The world is constantly changing: new technologies, new discoveries and, above all, a new generation.
Generation Y members were born between the development of the first Macintosh and the creation of YouTube. So it’s no surprise that they’re so technology-driven. Their way of interacting with the technology is fundamentally different from that of any other target group.
This population group tends to live in perfect symbiosis with the smartphone, which is often seen as an “extension of one’s own hand”. According to a study by Cisco, two out of five people of this generation would be “insecure and disoriented” if they could not keep in touch with the outside world via their smartphone. Generation Y has overtaken baby boomers and is now the largest population group in developed countries.
Generation Y: the future of travel
In 2016, the world also saw a change in Internet use, with mobile web use exceeding stationary computer use for the first time (51.2% compared to 48.7% according to Techcrunch). Smartphones are gaining the upper hand, computing is changing and technology companies need to adapt – and do so quickly. The expectations of Generation Y are simple: all information and data should be immediately available on the smartphone at all times. Stationary computers and laptops are no longer important; mobile Internet sites and applications are now the key to success.
One third of hotel guests worldwide currently come from Generation Y or the millennium generation; according to expectations, the share will even rise to 50% by 2020. The hotel industry is facing a complete restructuring of its structures and thus indirectly also a reorientation of the way in which current and future customers are served and addressed.
The IoT (Internet of Things)
In addition to the emergence of a new generation of travelers, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing phenomenon. It affects the way we live, work and interact with our environment. The Internet of Things means that individual objects are connected via the Internet. According to the analysis company Gartner, the number of connected devices worldwide will range between 50 and 100 billion in 2020, while “only” 8.4 billion such devices are currently in circulation.
The IoT is already being used extensively in the hotel industry.
Conventional plastic key cards, for example, are increasingly being replaced by apps. In the meantime, guests can also control their entire room furnishings (lighting, air conditioning, television, etc.) via their smartphone. In some systems, reception areas have already been replaced by automated screens where customers check in and check out themselves.
Some hotels in Japan even went one step further: instead of people, robots now welcome guests and carry their luggage. The Hotel Henn Na in Nagasaki was one of the pioneers of such innovative systems and serves as an example for this new use of technology.
A new target group in interaction with new technologies requires a new strategy
As an innovative company, Availpro has recognized the importance of Generation Y and identified ways to adapt to technological progress. Alignment with the millennium generation means alignment with the future.
The members of the millennium generation have certain expectations of hotel stays. They are more networked than ever, more experienced in dealing with digital offers and expect high-quality equipment characterized by intelligent technologies. All in all, the stay must be characterised by a good price-performance ratio.
The hotel industry, and the tourism industry in general, is developing at a rapid pace. For this reason, it is essential to address the new habits of the millennium generation. In addition to the primary goal of offering them an experience “they won’t find anywhere else”, the concept of sharing (in social networks, for example) is also of great importance; this requires a new business model.
Generation Y promotes the boom of “interactive travel”
Its members are not afraid to give ratings on various online platforms, and in some cases create new trends quite quickly. This is ultimately the biggest challenge: to create innovative, unique offerings to attract new customers while increasing customer loyalty. Because this new generation is always on the lookout for the best, they don’t hesitate to switch to the competition if their expectations are not met.
However, the development of your strategy does not stop here; it will continue to evolve as technology and the various trends evolve. So keep working on your products and services with a focus on technology.