Millennials, young people in their twenties or early thirties, are shifting the paradigm on travel. To them, travel is a right instead of a luxury and of growing importance in their life as they become the largest percentage of the workforce over the next five to 10 years, averaging five work trips per year.
Beyond that, Millennials are 62% more likely to extend a work trip into a vacation than their older counterparts, according to a recent Expedia survey. This shift in how people travel is a huge opportunity for hoteliers to engage Millennials and blur the lines between work and leisure travel.
From a hospitality industry perspective, where can you reach this up and coming on-the-move market? The answer is through the various digital channels that are accessed via the mobile devices that never leave their side. According to Expedia, 32% of Millennials reported using a smartphone to book business travel, while only 12% of those over the age of 45 said the same.
Not only do Millennial travelers believe they have the right to travel, they believe they have the right to travel exactly the way they want. With hotels like W Hotels in New York offering a $3,000 social media wedding concierge to live-tweet your big day, what do you expect? To be successful, hotels must not only join these online conversations that are emerging via the social space, but they should be leading these conversations as well. Take Hampton’s Hamptonality Moments campaign for example. Real Hampton customers were encouraged to share their Hampton-stay stories in a series of videos that helped “human-ize” the Hampton brand. Interacting with Millennials where they are most comfortable and open will be the most effective way to create brand loyalty among a group notorious for the opposite.
Before a twenty-something even arrives at the hotel; they expect options and upgrade offers at a reasonable price. Offering upsell deals during the consumer’s buying process is crucial for hotels to increase engagement and interest for the consumer. The optimal time to offer these upgrades is at the confirmation step, when the guest has already committed to the hotel and committed to spending money. The most effective upsell tool will allow the hotel to create multiple offers, so that they can truly target the right customer at the right time. Sabre Hospitality’s new Guest Connect Upsell is the perfect addition to the Guest Connect Booking engine, seamlessly driving incremental reservation revenue to our hotels.
Where will the hospitality industry go from here? Time will only tell, but all hoteliers need to be prepared to move beyond clean sheets and a continental breakfast—it’s time to get personal.