The Herman Trend Alert
September 28, 2016
Millennials Opting for Bleisure
Like many Boomers before them, Millennials, are hesitant to take the vacation time they have. Maybe, it's the stress of our "always-on" culture? Maybe it's because people who do take their time off, are made to feel guilty. Or worse, that vacationing employees are afraid their employers will find them dispensable in their absence.
Shorter, more frequent trips
What this means is that Millennials are taking shorter, more numerous trips, frequently combining business with leisure into "bleisure". In a recent report from Expedia, 60 percent of travelers reported have taken "bleisure" trips, 30 percent extending their trips by two additional days, while more than half brought family members along.
Activities for children
For the Millennials choosing to bring their children along, hotels are responding with fun things for children to do. Case in point, the Ritz-Carlton, Tyson's Corner, near Washington, DC, arranges tea parties and cupcake decorating competitions to help occupy children while their parents are working. Hilton has been offering toys and games to entertain children for years.
Another way of delivering real-time experiences
In another study by the Harris Group, 72 percent of Millennials have reportedly chosen to spend more money on experiences than material items. They are opting for skydiving, zero gravity, wilderness hikes, bicycle tours, and adventure travel experiences. In fact, Millennials are even choosing to stay in less expensive hotels to spend on their money on experiences.
The Renaissance Hotel brand has been doing "activations" for years to provide its guests with mini-experiences. For more details, see our previous Trend Alert at https://www.hermangroup.com/alert/archive_7-8-2015.html.
More travel for less out-of-pocket
Millennials on a budget are attracted to the idea of bleisure travel, because they can see the world on OPM (Other People's Money). OPM, in this case, means that employers are paying travel expenses for at least one of the travelers.
Travel suppliers that plan and package their offerings around the experiences Millennials are looking for, will be much more profitable than their unconscious competitors. In the near term, we see more growth in the mid-priced hospitality sector than in luxury properties. As the Millennials age, they are likely to feel more secure in their jobs and that increased sense of security will result in longer vacations. Once Millennials' salaries grow sufficiently to afford higher priced hotel rooms and experiences, then we will see faster growth returning to the luxury sector again.
Special thanks for Sheenal Patel, co-founder and CEO of NVN Hotels writing for HotelsMag.com.
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