Comment: Millennials and corporate hospitality
Ciarán Kelly weighs in on the demands of millennials during corporate stays
When it comes to the future of corporate hotel programmes and hospitality in general, we look to the millennial travellers who are changing the way.
Millennials are now well entrenched in their working career and likely to have a busier social network than the generations before them. Their travel for business becomes a blended experience as they want to experience the city they’re visiting like a local – they want to share their experiences with friends and not purely go for a business trip.
When choosing accommodation for work purposes they want a local experience with a touch of home and community as well as a heavy focus on the environment. A recent survey found that 90% of corporate travellers have researched the weather, hotel location, surrounding attractions and places to eat before they arrive. The mostly commonly requested features include:
Connected community – allowing travellers to feel the local city from within the hotel, this includes local art, walking access to local restaurants, attractions, markets, etc. They want to feel connected to the destination, be part of the community and care about it during their trip for environmental reasons. Also, using less plastics – use reﬁllable glass bottles for water, remove small bottles of shampoo and bath gels etc.
Fast easy free access to WiFi – they are highest users of mobile phones in the corporate world and it‘s not just work. Their social channel is their mobile phone. They love to share their stories while travelling with fellow colleagues and friends, posting images of places they are visiting on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, to be seen. It’s also important to be productive during their business trips that also helps justify any leisure during the trip. Checking in online in advance for rooms, ﬂights or arranging transfers are all very important.
Compressed and robotic technology – linking the hotel website to app functions whilst onsite in the hotel, allowing faster check in/out, keyless access or simply finding which floor the gym is on. As a whole the travel industry is now focused on removing the friction of cumbersome, outdated technology when travelling. Artificial Intelligence isn’t new to Millennials and they love to embrace any technology that keeps them abreast with useful information instantly. With 15% of hotels now considered ‘Lifestyle hotels’ there is a growing number of choices in major markets worldwide. The continued expansion of Lifestyle hotels and introduction of newly branded accommodation means millennials are making an impact on the industry which the rest of the travelling community are happily experiencing.
About the author
Ciarán Kelly is the managing director of FCM Travel Solutions (Middle East & Africa Regional Network), parent company of Flight Centre Travel Group in the UAE and brings more than 17 years’ experience from the global travel industry, gained from working in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.