialize as studies have shown that this age group is twice as likely to work outside of their rooms. Their online interactions are another way for them to socialize, as they are very likely to share their location, activities and opinions on social media in an effort to “validate” their fun with their friends’ approval. This represents a great opportunity to for businesses as they can take advantage of online socializing by promoting hashtags, handles, and pages that tie directly to the business and encourage interaction. Because of the reach of social media has in this demographic, pictures, reviews and check-ins at your location will go a long way to promoting your business.
These are just a few trends we’ve been noticing in the industry as the core customer for it gradually changes to a new demographic. We’ll definitely be posting more about this in the future, so keep checking the blog. If you’d like more information about how your business is performing, contact Braymark to see how we can help you reach your goals.