There has been much talk about millennials in the media lately, and rightfully so. They’re what we’d call the demographic du jour; everyone is focused on them, and we can’t get enough. The lodging business, for example, is hyper-focused on how to understand this important and formidable group.
Appealing to millennials makes lots of sense, but there is a lot of opportunity to be gained by wooing other types of consumers as well. One such group is Baby Boomers. They can mean big business if you can figure out how to connect with this key traveler group. Why? Boomers are a financial force waiting to be tapped, and many want to spend money visiting hotels. Plus many want to take their kids and grandkids along for those experiences too.
In leisure travel alone, this massive group of 76 million plans to spend on leisure travel this year alone, according to AARP. What are you doing to capture this share of their business? Did you know that 26% of Boomers were planning to take domestic multi-generational trips (with three or more generations traveling together) in 2016? That’s because these folks have savings, and want to spend it while they still can on experiences with their loved ones. Expect more of the same in 2017.
Here’s another telling factoid from that AARP survey: Cost is a not a deal breaker for their travel plans. “More than half of Millennials and Gen Xers say cost is a barrier to leisure travel, but only 45% of Boomers agree,” the survey points out.
Now is your chance to leverage this market in 2017. A smart, well-devised cloud based property management system can help hoteliers tap into this critical and extremely profitable market.
The SkyTouch Hotel OS® application, for example, helps hoteliers react to changes in the marketplace quickly, efficiently and holistically, so you don’t leave money on the table.
Here are some great ways to appeal more to the Baby Boomer audience:
When you have Baby Boomers visit the hotel, collect some information about them to better set the stage for future marketing opportunities. Besides getting contact information, ask them some questions to learn about their likes and dislikes, maybe even how many grandkids they have. This will help you better prepare more customized on property experiences for those customers. Plus, the cloud-based PMS from SkyTouch allows you to store this information to be used at that property, or at other hotels within the same ownership and management group.
Leverage the right booking channels. Once you get to know some of your Baby Boomer clients, you can then market more efficiently to the distribution channels from which those customers are coming from. For example, the SkyTouch PMS allows you to optimize online exposure while driving operational efficiency and revenue.
Sell more rooms! Baby Boomers are spearheading the multi-generational travel movement. Meaning, in many circumstances, grandma and grandpa are paying the bill. And buying multiple rooms too. By tapping into this lucrative market, you’re opening yourself to the opportunity to sell two or three rooms for multiple nights than just the one you’d most likely sell to millennials. That could mean higher profits and less time spent trying to fill the hotel on a given date.
Tapping into the Baby Boomer market is essential to perfecting your customer mix. So, don’t get carried away thinking it’s all about the millennials. Sure, that group is growing in buying power, but for now it’s critical to think about how you can turn grey into gold for your bottom line.