Industry Update
Opinion Article 8 May 2018

How Critical are Millennials for Hotel Brands? [VIDEO]

By Stuart Pallister, Head of Academic Editorial Content at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

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The topic of millennials and hospitality was featured in a panel session during the 9th Young Hoteliers Summit at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.


How critical are the millennials for hotel brands? Andreas Scriven - Head of Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte.

When it comes to millennials, it's about the way of doing things which may be linked to service but they're just faster. Things happen faster. Brands keep on coming again and again, so saying that millennials are different is completely wrong.

However, they're born with a smartphone in their hands, so they don't have time for bullsh*t.

What hotels need to realise is about speed and convenience, more so than putting yellow floors in the lobby and having house music. You see so many of those new concepts that look good in 3D rendering but the fundamental behind it, the skeleton, is still the old hospitality. So I think as long as hotels view the service flow and process the same way and they just change the make-up, they won't get millennials.

Youri Sawerschel - Founder and brand strategist, Creative Supply.

We are currently transitioning, introducing online check-in and check-out. This frees up capacity for other services. We've just introduced a Whatsapp service so you can contact the concierge or guest relations manager and say, hey I need another towel or I'm in the city.

By doing these, you can add more services that are appreciated, more personal services that will again create more positive memories.

Jessica Emde -
Brand manager, nhow Hotels.

It's connecting with local experiences. It's about connectivity, creating connectivity (through messages shared on a screen in the lobby, etc.)

And I don't think it's a young thing because even I enjoyed it and I'm not a millennial. But I'm a millennial at heart.

Navneet Bali - Chairman, Meininger Hotels.

If you look at lifestyle hotels like Ace or Hoxton in London, you walk into the lobby and there are people that look like a community but they're all on their computers, on their headphones and they're not talking to each other on a human level at all. So is that actually connecting?

Andreas Scriven - Head of Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte.

At Meininger you'll find everybody is texting or Facebooking or whatever. But at the same time they want to connect. They want to really meet people as well. So it's a question of balancing both.

Navneet Bali - Chairman, Meininger Hotels.

We shouldn't focus on one generation. Millennials are important but so too are the baby boomers. Of course, it's important that you focus more on who you want to give your products to and then build on them.

The millennials want things now and not only in terms of services. There will be other generations, so we shouldn't focus on one. It's never good to have one shot. Never.

Alessandro Redaelli - VP, operations, Paramount Hotels and Resorts.

Stuart Pallister

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