Is Your Hotel Ready for the Millennial Traveler?

Before I continue, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about who were referring to when we use the expression ‘millennial traveller’.

Millennials, also more commonly referred to as Generation Y or Generation Next, are people who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. They make up about 20% of international travellers and it is estimated that by 2020, they will account for more than 320 million international trips.

Phew. Those are some staggering numbers right there! It’s no wonder that hotels are wooing them with everything they have. But for all the effort they’re making, do hotels really have what Millennials want? Do they even know what Millennials are looking for?

If you’re not quite sure, let me drop a few hints your way

Hint No.1: Technology is their life force

Technology is to Millennials what water is to fish – life itself. The perks that most of us consider good to have – Internet, Wi-fi, hi-speed mobile data – are essential to their way of living.

What this means for hotels

According to a report, almost 71% of Millennial travelers considered free Wi-fi an important factor when choosing a hotel. So hotels, pull up your socks and put the technology in place for them. Or they’re likely to walk up to your competitor and book a room with them.

Hint No.2: Millennials love their smartphones

‘Technology at your fingertips’ is an expression that’s taken very seriously by the Millennials. He is likely to go for hours without food and water, but not without checking his smartphone. He works, plays, chats, networks, writes emails, watches videos, and stays up to date on news using his phone. Other more complicated actions like booking tickets, making hotel arrangements, and paying bills can also be competently handled by his handset.

What this means for hotels

It’s absolutely imperative that hotels invest in superior mobile technology, starting with a website that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. With more than half of millennial travelers using mobile devices to discover and book hotels, the hospitality industry is paying a heavy price for not investing in a mobile responsive website. You might also want to consider getting an app for your hotel, to facilitate functions like mobile check in, check out, payments, and en-cashing loyalty points.

Hint No.3: Millennials are ‘social’ creatures

Generation Y is often criticized for shirking the forms of social interaction that their parents were fond of. They’re considered aloof, standoffish, and a little bit asocial. But the truth is that Millennials do tend to connect to each other, just not in ways that are familiar to us. The online world, especially social media, takes precedence in their social life. Facebook, Twitter, What’sApp, GChat, and Snapchat is where they hang out, check in, upload pictures, start conversations, and share details of their life.

What this means for hotels

Given that social media is one of the biggest influencing factors in the life of a Millennial, hotels must make a concerted effort to have a presence on various platforms. In fact, they must go beyond the token Facebook and Instagram page and build a community online. Reach out to your audience, engage them, solve their problems, and invite them to leave reviews. An active social media profile inspires confidence among Millennials and is likely to win you brownie points in the long run.

Hint No.4: Millennials place great faith in peer reviews

Generation Y is a suspicious lot and they can recognize a marketing gimmick from a mile away. For this reason, they rely heavily on ‘peer review’ to gather information about a place. Whether they’re buying a new gadget or trying out a restaurant in the neighborhood, you’ll see them pouring over reviews before deciding to do anything. They consider it a more authentic and ‘real’ source of information. And you can be 100 per cent sure that they’ll be reading up about your hotel before deciding to stay there.

What this means for hotels

Do not try to patronize or trick the Millennial traveller. All your online properties (website, blog, social media profiles) should display accurate information, accompanied by up-to-date pictures. If you’re offering a deal or discount, lay out the terms in black and white. Encourage your visitors to leave you a review on platforms like Trip-advisor or your Facebook page; incentivize the process, if you have to. Should you receive a negative review, take steps to address it and resolve the situation.

Millennials don’t expect you to be flawless. However, they do expect you to be transparent and sincere. Mistakes are an inevitable part of your industry and if you’ve taken every possible step to rectify the problem, you will be forgiven. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself at the receiving end of a nasty review posted for the entire world to see.

Hint No.5: Millennials are into Bleisure

Generation Y is relatively unencumbered by responsibilities at home and are more open to taking business trips. However, unlike the previous generation, almost 62% of millennial travelers will extend their business vacation to explore the place and gain cultural experiences.

