How modern hoteliers can connect with the elusive, enigmatic Millennial
The world of hospitality is evolving, what with the rise of Air BNB and hoteliers being faced with the ever-increasing challenge of attracting the younger generations. But what is it that the elusive & enigmatic Millennial desires in a hotel? And what can hotelier’s do to modernise their establishment without neglecting to cater for older generations?
To quote Greenberg: “”If we attract young people, old people will show up. But if you build a hotel for old people, young people never show up.” This is the challenge that hoteliers face, one of the dangers being too wrapped up in catering to a given generation, rather than a certain type of mentality.
So, how can you go about creating a hotel which attracts people of all ages? Simply put, you have to try really hard, to not try very hard. And just in-case you’re wondering what on earth that means, you have to be authentic without “trying to be”. Yea, these Millennials are a complicated bunch!
Six ways to woo a younger audience
In this post, we’re going to explore ways in which hoteliers can attract a younger audience without losing the interest of older generations. Let’s take a look…
1 – You’ve got to be “Insta-Worthy”
Ugh, yes! More techno-jargon for you. But what does it mean to be Insta-worthy? In a nutshell: your hotel has to be interesting enough to post on Instagram. This means that you need to be bold in your design and the way in which you incorporate artwork into your hotel. Gone are the days where you can simply hang a beautiful landscape; today, the art has to be a part of the landscape!
That said, can art really help your business succeed? If you look at the way art affects the brain, you’ll better understand the way in which it influences consumer behavior. This is why more and more hoteliers are embracing artwork for hotels.
You have to create a space which is entirely unique, where visitors can take selfies with their friends and share it on social media. It might sound like an awful lot of work, but if done correctly, this can have an incredibly positive effect on your hotel’s popularity. If you want to succeed in this modern internet age, then you need to have a strong online presence.
2 – Connect your guests with local, hidden treasures
Never has the concierge been more important than it is today in a hotel environment. It’s no longer just about offering recommendations. You need to be well-connected with all of the local hotspots, but the hidden treasures as well. Modern guests want to experience the authenticity of the location that they’re in! They want to see “the real” world and it’s your job to introduce them.
This could be in the form of offering local tours, or even inviting local chef’s and artists to perform at your establishment on the regular. Millennial guests love being apart of something exclusive, so mix it up and give them something to engage with.
3 – Embrace technology and go high-tech
The future is now and if you want to attract the modern millennial then you need to embrace technology. This goes far beyond simply offering free Wi-Fi in your hotel. You should look to creating an in-house mobile application which not only unlocks their hotel room but connects them with absolutely everything going on inside the establishment. What’s on the menu? Is there anything going on? What time is the shuttle?
Guests should essentially be able to spend a week in the hotel without having to speak to anyone if they so desire. You could even provide a digital chat room of sorts where guests can mingle and meet with one another!
There’s no limitation to what you can achieve with technology in your hotel. Be creative but try not to over-do it. You wouldn’t want to scare the older generation off because they can’t figure out how to get into their hotel room!
4 – Go all out on room service
Millennials love room service! It’s as simple as that. So, you should invest a lot of time and effort into revamping your room service menu and the way in which it is delivered.
Many hotels are moving away from the traditional open tray method and have instead, opted for “eco-friendly” take-out packaging. This gives your guests the unique opportunity of either enjoying their food in their room or order it to go.
You should also pay close attention to how much variety you have available. You will need a vast and delicious vegan / vegetarian menu. This will go down incredibly well, as opposed to offering one or two options. Additionally, you may want to offer 24-hour room service. Millennials love their late-night feasts!
5 – Be conscious of your environment
First No Single-Use Plastic Hotel Launch in Asia, image by Akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok
Little things like going paperless can go an incredibly long way towards attracting more Millennials to your establishment. It’s about adopting a conscious approach in everything that you do and striving to reduce your carbon footprint. Today, people are more impressed with the conscious than they are the lavish. So, worry less about going big, and more about going green!
Additionally, it helps to show your support for local charities. Having an involvement with your community is another way of inspiring younger guests to associate with your brand. But of course, don’t do it because you feel that you must; do it because you want to!
6 – Create an attractive & social lobby environment
A hotel lobby should be so much more than just a waiting area for guests leaving and arriving. Instead, the most successful establishments of today are creating stunning social environments where their guests can interact with one another. Or alternatively, a space where they can sit and catch up with some emails, enjoying free WiFi, drinks & snacks.
This goes back to embracing artwork in your hotel. The more unique the space, the more success you’ll experience with attracting younger guests. Many hotels are creating libraries within their lobby areas as well. Let it be open! Let it be unique! Let it be bold, bright and beautiful! That is the key to connecting with the younger generations.