Asian-Americans Represent Significant Opportunities for Hotels and Beverage Brands

By Yuriy Boykiv Co-Founder and CEO, Gravity | January 31, 2016

As competition in the hospitality industry grows fiercer by the day, many hotel chains are looking for any edge they can find to win the support of key markets. Customers from varying cultural backgrounds have different expectations when they utilize hotel services, and even the slightest details can have a lasting impression on these demographics. Everything from room amenities to supplemental or complementary services can be adjusted to fit the needs of multicultural audiences. Even something as simple as the choices of beverages that a hotel offers to its guests can easily sway guest perceptions one way or the other.

Multicultural beverage marketing can be a difficult segment to break into - particularly for the travel and entertainment industries. Fortunately, there's a special on tap.

According to a recent Pew Research report, Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing segment of the marketplace. Since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, 51 percent of new immigrants have come from Latin America and a quarter from Asia. Asian-Americans are projected to eventually overtake the size and importance of the Hispanic market.

Opportunities abound for marketers in this arena. Save for the occasional cliche-rich, half-hearted Lunar New Year promotion, no brand has ever seriously courted Asian-American consumers with the same seriousness and rigor they have shown general-market, Hispanic, or African-American drinkers. But opportunities are ripe for first movers.

Thanks to the number and affluence of Asian-Americans, it's surprisingly simple - and absolutely worth it - to reach them in the media. Here's why America's fastest-growing consumer segment is a worthwhile target and how you can best cater to it.

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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.