In 2014, the big industry talk was all about Millennials and how they’re affecting the hospitality sector. Those selective and expectant guests were everywhere, which prompted HotelChatter to actually name Millennials the recipient of the coveted Hotelier of the Year award (yes, you read that correctly). Surprised with the choice? We’re not, and here’s why:
Millennials are so hot right now that every hotelier is catering to them. By that, we mean that there is no shortage of hotels that are A, redesigning or adding elements to their hotel to be more appealing to the Millennial guest, or B, opening a venue specifically built for the young generation. Now, that’s power.
You can thank Millennials for free WiFi. Yes, we’re willing to give that one to them. Sure, business travelers wanted it, leisure guests too, tech-savvy baby boomers even, but it was the ever-on Millennials that demanded it. No free WiFi, no reservation. It’s as simple as that and smart hoteliers knew how much business that meant losing, thus the dawn of free WiFi everywhere.
To hoteliers, Millennials dictate what’s “cool”. Our definition of what’s hip in hotel trends has been set by the under 35 crowd. Those chic bars you see popping up in hotels the world round, the comfortable community work spaces – yeah, that’s all happened because those are the extras Millennials wanted.
So, can they be called hoteliers? Certainly not, but their sway over hotels in dictating mega decisions this past year has shown that they are a powerful driver in the industry and well-deserving of the award. As for next year, HotelChatter has promised that one hard-working hotelier will take the cake. May the best one win!