The term Millennials is one that we’ve all grown used to in the past few years. Whether it’s a term we use endearingly or wearily, there’s no hiding from the fact that they make up an estimated 1.8 billion of the world’s population. Due to population and the sheer connectivity we’re faced with today, it’s come to a point that millennials make up a major proportion of the worlds global market. As they get older and of an age where they have disposable income, millennials are becoming increasingly influential. Most YouTube “vloggers” and high profile social media “influencers” are millennials and are on the road to inherit the world. This has led to many businesses changing their tactics and the medium they use when it comes to advertising. The online world and the technical capabilities and knowledge we now have at our very fingertips requires us to think differently when it comes to drawing in customers.
Getting to grips with this will be the make or break of your hotel’s success. If you shrug this off and keep with the status quo, then keep in mind that as millennial visitors get older, they will be moving from the London youth hostel to the London boutique hotels, and if that still doesn’t rattle you then remember that your reading the words of one right now!
So, What/Who is a Millennial
A millennial is a broad term, after all it is a term relating to a “generation” which itself has no concrete definition regarding who it denotes. In broad terms, a millennial is anybody who graduated from school or university in the 21st century and so spans roughly from the mid 80’s to those born in 1996.
This generation is, in general, more technologically capable and has a greater understanding of the world, in part due to the said technological capability. Other names for the millennial is an “echo boomer”. This is since they are the children of the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964 who enjoyed increased post-war prosperity and therefore reproduced more. This means there are more millennials than there were baby boomers. More millennials are connected nowadays as well, making them smarter and more vocal. Before the millennial but after the baby boomers came Generation X, making Generation Y the less catchy yet more technical term for the millennial.
On top of this, millennials are thought to have more socio liberal views than generations before them and a healthier work and life balance. Part of this influences their propensity for travelling, wanting to engage with and see more of the world. This makes them ideal customers for hotel companies and as they begin to make more money and inherit the world, a prime present and future customer for Luxury Hotels in London.
What Do You Need to Know About Millennials?
As the millennial generation has grown up, they have had many studies conducted upon them and their social habits. This has led to a lot of quantifiable data which could help many businesses not just hotel companies to assess the way they should approach working with and for millennials.
The United Nations for instance has estimated that:
- 20 percent of international tourists are now millennials
- that’s around 200 million young people who could be visiting your hotel.
To add to this, the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation has projected that Millennial travellers will have taken a gobsmacking 320 million international trips. This is a 47% increase from the year 2013 alone which saw a still strong 217 million.
This isn’t surprising; surveys have shown that 70% of millennials have taken at least one leisure trip a year and 66% of them consider travel to be crucial to a happy life. This may also be why millennials are the masters of the mini break, 71% of them taking time out to take a 3 night or less break from their hectic lifestyle whilst they were twice as likely as older travellers to take a 2-week trip. Their more sociable nature means that they are 57% more likely to want to meet other people who are staying at their hotel or accommodation.
This data is more than enough to show how rapidly times are changing when it comes to the quality of service people of a younger age have come to express, and their relationship with social media makes it far easier for them to voice their opinions online.
Why Millennials Could Help Your Business
So where does this leave you as a hotelier? With needs for all clients constantly changing, we need to keep on top of the ever-changing market, especially with the added ingredient of the millennial.
For starters, you’ll have to make sure that you’re on the ball when it comes to accommodating for new age groups. 20% of travellers are young people now, and that means that your concierges and hotel staff should be able to accommodate for them. This could mean giving advice on things to do in the area which could suit their age group and tastes as well as making sure that the hotel itself has suitable entertainment for these guests. You don’t want to repel younger travellers, they may have as refined tastes and needs as your older guests.
More Likely to Recommend to A Friend and Online
Never underestimate the power of online marketing, especially through the words of your customers. Whilst it’s no surprise that tourists are using websites such as Trip Advisor to review and recommend trips they’ve enjoyed, a large percentage of younger travellers are taking to social media to give their views on their trips. This has even more of a wide reach. If your hotel has a top-class chef and a millennial is enjoying the medium rare sautéed steak they’ve cooked up, be sure to have a hashtag or Twitter handle; you may find a photo of the meal turn up online!
This means that there is far more connectivity and if your millennial customers enjoy what you’re offering, their singing of your praises will have a far wider reach than any newspaper or magazine article could. With the rise of social media, you can expect to find the best companies getting the most likes and the most followers on websites such as Facebook Instagram and Twitter. To capitalise on this, your best bet is to master social media. It’s not just the young visitors inadvertently advertising you, it’s the way YOU advertise YOURSELF. Having a great profile with regular updates, displaying photos of your hotel and creating social media events for the exciting dates you have coming up can give you a great tool with which to assess your popularity and where you can improve. Social media usage can serve as not only an advertising tool but a cheeky bit of market research. What time of the day are millennials clicking on your page? What components are getting more attention? These questions will help you to better your business and the answers can be found easily through social media, online platforms mainly inhabited by millennials.
One factor in the large usage of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are the birth of the smart phone and tablet. Most millennials will own one of these innovative devices and use them often, regularly checking their social media profiles and updating them at least once a day. One other offshoot of the smart phone is the birth of the “app”. Apps can be focused on almost anything in the world and therefore travel apps have become so popular in marketing hotels and holidays. With a hotel app, you can engage with the more tech savvy, who expect quick service. Travel apps and hotel apps let you keep up to date with the goings on of the hotel nor trip at the click of a button whilst also allowing you easy access to booking and hotel amenities.
More willing to explore the world
As mentioned before, the more social and liberally minded are more willing to explore the world and engage with other cultures. This means that in terms of attracting a millennial audience, your work might be cut out for you. With cities such as London, millennials will continue to be attracted to the sheer amount and diversity on offer in the city. It’s up to you to keep them engaged however. Making sure that these millennial guests become returnable customers is no easy feat, especially with the demand and attention to detail they have for amenities. Studies have shown that millennials are more likely to demand more of the services you offer, such as in-room WIFI and satellite television. With more of an eye for comfort, the millennial will make sure that their beds and shower amenities are on point. After all, we’ve grown up in a society where for the lucky, these have been available to us at the press of a button. As technology has allowed for innovations in comfort, these have become far easier to get hold of and means that you must up your game to meet the high standards expected.
So, what does the Millennial mean for hotel industry? A raising of the game is in order, and that goes not only for millennials but for society in general. This is because of our interconnectivity and the higher demand that not only millennials expect, but more and more frequently older and younger generations as well.