How to cater to Millennials and Gen Z at your hotel

16th December 2023

Posted in: News

In today’s rapidly evolving hospitality industry, understanding and catering to the needs and preferences of Millennials and Gen Z travellers is vital for hotel success. From embracing digital technology and offering personalised experiences to creating vibrant social spaces and prioritising sustainability, hotels can create a memorable and engaging stay for this demographic.  This article explores effective strategies to attract and retain these tech-savvy, experience-driven generations. 

Why hotels should be attracting Millennials and Generation Z guests


Did you know that Millennials take more annual leisure trips than any other generation? Known for their love of travel and exploration, this particular societal group tends to travel at higher rates compared to other age groups, surpassing the wealthier baby boomer generation in terms of frequency of travel.

And let us not forget that Millennials now have families. In fact, this particular group will soon be among the most profitable group of family travellers. What’s more, Millennials don’t only travel for leisure; they also make up the largest age segment of business travellers.

All in all, Millennials hold significant sway in the travel industry, shaping the way hotels and other travel businesses cater to their preferences and behaviours. Their influence is undeniable. So, if your property is not actively catering to Millennials, it’s high time to start.

Gen Z

Then, there’s Generation Z – or Gen Z. As a rapidly growing marketing, Gen Z represents a significant portion of the global population; they alone account for as much as 30%. Research on Generation Z behaviour shows that they are excited to travel to new places, enjoy delicious meals out, and take in emotional experiences. So with Gen Z poised to take over the next generation of travellers, why should your hotel wait? The savviest hotel brands are already preparing for the post-millennial demographic’s rise, and yours should be included!

In this article, we take a look at what hotels can do to cater to a Millenial and Gen Z demographic. From sustainability initiatives to social media, we’ll share some of our top tips to attract and fulfil the demands of these up and coming groups.

What to keep in mind about Gen Z and Millennial guests

Although Millennials and Gen Z have their differences, for the purpose of this article, we share some of the most striking and general behavioural observations from these two groups. So before we think about how to cater to Millennials and Gen Z, what should we keep in mind?

Experience is key

In both groups, emotional experience and authenticity is valued much more so than luxury and physical mementos.

Immersive activities

Gen Z and Millennial travellers are open-minded when it comes to destinations and prioritise outdoor exploration and active experiences.


Technology comes naturally to these groups, whilst it can make things more convenient.


Both groups seek out experiences and accommodations that align with their personal style and preferences.

Social media usage

Both groups, but particularly Gen Z, are influenced by social media posts and rely on reviews when choosing accommodations.

Aesthetics are important

Gen Z and Millennial travellers are design-savvy and pay attention to the aesthetics of brands and places they visit. They are highly influenced by social media and seek out Instagram-worthy destinations and experiences that are visually appealing and shareable

Sustainability is a non-negotiable

They value sustainability and ethics a great deal, and are more likely to support local communities during their travels

How to cater to Millennials and Gen Z at your hotel

1. Work with social media

To successfully attract Gen Z and Millennials, hotels need to embrace a mobile-first approach and tap into the power of social media. These tech-savvy generations spend a significant amount of time on social networks, using their smartphones and tablets as their go-to tools for travel inspiration, communication with friends and followers, and sharing their holiday experiences.

It’s therefore crucial for hoteliers to be active on popular social media platforms, with a special emphasis on Instagram and ideally even TikTok, which are the most influential and fastest-growing networks among these demographics.

By consistently sharing relevant and authentic content on social media, hotels can captivate the attention of Gen Z and Millennials. Moreover, creating “instagrammable places” within the hotel that feature stunning motifs perfect for sharing on Instagram can attract even more attention from the target audience and potentially generate free advertising. From these spots on your property, you can then use user generated contend (UGC) for your own channels and interact with guests online.

By fully embracing social media and delivering visually appealing content, hotels can effectively engage and entice Gen Z and Millennials, ultimately driving increased bookings and establishing a formidable online presence.

2. Use technology

In today’s digital era, it is essential for hotels to embrace technology due to the increasing demand for digital tools in the travel industry. It goes without saying the the internet and constant accessibility have revolutionised holiday planning, with travellers relying heavily on technology to streamline their experiences and cater to their individual preferences.

Recognising this trend is the first step! Because the reality is, hotels everywhere are stepping up by offering digital guest compendiums and phone check-ins among other technological advancements.

And these technological advancements aren’t only guests; innovations bring numerous benefits for both guests and hoteliers. For guests, technology provides greater flexibility, faster interaction, personalised actions, up-to-date information, and reduced research efforts. Meanwhile, hoteliers enjoy the advantages of delighted guests, minimised errors, increased ancillary sales, and relieved employees.

3. Take inspiration from Airbnb

Younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z love Airbnbs, and hotels can learn valuable lessons from Airbnb’s success by embracing the trend towards experience-focused accommodations. While hotels traditionally prioritise exceptional service and functionality, Airbnb has captured the attention of travellers, by offering unique and personalised experiences.