What this means for hotels

Gone are the days when that solitary desk in the hotel room took care of any ‘business needs’ that travelers had. Millennials do not like working inside their rooms. This is the generation that steps out to a coffee shop to sit with their laptops and work for hours. The concept of the ‘third space’, independent of home and office, has been popularized by them. Design hotel lobbies to cater to this demand, so that when they step out in search for a place to work, they don’t have to go very far.

Hint No.6: Millennials look for authentic experiences

Despite what might look like their preoccupation with the cyber world, Millennials are always looking for unique and meaningful travel experiences. They want their stay personalized and won’t pass up an opportunity to learn something valuable. Not content with hitting the high spots of a tourist destination, they crave interaction with locals and enjoy immersing themselves in a variety of cultural experiences.

What this means for hotels

Reject the cookie cutter approach to the services you offer your guests. Offer them a genuine travel experience, one that is immersive, interactive and hands on. Don’t just take them on a regular sightseeing tour that showcases the city from behind the panes of a bus or car window. Take them to meet local artisans, show them the way to the hip and happening underground bar, and expose them to interesting customs and traditions. That’s the only way to add true value to their life and create an experience they will cherish for life.

There’s no denying that Millennials are driving the hospitality industry with full force. They already account for a third of the hotel guests in the world, and by 2020, the figure is expected to climb to 50 per cent.

To keep pace with growing demands, hotels must show a willingness to evolve and reinvent themselves. They have to put aside traditional methods of functioning, revisit their marketing strategy, and curate unique experiences for Generation Y.

Besides, it is in their best interest that hotels up their game. By updating their offers, hotels stay relevant within the industry and equipped to deal with the demands of changing times. Millennial travelers are the cash cow that every industry dreams of, and by catering to them, hotels are ensuring themselves a solid revenue stream for the next few decades, at least.

Last-Minute Hotel Deals Will Make a Procrastinator Out of You

Last-minute hotel deals were once looked at as being able to get what you could at a price higher than you really wanted to pay. In other words, the idea of a ‘deal’ was relative and was non-existent. Sure, there were times you could score some cheap travel lodging, but it was rare & had a slew of hidden issues attached.

Nowadays, the notion of planning ahead for any type of travel seems almost crazy. What’s more, this applies to travel in-state, state-to-state-, and even international travel. No longer are borders problematic, and considering how finicky lodging can be for some travelers, this is especially welcome & also perplexing.

How is the ease of making last-minute hotel plans possible? One word – Internet. The fact remains that the Internet has revolutionized the travel industry, and you are in the driver’s seat for the entire travel booking process. Never in the history of the world has it been easier to be so involved in all facets of travel, and the truly mesmerizing thing that it just keeps getting better.

Websites all over the world for everything from the most basic motor lodge to the best five-star hotel offer user-friendly websites that allow customers the chance to even be able to see what rooms may be available. Some offer live chats with prospective travelers, and even more profound are the hotels that offer a 360° view of available rooms so that when you book, you know exactly what you’ll be seeing when you arrive. The advancement of technology is just astounding.

21st century technology has now spawned the dawn of the mobile app, which connects prospective hotel visitors to the entire world by way of a little application. On these apps, you can explore rooms, reviews, prices, and even proximity to locals attractions. Even more crucial is that these apps often have four to five-star ratings for their accuracy & ease of use, essentially silencing the critics who believe that such ‘flash-in-the-pan’ tech is limited.

A last-minute hotel room is made even easier because there is so much competition between competing hotels for your business, you can almost list your own terms, including price. There was a time when you were stuck with one option for a hotel stay, and since everyone was vying for the same rooms (i.e., Spring Break, Memorial Day/Labor weekends), you really had to plan far in advance to make sure you had somewhere to stay. While this may still be the case in more rural areas, more often than not, you really have a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to the hotel you want with the type of room you want, and you can wait until even the same day to book.

