Young adults – or, if you prefer, ‘ Millennials ’ – are becoming increasingly important to the the evolution of the hotels industry. And that’s because of the ever increasing numbers of them that are now staying at hotels; estimates suggest they already make up one third of all hotel guests. In which case, these millions of young travellers are bound to be having an impact on the hotel experience, but exactly what…?
The Present – Smart Technology Is with Us
There’s no getting away from it, the influence of the Millennials and their irrepressible capacity for hoovering up and using the latest bit of digital (or ‘smart’) technology means the hotel industry isn’t just having to make strides to keep up, but to try to keep ahead. By and large, though, hoteliers are doing well. But what is this creating? The future… it’s here when it comes to booked accommodation and it’s definitely not going back in the box. For instance, thanks to Millennials expecting a joined-up mobile experience (discovery, add-ons and payments) before, during and after their stay, we’re now seeing some hotel chains and boutiques allow the tech-savvy to check-in via smartphone or even unlock their room via their handheld device – such innovations are available at the likes of the Park Grand Hyde Park.
The Present – Seamless Integration
If you’re not up with handheld technology, then you may not realise the big advantage of so many things ‘going digital’ is they can be joined-up; they can become seamless – and the result of this is businesses inevitably have to join the party. Hoteliers then have to provide the seamless services their younger patrons increasingly expect. Sometimes referred to as ‘on-demand’ services, we’re talking the likes of rapid and easy-to-use access to prices, amenities and room service via smartphones through the downloading of apps or even social media messaging platforms like WhatsApp. Increasingly, both established hotel chains and new-on-the-block boutique accommodation are enabling the choosing and checking-into of rooms via apps, or even enabling communication between guests and hotel staff via outside apps as common to Millennials as summer rain in London (yes, WhatsApp). It’s a brave new world and hotels of all shapes and sizes are embracing it.
The Future – Price Sensitivity vs. Unbundling
So much for the present… but, given this is the flow of traffic today, what’s the future going to hold for hotel guests? Well, the expert opinion is that, while all these smartly realised, intricate, add-on services will continue (so long as the technology’s there and ever evolving, they’re not disappearing any time soon), going forward they’re likely to be priced differently. That is, hoteliers – although always aware of price sensitivity when it comes to Millennials – will nonetheless begin to unbundle extra services offered along with their rooms. So, such digitally-driven services won’t remain all-encompassing in a room’s booking price.
But how to keep prices down then? How to guarantee good deals and affordability for guests looking to stay in choice accommodation like many of the Hyde Park hotels? Well, it’s felt that hoteliers will increasingly introduce ‘happy hour’-style initiatives (cheaper beverages and maybe more between specific times of day) and ‘pay-as-you-go’-like systems for room extras, such as all-important WiFi access and satellite TV channels. One thing you can be pretty much certain of is that hotels of all kinds will continue – and probably ramp up the number of – deals, offers and bargains they already provide; increased joined-up services ensures opportunities for more offers to whet the appetite of the guest. All in all, the Millennial traveller truly is changing the face of the hotel experience – and for the better for all guests!