Millennials…. Are They Worth The Focus?

By Hillary Bressler Fractional Digital CMO, PinchHit Partners | April 22, 2018

There is much talk about Millennials and how they are influencing the travel market.

As the largest living generation at the moment, they have received their fair share of focus from the tourism industry and any others that want  to buy into their attention.

Are they worth the focus? Let's take a look.

Millennials work to live, not live to work.  They like to travel frequently.  As travelers, Millennials are an adventurous demographic that seek authentic experiences, fueling their love for travel.

Millennials are predicted to have the most buying power within the next five years, but Generation X is still the reigning big spender when it comes to travel.  Millennials traveled 35% more in 2017, according to 2017 Portrait of American Travelers survey. This group is growing into more seasoned travelers.

Studies show that Millennials aren't spending money on cars, TVs and watches. They are renting scooters and touring Thailand, catching the best music festivals, or hiking Machu Picchu.  This should be music to the travel industry's ears.

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.