How to attract the Gen Y hotel guest

With nearly 80 million people in the U.S. alone, Generation Y is the fastest-growing demographic in both the workplace and the marketplace. Also referred to as “Millennials,” the group covers those with birth years ranging from 1977 to 1995 and presents a dynamic opportunity for hotels to attract and retain a booming market that already represents one third of all hotel guests.

TripadvisorThe two biggest questions for hotels are: How do you market to Gen Y? And, once you get them through the lobby doors, how do you meet or exceed their expectations?

Marketing to Gen Y
When it comes to marketing strategies, Millenials are far more likely to take hotel advice from their peers than from traditional marketing channels. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are essential to capturing this demographic.

Does your hotel have a Facebook page and a Twitter handle? If not, you’re missing an opportunity to market to Gen Y. More likely than any other demographic to Tweet from check-in to check-out, encourage Gen Y guests to connect with you during their stay and share their travel experience with their circle of friends. When guests log-on to the hotel Wi-Fi, your splash screen should prominently feature your social media channels.

At Le Meridien Ile Maurice on the island of Mauritius, when you log into the Wi-Fi you’re taken directly to the hotel’s Facebook page and encouraged to “like” it. I think this is a great strategy both for getting more “likes” on your page and getting in-house guests to connect and share.

So what does Gen Y really want in a hotel? According to consultants “Y Partnership” this new generation of travelers expects:
* Free Internet
* Casual food available 24 hours
* Self-service check-in/out
* Hotels with individual personality and a distinctive ”sense of place”
* Multi-use lobbies that encourage guests to socialize

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