How Hotels Should Market to Millennials and Baby Boomers

Two of the most important segments to hospitality marketers are the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. Baby boomers are 65 years of age and older and travel frequently. According to AARP, Baby Boomers planned to take between 4 and 5 trips in 2015, but only half of employed respondents used all or most of their paid vacation time. Of these travelers, 55% will travel domestically, 42% will travel both domestically and internationally and only 3% plan to travel only internationally.

Millennials are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old, make up 25% of America’s population, and also frequently travel. This generation believes that travel is important to their lifestyle. According to PhoCusWright, 73% of Millennials between the ages of 25-34 took at least one leisure trip in 2013.

Both segments are quite large and value traveling, but must be treated differently to market to them effectively. MarketingSherpa sampled Baby Boomers and Millennials to determine the best ways to reach them. Millennials are typically more comfortable using mobile technology than Baby Boomers. Therefore, the survey’s findings that 26% of Millennials will download a mobile app and 27% will opt-in to receive text messages compared to 5% and 8%, respectively, of Baby Boomers willing to do the same. Additionally, more Millennials (36%) want to interact with a company through social media than Baby Boomers (4%).

In regards to emails from a brand, Baby Boomers prefer to choose the frequency of email communication while Millennials prefer to receive emails at a frequency determined by the company. Both generations preferred to receive updates and promotions via email than through other sources of information.

For hoteliers, this information can be incredibly valuable when marketing to Millennials and Baby Boomers. If your property typically attracts older guests looking to relax and escape from their daily lives, email and print marketing will be more effective than social media and mobile marketing.   On the other hand, if your resort caters to young travelers or families, utilizing social media marketing and hotel mobile apps will boost your marketing efforts.


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