When you’re in the hospitality industry, it’s essential to always think ahead. The baby boomer generation is getting older and might travel less, and millennials are spending less money. Thankfully, Gen Z is the up-and-coming generation of adults, and they’re more likely to spend their money on travel and experiences, rather than tangible items.
As a hotel, appealing to Gen Z is essential for your long-term success. But, how do you do it? How can you slightly shift your marketing strategy to go from Gen X and millennials to a younger audience wanting to see the world?
It starts with understanding what Gen Z guests want in their hotel stay. You might not be able to influence their travel plans, but you can do your part to ensure that your hotel is more appealing than a competitor. Let’s take a closer look at what your Gen Z guests really want, and how you can efficiently and effectively make those changes.
A strong digital presence
Chances are, your hotel already has a website. If you allow people to book rooms online, you’re already in good shape. However, that might not be enough for Gen Zers who are the most tech-savvy generation and expect to be able to do just about anything with the phone in their hand.
If you really want to market to Gen Z, make sure it’s easy to book a room online (and ensure your site is mobile-friendly!) and invest your time in building trust, rather than trying to “sell” them something. While they can be a frugal bunch and might love a good deal, most members of Gen Z are more interested in building relationships with the brands they use – especially digital relationships. Utilize social media to engage with your audience. Host livestream events to show your guests what they can expect when they stay and use video marketing to share behind-the-scenes events. Host contests on Instagram and TikTok, and participate in social sharing that allows your guests to essentially work as brand ambassadors for you. When you have a strong digital presence and Gen Z can see that you’re at the forefront of technology, they’re more likely to feel comfortable booking a room with you.
Stand for something
As a whole, Gen Z is highly interested in societal challenges. This is a generation that has been surrounded by issues like global warming, racial injustices, and economic turmoil. While establishing trust and building relationships is important, it’s just as crucial to make sure your hotel stands for something that this generation finds important. Some of the biggest issues Gen Z is committed to include:
- World hunger
Climate change is obviously another major issue that impacts everyone today. However, because it’s been a serious issue from the time Gen Z members were born, they’re more likely to trust businesses that take a stand against climate change and do their part to fight back against it. That means things like measuring and analyzing your greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy consumption, reducing waste, and investing in renewable energy sources. It’s not enough to just have a platform and never take action. Gen Z isn’t afraid to do research. So, get active with the causes you believe in, and you’ll attract more members of this generation that align with your values.
Promote health and wellness
Gen Z might be a young generation, but they’re also incredibly health-conscious. They understand the importance of nourishing their bodies, and they take self-care very seriously. This is also a generation that has greatly reduced the stigma surrounding mental health.
If you can provide a picturesque experience that focuses on mental and physical wellness, you’re more likely to attract members of Gen Z. As a bonus, you’ll quickly become known as a place that truly cares for the health of all of your guests. It’s a great marketing tip to attract all generations.
Gen Z members are looking for more sustainable choices as they focus on their health. Try incorporating things like:
- Organic foods
- Local foods
- Eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners
- Recyclable materials
When you choose to “go green” with your health efforts, you’ll create an environment that promotes global and personal wellness. Making eco-friendly changes can even have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress levels and lessening feelings of anxiety.
While your hotel needs to continue to market toward older generations, it’s also time to start looking forward and thinking about how you’ll attract Gen Z to your establishment. Understanding what they want and making adjustments accordingly will do so much more than market to a specific generation. It will bring your hotel further into the 21st century. All of these changes are incredibly positive and can add a lot of value to your business, including a reduced carbon footprint, a stronger digital presence, and even a better work environment.