'Generating' Profits - Developing Tomorrow's Hospitality Concepts for Today's Influencing Generation
By Jeffrey Catrett Dean, Kendall College Les Roches School of Hospitality Management | February 13, 2010
How will generational effects determine the successful hotel concepts of the next decades? As the influential Y Generation begins to have economic power and as the still influential Baby Boom enters yet another life stage, the question is essential for hotel marketers to consider.
The past has proven eloquently that the company able to anticipate generational tastes (until now more through intuition than through planning) will be the company that defines one or more decades. It is easy enough to see how generational effects in conjunction with life-stage elements, technological advancements, business cycles, and historical events have shaped the hotel products of the past.
So what will the new hotels for Generation Y look like, and how will they change over the duration of this influential generation's economic life? How will Boomers finish out their travelling days (a question often overlooked)?
Although demographic science in general is not especially new, generation-watching is relatively recent as an important marketing activity with significant research conducted throughout the 1990's. Unfortunately, generation-based prognostication can easily fall into the over-simplification trap of technology-based futurism and wildly miss the mark, for it is not as simple as it looks. A number of overlapping factors must be taken into account:
Dramatically altered social and technological influences on the first half and last half of a generation combined with parental learning mean that the second half of a generation differs from the first. Researchers now suggest that the second half of Generation Y (sometimes referred to separately as the Millennial's) is markedly different from the earlier Gen Yer's.
What, then, do we know about today's generations? Research suggests that the first half of Generation Y is:
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