Tired from a cross-country trip, a grandfather checks into his hotel room in Boston and sits down on the bed. His two grandchildren are eager to hop in the pool, but he wants to take a minute to relax in the familiar surroundings.
Meanwhile, a young businesswoman checks into her hotel room in Seattle and immediately scans the place for cultural calling cards. She’s traveling for work, but she really wants to explore what makes this hotel within this modern city so wonderfully unique.
These two guests span generations, and they have similar yet different expectations from hospitality.
So How Do You Plan Your Hospitality Design & Accessories to Cater to Everyone and Increase Your Hotel Bookings?
What Do Baby Boomers Want?
Baby Boomers, typically defined as those born in America between 1945 and 1964, are travelers of refined taste. They know what makes them comfortable, and they gravitate toward familiar, predictable hospitality experiences because they know they won’t be disappointed.
Other key Baby Boomer points:
- Most by now have retired or are approaching retirement
- They have more than $2 trillion in spending power
- They’re likely to travel with children and grandchildren (making multigenerational delight all the more important)
That last point is critical. Since they’re likely to be traveling with (and paying for) younger friends and family members, they want all the 21st-century amenities and creature comforts available:
- Easy-to-use, in-room technology (casting options, video games, etc.)
- Proximity to local dining and attractions
- Health and wellness options
But keep in mind, just because they want ease and technological peace of mind doesn’t mean they’re tech slouches. Anyone with a grandma on Facebook knows many Baby Boomers have kept up relatively well with time. Finding the balance is key to increasing hotel bookings.
What Do MILLENNIALs Want?
The Millennial is loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 2000 -- and they are all about the experience. So, don’t let down this switched-on, online, on-demand generation.
They’ve grown up. They have good money to spend on travel: Some $4,500 apiece on average annually. (Disregard that they collectively shoulder the greatest student loan burden ever.) It’s essentially a life choice in their eyes.
Millennials are less concerned with creature comforts, instead preferring to get out and explore their destination of choice. Let their guestroom (their temporary home base) serve as cultural inspiration from the moment they walk in or open their eyes. Decor and amenities must include regional aesthetics:
- Local artwork
- Regional themes (from mountain retreats and beachside resorts to urban ambiance)
- Combined work/living/social spaces
This is where boutique hotel trends tend to shine, as their hotel bookings increase among millennials.
And, no, we did not forget the urgent necessity for technology with the most connected generation ever. At this point, it’s simply implied. And by preparing for Millennials, you’re effectively preparing for every future tech-geared generation.
What Do Generation Xers Want?
They’re stuck in the middle, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for your next hotel project, it may mean emphasizing the best of both worlds.
Gen Xers, defined as those born from 1964 to roughly 1980, are arguably the most highly educated generation (at this point). Millions of them have earned their college degrees, sought further education, and are now reaping the career benefits.
As such, they’re spending their hard-earned money on business travel and family experiences. But they’re smart about how they spend it. They research, and then they research more (good reason for a great, eye-catching hotel marketing strategy).
Through that research, they’re just as likely to choose the more economical “cookie-cutter” option as they are to book a pricier hotel with a unique design. Your best bet is to make the juice most worth their squeeze.
How Can Your Hotel Appeal to the Broadest Range of Generational Needs?
Blend comfort and familiarity with culture and technology. With luck, you’ll likely find that delighting young, old, and everyone in between isn’t that hard to accomplish, and you'll begin to increase your hotel bookings in no time.
So, how are you going to accomplish this balance?