The millennial traveller already makes up over one third of the world’s hotel guests, with predictions that this will reach over 50% by 2020. As the hospitality industry gears up for the biggest disruption in decades, key attributes like design, authenticity, experience, technology and perceived value, are imperative for attracting the digitally savvy and demanding millennial traveller - a unique opportunity for boutique hotels to win them over.
Personalised and Unconventional Experiences have never been more important. Seen as more exclusive and intimate than large hotels, boutique hotels are seeing demand from millennials who seek something unique and want to share their experiences.
“Millennials want to connect with their favourite brands on an emotional level, be part of the action and share their experience with their network,” says Sabine Kern, Director of Sales & Marketing at London Edition Hotel.
Whether they are posting pictures, sharing reviews, checking-in via Facebook or sharing status updates, the millennial generation are a powerful marketing tool for boutique hotels. “In order to successfully market to millennial consumers, they need to be invited to co-create your brand story,” says Hannah Ward, Marketing Manager at Story Stream.
Hotel Design is being transformed to cater for the millennial traveller through the evolution of lobby design, common social spaces and more efficient use of space in hotel rooms. London’s newest boutique hotel Laslett hotel looks to capture the rich cultural heritage and local contemporary scene of Notting Hill within the design of the hotel. It incorporates a curated British library, serves dishes supplied by a celebrated local chef and has a shop showcasing collaborations with local designers and artists.
Boutique hotels around the world are catering for the millennial traveller’s desire for experiences at every touch point. Hotel Naumi, is designed to feel like a private home with each room inspired by different artists from Coco Chanel to Andy Warhol. Rooms also include Apple TV and AirPlay Mirroring to cater for technology needs.
Smart technology is important for the millennial traveller, making their stay more efficient and easier to manage than ever before. Technology start-ups like Room Key are enabling boutique hotels to offer the same services as the larger hotel chains through check-in and check-out via mobile, mobile room keys, real-time billing and concierge messaging.
Hotels are increasingly moving from traditional to boutique in an effort to harness a powerful generation of consumers with unique needs and if the boutique hotel industry plays it’s cards right, it will continue to go from strength to strength.
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