Before I continue, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about who were referring to when we use the expression ‘millennial traveller’.
Millennials, also more commonly referred to as Generation Y or Generation Next, are people who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. They make up about 20% of international travellers and it is estimated that by 2020, they will account for more than 320 million international trips.
Phew. Those are some staggering numbers right there! It’s no wonder that hotels are wooing them with everything they have. But for all the effort they’re making, do hotels really have what Millennials want? Do they even know what Millennials are looking for?
If you’re not quite sure, let me drop a few hints your way
Hint No.1: Technology is their life force
Technology is to Millennials what water is to fish – life itself. The perks that most of us consider good to have – Internet, Wi-fi, hi-speed mobile data – are essential to their way of living.
What this means for hotels
According to a report, almost 71% of Millennial travelers considered free Wi-fi an important factor when choosing a hotel. So hotels, pull up your socks and put the technology in place for them. Or they’re likely to walk up to your competitor and book a room with them.
Hint No.2: Millennials love their smartphones
‘Technology at your fingertips’ is an expression that’s taken very seriously by the Millennials. He is likely to go for hours without food and water, but not without checking his smartphone. He works, plays, chats, networks, writes emails, watches videos, and stays up to date on news using his phone. Other more complicated actions like booking tickets, making hotel arrangements, and paying bills can also be competently handled by his handset.
What this means for hotels
It’s absolutely imperative that hotels invest in superior mobile technology, starting with a website that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. With more than half of millennial travelers using mobile devices to discover and book hotels, the hospitality industry is paying a heavy price for not investing in a mobile responsive website. You might also want to consider getting an app for your hotel, to facilitate functions like mobile check in, check out, payments, and en-cashing loyalty points.
Hint No.3: Millennials are ‘social’ creatures
Generation Y is often criticized for shirking the forms of social interaction that their parents were fond of. They’re considered aloof, standoffish, and a little bit asocial. But the truth is that Millennials do tend to connect to each other, just not in ways that are familiar to us. The online world, especially social media, takes precedence in their social life. Facebook, Twitter, What’sApp, GChat, and Snapchat is where they hang out, check in, upload pictures, start conversations, and share details of their life.
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