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Millennials Might Not Come Back To Your Hotel, But They Will Tell Their Friends To: Newsletter #21

In Newsletter #21: Millennials & Social Loyalty | The 3 Is of Hospitality | Every company is a tech company.


What did you all think of the big piece on data we put out? I thought some of the input from our GMs was really very insightful. Love the idea of rating your guests (think Uber drivers rating you). You can imagine why our GMs wanted to stay anonymous! But honestly, if a guest is untidy and their room takes 15 minutes longer to clean, why not factor that into your operational data and customer lifetime value…?

Hotels are tech companies as much as any business (as it is nicely stated below) and so we’ve been asking ourselves recently what a hotel would look like if Airbnb built it… would love your input as we design this “hotel” with no pre-set rules. While we are talking about Airbnb, a proposal for a discussion on tipping in the sharing economy has recently caught our attention. We don’t highlight it below, but I have to admit that one of my favourite things about Uber is that I don’t have to think about a tip. I get so nervous in a hotel when I don’t have a few singles on me. Thinking about it, it sometimes takes away from my experience. Would love to solve this with tech. I’d probably ask hotels for more service if I could tip through ALICE. Seems like a win-win for all parties.

We decided not to write about a piece on the “party being over” for hotels, which explains how occupancy is down 3%. Are you experiencing this? If so, please let us know as we are thinking of putting together a series on how to improve operations to find new profit and might jump this forward if revenue growth is not where it needs to be.

Lastly, I sat front row for Henry’s talk on the Three I’s (highlighted below) at HTNG. It was such a great presentation. I urge you to reach out to Atmosphere Research Group to learn from them. Brilliant data-driven insight to the industry from an unbiased source.

- Alex Shashou


"We need to stop the expectation that we have offline customers and online customers. Essentially, everyone is online." 

Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group, an advisory firm that serves the global travel industry. 




Loyalty may be dead, but what about social loyalty?  

Tnooz | Sabre: Millennials May Be The Largest Hotel Spenders As Soon As 2017

Why it matters: Sabre has been putting out some great content recently. Millennials are fast becoming the most influential traveler group and the idea that the pace of their growth is increasing does not surprise us at all. Back in November we presented at the Travel+Social Good summit on how hotels can better sell to Millennials and we encourage you to take another look. This group is not one to be taken for granted and while many will correctly state that loyalty is gone, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about a concept we’ll call social loyalty for the time being. While most millennials will not stay at the same hotel twice themselves (as Booking.com somewhat braisenly points out), they are the most social media-driven guests in the world and likely to boast about good travel experiences. So, if you do see a Millennial walking through your corridors, know that she is going to directly influence her friends’ future trips and a great experience will lead to more bookings (thereby creating social loyalty).


Sabre: Millenials Will Be The Biggest Hotel Spenders As Soon As 2017


I is for... 

Hotel News Now | Other Industries Inspire Tech Expectations At Hotels

Why it matters: According to Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group, the three “I’s” of guest wants are driven by what consumers already see and experience outside the travel industry and these experiences become expectations  in every other aspect of their lives, travel included. In his “Three I’s Impacting Hospitality Technology” presentation at last week’s 2016 HTNG North American Conference Harteveldt explained how immediacy (instant gratification), individualism (unique experiences) and inspiration (improving engagement for direct bookings) are the driving forces for today’s guests and hoteliers should react to this trend sooner rather than later.


A little inspiration would go a long way --  the digital agency Fuel reports travelers have visited an average of 4.6 sites by the time of booking, and of those 4.6, yours is the most influential. Make sure then, that as travelers shop around before booking, your website stands out both in terms of content and simplicity to book. Guests, conditioned by a more simple online process when banking and shopping online, clearly expect a better process when it comes to booking, says Harteveldt. One big missed opportunity Harteveldt sees is in the content hotels are posting on their websites, particularly of the visual variety. There is no excuse for cookie cutter photography if you want to attract a direct booking, Harteveldt explains.


Other Industries Inspire Tech Expectations At Hotels


Software is eating hospitality.    

Hotel News Now | Other Industries Inspire Tech Expectations At Hotels

Why it matters: We have often asked ourselves when a tech leader might become a CEO at one of the hotel chains. With technology playing an increasingly important role in the hotel experience, we wondered if a progressive leadership change might follow suit. Almost every industry today is driven by software, and as some of our GM’s pointed out in our discussion on how hotels use data, data is the key to thriving in today’s competitive climate. Naturally there is no data without technology at the core, driving insight into a business. So, if you are reading this and asking yourself why your hotel is not supported by good technology, it might be time to rethink your digital strategy. As Stephanie Ricca astutely points out, hotels must be technology companies if you are selling anything online. It doesn’t stop with room bookings. We like to believe that hotels are not selling rooms but selling an experience, and for better or worse, technology and smartphones are the access points to this experience.