For young travellers today, a hotel stay is no longer a comfortable bed, a pleasant room and friendly customer service. The Millennial and Gen Z cohort look for travel experiences that go deeper than merely a place to sleep. They seek out authenticity and connections in their travels. They demand experiences that align with their values. As guest expectations evolve, hotels must align their offerings if they are to attract the younger traveller.
Connection is key
High on the list of priorities when travelling is connection to the local community. In fact, 79% of Gen Z and Millennials agreed that they would love to experience a day of the life of locals in the destination they are visiting. They seek out local cafes, they want to eat where the locals eat, and get involved in neighbourhood groups to feel connected to their destinations. Hotels can leverage this desire to engage and connect with the community by looking at local experiences that could be included as part of a package – local events in the area or tie-ins with local cafes or speciality shops. Leverage booking channels by using imagery to promote these experiences and provide a flavour of local life.
It’s also worth thinking about what you can offer in-house to meet the Gen Z’s and Millennial’s demand for experiential travel. What can you offer the guest that values experiences above material goods? An afternoon spent behind the scenes with the pastry chef? A morning with the gardening team, learning about the management of the hotel grounds? Morning meditation classes in the Spa? Whether it’s partnering with a local dance class, arranging a tour of a local gallery, or offering an cooking demonstration in your hotel, it’s time to be creative!
Social issues matter
Younger travellers commitment to social issues is also a key factor in their travel choices. They seek out hotels that demonstrate a commitment to the environment and are more likely to trust businesses that take a stand against climate change and do their best to prevent it. Evidence of practices that promote inclusivity and diversity also shape young travellers choice of destination and accommodation and companies that succeed in demonstrating their commitment to these value drivers are those who are likely to succeed in capturing the investment of these consumers.
Throughout the customer journey, identify where you can build in customer reviews and testimonials that provide evidence of your commitment to supporting customer values. This builds up a sense of anticipation such that the value when converted to a price from a revenue management perspective, is readily acceptable.
Take a look at the video of Nathalie Nahai, Web Psychologist, in discussion with Mike Chuma, Vice President Global Marketing, IDeaS about communicating with and engaging younger travellers.
Nathalie Nahai, keynote speaker at Catalyst for Conversion part of Global Revenue Forum 2023, and author of ‘Webs of Influence’ and ‘Business Unusual’ in discussion with Mike Chuma, Vice President Global Marketing, IDeaS.
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