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Real Wealth Is Experiential Wealth

25 Jan 2020 185 views

A few years ago while working social media for a non-hospitality startup, I ended up getting into a brief Twitter exchange with a Millennial over pictures of a certain $50,000+ night spent at a nightclub. I opined that the money would've been better spent making a deposit on a house, maybe even buying a car, or a 90-day CD if you want to get really boring with it. The Millennial fired back dismissively that the photo evidence made it look like one helluva night, and that he and his ilk value "experiential wealth" over my outdated, Gen-X view of money well-spent.

That exchange made it very clear: Millennials value experiences over things. As a hospitality professional charged with quality property management, it's your job to make your "thing" an experience of which they will value.

Go Luxe or Go Home

Due to this emphasis on experiences, your Millennial guest budgets for luxury. About 50% of them use typical, high-end hotel amenities like dry cleaning and room service. Make sure you staff highly trained employees who can meet the comfort standards of our desired experiential enthusiasts.

Digital First, Digital Forever

With almost every touchpoint in your hotel, you want a digital or connected interface. Ubiquitous and strong wifi, a reliable online guest management system with push notifications backed by a cloud-based hotel Property Management System, and an easy-to-use online hotel reservation system are becoming mandatory conveniences for this generation. It's practically 2020 now. The future is digital – don't be left behind.

Content Is King

Millennials, like all of us, are addicted to connectivity. On average, they spend five hours on social media while checking their phone 43 times a per day. Some three-quarters of Millennial guests book travel through a mobile device so it's not a surprise that 66% credit Instagram as an important influence on their travel. As this demo continues to create content at an astonishing rate, Millennials seek out distinct, photogenic, and unique property landmarks to socially signal via social media the depth of their visit's experiential value.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

For research, many Millennials prefer to scour review sites and internet booking engines. Their loyalty is to consistent quality, not to brand, much unlike older generations. Nearly half of them will turn to people over companies for travel advice, so word-of-mouth is everything. A little bit of targeted reputation