Most people love the idea of travel and adventure. They may not always make it out the door themselves, but the idea is fun, thrilling, sometimes even a bit scary in a good kind of way. Travel is probably more affordable now than at most any other time in the past too. So Millennials and Gen-Z’ers are making their way out into the world more frequently. Exotic locales, outdoor adventures, youth hostels, Airbnb, luxury getaways, and everything in between are becoming common sights on social media, not just from the brands, but from the travelers as well.
One big trend that is moving beyond Airbnb’s offerings to hotel chains such as Aloft is the community experience, offering an authentic flavor to destinations, something not so cookie-cutter and more indigenous. But it doesn’t stop there. Tech also plays a big role in today’s travel experience with hotels, cafés, coffee shops, and more offering free Wi-Fi, techie gadgets, and keyless entry so young travelers can enjoy new and different locations with all the comforts of home. The Hilton chain and the Marriott chain (with their Moxy Hotels) now offer incentives to regular visitors, ones targeted to please the younger repeat customers including free concerts and other events for those with a set number of points earned from visits. For those not wanting to attend in person, they can access events in their rooms using Periscope. They sell these through influencers with followings on social media that are in the millions.
With these and other perks, hotels and services such as Airbnb are changing from hospitality brands to lifestyle ones. They do so by creating atmospheres to engender adventure and exploration. Building moments worthy of taking pictures, not just of the travelers and their friends, but the food, the sights, the luxuries, and little touches in rooms and communal areas. Many of these brands set up their social media accounts to post images that are all about experience and locations. Generator Hostels does this with their Instagram account. They stick exclusively to photos of the travel experience, skipping anything like a room or hotel pic.
Leica camera brand is cashing in on this new travel approach and offers a limited tour of exotic places around the world guided by professional photographers. Only 15 people go at a time, but they get specialized attention as they learn how to take better travel photos.
One other approach becoming more common is happening with more than one brand partnering with others in adjacent fields. Airbnb is partnering with Delta, Virgin, and Qantas to earn more points and get discounts when used jointly. Many hotels are expanding to include more business facilities and resources to drive conferences, training sessions, and retreats with more conference rooms, internet access ports, and more.
It all comes down to knowing what market a business wants to target and discovering what that group would most enjoy. It may take thinking outside the box since the younger business market is still evolving. Find the right fit, and the bookings will begin pouring in.