The Impact of Millennials on the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry. A multi-million dollar industry.

Millennials. 2 billion people and the largest generation in our population.

Put the two together, and you’ve got an industry that is booming.

Millennials are those born between ages 23-38. Millennials have gotten a bad reputation of being lazy, stubborn, and having too many feelings.  

However, if you think about it, there are some excellent qualities in millennials that are having a good impact on the hospitality industry.

Millennials are spontaneous, they value experience over things, and they expect personalization in just about everything, whether it is their job, traveling, or the food they eat.

traveling millennials

All qualities that affect and impact the hospitality industry.

Parents of millennials didn’t seem to travel a lot. Sure they might have taken that annual vacation, but they didn’t go multiple times a year like millennials seem to be doing.

How are the millennials impacting the hospitality industry?

The hospitality industry includes hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, cruise ships, and even those off the grid camping sites. There are a vast variety of sectors piled under the umbrella in the hospitality industry. If it is entertainment, it’s most likely in the hospitality industry.

In today’s world, millennials are wanting more from life than the typical 9-5 job. They aren’t settling for just getting by. If they want something, they go after it.

This personality trait includes the urge to travel and explore the world. If you hop on Facebook or Instagram and you’ll see many millennials are traveling multiple times a year to places their parents probably never even dreamed of going.

millennials expore

Millennials aren’t hooked on things; instead, the experiences that they can gain from life.

Millennials are making it a priority to travel and see the world. Settling down doesn’t seem to be at the top of their list these days. There are those settling down, but even as millennial families they are traveling and not focusing on ‘stuff.’

The hospitality industry is very much gearing towards the digital era, and focusing on digital marketing.

Online searches are the most-used resources for millennials when they start planning their trips. This means it is now more critical than ever for businesses in the hospitality industry to gear their marketing efforts towards digital ways.  

How are millennials impacting hotels?

Just like all other industries hotels are figuring out ways they can become more and more digital while also being sustainable.

Many people are using mobile phones for booking hotels, but desktops are still being used quite frequently.

Hotels are modernizing by now having mobile apps available for guests. Having these apps allows guests to check in on their phone either as they arrive at the hotel or just before. They can then get their key from the front desk and go to their room faster.

‘Going green’ is a significant movement among the hotel industry. Millennials have powerful feelings about waste and recycling. As millennials continue to enter the job industry and travel to hotels, we should see more and more hotels continue to go green.

Hotels are transitioning to ‘green’ by using more glass for items such as their coffee cups and getting rid of plastic straws. The ‘green’ movement reduces the waste that a hotel is putting out.

Resorts such as Crystal Mountain in Michigan, are doing things such as recycling programs and eco-golf courses. In the winter Crystal Mountain operates its ski lift on renewable energy.

How are millennials impacting restaurants?

Millennials are huge researchers. Google is their best friend. If they don’t know the answer to their question, they will look it up. Here enters the farm to fork movement in the food industry.

The farm to fork movement is all about going back to basics with food. It is about not using GMO food and knowing what goes into your food and how it’s grown.

The farm to fork movement is popular among restaurants because everyone does their research and are now becoming more and more aware of what is in our food.

This movement makes it a favorite subject among the millennials that want to know what is in their food. If you pay attention, you will see many organic and farm to fork type restaurants popping up in many large cities.

Restaurants are focusing on healthier menus, and listing the ingredients used to cook their dishes.

Even places like Panera Bread are creating healthier menus to appeal to this type of customer.

Millennials and social media

Social media is an essential tool that needs to be used in marketing strategies to reach target audiences.

Companies in the hospitality industry are creating social media accounts for their brands. Right now the visual social media platforms are booming because of this. Many consumers say that images can affect their trip decisions.

Millennials and social media

Social media very much influences millennials. They may not use every single social media platform, but chances are they are using one of the appealing visual platforms.

Instagram is a great tool to reach millennials because of the visual appeal. Users can see where everyone is traveling and wish they could go there too.

Millennials trust real people over celebrity reviews. Posting real personal testimonies on your Instagram page will appeal to millennials better than just posting that your brand is trustworthy.

In the end, hospitality companies are focusing their efforts on the largest generation in our population. Hotels are transforming to becoming greener entities. Recycling and using more glass are some of the big pushes to being ‘greener.’

Restaurants are focusing their energy on sourcing raw and organic ingredients. They then will list these ingredients on their menus to keep up with being transparent, which is a big deal to millennials.

All these efforts are focusing on reaching that millennial age group. Millennials may have a bad reputation in some circles, but in hospitality, they are creating a booming industry.

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