Posted on Thursday, 11 May 2017
The digital age has brought along very many technological advantages and as many challenges with regards to hotel positioning on the market as well as attracting customers. Along with the smart apps and online platforms such as AirBnb, the traditional means for raising brand awareness don’t deliver the anticipated results in the digital age we’re in.
Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, the hotel guest’s profile of the digital era is very much different from the traditional one. Hence, the challenges are even greater for hotel managers to maintain a desired level of room occupancy in the hotel.
Not to mention making repeat clients.
Before we get into the subject, let’s take an overlook at the main characteristics that make up the hotel guest of the digital era.
According to a study conducted by Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, by 2025, the mobile and tech savvy Millennials will make 50% of the total number of travelers in the US alone. This category, also referred to as „Generation Y” represents the profile of the hotel guest in the digital era.
The digital age guests are the children of the 60’ – 70’s generation.
As expected, the traditional hotel experience no longer meets the needs of this increasing public. Beyond their apparent shallowness displayed through excessive social media use and mobile tech, in most cases they are digital nomads or wanderlust seekers, in search for significant travel experiences.
Hotel guests of the digital era are interested in the peculiar, the local, in unique experiences that they can customize to their liking. In their view, the definition of luxury translates into customizable experiences the hotel can offer them, rather than caviar at breakfast and the finest Egyptian cotton bath towels.
Most often, you will recognize them by their backpacks, the cameras, and the mobile phone or tablet they used to make book their room in advance. A lot of them work remotely, so they will most likely be interested in the internet broadband and the Wi-Fi password.
Their hotel expectations are mainly related to the smart technologies at their disposal. They are attracted by room access systems and mobile phone services, mobile technologies in general. But let's see which the most important needs of hotel guests of the digital age are.
1. Socializing – Here we do not mean a fast internet connection and online social networks, as they are already understood. Guests of the digital age want the hotel to be a socialization and interaction hub, in a world where socialization is increasingly rare. Hotels that manage to bring people together in common spaces where guests can work, cohabite and, of course, share experiences are the most sought after. For this, we have purposefully created InfoStream, an online platform and smart app that enables the interaction between the hotel and the guests.
2. Smart mobile technologies – Statistics show that digital era guests are avid consumers of mobile technologies. The success of your hotel in this age is dictated by the degree to which your hotel uses these technologies. We’re talking about mobile applications, smart room management systems, smartphone room access and other tech of sorts. The solutions included in our Senso Guest pack have been specially designed to meet this need, by incorporating modern mobile technology into the hotel room.
3. Personal and unique experiences – Meaningful personal experiences are on top of the list for the Millennials when they accommodate to a hotel. Your ultimate goal as the hotelier is to enable new experiences for the guest. For this, you can aim for creating a lifestyle hotel and facilitating experiences beyond its walls. Another idea would be to provide the guest with a holistic hotel experience, where he or she has the opportunity to "taste" of the local flavors with all the senses. It is important to remember that for the guest of the digital age, the hotel is not only a sleeping sack, but a place where they get to live new and exciting experiences. That's why the focus has shifted from luxury hotels to lifestyle hotels, where top services have remained, but the boredom aspect is gone.
4. Supporting new lifestyles – Paradoxically, even if we eat less healthy than ever, more and more people are concerned with leading a healthy lifestyle. The hotel guests of the digital age represent an important part of this category of people. Moreover, they want to stay true to their healthy lifestyle even when staying at a hotel. Lifestyle trends such as veganism, minimalism, eco-friendliness and zero waste are redefining the needs of hotel guests. For this, minimalist budget hotels, green hotels and those serving healthy locally grown foods ones are very sought after. In this regards, lifestyle is the new definition of hotel luxury, in the sense of having the luxury to be able to continue your lifestyle, even while staying at a hotel. And this need has a growing share amongst hotel guests of the digital age.