Meeting the Needs of Multigenerational Travelers

By Clara Rose President & Creative Director, Creative Alliance | January 06, 2013

According to a recent U.S. Census, one in five Americans has a disability and half of them are considered to be severely disabled. Currently there are more than 54 million Americans with disabilities. This number includes a wide variety of persons from all walks of life, some you may not have considered.

Who are they?

While the younger end of the age spectrum is not generally considered a rapidly growing part of the ADA population, an estimated 3 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 - have a disability. This group travels with parents or extended families and are very likely to be a part of an educational or support group, making them a valuable referral source for any hospitality business.

One in every four veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan are now a part of the ADA community. While the exact rate of increase and numbers are not readily available, it represents a significant growth in the number of disabled veterans that are Generation Y or Millenniums (born between 1977 and 1994 and representing the largest population group since the baby boomers).

Consumers over the age of 50 (well before the age of retirement) often experience changes in vision, hearing and mobility that affect how they interact with businesses and their products. This segment of the population is not traditionally included in the ADA statistics. A noteworthy statistic - according to the Census Bureau more than 50% of the U.S. discretionary income is controlled by those that are 50 years old and older. This group definitely has the power to impact revenues and the bottom line for the hospitality industry.

The "Boomers", the generation born between 1946 and 1964, gave life to the single largest generation of Americans. That demographic (over 75,000,000 strong) continues to shape our society today and will do so long into the future. Somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 everyday of the year for the next 19 years! How many of these baby boomers have – or will have in the future – different abilities that require special accommodations?

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.