Managing your independent hotel for the future #1: Millennials

Doesn’t it feel like the world is moving faster and faster? Everyday there’s a new story about technology, millennials and dozens of other things that should grab our attention. But just sorting through the news takes more time than most of us have to spare, so, unfortunately, lots of important things pass us by.

With our new blog series, “Managing your independent hotel for the future,” our goal is to cut through the clutter and highlight the important trends and information that impact independent hotels. First up, let’s discuss why the hotel industry is scrambling to figure out millennials and why independent hotels are a great fit for their travel needs.

Who are millennials?
Millennials are the generation born between 1980 and the mid-2000s. In the U.S., there are nearly 80 million millennials and they’re soon expected to spend $200 billion annually. However, beyond their population size and spending power, neatly defining millennials is challenging. They have diverse interests and values, but the one trait shared among millennials is their reliance on technology, which includes mobile devices and social media. Technology isn’t just important to them, it’s essential to their everyday lives.

How will millennials affect independent hotels?
Collectively, the hotel industry is doing everything possible to lure millennials, from redesigning common areas and guest rooms to launching new, millennial-focused brands. Only time will tell which strategies are successful, but in the meantime, we think independent hotels should focus on two specific areas to endear themselves to millennials: branding and technology.
One thing the industry has figured out is that millennials dislike cookie-cutter hotels. That’s why there’s been a flurry of boutique hotel brands launched by major hotel companies, we think of it as independent hotel envy. However, no matter how you disguise it, major brands cannot mimic the independent hotel experience. That’s why we encourage independent hotels to focus on enhancing their unique brands and delivering the services that set them apart, just like our client Private Hotel + Pure Food. Authentic hotel experiences will never go out of style, no matter the customer.

Technology presents the biggest opportunity for independent hotels to build relationships with millennials. Millennials rely on technology to manage their lives, so independent hotels must weave themselves into the digital conversation. When travel planning, they’re using social media for research, online booking to make reservations and review sites to share their experiences. Staying top of mind with millennials requires independent hotels to leverage the opportunities provided by today’s technology.

Learn more about using technology to build relationships with millennials by downloading our free reports:
Leveraging Online Hotel Management Software to Increase Profits
Social Media Marketing Essentials for Millennials
• Digital Media Marketing Tips for Independent Hotels
o Part 1: Earned Digital Media
o Part 2: Paid Digital Media
o Part 3: Owned Digital Media

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