The Impact Millennials Are Having On Hospitality

Travel Trends Have Been Affected by Millennials

Millennials have inspired and rocked changes in the tourism and hospitality industry around the world. Resulting in businesses being forced to adapt or become extinct.

Millennials are traveling more compared to previous generations. This might surprise people who still envision us as lazy and entitled teenagers. In fact, we are between the ages of 22 and 37. Now that we’re adults, Millennials have gained a reputation of being especially fearless, efficiency seeking, empowered Americans.

The tourism industry is one of the many industries that have begun to think outside the box. One such approach is creating new innovative concepts and designs to stay competitive.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain, travel writer, travel photographer
Sagrada Familia. Barcelona, Spain

The Statistics

Turns out, Millennials prefer vacationing in major metropolitan cities compared to the previously most popular beach destinations. Additionally, we’re applying pressure within hospitality to provide the best quality for its price.

We’re a group of consumers who value a good deal over brand loyalty. It’s our habit to check reviews and compare prices with a tap of our fingers. In order to avoid becoming a thing of the past, hotels have begun to come up with innovative ways to stay current and adapt to the demands of this generation.

Since Millennials continue to confuse and perplex our elders, there have been multiple studies about how we think and what we want. Hotels have joined in and found some surprising answers.

Changes Ahead

Forbes found in 2014, that females make 80% of travel decisions and contributed $125 billion in tourism. Additionally, in 2018, Bookings.com said this trend isn’t fading. They stated that, “Our research suggests that female solo travel is a phenomenon that is here to stay.”

Bookings.com aren’t the only ones who have realized that females aren’t going to let the men have all the fun. A new report on current and future Millennial travel explains that the Four Seasons in Riyadh and Hamilton Crown Plaza in D.C., have gone so far as creating female only floors which provide added security. While providing extra amenities like more hangers, flat irons, mini bars stocked with smoothies and complimentary nylons. (Yes, nylons….)

If that doesn’t excite you, what about having a smart mirror? Yes, I realize smart mirrors have been around for awhile, but this is different.

Mirror Image Hospitality has taken things to a new level. Introducing a full length mirror that doubles as a TV and virtual concierge platform. Guests can order room service, make special requests, and find recommendations for things to do or places to eat. They even provide local maps! Don’t worry though, at night it turns fully off so there’s no computer glow to keep you awake.

Hilton Tru

Hilton has gone even further by creating their own brand to appeal to the increased amount of Millennial travelers. They’ve named it Hilton Tru. The first Tru Hilton property opened in August 2017 and has now become the fastest growing brand in Hilton’s portfolio.

In order to distinguish itself from other more typical and traditional hotels, Hilton’s Tru doesn’t have any onsite restaurants. Instead, it has Eat & Sip, a 24 hour market full of local snacks and drinks along with free customizable breakfast.

No more awkward sitting areas in the lobby. Now they have pool and foosball tables or a variety of board games. However, they also incorporated quieter nooks to work with USB outlets, free wireless printing and coffee (yessss coffee!).

Hilton Tru’s Lobby

While Airbnb’s sales continue to grow, surprisingly, full service hotels and resorts still dominate Millennials preferred accommodation type. A preference hotels are fighting to keep. One such favorable benefit of travel Millennials have reported is getting to know the local culture and meeting new people.

Hotels have an advantage over the solitude of Airbnb’s by having onsite lounges and rooftop bars. Travelers enjoy mingling while sipping on drinks illuminated from underneath by the lighted bar. Another option is enjoying free wifi and coffee in the working nooks located in the lobbies.

New Check In Methods

After dissecting the feedback from their younger, opinionated customers, hotels are doing away with some of the standard expectations. For instance, one way is eliminating front desks replacing them with kiosks in the hopes of avoiding long check in lines and general lobby confusion. But don’t worry security isn’t an issue with smart elevators that deliver guests only to their floors.

All these changes make me want to book a flight just to check out all the new amenities. What about you?

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