It’s no secret that 16 to 24 years olds are incredibly tech savvy, and without a doubt are social media and internet freaks. If you have a teenager, you will be well aware that just being separated from their phone, (and subsequently their Facebook, Instagram, Snap-chat, Google +), is likely to cause a minor melt-down.
So, what will the travel habits, and more importantly, the travel booking habits, be of this tech savvy generation? This generation will be your hotel guests of the (near) future, and being present in the market to capture their business will be very important. Specifically, you will need to be visible WHERE THEY ARE LOOKING, when they make their buying decisions.
Without a doubt, for this reason a strong online accommodation presence is important. 58% go straight to their search engine (read “Google”) to start any travel research. This includes online accommodation choices, travel experiences and more. That means, if your business isn’t visible on Google, with a decent online presence, you are out of the running from the start.
Their choice of initial destination is often via recommendation from family or friends. Remember though, that with their constant reliance on social media as a form of communication, that recommendation is just as likely to come over social media as old fashioned talking! 34% check social media sites daily, and holiday snaps of social media “friends” is a very strong form of FREE advertising. Where maybe in the past, your guests may get around to showing half a dozen friends their holiday photos (if that!), when they are posted on social media all 350+ people that they are connected to will see them. This can be very powerful for your business.
A recent study by Voxburner focuses on the attitudes, habits and behaviour of these young consumers. Kevin May has written a much more concise article in Tnooz which focuses more specifically on the relevant digital elements of this study. You can read his article here. It also contains a link to the full Voxburner study if you feel so inclined.
For accommodation providers, it is clearly going to be increasingly necessary to ensure you that you have a strong Google presence. Your Google+local page and presence on Google Hotel Finder is the cornerstone of achieving this. Encouraging your guests to tag you in their photo posts, and provide reviews on Google + will also help make sure your business is visible. Your online accommodation presence is so important for the future of your business.
Call us at HiRUM on 07 5574 4990 if you would like to learn more about the ways that we can help you make sure you are seen!
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