Hotels Are Taking Strategic Cues From Gen Z
Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the evolution of hotels, a New York airport’s reinvention, and event planner tips from White Lotus.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, March 22. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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Hotels are paying close attention to an increasingly influential set of travelers — Gen Z, or those born after 1996. This young generation is prompting hotels to rethink, and adopt, strategies that may even become permanent for guests across all their segments. So what steps have hotels been taking? Skift examines their marketing approaches in a deep dive by Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill and Contributors Sherry Sun and Carley Thornell.
As members of Gen Z have reported greater loneliness than people in earlier generations, hotels could create spaces where travelers can connect with others, including locals. Johnny Quach, chief marketing officer at online travel agency Hostelworld, said it puts prospective guests in an online chat with other travelers staying in their hostel. In addition, one expert believes that many hotels will likely turn to year-round programming to attract members of specific subgroups, citing a local pickleball tournament as one possible activity.
And with Gen Z travelers placing greater emphasis on enjoying experiences such as food tours during their trips, hotels could also devise creative ways to make stays more affordable. Yoshiharu Hoshino, CEO of Japan’s Hoshino Resorts, said his company has added installment payments that enable travelers to pay for a trip over six months. He noted that option has been popular with members of Gen Z.
Next, New York’s LaGuardia Airport has long been derided by many travelers and locals. But its perception has drastically changed after what Contributor Ted Reed describes as a miraculous resurrection.
Reed reports that LaGuardia’s transformation included rebuilding Terminals B and C as well as five miles of roadway. Terminal B was recently recognized by one transport rating firm as the world’s best new airport terminal. It’s also the first terminal in North America to receive a five-star airport terminal rating. An executive who oversaw LaGuardia’s reconstruction said it was the airport’s mission to make it a place travelers would love after having been heavily criticized by then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2014.
Finally, prominent TV shows can teach viewers valuable lessons. So Contributor Louise Felsher delves into what event planners can learn from the HBO smash hit The White Lotus, especially with more professionals resuming in-person gatherings.
Felsher lists five lessons the show centered on the same-named fictional hotel chain can provide industry executives. She writes that event planners can avoid the menu fatigue that characters have experienced by selecting venues with multiple restaurant outlets. Felsher adds that savvy event planners prepare activities in advance for guests, citing an example of a father and son relegated to snorkeling in murky seawood due to their failure to plan ahead.
Felsher also recommends event professionals spare no expense on medical resources, noting that each season of The White Lotus begins with a murder. She adds that preparing for attendees’ safety should be routine.
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