July 03, 2013

Hotel brands bid on social media to target younger travelers


Hotels have increasingly been going after the Generation X and Generation Y traveler because of their growing clout as consumers. And while many consumers of a certain age use some social media, its usage is far more prevalent among younger generation consumers.

The brands are trying to appeal to the next generation of travelers who stay constantly connected through social media, have an interest in design, and favor coffee-house like public spaces where they can both work and play.

"What we learned about our guests is that they're mobile, they're global, they demand substance in design," says Mara Hannula, vice president of global marketing for Marriott Hotels. "They really don't separate work and play."

Hotels have increasingly been going after the Generation X and Generation Y traveler because of their growing clout as consumers. Generation X travelers were typically born from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. Generation Y travelers, or Millennials, were generally born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

"Their lifetime value is higher because they have many more years of travel ahead of them, they view travel as an entitlement more than their Baby Boomer parents did and are willing to spend on it, and their hotel brand affinities are not fully formed so they are still in play as far as their travel habits are concerned," says Chekitan Dev, an associate professor of marketing and branding at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and author of Hospitality Branding.

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