Who is truly staying in hotels today? This data driven piece will compare and contrast the entertainment and stay preferences of Gen Z and Millennials. Are they more geared towards boutique hotels, larger/luxury hotels, do they want voice control services or are they casting from their personal devices?
Smartphones are everywhere, whether you are at a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or taking the train to work. The percentage of people who are engaged with their phones is at an all-time high. The interaction with phones can ultimately impact the way a hotel guest feels about their stay. Guests demand a strong wifi connection and are seeking interest in streaming capabilities in the room.
Research conducted by CWT shows that business travelers are more likely to use their smartphone to book a flight versus any other traveler segment, and this is becoming the norm when booking hotel rooms as well.
We are in the age where Gen Z and millennials are booking their own hotel stays. The importance to guest service and experience is a little different than what the standard has been. We mentioned smartphones. Hotels have to be ready to engage with a Gen Z or millennial customer on their terms. Today, that means enabling communication through texting or over the top messaging platforms. Ford Blakely, founder of Zingles said, “Gen Z and millennials were far more likely (58% and 57% respectively) that they would prefer to report issues over test or messaging applications versus on the phone or in person.”
In addition to their preferred engagement, these generations value exclusive and personalized experiences. From concerts, to on screen interactions, to a wine tasting to their liking, these memories are being recognized as a personal touch to the guest. It is less about what is in the mini fridge and white glove service.
Research has shown that Gen Z prefers hotel stays over the backpacking adventures of the generation that precedes them. It is not about “cutting edge technology”, they look for how the technology can improve the experience of their hotel stay.
Hotels are becoming more innovative on the ease of travel for their guests. Brands are now exploring ways to help a guest travel lighter. The W Hotel Brand has partnered with an iconic fashion company, Rent The Runway, to enable guests to pack lighter and rent clothing for the duration of your stay. Think about not having to bring two large suitcases full of winter jackets on your ski trip to Aspen. Talk about having a customizable platform and ease of access.
We have talked technology, personalization, experiences and ease of travel. It all comes down to, did the guest have a great experience and will they return? The more you understand your guest, the more repeat stays you will have.