Why the Hotel Industry Should be on the Lookout for Generation Z


For the past decade, the focus of marketing teams has been on monitoring millennials and the best way to target the habits of their lifestyle. Fast forward to today, and the oldest of Generation Z is just out of college, a young adult who seems to have their personal generation-specific travel itch.

Research on Generation Z behavior shows how they desire to travel to new places, enjoy delicious meals out, and take in emotional experiences often over physical mementos. They’re more up for an adventure, whereas Millenials are looking for comfort and relaxation. To work with this new generation of adventure-seekers, there are some key tactics that your hotel should recognize in order to maximize market and brand success.

Make the hotel experience the local community experience

Research shows that when it comes to Generation Z deciding on travel accommodations, 16% will choose an Airbnb while 57% will choose a hotel. This is the opportunity for the hotel industry to capitalize on young travelers eager to see new places. Whether it be a week-long spring break trip to Nashville or a weekend in New York City, Gen Z wants to experience the destination city with their hotel accommodation.

To fulfill this request, hotels need to connect the community culture to the guest experience. Hotels have taken different approaches, even getting a bit creative during COVID-19 with some trends that might be here to stay! Some of these approaches include hosting musical performers (or vertical concerts), designing hotel rooms to reflect a standard downtown city apartment, and guiding tours to famous local attractions. The more unique, the better, and if you can get your neighbors involved with some cross-promoting, even better!  If your hotel can assure guests a guaranteed piece of their city experience with a booking, Gen Z will appreciate their stay that much more.

Team up with micro-influencers

Generation Z is a group of digital natives. They were born with a cell phone in their hand and the Instagram camera open ready to catch the next snap-worthy moment. Social media is the first language of this group, so that is going to be the best way to communicate with them. Instead of a corporate account attempting to connect with the digital natives, hotels should team up with micro-influencers to spread their brand to social media.

A micro-influencer is a seemingly regular person, more relatable than a big celebrity, and with an active social media following of 500 to 500,000 on their Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube account. When it comes to the hospitality industry, a micro-influencer is someone who is interested in travel, dines at a city’s defining restaurant, and stays at various local hotels along the way. Micro-influencers engage with their followers to create a community of followers, resulting in Generation Z trusting the influencers’ opinions and recommendations.

By working with a micro-influencer, a hotel’s name, unique features, and beautiful scenery could be spread to thousands of loyal followers who want to experience the world just like Instagram’s finest. 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer. An influencer’s relatability is key to the equation because the average follower can reach their same travel dreams, unlike a celebrity whose millions of followers often will never make it to the immense luxury promoted on those profiles. The days of reaching young people via television commercials have been replaced by the works of social media platforms to connect users to their interests.

Establish lifetime brand loyalty

Although Generation Z young adults enjoy spending money, the majority will not be staying in the luxurious tier of a hotel brand umbrella just yet. Instead, hotels should look to create brand loyalty with Gen Z at their limited service and boutique hotels by ensuring a positive experience with a high rebooking rate.

As Gen Z navigates through the young adult world traveling as much as possible, they can develop a go-to brand hotel to accommodate their experiences. Then, as they begin to grow older and have more disposable income, they can reach the point of booking at the luxurious hotel option in their favorite brand’s umbrella. Generation Z will stay loyal to other brands in their life, so why not add a hotel name as another name to keep going back to? 

Create photo-worthy destination spots or menu items

As Generation Z is made up of social media connoisseurs, their personal media profiles are extremely important to them. To keep up with a trendy profile on Instagram, users enjoy changing up content with special features from well-known locations. Some people will travel specifically to a destination in order to get the Instagramable shot. If a hotel has a photo-worthy spot that can point them out on the map to followers, plus the location tagging feature on Instagram, they are sure to see their hotel name circling online.

Aside from a photo-worthy backdrop, try including great lighting for photographs, unique furniture, and bright colors that are eye-catching. In addition, Generation Z likes to snap a trendy food image to their camera roll. If your menu includes anything in the likes of a nitrogen smoking cocktail, a flaming entrée tray, or a dessert milkshake covered in rainbow-colored candy, it is sure to catch the artsy eye of a Gen Z foodie. The signature item’s image along with the location tagging feature on Instagram once again will put your hotel on the social media map.

Need more ideas on how to increase your hotel bookings?

Tripleseat is a cloud-based sales and catering management platform that enables hotels to book group business faster and streamline their booking process. Schedule a demo with us today and we can show you how awesome Tripleseat really is.
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