Attracting Younger Hotel Guests

by Alyssa Fate

While Baby Boomers and Generation X may have more disposable income, data shows that younger generations are more likely to travel. This means that hoteliers must be mindful of what makes Millennials and Generation Z tick. TravelBoom’s most recent Leisure Travel Trends Study found one key to attracting younger hotel guests is managing guest reviews

The modern traveler won’t book a stay before scouring the internet for hotel reviews, so reputation management is critical to success. Hoteliers should take a proactive approach to guest reviews, collecting feedback wherever possible, and actively engage with submissions that warrant a response.

Looking deeper at the data, the Leisure Travel Trends Study found that travelers under the age of 45, (who grew up with the internet and likely have younger children), are more likely to trust reviews when making a travel decision. Read more about the review channels hotels must prioritize for success. 

What else influences the younger generation to travel?

Marketing to today’s youth requires knowledge, creativity and adaptability. Standing out in an over-saturated digital space can prove difficult, even for experts. In a world where new content is available on-demand, hotel marketer must take risks and think BIG.

Younger generations are seeking deeper connections through experiences and travel is high on the list. According to a recent 2023 Global Travel Trends Report from American Express Travel: 84% of Gen Z and Millennial respondents agreed that they would rather take a dream vacation than purchase a new luxury item – compared to 80% of respondents overall.

Young woman resting on car reading map: attracting younger hotel guests

What do Gen Z travelers want?

Gen Z craves authenticity through meaningful (and shareable) experiences. With a sky-high inflation rate, younger travelers may not have as much money to spend on travel, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t prioritizing it. The 2023 Global Travel Trends Report from American Express Travel also noted that 46% of Gen-Z and Millennial respondents plan to spend more money on experiences like travel, as opposed to goods, in 2023 – compared to 37% of respondents overall. Hotel marketers should use this knowledge to provide value and purpose for potential guests.

Everything you think you know about millennials? Concentrate it tenfold, and you get Gen Z. Other generations are a continuum, but the millennial-to-Gen-Z span is a cliff. The next generation is completely detached from many old habits.
Fred Lalonde, co-founder and CEO of Hopper, in a recent Skift article

Major hotel brands are already forging ahead in an effort to cater to both Generations Y and Z. For example, Canopy by Hilton targets the lifestyle-minded consumer, while the more affordable Moxy by Marriott brand is experiential from the get-go with check-in at the bar.

Gen Z Travel Trends

  • Curate cultural experiences
  • Offer authentic, fresh cuisine
  • Organize outdoor adventures
  • Budget-friendly travel: Consider creating a loyalty program for your hotel
  • Highlight top-notch reviews
  • Provide quality WiFi + other technology on-site (think streaming services)
  • Accommodate the wellness traveler with these hints
  • Support sustainable business practices by going green where possible

Tips for Engaging Gen Z

Engaging Gen Z is becoming crucial for success – after all, they are the future of travel. Meeting today’s enthusiastic youth where they exist is key. Master hotel marketing campaigns on platforms they consume – even if it’s not traditionally where you might consider participating. Exploring social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok could reward you with a high return.

Download The Full Leisure Travel Study

travelboom 2023 leisure travel study download

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