— 5 min read —
The millennials in short, are those who are going to define the very future of the travel industry over the next couple of years. Born between 1980 and 1999, they have grown up with technology be it computer games, DVDs and are used to the vast wealth the Internet has to offer.
It is predicted that by 2030, millennials will outnumber baby boomers by 18 million and importantly for hotels, they behave and want to be treated differently to this older generation when on their travels (Source: Hotel Rez)
But how and why are they different, and what implications does this have for the hotel industry?
Here’s our definitive guide to this fundamental group in our society.
The millenials are…
93% of all millennials are internet users, in stark contrast to the 42% of those over the age of 55 and are 2 and a half times more likely to integrate technology into their lives early.
What’s more 80% sleep beside their smartphone thus access is constantly available.
The fundamental point albeit arguably an obvious one, is that they know how to use the latest technology, take an active interest in what’s going on in the world of tech and importantly for the hotel industry: millennials know how to access all information they need from their mobile devices.
Millennials love social media and crave sharing and viewing information about others. As a millennial myself I have: Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Insta, Twitter, LinkedIn – and these are just the accounts I use on a daily basis.
75% of us have at least one or more social media account whilst 48% of us check Facebook alone as soon as we wake up.
And there are critics that state that Facebook is on the decline… (Source: IBtimes)
The millennial is inherently a visual being, perfectly manifested by the rise and sheer popularity of Instagram. Being a more refined and accepting platform than some, it seems millennials choose Insta whereas regard Facebook as a social necessity, eloquently explained by a fellow millennial in a Medium.com article
“It’s always fascinating to me to see a friend with 1500 friends on Facebook only get 25 likes on a photo yet on Instagram (where she has 800 followers) she gets 253.”
Active participation on exclusively visual social media platforms, the unmentioned Snapchat included and arguably even more used than Instagram contrasts with the passive necessity of others such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
If 75% of all social media posts are images (which they are), then visual engagement unequivocally is the way forward for the hotel industry.
We are spontaneous people. We don’t want to have to define our year 6 months in advance. In other words, the new generation of traveler is 3 times more likely to plan a trip less than 2 weeks in advance.
Like to be well informed:
Equally, we are not irresponsibly impulsive; we like to be well informed and know all too well how to navigate through the vast sea of information that is now the internet, consulting at least 10 sources on average before making a final decision.
Subsequently, 65% of millennials state that inaccessible or unclear information is the most annoying thing about organising a trip.
Willing to spend:
We may be young but we’re not all students in terms of our travel budget. Not only is a millennial traveler more likely to spend a greater amount on a business trip, he or she is more likely to extend said business trip into a personal holiday, 62% of all millennials admitting to having done so in the past compared to 37% of 46-65 year olds.
Nevertheless, millennials are tech savvy and well-informed as mentioned, thus are constantly on the lookout for a good deal or special offer. We may spend more on average, but it’s well-thought out, price specific and far from reckless.
Constantly connected, no matter where or when, this key millennial attribute provides any hotelier with the ultimate means of engaging with the generation that is and will define the future of the industry. With the current figure not far off, experts predict that by 2018, 99.7% of millennials will own a smartphone.
It’s not unrealistic to claim it’s now a universal technology.
What does this mean for hotels?
Hotels must now fully embrace the omnipresence of technology and imperatively opt for a mobile solution. A visual, interactive presence on the smartphones on guests? An app on which hoteliers can present all of their services to guests, allow for Facebook integration and interactive messaging? Well that just about satisfies all of the aforementioned characteristics and desires of millennials everywhere. With more than 80% of us discouraged by websites with a poor mobile equivalent, hotels, it’s essential that you consider a mobile solution to necessarily engage with your guests.
Written by Roy Manuell