Generation Y: the future of travelling
The world is in constant evolution: new technologies, new discoveries and most of all a new generation.
Born between the conception of the first Macintosh and the founding of YouTube, the members of Gen Y are unsurprisingly shaped by technology. The way they interact with technology is entirely different from all other demographics. This segment of the population tends to be in symbiosis with their smartphone, often considered as “an extension of their hand”. A study from Cisco tells us that two out five of this generation “would feel anxious and disoriented” if they could not use their smartphones to stay connected. Gen Y surpassed the Baby Boomers to become the largest living generation in developed countries.
In 2016, the way the world used the internet took a different path, mobile web usage overtook desktop for the first time (51,2% vs 48,7% from Techcrunch). Smartphones are taking over, computing is shifting and tech companies must adapt, rapidly. Gen Y’s expectations are simple, having all information and data available, instantly, and at all time on their smartphones. And there is the catch, desktops and laptops are not relevant anymore, mobile-friendly websites and applications are the key to success.
Gen Y or millennials, currently represent one third of the world’s hotel guests and are expect to reach 50% by 2020. The hospitality industry is facing a complete remodeling of its structure, and indirectly the way it operates and interact with its current and future clientele.
The IoT (Internet of Things)
Apart from the rise of a new generation of travelers, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing phenomenon. It is influencing the way we work, how we live and how we interact with our surroundings. The IoT relates objects are interconnected through the internet. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be between 50 and 100 billion connected devices worldwide while currently it represents a volume of “only” 8.4 billion devices.
In the hospitality industry, IoT is already widely used. Old plastic room keys are now transforming into apps. Guests can now control their entire room (light, A/C, TV…) operated through their smartphone. Front desks in certain properties have also been replaced with automated screens where the clients self-check-in and check-out. Taking it a step further, some hotels in Japan robots have even replaced human beings to greet guests and carry their luggage. As an example of this new use of technology, the Hotel Henn Na in Nagasaki was one of the precursor of such innovative systems.
A new demographic braced by new technologies implies a new strategy
As an innovative company, we at Availpro understood the importance of Gen Y and how to adapt to new technologies. Reaching out to the millennials means reaching out to the future.
Millennials have a certain degree of expectations when it comes to hotel experience. They are more connected than ever, digitally savvy and expect high quality amenities wrapped up in smart technologies. Above all, this experience must be good value for money.
Hospitality and more broadly the travel business is evolving at a frenetic pace. It becomes imperative to understand the new habits brought by millennials. Apart from “an experience they cannot have anywhere else” the number one preoccupation, the notion of sharing (on social media for example) implies a new business model.
Gen Y is driving the “collaborative travel” boom. They are not afraid to write reviews on different online platforms and to some extent create new trends quite rapidly. There lies the biggest challenge of all; innovating with unique features to attract new customers and increase loyalty. In their quest to always seek only the best, this new generation does not hesitate to go to the competition as soon as their expectations are not met.
But your strategy does not stop here, it will constantly evolve as the technology and trends pursue their evolution. Keep on working on your products and services using technology as the main component.