As a final note, though, travel experts do advise travelers to use common sense when booking their lodging & urge them to understand that waiting too long for last-minute hotel deals can result in having no lodging available all together, so be mindful of your plans & book accordingly.

Choosing Professional Event Photographers

There are different events that we hold from time to time and as such, it is important to capture those moments for the sake of memory. There are professional photographers for the various events that you may have including concerts, street photography, sports, fashion events, birthdays, weddings and so on. When you deal with a professional photographer, then you will be able to remember most of the events that you may have been to in a much easier and responsible manner. Even for people aspiring to set up an online business, there is still the need to have a professional photographer who will showcase all the items that are on sale.

When your photos are of a great quality, then you can easily impress your audience. Hiring the best photographer is, therefore, an essential thing to do. There are various ways that you can use so as to get the correct photographer for any event that you may have and they include:

1. Interviews: you need to carry out the initial interviews if you are really determined to find the best photographer. You need to ask the professional some questions so as to be able to know the abilities that they possess and then determine the best ways in which you can use their abilities to your advantage. Get to know the experience they have so as to know if they can handle the task that you may have for them. Ask about insurance, contracts and the experience level. You also need to know the equipment and the photographic style that they usually use.

2. Portfolios: a great photographer will have a portfolio and it should be used as a guide. The quality of the work they have already done should be scrutinized and if it is found to be satisfactory then you should move to other options. A serious photographer will have a portfolio and this will really help in the decision-making process.

3. The specifics: there are all sorts of professional photographers. Some will take photos of people while others love nature and so on. If you want to promote products, then choose a photographer in product photography and if you have an event, select an event photographer. Ask the photographer if they can handle your specific event before you hire. Get to know how they will be able to execute the tasks ahead and if they will be working alone or with a team, depending on the size of the project.

4. Your budget: you need to be open about this. There are different budgets for different events. Get to know the budget of the photographer and compare it with your own. It is always important to have a photographer within your budget. There are different factors that can affect the budget of a photographer and this includes the day-rate, retouching, equipment and travel among others. Your location also matters.

Get to know the photographer and check out his background, especially in photography. You can invite them somewhere and have a one on one with them.

Know the Several Types of Insurance

All of us are well accustomed to the term “insurance”. The term stands for insuring or giving cover to an individual or a group for a specific purpose. On the basis of the function, an insurance policy can be classified into several types. Let us study the types to get a detailed knowledge of the policies.

Home Insurance- our home protects us round the year, but it also needs protection against the rude side of nature. Home insurance can protect your residence from both natural disasters and man-made accidents. They offer a compensatory price for damage to property and life in the home.

Health Insurance- If you are taking a health insurance then that is going to give cover to you and your family. This can be on the basis of the type the health insurance is. This gives one the ability to fight sudden medical emergencies owing to hospital bills, medical expenses, specialist charges, etc.

Personal Accident Insurance- This kind of cover is recommended to one to cope with accidental deaths. Life insurance already covers this part. But when a person gets disabled and losses his or her earning capacity either partially or totally, then the personal accident insurance can be helpful.

Motor Insurance- This protects one against vehicle damage and third party cases of accidents. You would have a mutual contract with the insuring company that on payment of a certain amount as premium, the company will pay you a certain amount if any accidents occur. This type of insurance offers medical coverage, liability and property damages. The property damage covers the theft or damage of the car and the liability coverage maintains the legal aspects in terms of property damage and bodily injuries.

Travel Insurance- As the name suggests the policies gives cover while one is on a trip. So, when you are on the trip all your worries will be taken care of by the insurance from sudden medical expenses to loss of passport, baggage, delay of flight, etc. You can have a safe and trouble-free journey with them.

Commercial Insurance- In a company there are several needs of insurance policies. Most companies have several policies that are specifically designed to protect the assets, vehicles, machines, business, employees and other unseen losses. These policies help them to fulfill the immediate requirements.