What Do Millennials Look for in Hospitality?

Gallivant Africa

They are the generation that prefer to engage with technology in order to make their lives easier and their travel experience more continuously. Millennials guests have high expectations in payments, mobile experience together with discovery before and during their stay. They want a better technology to make their stay to be an experiential and excellent one.

Some interesting key stat below from Hotel Management 2018:
  • 73% of Millennials check a company’s social media (website, Instagram) before they make a booking
  • 33% will change their mind and they will not book it if a hotel had no social media presence
  • 97% of Millennials will post their travel experiences on social media – which can be a big impact and influences for other people choices.
  • Nearly 90% of Millennials use Facebook to inspire their travels. Twitter is also a popular platform. ‘Instagrammable’ vacation is a key for may millennials. Offering a signature or scenic background for pictures in or around the hotel. In addition, offer a free drink at bar for posting a selfie with a specific #hashtag for the hotel.

Some hotels already use the technology to attract tech-savvy guests as example which are shown below:

  • Ritz Carlton: Guests can order extra toiletries, towels, pillow, blanket, housekeeping services or even luggage pick up via their smartphone
  • W Hotel: Guests can open and unlock their rooms with their apple watch or smartphone in some of the hotel under the group
  • HTL Hotels: Check-in and room access are via smartphone
  • Conrad Hotel: Guests can choose their own rooms before checking in and order room service via smartphone.

Not all millennials are looking solely for experiential luxury. Beware that some millennials prefer budgeted hotel, it’s important to position hotels as budget-sensible so that millennials are reassured to use hotels as their basecamp while they go out exploring the destinations. Value add services should always concentrate on improving their traveling experience such as helpful local information, either through materials or trained staff who can introduce the city with a knowing smile.

How can Hospitality operators meet Millennial expectations?

Prioritizing experience over material, millennials are looking for something entirely different than the previous generations in traveling, and hoteliers need to familiarize themselves with Digital to attract these young and vibrant customers:


Millennials do everything online, and more importantly via their phone, including searching to actual reservation and even room service. It is high time for hoteliers to consider a digitalized sales system that are extremely convenient and user-friendly on websites and apps. Also, don’t forget to upgrade your Wi-Fi to the highest standard, which is a must to satisfy millennials.

Business, companies, hoteliers, brands etc. that eavesdrop to find opportunities and understand what millennials need will be best positioned to earn higher revenue and repetitive clients/guests.

Miriro Matema
the authorMiriro Matema
Born in Zimbabwe and living in South Africa, Miriro is a seasoned publishing editor and writer, having worked with leading brands in investment, business leadership and entrepreneurship. Passionate about Africa’s development, Miriro is also a dynamic marketing consultant with 10 years experience working with startups and large multinational corporations. With a heart for travel, Miriro spends her time discovering the nooks of crannies of Africa’s hidden gems, taking the roads less travelled, meeting the beautiful people that call Africa home while exploring their food and culture. Miriro is currently a writer with Byolife Travel and Gallivant Africa

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