The Luxury Hotels Industry has a millennial problem they need to address
Dear friends and family: I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in the 2017 Flight Centre UK Travel Blog Awards. P.S. I’m On My Way won Best Luxury Travel blog! And by luxury here, I didn’t mean sipping gin and juice and business class flights. I meant luxurious experience the best way we know how. Again, thank you so much for all the love and support! Know that I will always do the same for each one of you, now and forever!
In my blogging career/life, I worked with a lot of luxury hotels that more often than not, I always managed to build good relationships with. I give them a few tips about their social media and how to improve their services to be enticing to millennial travelers but here’s what I never told them:
Millennials don’t care about the price. They will save their hard-earned money to get a good vacation and be comfortable. “Stop promoting your cheap prices!” I always tell them. Believe me, none of us cares. Sure, we still think about the price when planning our travels but what you give us in return is more important to us. Ask your niece/nephew who’s a millennial: if you were to spend $10 per night in a hotel that doesn’t have hot water, no free towels, has a shitty receptionist who doesn’t even care, I am sure they will tell you they’d rather spend $25 just to get quality service.
The hotel scene has evolved and while you think that most of us prefer to stay in hostels (I seriously can stay in any accommodation), millennials are slowly diverting their attention to comfort vacations.
On the Internet, you all categorise your properties to luxury hotels and I think it’s time to put a stop in how we define luxury. Luxury is happiness. Like travel, luxury is a privilege, not a necessity! Our privilige is being able to travel whenever we want (with the money that we saved for months) and being happy with the result of that vacation. We want you to give us that.
Remember that the percentage of millennial travelers are higher than ever this year because of the new innovations the travel industry taught us. We are smarter, braver and best of all, we want comfort.
If you are still confused with your marketing directions, here’s a few pointers that can help:
High speed Internet
Sorry, but Internet speed will make or break your business. That thing that millennials say they want to do social media detox while on vacation? It’s not true! This is the Internet age – nobody wants to shut down their social media most especially when they’re traveling!
Sharing pictures, Whatsapping family and friends, snapping every second of the day, doing a full life report on Facebook – that’s what young people do. We have to accept and deal with it. Most of us even earn a living from the world wide web so you need to think about that. We need it. We crave for it. If you still have the shittiest Internet connection in the face of the planet, it’s time for an upgrade. I’m sure a few more bucks won’t be too much for you. Just do it. Take the highest Internet plan if you must. BUT DO IT. It matters. A positive review is the result of good Internet. After all, how are they going to leave a review if you’re Internet connection sucks? Think about it.
A younger common area
Again, I am really sorry but most luxury hotels have lobbies that look like it’s Grandma and Grandpa’s golden wedding anniversary. You are only focusing on the amenities as a common area for young people. Sometimes you go even younger by putting play pens like those of McDonald’s but what about millennial travelers? You have a place for everyone but not us. How are we even to enjoy the price we paid (which, by the way, was very hard to save and yet we did it) if you keep making us feel we are out of place? Like we don’t belong?
Think small indoor sports like table tennis, a basketball arcade (boys love this!), a computer area where we can get to meet people our age, a rooftop, events, etc – don’t all these sound fun?
Hire non-judgmental staff. Or better yet, train them.
Picture this: a 23-year old dude reserved a 4-nights stay in your property and arrives wearing a boardshorts, shirt and slippers. Your security guard tells him, “this property is only for clients,” then he has to show a paper for proof that he has a reservation. He comes to the receptionist and she seemed to be not paying attention and made him wait for 5 minutes just and pretends she didn’t notice him. She looks down to him when he showed a proof of his reservation.
I’ve been in this situation a lot of times. In one of the hotels in Tel Aviv, they even asked if I was a chambermaid just because they keep looking down to my fellow Filipinos but little did they know I am a guest in the luxury hotel. I mean, seriously? Why do we always have to judge people (especially young ones entering ‘luxury’ hotels) as rowdy and penniless? I know this has something to do with safety precautions but if people come in suits and ties, they will never be stopped or questioned, right?
Hire your staff to be polite to everyone, to anyone, even to housekeepers and security guards. I am born in a middle-class family, with housekeepers and all that shenanigan (my mother was a single parent, she needed help) but I was raised not to look down at what other people do. I always make sure I greet everyone and be polite to anyone, young and old, suits or board shorts alike.
Improve the way you train your staff because this is the value that we want to pay for. Believe me, we will pay anything for good service and receiving that ‘homey’ feel.
Millennial price tag
I know I told you we don’t care about the price but wouldn’t it be nice if you’ll have offers and promos that will fit a millennial traveler’s budget? Luxury hotels have this stature of being unreachable and not friendly. I’ve been to a lot of luxury hotels that scream “we are elite” just upon seeing the facade of the building. Yes, of course, luxury is a privilege (again). But if you keep targeting the biggest population of travelers today (millennials), why not become creative and explorative with your price tags?
Additionally, you can also explore the possibility of working with travel bloggers. Millennials love them and will believe them no matter what! Open your doors to non-traditional advertising.
What are you looking for when staying in luxury hotels?
Does service matter? Price? Location? Leave your thoughts on the comment box below to start a conversation!
Trisha is on Instagram!