Do you have a strategy to attract younger guests to your hotel?
You're gonna need one. As the Baby Boomer generation approaches retirement, millennials & Gen X are hitting their proverbial stride in life. Careers are maturing, families are growing, and disposable income is turning to savings.
Here's the catch - these younger demographics LOVE to travel. It's all about experiences - not ownership. While competition increases with apps like AirBnB entering the scene, it is critical to have a unique strategy to bring in younger demographics & earn their trust.
Sell the Experience
Hotel guests have come to expect certain standards of service from high speed internet to early check in & out - these are the baseline for hotel stays. In order to truly differentiate yourself it's important to find unique experiences for your guests and starting locally is your best bet.
Partnering with trendy local restaraunts provides unique dining experiences for your guests by exposing them to new food. Be sure to identify several different food options in these restaraunts to cater to any taste or dietary restriction.
Tune into local fairs, festivals, conventions and more. Offering discounted rates for a particular event not only improves reservation rates, but it will also cement your hotel as the place to stay for annual events.
Invest In Tech
This should be a no-brainer. Tech is a necessity for the modern traveler, not just high speed internet, but mobile apps & other smart phone integrations provide guests with more control over their stays. Many mobile apps can even integrate other amenities & services - room service, spa services, or even laundry could all be accessed through an app.
In doing so you allow guests easier access to amenities they desire without additional interaction with the front desk. Save your employee's time & provide your guests with more in-room autonomy.
Comp the Pain Away
As a result of their social media prowess as well as their expertise in doing research online you should be wary of complaints - they can quickly turn into bad reviews or posts on social media!
One of the best solutions to missed service is providing comped amenities
- a free glass of wine sent to the room, in-room movies, complimentary massage, and so on. It will always be cheaper to offer additional services or perks for a guest than to comp an entire stay or worse, lose future business.
Chances are if you rectify any potential customer service disaster you'll even get some positive reviews about it!
You are not AirBnB and that's okay. It's easy to see a competitive service and want to emulate their model, but there is still many reasons you are competing. They have USPs & you have yours - where AirBnB allows guests to make themselves at home, this also means they are left to their own upkeep and there isn't opportunity to upsell the experience!
You also should never undervalue the benefits of a 'front desk' - it allows guests to air their greivances while giving you the opportunity to rectify them and improve the quality of their stay.
Double down on what makes your hotel truly unique - you'll find that expanding high demand amenities and making them easier to access will make you more competitive with AirBnB properties. Spa services, laundry, twice a day turndown? Not at AirBnB.
Keeping an eye out for the latest innovative product can also change the entire guest experience in a hotel room. The Keurig replaced the coffee pot, the Plum is pushing against minibars, and Tersa Steam is eliminating irons & outsourced clothing care!
These products not only improve upon functionality, but also modernize the feel & improve the aesthetic of hotel rooms.
Competition is healthy - embrace the change it brings. Your future customers will thank you for it!