By the year 2020, the generation known as millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) will make up 50% of all the world’s hotel guests. This fast-shifting customer base, along with growing competition from the sharing economy, has forced the hospitality industry to adapt. No longer are things like free Wi-Fi and refreshments luxuries; now, they’re among the things all guests expect to find at a hotel.
1. Free Wi-Fi
Vacationers may be eager to disconnect from their everyday lives, but that doesn’t include the internet. For business travellers, high-speed access is a must. Hotel guests want to stay connected, and 40% of them worry about internet connectivity when booking a room , according to a survey by hotel reservation site Booking.com.
Not only guests expect a hotel to have wireless internet, they want it for free. In 2016, 98% of all hotels offered in-room internet, but only 9% billed guests for the privilege. To most people, charging for Wi-Fi is now as absurd as charging for miniature shampoo.
2. Peace, Comfort and Quiet
Based on their colourful social feeds, one might assume the up-and-coming generation of travellers wants a trip full of ‘authentic’ experiences and heart-pounding adventure. However, surveys show that doesn’t necessarily extend to their hotel stays.
When Booking.com polled over 12,000 travellers last year, they found that most people sought a comfortable (air-conditioned) environment in a safe neighbourhood above all else. This preference carried across ages and nationalities.
3. Complimentary Refreshments
When the mini-bar first hit the scene back the 1960s, guests were in awe. However, as time went on (and hotels took drastic measures to monitor snack and beverage use) mini-bars gained a bit of a sour reputation.
No longer do guests expect a minifridge full of overpriced water and candy bars. They appreciate a small fridge with a few complimentary refreshments and room to store their own.
Facing competition from short-term rental homes, many hotels have upgraded the hotel minibar to a combined microwave and fridge that gives guests even more options.
4. Local Experiences
The digital age has opened our eyes to the boundless cultural experiences that exist in the great, wide world. Guests are increasingly aware of the possibilities outside the confines of their rooms, and they want to stay somewhere that’ll help them experience it.
More and more hotel brands are responding to this desire through experiential offerings. The Waldorf Astoria has its Unforgettable Experience packages, which include local experiences like camel rides and dinners in the desert. Marriot Rewards is opening its PlacePass system to members, allowing them to book local experiences that begin at the door to the hotel. Wyndham Hotel Group’s rewards program offers street food tours, safaris, local cooking classes, and more.
These are just a few examples of how the hospitality industry is responding to the changing view of what a hotel stay should be.
5. Comfortable Beds
It’s true: today’s guests expect the hotel to be more than a place to sleep. But in no way does that make the quality of their sleeping quarters any less important.
A 2017 survey of American travellers asked guests to rank different hotel amenities in terms of importance. A full 92% of respondents put comfortable beds near the top of the list.
People have come to expect hotel rooms to have exceptional-quality beds, sheets, and pillows. Many luxury linens are even marketed to consumers as Hotel-Quality! Any hotel that fails to meet this most basic obligation is sure to disappoint.
Hotel Guests Expect an Exceptional Minibar
We can’t make your guests’ beds for you, but we can help you provide the best possible guest experience. Microfridge has a range of appliance products designed for hospitality, including the namesake combo Mircofridge. Contact us to learn more!