One key aspect that sets Airbnb apart is its ability to provide travelers with a sense of belonging and immersion in the local culture. By offering a wide range of accommodations, from cosy apartments to quirky treehouses, Airbnb allows guests to choose spaces that reflect their individuality and preferences.

But it’s not just about the type of accommodation. Hotels can take inspiration from this by incorporating more diverse and distinctive room options, creating themed rooms or suites that cater to different interests, providing a sense of uniqueness or creating strong brands.

Moreover, Airbnb has excelled in fostering connections between hosts and guests, encouraging meaningful interactions and creating a sense of community. This personal touch is something hotels can strive to replicate by promoting local experiences and events. Hotels can tap into this kind of authentic community spirit, by curating local experiences, partnering with local businesses or artisans, and providing insider tips and recommendations to guests.

All in all, by embracing the notion of creating a sense of belonging, fostering connections, and curating local experiences, hotels can stay relevant and appeal to the evolving preferences of Gen Z and Millennials.

4. Use digital communication

Millennials and Generation Z are accustomed to being connected and online. As a result, they have come to expect seamless communication with their accommodations via their smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Offering features such as a chat function, a messenger, and free Wi-Fi to facilitate communication is essential to meet their expectations and to stay current and competitive.

Your property could consider installing an AI chatbot into its website, offering a digital compendium and ensuring that social media channels are monitored for comments and messages. Ultimately, hotels that effectively bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds have a significant advantage in successfully engaging and attracting Millennials and Generation Z.

5. Focus on your visual aesthetics

It goes without saying that visual aesthetics play a significant role in attracting and engaging millennials and Gen Z travellers at hotels. These generations are highly influenced by social media platforms like Instagram, where visual content is key. As a result, they are more likely to choose hotels that offer visually appealing spaces and experiences. And being digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z are accustomed to visually rich online experiences and have a keen eye for design.

Moreover, millennials and Gen Z value authenticity and seek unique experiences when traveling. They are drawn to hotels that have visually appealing interiors, trendy designs, and a cool ambiance, as these elements contribute to the overall experience and create a sense of novelty.

Additionally, visual aesthetics contribute to the overall brand perception and image of a hotel. Millennials and Gen Z appreciate hotels that pay attention to design details and create visually appealing spaces. Aesthetically pleasing hotels are often associated with quality, modernity, and a forward-thinking approach, which can positively impact the perception of the brand among these generations.

So by prioritising visual aesthetics, hotels can attract and engage these tech-savvy travellers and create a positive brand perception amongst younger generations.

6. Be personal and authentic

The rise of online platforms like Airbnb and Tripadvisor has demonstrated the significant value that young people place on authentic travel experiences and the insights of others. Rather than being traditional tourists, they seek insider tips, personal opinions, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture. This desire for individuality is particularly prominent among Generation Z.

SO in order to attract Millennial and Gen Z guests, hotels can focus on creating personal and authentic experiences. One way to achieve this is by creating welcoming spaces to foster a personal and authentic atmosphere. Hotels can design communal areas that encourage social interaction, such as cosy lounges, communal kitchens, or rooftop bars with a vibrant atmosphere. These spaces provide opportunities for guests to connect with fellow travellers and locals, fostering a sense of community and creating memorable experiences.

Incorporating authentic design elements inspired by the local destination can also contribute to the overall personal and unique experience. Hotels can incorporate local artwork, traditional materials, or architectural styles that reflect the culture and heritage of the surrounding area, thus adding an authentic touch and creating a sense of place.

By implementing these strategies, hotels can create a more personal and authentic experience for their younger guests, offering more unique and meaningful travel experiences and enhancing their overall satisfaction.

7. Implement sustainability initiatives

By no means should hotels start implementing sustainability initiatives for marketing purposes, to attract a particular group or take part in any greenwashing activities. However, it should be known that the demand for sustainability and greener stays is on the rise. To encourage stays from millennials and Gen Z travellers, hotels should know that sustainability initiatives are key.

If you’re looking to improve your sustainability initiatives, there’s and endless list to tackle and lots of places you could start. However, your hotel could incorporate sustainability by focusing on energy efficiency through measures like LED lighting, motion sensors, and smart thermostats. Investing in renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines also demonstrates a commitment to reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Implementing water-saving measures, comprehensive recycling programs, and supporting local businesses further contribute to sustainability. Education and engagement with guests, obtaining green certifications, and engaging in community projects complete the hotel’s sustainability efforts.

By incorporating these sustainability initiatives, hotels can let Millennials and Gen Z travellers know that they are in line with their values.

Attract the right guests with 1834 Hotels

1834 Hotels is driven by an evolutionary sales, marketing & online distribution strategy, objectives and goals. Gone are the days of cold calling, traditional press media and setting yearly room rates that don’t move.

Marketing with a sound sales, revenue and distribution strategy is crucial and it’s what we do!

Contact us today to discover how we can help your hotel, motel or resort.