The generation of tech-savvy travellers are fast becoming a more complex and higher purchasing market player, with hoteliers now chasing their tail to find new ways to tap into the lucrative sector, but still have a long way to go, according to experts in the field.
Millennial travellers who have developed skills in the computer age “decipher stimuli in ways perhaps most hoteliers do not”, but it’s not all grave news for the traditional hotel industry, according to a panellist of experts speaking at the Annual Hotel Conference in the UK, Hotel News Now – a division of STR, reports.
The panel included Google industry head, Nigel Huddleston, Gilon Institute for Higher Learning ceo Judy Hou, booking and revenue technology company Avvio’s ceo Frank Reeves and market research and advisory group BDRC Continental’s ceo Cris Tarrant.
According to the report, millennials will go to lengths to live in a tech bubble, Hou stating “54% of millennials said they would rather give up their sense of smell than their mobile, so if they go beyond four or five pages, they’ll opt out, yet they are still looking for value for money”.
“The golden goose is how close can you get to the customer only needing one click,” Reeves said, the report stated.
The Hotel News Now report stated the panel outlined examples of millennial machinations and how “they” work includes:
Hou: “For millennials, losing privacy is not a trade-off. They accept it.”
Huddleston: “They are now very good at filtering out the BS, ignoring glowing reviews but also the worst ones; they demand intelligent, curated information from an online search, and they’re not interested in seeing still photos of empty restaurants, rooms and lobbies. Hoteliers should check out content of their hotels on YouTube, as believe me it will be there.”
Reeves: “They bounce effortlessly between online travel agencies to hotels and back to OTAs, as they know the hotel is selling brand, not distribution. Definitely, hotels are missing opportunities to push rate on the back of good reviews, and the tools OTAs use for optimization are available for hotels.”
Tarrant: “Brand plus review is more important to millennials than for Gen X or other age groups.”
According to the report, the panel said hoteliers were doing their best to keep up with technology, but the booking journey is set to once again “move into overdrive”.
However, according to Reeves, Apps are on the way out, the report stated.
“I think apps will decline over time as they are very useful now because of the limitations on mobile, but that will change maybe in four or five years’ time,” Reeves said.