Internet users today dedicate a huge amount of their time to social media, across a range of platforms. Whilst this popularity applies across demographics, social media usage is far more prevalent amongst the younger generations. As such, HotelMarketing reported that hotels have increasingly been targeting the Generation X and Y traveller, given their growing clout as consumers.
Hotel brands are seeking to appeal to the next generation of travellers; consumers who are always connected, through social media. As stated by Mara Hannula, vice president of global marketing for Marriott Hotels, the profile these consumers fit is that they are mobile, global and demand substance in design.
The Future Travellers
Chekitan Dev, associate professor of marketing and branding at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and author of Hospitality Branding described the younger generation as having greater lifetime value to hotels; having many more years of travel ahead of them. He said, “they view travel as an entitlement more than their Baby Boomer parents did and are willing to spend on it, and their hotel brand affinities are not fully formed so they are still in play as far as their travel habits are concerned."
The Rest of the Industry
This trend observed by hotel brands is applicable across the tourism industry. A younger demographic is a strong target market that is just beginning to make travel decisions for themselves. With fewer preferences and loyalties formed, they are impressionable consumers for destinations and tourism organisations to target. In addition, with their affinity for social media on the go, marketers know where to find this segment. Looking forward to the upcoming set of travellers is hence a very important factor to consider when developing a digital and certainly social media strategy.
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