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Deep Thoughts on The Next Gen Traveler, By Marriott

March 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM | by | ()

With Marriott International working on two new hotel brands aimed at Millennials--Moxy and AC Hotels by Marriott--along with revamping their existing properties like Courtyard By Marriott--it's no surprise that they've got a Millennial prototype in mind.

In a LinkedIn Influencers post titled, State of Hospitality: Ask the Next Gen Traveler, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson revealed the prototype and even her fictional name, Jia. Here's how he described this PYT:

Millennials like Jia define “Service” as “Personalization” and they report far more willingness than older generations to allow access to their personal data when they feel they receive a tangible benefit in return.

Global brands now have the advantage of collecting a tremendous amount of data on travelers. Jia expects that brands will know that she likes a room with a view, one that ends with her lucky number. She wants them to be as technologically-savvy as she is, so she can check-in and checkout with a single press of her thumb.

No doubt that explains Marriott Hotels recent push to offer both mobile check-in and check-out. (Note: this service is only available at the flagship Marriott hotels.)

Sorenson threw down another interesting statistic about Millennials--almost 40 percent of U.S. millennial travelers will not book a hotel unless they’ve read user-generated content -- such as online reviews. No surprise there, really. Sorenson also said Millennials care a lot about a company whose corporate culture is doing good things in the world, other than making money hand over fist on hotel rooms. He said about Jia, "She wants to know that when she books a room she can feel good about it."

While Marriott hasn't adopted the TOMS business practice (buy one, someone in need gets one), they do have a pretty extensive Corporate Social Responsibilty program. Our guess is that most Marriott International hotel guests don't even know about this program, so Marriott will probably do more to push it front and center.

Sorenson's post has no earth-shattering or even game-changing information but it is does give an insight as to how Marriott will go after the Millennial dollars, er, travelers.

What else should hotels be doing to appeal to Millennials? Or are you just totally sick of Millennials already? (Raises hand.) Sound off in comments below!

[Photo of Jia: Marriott Hotels]

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