A recent article in Budget Traveler listed ‘6 Needs of the Millennial Traveler’. You may have seen our posting of this piece on our Facebook. The B&B Team likes to put out information that may be useful. It is also good to take some of the information from articles like this one and pick it apart. That’s the fun part!
Point #1 – Constant Connection. Free Wi-Fi and plug-ins, it’s a given. First of all it is not only the millennial traveler generation that wants this and requires this. Parents and even grandparents of the millennial want this too! Come on!
Point #2 – Comforts of Home. Budget Traveler says the millennial traveler likes: ‘Broken in spaces where they can feel familiar and feel a part of the community.’ They mention Airbnb as a provider of such an experience. OK, I know that this is what Airbnb promotes and many of their property listings provide this. But, here is where the ‘pick apart’ comes in. Bed and Breakfasts, Country Inns, Boutique Hotels have been providing this kind of experience for decades.
Point #3 – Authenticity and Personal Experience. The emotional connection to travel with unique offerings. Two of the examples listed were: cooking with a real Italian or a road trip to off-the-beaten-track places. Again, great stuff and the small lodging industry have also been providing experiences like these for a very long time.
I am going to stop here with the rest of the list. Because, all of the above brings up an interesting question. If Bed and Breakfasts have been providing the kind of experience the millennial traveler appears to want, are Bed and Breakfasts reaching them? Are Bed and Breakfasts connecting with them? Yes, some are but are the majority?
The opportunity to reach out and connect to this emerging generation of travelers is so ripe. And the time is now.
A few ideas and suggestions come to mind. If you have the ‘born after 1980’ guests staying with you…ask them a few questions.
- What kind of activities do you look for when searching for places to visit?
- What other kinds of lodging besides bed and breakfasts do you like to stay?
- Were there any amenities they would like to see offered that weren’t?
Ask them if there were any negatives about their stay. If they hesitate, just reassure them that this kind of information, positive or negative really helps and is very much appreciated. Remember this should not become the Spanish Inquisition, just a friendly conversation.
Social media, your website (gotta have a mobile site), have to reflect a sense of now. What is current and happening in your area? What specials and promotions you may be offering that offer value. The millennial traveler may be looking at rates and deals, what Budget Travel calls ‘Low Cost luxury’. A few examples follow.
The Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn in Cape Cod, on their website pop down menu are the choices to click on, ‘Experience’ and ‘Convenience’. Words the millennial traveler may pick up on. These two terms are fresh alternatives to the traditional, ‘Things to Do’ and ‘Amenities’.
Inns at Blackberry Commons in Camden Maine have a ‘Promotions’ side window on all their pages that lists their rate saving promotions and the area’s ‘deals’. A real eye catching window that would make any visitor to their website stay and view what is happening, now.
The millennial traveler may be looking for ‘off the beaten track’ lifestyle experiences where they can feel a part of the community. It may be apple picking in the afternoon and a trendy café with unique ‘hand crafted’ cocktails and local music in the evening. It is important to ‘show and tell’ these kind of experiences on your website. The Shoreham Inn in Shoreham Vermont offers just this kind of experience. And the trendy cocktails can be had at their Gastropub. You can meet and mingle with the locals there too. Community!
Bed and Breakfasts have so much to offer the millennial traveler. Get the word out and they will arrive with their plug-ins and back packs ready to be filled with experiences.
Thanks for Listening,