Is your hotel ready for the millennial traveller?
Hotel, B&B and guest house owners take heed, there’s a new guest in town. Known as the millennial traveller, this new breed of guest is between the ages of 18 to 30, tech-reliant, and values connectivity. Here are a few ways you can ensure your establishment is ready for this type of guest.
1. Stop charging for WiFi
As millennial travellers value connectivity, the availability of complimentary WiFi is a major factor when booking accommodation. As Hotel Interactive puts it neatly : “Other than a clean bed, WiFi is probably the Number One item Millennials seek in a hotel – it is not an amenity, but a requirement.” See: Top 10 Millenial Traveller Trends on Hotel Interactive
When it comes complimentary WiFi service, millennials are less likely to compromise on quality. To boost the reputation of your guest house, offer them a high speed and consistent WiFi service.
2. Have a mobile-friendly website
Millennials tend to utilise their smartphones and tablets to access travel products. In 2013, thirty-two percent of Millennials reported using a smartphone to book business travel, while only 12 percent of those over the age of 45 do so. See: The 2013 Traveller by GoogleRead: Why your hotel needs a mobile website
3. Be visible and available 24/7
According to a report by CNBC, business travellers who are between the ages of 18-30 are likely to travel 4.2 times a year. The report states that 62% of this market is also more likely to extend a business trip into a vacation. Read: Millennials traveling for business? Room service, please via CNBC
Due to their spontaneous travelling schedule, millennial travellers adopt a different booking strategy based on technology and real time information. Hotel interactive says millennial travellers use a shorter booking window consisting of 75 days compared to 93 days, the rule for older generations. See: Top 10 Millennial Traveler Trends by Hotel Interactive
To garner bookings from this market, improve your travel business online availability and booking infrastructure by switching to a real-time availability and booking engine. We recommend NightsBridge.
4. Be more social
To the millennial traveller, remaining connected to others via social media is second nature. Due to the increase real time information on social media, they have come expect travel businesses to maintain a strong social media presence. “Twitter and Facebook status are an integral component in the lives of millennials who regularly upload photographs on Instagram so they may share their news in real-time with friends and colleagues. They expect this from hoteliers, as well.” See: Top 10 Trends of The Next Generation of Travel:
The Millennials by Hotel Online.
To capture the attention of this market, ensure that there is sufficient and up to date content on your social media account.
Millennial travellers are also more likely to share content about your establishment with their online circles. Regularly monitor your online reputation and re-post or share content about your business. Remember, millennials are vocal about their dissatisfaction.
5. Maintain a good online reputation
Before millennials book accommodation, they consult online review websites. According to a survey done by Harris Interactive on 8,535 adults in 24 countries, eight out of ten millennials believe that online reviews are important. See: Millennial travelers spend more, complain more on USA TODAY
An HVS study reveals that on average, a Millennial will check 10.2 sources before booking. See: Top 10 Trends of The Next Generation of Travel:
The Millennials on Hotel Online
As with social media, millennials also tend to share their experience on online review websites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp. Powered by mobile technology, these travellers do not hesitate to post reviews, whether positive or negative, in real time. If your establishment offers excellent service, then you have nothing to worry about.
However, it is advisable to monitor online reviews concerning your business. A quick reply to a negative review demonstrates that you value your business’ reputation to millennials. Resolving the issue offline might result in positive reviews on social media or online review websites.
6. Offer more than a good night’s rest
Millennial travellers are not content with simply checking into your establishment, they seek an experience. A practical way to position your business as one that offers an experience, is to link up with local activity providers, attractions and culinary experiences. Leverage your location as a selling-point, or negotiate exclusive discounts for guests at nearby activities or attractions. It’s crucial to market this side of your business during the trip research or booking phase, so make an effort to promote it across your website, blog, newsletters and social media profiles.