Millennial Effect: Why Hotels Must Focus Marketing Efforts on This Demographic
When the U.S. was treated to a solar eclipse in August 2017, everybody was talking about it. The social-media channels sizzled with anticipation; conversations everywhere rumbled about plans and parties; and, the opportunities for social congregation abounded. It was an event crying out for someone to swoop in and organize a celebration.
Enter Marriott and the quick-thinking digital specialists it employs to stay engaged with millennials — currently the most important segment of the hotel patronizing public.
As it happened, Marriott was lucky enough to house some of its 6,700 hotels inside the shadow the phenomenon promised to cast across the country, a burst of serendipity the company’s M Live-division took full advantage of. The lively on-property eclipse parties, to which guests at these well-placed hotels were invited that afternoon, took over courtyards, terraces, rooftops and, eventually, social media.
It was thanks to modern technology that these hotels were able to conceive of these events. And, it’s via modern technology that the people who largely benefitted from it — millennials — live their lives. The coincidence is lost on no one.
THE BIG BULGE
At 27.5 per cent of the population, millennials are now the largest generation in Canada. As with all the best social phenomena, there’s some discrepancy around the particulars that define this cohort. But demographers William Straus and Neil Howe — widely credited with coining the term — declare it to be made up of people born from 1982 to 2004. That would makee them between 14 and 36 years old today — a significant, important group.
Consider: they’re the fastest-growing travel segment and one of the largest and most influential categories of travellers in the world. Each millennial’s average annual 3.1 trips are more than other generations (Gen-Xers are closest, with 2.8), according to Expedia Group’s study, Canadian Multi-Generational Travel Trends. They travel for 26 days annually — by plane more than any other generation and by car less than any other — to visit family, relax and sight-see, in that order.
In 2010, millennials generated US$165 billion in tourism receipts and made 187 million visits around the world, accounting for 20 per cent of total global travel. Canadian millennials travel outside of Canada more than any other cohort (65 per cent of their trips are international) and, as a cohort, their international trips are set to hit 300 million a year by 2020.