A big focus in the hospitality sector has been about how to attract millennials. As the latest generation of travelers, hotels have been clamoring to make sure that they attract the highly desirable market. However in your effort to attract millennials, are you forgetting to appeal to multi-generational needs? You need to make sure that your hotel offers the services and amenities that appeal to certain generations, but without alienating other generations. Much easier said than done! We’ve examined the importance of millennials before and today we’ll examine why you should be appealing to baby boomers- and how their “forever young” attitudes should be something your hotel is striving to attract.
Why baby boomers?
Baby boomers are the sector of the population that was born post WWII, between the years of 1946 and 1964. They statistically are closer to retirement, have more disposable income, and have free time to enjoy traveling. A large portion of the population would be considered boomers- in fact in Canada, 29% of the population is a baby boomer, that’s 3 out of every 10 Canadians!
The boomers will increasingly become an important market for the hospitality sector, due in part because by 2015, they will control a large portion of the nation’s wealth. Each generation is important to your hotel, but boomers will present an interesting market to hoteliers- a group of travelers with disposable money and the time to travel. While you can’t make generalizations about other generations, the X & Y generations typically have higher money constraints; they are looking to buy a house, they are sending a child (or more than one) to University, or they may have other priorities over traveling.
Who do you think they are?
Boomers are a complicated generation. You may have the entirely wrong impression of the largest purchasing demographic. Let’s have a look at an overview of their generation:
The boomer generation:
- They view travel as a necessity, meaning their travel life is not entirely dependent on the economy.
- They want to live their lives when they retire! It’s an older, but still a very action generation.
- Sell them the experience- they don’t want to be told what to do (they are not their parent’s generation), but would rather choose their own experience.
- They are a tech savvy generation:
- Boomers have unfortunately been labelled as “tech novices”, hilariously misunderstanding technology today. However, that is a completely misguided notion. The baby boomer generation is a surprising technologically savvy group. While focusing your social media efforts to attract millennials, you may be alienating an entire sector of your consumer group.
Make sure you are appealing to multi-generational needs
Baby boomers will continue to be a growing trend in the hotel industry. Every year, more boomers will retire, providing them with disposable income and the time to travel. You should be focusing on appealing to pre-retirees and differentiating the market. The boomer generation is a broad market- what appeals to those born in the 40s may not appeal to those born in the 60s. This is where it can become increasinly tricky.
If you are looking to attract boomers and want to make sure that your hotel practices are not alienating any generations, a guest experience audit may be the right decision for your business. A mystery shopper will be able to experience your hotel as a regular guest- examining your practices from your guest’s perspective. Braymark’s Niagara mystery shopping program allows to you design your own program, which fits your hotel, and effectively finds what does, and what doesn’t, work.