Importance of Selling Millennials Experiences, Not Just Beds

Today, Millennials are a widely overlooked audience for hotels; whether it’s because there is a general perception that they are entitled and hard-to-please, or because they are assumed to have no money to spend on traveling but ignoring Millennials is a huge mistake for hoteliers’ bottom lines.

Millennials are one of the fastest growing travel demographics, who are “expected to be taking 320 million international trips each year (by 2020)[i].” Contrary to popular belief, not all Millennials are choosing to stay at Airbnb (or other alternative accommodation properties); in fact, Millennials “make up 70 percent of all hotel guests.[ii]”

Surprised? If you’re like most hoteliers, I’d guess that your answer is yes. If you haven’t figured out how to make your property more attractive to Millennials, I’m here to help.

The answer is simple: focus less on selling a room and a bed, and more on selling a complete, unique, share-worthy travel experience.

FutureCast’s Millennial Brief on Travel & Lodging called Millennials “Experience Pioneers,” which is one of the most apt descriptions that I’ve read for this demographic, as “[a] great experience is 3X more popular [with Millennials] than getting a bargain price” and “72% of Millennials choose to prioritize experiences over luxury and material goods. This is the basis of the Experience Economy, in which “businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product.”

For most Millennials, their travel experiences are an integral part of their development as a person. This, combined with Millennials’ obsession with social media engagement (receiving many likes, shares and comments on their posts), makes the experiences had while traveling of much greater importance than it was for previous generations.

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