Capturing the Millennial Through Customized Spa Experiences

By Victor Bennett Chief Operating Officer, Suite Spa | July 19, 2015

According to the US Census, in 2015 there are 92 million millennials in the marketplace. They range from 18-35 years-old and are presently the largest demographic age group. Jen Usery of the Worthgroup, a leading hospitality architect and design firm, conveys that millennials are expected to represent 50 percent of all travelers in 2015 – 50 percent!

The travel industry predicts that millennials will incrementally out spend any other age group on travel services in the next 12 months. Millennials' fervor for wellness, search for novel experiences, and social media and technology, are driving hotels to create new brands or to tweak existing culture to address the unique needs of this age group. Hotel spas are strategically positioned to provide just what the millennials are looking for.

When they focus on wellness, address the potential and pitfalls of a lifestyle of saturated technology, and create customized spa experiences, it can increase ROI, guest experiences and satisfaction.

Millennials are Dedicated to Wellness

Though they have lower employment rates and lower incomes than the other groups, they do spend money on the things they value, and they value wellness. As an example, over the last four years, millennials' spending on overall apparel and footwear has steadily dropped, while they regularly chose to spend more on athletic gear (Goldman Sachs – Company Data Personal Consumption Expenditures). From the bands on their wrists, they track every step, every heartbeat, every hour of rest and every calorie. Fitness is very important to them - a lifestyle of exercise and eating right shapes their choices. Millennials are more willing to pay for fresh and healthy food and are the drivers of today's "food movement". Organics, antioxidants, probiotics, hormone and GMO-free are part of their routine vernacular.

Millennials are Relationally and Technologically Connected and "Wired"

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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.