In the travel and hospitality industry, all eyes are on the Millennial generation. Often referred to as Generation Y, this demographic includes people born between 1980 and the late 90’s. Why has this generation grabbed the attention of hotels, airlines and travel companies?
It is expected that Millennials will soon surpass other generations in overall spending. They will become the core customers of the travel industry within five to ten years. Expect to see major changes in the travel industry to cater to the needs and desires of this important market segment.
How do hotels woo Millennials? It’s a question being looked at by brands that want to reach the young, creative class of tech-toting, oversharing individuals.
According to a recent report in Conde Nast Traveler, a number of hotel chains are getting in the game, opening chic new properties in Europe and the U.S.; even Sir Richard Branson is branching out with the launch later this year of Virgin Hotels. Says Conde Nast Traveler, “Virgin America rocked our world when they came onto the airline scene with leather seats, purple ambient lighting a kick-a$$ in-flight entertainment system, and in-flight WiFi. We’re hoping the same world-rocking will happen with Virgin Hotels, set to make its debut in Chicago in September (CEO Richard Branson also just announced a NYC hotel will open in 2016). What we know about the Chicago property tells us it’s all about communal spaces, including a theater, classroom, yoga/relaxation area, and a coffee and wine bar.”
Here are a few trends common among these young travelers:
1. Technology Dependency
Gen Y is a tech savvy generation. When it comes to travel, they plan, research, share, connect and experience online and with the use of growing technology. And because Millennials want their needs to be satisfied quickly, they won’t hesitate to make a change if their needs aren’t being met to their satisfaction. They don’t have patience to wait so they love things innovations like kiosk check-ins and fast websites.
2. Expectation for real time information
This group of travelers prefers to have reports of an event as it occurs. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are an integral part of their life. They grab the information and share it with their friends and colleagues in these social media platforms.
3. Peer reviews
It is quite difficult for the marketers to convince the Millennials with advertisements. They instead put their trust in their friends’ opinions. They will consider various review sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp to get a real picture of hotels or restaurants, or before finalizing a travel destination.
The majority of millennial travelers update social media at least once a day, according to a survey of 1,002 travelers conducted by Chase Card Services. Almost all, or 97 percent, of millennials post on a social network when traveling and three-quarters of all millennial travelers post at least once a day while traveling.
Find the full findings from the survey below: