Jaypee Hotels 25/08/09Generation X and the Hotel Industry: How Hotel Brands are Changing (and should be changing !)
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Online edition of Indias National Newspaper Saturday, Jul 18, 2009 ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version• NEW DELHI: To promote Indian mythology among Generation X, Mumbai- based animation expert Karan Vir Arora is all set to give his comic characters a new lease of life on the big screen.
Generation XWikipedia, a free online encyclopedia defines Generation X (Gen-X) as a term used in the United States to describe a group of people born between 1964 and 1976, although the exact years of birth remain debated. Gen-X has been described as the generation consisting of those people whose “teen years touched the 1980s” – the children of the Baby Boomers. Gen-Xers are now adults between the ages of 29 and 41 and are having children of their own. Key characteristics of Generation X include: quest for emotional security, independent, informality, and entrepreneurial (“Generation X,” 2005).
For decades, the hotel industry has been dominated by Baby Boomers,whose sensibilities are traditional by todays standards.Most Baby Boomers were content with a decent nights sleep at anaffordable rate.Today, however, Generation X is the dominant demographic groupamong travelers, and it has its own set of preferences.The average room rate paid by Generation X travelers exceeded that paidby Baby Boomers for the first time ever in 2005.
• Generation Xers are taking over the positions that establish corporate travel policies.• They are now the heads of households who make family vacation decisions, they are frequent flyers, they are road warriors, and their expectations of hotels are quite different from those of their parents.• Members of Generation X--60 million residents of the United States between the ages of 27 and 42--are in the market for an overall experience when they travel.• They value comfort and style. They tend to be more social, less impressed by formality, more difficult to reach through traditional marketing vehicles, and more aware of the marketing that is targeted toward them.
Christopher Reynolds (American Demographics (May 1, 2004))• 49.3 million people are in Generation X (ages 28 to 39)• Generation X contains 35% less people than in the Baby Boomers and is 32% smaller than Generation Y or the Echo Boom generation• Generation X has a total buying power of $1.4 trillion• 81% of Generation X are employed full or part time• Generation X spends on average, 12% more on entertainment than the typical American consumer. (Reynolds, 2004)
Xers expect high end service and amenities. The newer Generation of X (and to an extent, Gen Y) sets a higher bar for business travel, according to Carlson Hotels Worldwide. The Radisson Hotel chain recently noted that their younger-than-Boomer guests both expect and even demand the luxuries of home in exchange for their hard earned travel dollar.• For Generation X business travelers, a hotel is expected to be their refuge from the rigors of the road. Xers expect to be pampered and catered to with high end amenities.• "They are not willing to take what they are given," says Kevin Hanstad, in a recent press release, as Carlson Hotels Vice President of Customer Research and Insights. "They have different expectations than the Baby Boomers."• Hanstad adds, "Growing up in a service economy, Gen Xers have traveled more, dined out more and stayed in hotels more often than their parents did at the same time. This makes them more discriminating and less tolerant of subpar service and amenities."• The Radisson chain is taking note, since Generation X travelers are less likely to complain through traditional channels, and more apt to broadcast bad reviews on the Web 2.0s social networks, making dissatisfaction known via personal blogs, MySpace.com and among travelers forum networks.•
Why Does Generation X Expect More than their Parents?• Gen Xers have never had anything handed to them, not like the Baby Boomer Generation, posits the 1995 seminal work "Managing Generation X" by Bruce Tulgan.• Xers have generally been a cohort of overeducated, underemployed and disenfranchised young adults. Now that Xers are succeeding Boomers into positions of authority, they feel the gains are harder won.• "Xers have inherited the Boomers late 20th century disillusionment without the having had the opportunity for youthful idealism", according to Tulgan.• This generation of business travelers demand more from their hard- earned dollar. Xers want quiet rooms, on-demand wireless access and a comfortable space to work and rest. In a comfortable and well-wired setting, the typical Generation X business traveler can get more work done on the road than in the office.
What Generation X Business Travelers Want:• Along with the Carlson chain, the Hiltons and Holiday Inns are taking note of the finicky needs of the Generation X business traveler. The USA Today reports, "Hilton is eliminating TV armoires and placing flat-screen TVs on cabinets. To let guests work more comfortably, Marriott is installing spot lighting, bedside data and electrical ports and height-adjustable desks that can be swiveled into different positions in the room.• Looking to the Future• Since Generation Y is even more plugged in and on-demand, hotels catering to affluent Gen X business travelers will be better able to handle the larger cohorts of Gen Yers when they come of age
Gen-Xers are entering their peak-earning years and are the futurebusiness travelers.According to D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Gen-Xers are already the mostfree-spending of leisure travelers.They outspend baby boomers on trips involving a hotel stay. In 2004,Gen-Xers spent roughly $1,297 per trip per person, compared with babyboomers’ $1,155 (McMahon, 2005; De Lollis, 2005).
• Baby Boomer Gen X Gen• 29 May 2009 ... Forty percent of U.S. baby boomers stay in hotels five nights or more when they travel. Gen-Xers arent far behind at 31 percent. ... www.docstoc.com/docs/6530677/Baby- Boomer-Gen-X-Gen
Market researchers have determined that Gen-Xers want branded items.For example, they want Starbucks, not just regular coffee. They are notbrand loyal however, so they are willing to search persistently to find aplace to stay that has style, rather than book the same chain hotel theyused on family vacations in the 1980s (De Lollis, 2005).
How Hotel Brands are Changing : Cambria suites brand cites success in 2007• National hotel chains are trying to change their image. They are trying to rid themselves of their dull personas. They are offering amenities similar to what is offered in boutique hotels in hopes they will attract more Gen-Xers. Kendra Walker, vice president for brandcommunications at Hilton said, “Gen X is the current business traveler and the traveler of tomorrow.
Brand Development and Growth at Cambria Suites• Due in large part to research and understanding of the new consumer, the momentum behind the development and growth of the Cambria Suites brand is outstanding. In 2007, the first all-suite hotels opened in Boise, Appleton, Green Bay and Minneapolis--Mall of America. Then came Savannah Airport and Akron/Canton Airport . The Group is also moving into major metropolitan areas with franchise agreements in markets like Brooklyn, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Toronto. To date, more than 65 franchise agreements in 27 states and Canada have been signed .
• This is one group we want to appeal to” (McMahon, 2005). The big hotel chains are trying to keep up with the boutique hotels which are now winning the loyalty of Gen-Xers. Since the demand for hotel rooms is rebounding, the renovations the hotel chains have been delaying are now in progress.
• The hotel industry as a whole, is trying to implement motionsensor lights, Herman Miller ergonomic desk chairs, and the biggest one: flat-screen TVs.• Room rates are rising and hotel operators are using the improvements as justification for the increase.
Hilton Hotels Corp. and its franchisees have spent hundreds of millionsof dollars to redesign 230 Hilton brand hotels by the end of 2006.MarriottInternational Inc. expects its renovations to add an extra $30 tothe average cost of a one-night stay (Johnson, 2005).
Sweden Ice• Some chains are even Hotel launching new hotel brands designed specifically for the Gen-X age group. Intercontinental, which operates Holiday Inn has bypassed the upgrades and created a new line of boutique hotels, call Hotel Indigo. The rooms have hardwood floors, satellite TV service and stereos (McMahon, 2005).
Bedrooms• The old hard mattresses are being replaced with name-brand mattresses. Trendy duvets are taking the place of bedspreads and oversized pillows known as “Euro shams” are being added. The typical “hotel artwork” is getting replaced with stylish black-and-white photography.• Marriott International Inc. has decided to redo its beds with six pillows and lush, 300 thread-count sheets. Hampton hotels now offer special desks for guests who want to use their laptops while lying in bed. Hilton is replacing standalone minibars and dressers with one piece of furniture that stretches almost the length of the room and acts as a desk, drawers and entertainment rack combined – topped with a piece of granite. Marriott’s TV will sit on a redesigned desk that pivots 90 degrees (Johnson, 2005).
• Every Radisson hotel features select guest rooms equipped with the custom-designed Sleep Number® bed, which enables guests to adjust the firmness of the mattress to their individual comfort needs to achieve a more deep, restorative nights sleep.
Bathrooms• Gen-Xers spend more time in the shower. Marriott’s Renaissance and Hilton upgraded its showers to be completely glassed-in, while Hyatt’s shower is one-third open and two-thirds glass. Hyatt is also introducing Aveda shampoo and conditioner. Hilton is putting fogless mirrors in some of its showers as well as allowing more natural light into the bathroom so that Gen-Xers are able to shave after shampooing (McMahon, 2005).
Technology• “After the bed and bathroom, the TV is the most important thing in the room,” says Bjorn Hanson, a lodging analyst at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Johnson, 2005).• Over the next four years Marriott plans to add 50,000 flat-panel, high- definition TVs (which can connect to a laptop computer) in its Marriott, JW Marriott, and Renaissance hotels. This year, Hyatt Hotels Corp. made 32-inch flat-panel liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TVs standard in its rooms. Hilton plans to add 30-inch flat-screen TVs as part of its remodeling effort. Starwood’s W brand started putting 27-inch plasma TVs in its higher-end suites a couple of years ago. Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., which is owned by Marriott, in December 2004 made flat-panel LCD TVs that hang on walls a brand standard and intends to have them in all its hotels by the end of 2006 (Johnson, 2005).• Hilton hotels are adding MP3-friendly alarm clocks, allowing guests to awaken to their own music (McMahon, 2005).
Half of Boomers and nearly that many Gen X/Y (48 percent) think acomfortable bed is the most important hotel feature when traveling forbusiness, and more than one third of both groups indicated the quickestway to get stressed during their business trip was through a slow ornonexistent hotel Internet connection.
• All Radisson hotels also offer free high- speed Internet access in the guest room (wired or wireless), with Wi-Fi access in the lobby and restaurant.
Food and Technology Generation Xers tend to have more discerning palates than do Baby Boomers. Some want organic food, others crave decadent meals and desserts, and many enjoy premium beverages. And, of course, gourmet coffee and premium alcohol have become the norm. Cambria Suites food and beverage offerings align with these preferences to offer travelers everything they want without having to leave the hotel.When Baby Boomers say "Lets meet at 7 for dinner," they mean exactlythat. Theyll sit down and eat at 7 p.m. When Generation Xers say "Lets meet at 7 for dinner," they mean," Lets have a drink (or two) at 7 and chat about what we want to eat." With that in mind, the Cambria Suites lobby is not just a pass-through area, but rather an upscale andcomfortable gathering spot with club lounge seating, a media wall, a full bar, and wireless Internet access.
Food and Beverage• Hyatt’s menus are becoming healthier and more organic (McMahon, 2005). Courtyards and Marriott brands are adding food pantries that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in response to Gen-Xers different eating schedules and food preferences (De Lollis, 2005).• Research shows that the Gen-X man is 61% more likely than baby boomer men to choose a hotel with a “serious” sports bar in it, so the Holiday Inn Select brand plans to replace the old lounges with sports bars and expects to test the idea sometime in 2005 (De Lollis, 2005).
• Although Boomer and Gen X/Y business travelers most likely made their first business trip during different decades, their preferences and behaviors while on the road are more alike than different. Both groups chose “in-room spa” as their top dream hotel amenity (Boomers 56 percent, Gen X/Y 58 percent) and “hot shower” as the best way to unwind at the hotel (Boomers 38 percent, Gen X/Y 33 percent). When asked what business travel hotel feature they most deserved, both groups chose “all of the above” (Boomers 36 percent, Gen X/Y 33 percent) from a list that included an iPod/MP3 player dock, comfortable bed, free Internet, free breakfast, and in-room printer, particularly for boarding passes.
Boomers and Gen X/Y business travelers agreed that the top two thingsthey don’t need from their hotel are expensive mini-bars (Boomers 69percent, Gen X/Y 62 percent) and aromatherapy (Boomers 12 percent,Gen X/Y 13 percent). Both groups are also consistent in how they actaway from home. When asked what they don’t want anyone to knowthey do on a business trip, both groups noted “watch TV all night”(Boomers 23 percent, Gen X/Y 20 percent) as a top guilty pleasure,although Boomers rated “eat junk food” (27 percent) as their other badhabit while Gen X/Y were more concerned that people know they “don’tdo enough business” (23 percent). And whether new to business travel ora seasoned veteran, all business travelers passed up business luminariesincluding Donald Trump, Oprah and Steve Jobs and selected their ownmom or dad as the business person they most emulate. Nearly half ofBoomers (48 percent) and more than a third of Gen X/Y (36 percent)looked up to dad and mom.
• Stay at Hotel Monaco Denver or the Sky Hotel in Aspen to take advantage of the "$109 and a Bottle of Wine" package, which includes deluxe accommodations and a bottle of wine delivered to your room; also offered at Hotel Monaco is $99 Sundays through Sept. 7 and its "Cocktail OR Breakfast for Just $1 More" promotion, which gives guests a choice to dine or drink for one dollar more than the best available rate, which start at $170. Visit http://www.monaco-denver.com (enter SUN in rate code box for Sunday special or DOLLAR for its "$1 More" promotion) or call 1-800-990-1303; http://www.theskyhotel.com or (800) 556-6087 for reservations.
Guest Relations• Marriott is changing the image and practice of their concierge service. Marriott is allowing staff members to wear contemporary clothing and use causal language that is more reflective of guests. John Wolf, a Marriott spokesman said, “We’re allowing staff to be more personable, maybe even a little irreverent. Less prescriptive language fits with the style of Gen X” (McMahon, 2005). Front- desk staff at Sheratons will be wearing what looks like contemporary business attire than blends in more with guests (De Lollis, 2005).
Stay cool, have fun… A new hedonic luxury in hospitality ?• The right amenities also matter. Generation X travelers, for instance, appreciate a real gym and spa, not just a converted linen closet outfitted with an exercise bike. Additionally, our flat-panel TVs and plush bedding are also appreciated by guests.
Marketing, Branding or Anticipating : a luxury approach• The way we market to the new consumer is changing.• Traditional media are taking a back seat to innovative viral, social, and user-generated media. We are continually launching new, cutting-edge viral marketing efforts to get the word out to our new consumers . Social Media are on the track.• Cambria received Lodging Hospitalitys Leadership Award in the marketing category and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association Internationals Adrian Award for the mobile, 13 x 30, king-sized Cambria pop-up suite that is an exact replica of what business travelers and leisure guests will experience when they check in to a Cambria Suites hotel. The suite has made appearances at industry events, airports across the country, and at Mall of America. Joining the traveling suite, virtual-reality goggles allow us to take the experience of being at a Cambria Suites hotel to the guest--wherever they may be.
• To reward business travelers of all generations and enable them to stay their own way, Radisson recently launched a special Business Rewards Package that provides breakfast (up to $15 USD), early check-in/late check-out and 2,000 bonus Gold Points®, in addition to other great amenities like the Sleep Number® bed and free weekday morning newspaper. The package is available now through the end of the year in the US, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.radisson.com/business.
Conclusion• As this paper demonstrated, Generation X has become a major factor in the continued success of the hotel industry. Many of the major hotel brands such as: Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental, and Starwood have done their research and they have all determined that change is necessary in order to win the business of Generation X. Once the renovations are complete, the hotel brands will emerge with new images that should appeal to Generation X as well as younger generations.
Core values and credentials : from products forced hotels to image branded hotels• One thing is clear: Generation X has become the dominant demographic in the lodging industry, and its members are looking for a place to stay. In part, the success of the Cambria Suites brand in 2007 can be attributed to understanding the new consumer and producing a product and marketing campaigns with them in mind. The song does not remain the same and this is just the beginning!
WHAT DOES MOTIVATE?• Value The Individual and Nurture Relationships. Although there doesnt seem to be one description of Generation X, most will agree that a defining characteristic is that they dont like to be characterized (as Im doing in this article!). They dont want to be treated as a single entity, but want to be looked at as individuals. In addition, this is the first wave of latchkey kids to hit the work force. They are homesick for the home they never had (due to both parents working). Their focus on relationships over achievement is what leads Boomers to complain about their laziness. Isnt this strong sense of community and personal relationships in the workplace just what we need?• Challenging Work. This generation has sometimes been called the MTV Generation because of their short attention span. Xers want new challenges and the opportunity to build new skills. Training is one of the best motivators. They have a tremendous capacity to process lots of information and concentrate on multiple tasks.• They dont want to spend a lot of time talking about things or having meetings. They want to get in, do the work, and move on to the next thing. If youre looking for someone to deliver a report every week, you dont want an Xer. I recently brought up the subject of understanding twentysomethings during a coaching workshop. Immediately a manager complained, with a lot of emotion, that kids today dont want to work and will only stay for a week or so and then leave. Well, the job was very repetitive and offered little challenge. No wonder!• Freedom to Manage Time and Work. Xers dont want over-your-shoulder, in-your-face managers who constantly check what theyre doing. Perhaps as a result of their latchkey childhood, these young workers are not used to being closely supervised and are remarkably good at working on their own.
References• De Lollis, B. (2005, February 24). Hotels loosen their ties for a younger crowd. USA Today, p.01b. Retrieved June 14, 2005, from Academic Search Premier Database (J0E416289889905).• Generation X. (2005). From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved June 19, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X• Johnson, A. (2005, May 11). Hotel Rooms Get a Major Overhaul. The Wall Street Journal, p.D1.• McMahon, S. (2005, April 24). Going the X-tra mile. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved June 19, 2005, from http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050424/news_mz1b24going.html• Reynolds, C. (2004, May 1). Overlooked & Under X-Ploited. American Demographics. Retrieved June 19, 2005, fromhttp://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4021/is_4_26/ai_n6047692
• Suggestion for improvements in hotel:• 1) Must have high wi-fi speed connection in rest room, meeting rooms and conferences.• 2) Have theme based rooms.• 3) Have water games,ice games, squash, billards.• 4) Have special room for gay (may create negative image in the mind of Indians)• 5) Have heli-pad facilities.•• more better sugesstion can be made after analysing the place of the hotel and its customers
A few points which can further increase the arrival rate of tourists in INDIA. 1. Make tie-ups with the super stars hotels in other countries and they can provide some credit points or membership for Indians hotels and vice a versa. 2. Shops of foreigns luxury products so that it can relate the experiene of shopping as they are buying in their country. 3. Indian hotels can provide the memberships to tourists for future retaining purpose.4. Collections of selected scenes so that they can remember their journey after going. 5. Contacting their abroads customers on their birthdays and anniversaries dates.6. Some hospitality group can go for building some conceptual structure rather than making in traditional way.
There are few concepts which can be used in hospitality industry in INDIA.1. They can make a place where everything is in air( tables, chairs, bed) which can give an experience of living in space. 2. A place where no more light is there and only candles will be there almost dark everywhere. 3. Foods of every country is available not only few selected but you name it and we will serve you for that we need a chef from each country.4. A structure where you can experience rain always whenever you want. 5. A hotel whch is more dedicated to business class, facility of video conferencing in each room.
Many professionals no longer work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A workday on the road may start early and end late, with personal time scatteredthroughout. Thus, these professionals are likely to do a good deal of their work at the hotel during off hours. The Cambria Suites brand meets that need by making it easy to access the Internet from anywhere on the property. The guest suites are also designed to allow travelers to spendtime on the phone or check e-mails in comfort with ergonomic chairs and moveable desks.
Generation X big spenders on travelhttp://www.usatoday.com/money/biztravel/2005-02-08-xtrav-usat_x.htm Last year, Xers — the 60 million Americans from age 25 to 40 — spent an estimated $2,140 per capita on overall travel involving a hotel stay, vs. boomers $2,016, according to a preliminary estimate from travelresearcher D.K. Shifflet & Associates. The larger boomer population stilldominates on a total dollar basis — about $157 billion last year, vs. $130 billion for Xers. .
• Vacation spending by Xers has soared 66% per trip in the past five years, vs. 25% among boomers, ages 41 to 59. "These younger people are enjoying life," says Jim Caldwell of Shifflet. The generational change has significant implications for the travel industry. Compared with the 78 million boomers, Gen Xers are less brand loyal, less likely to call a travel agent and less likely to plan far in advance. Theyre more likely to book online and pay for eye-catching extras, such as a Sierra Madre expedition in the Mexican outback
• Customers of tour operator Contiki Holidays, which caters to young adults, spend an average of $300, or 11%, more than the initial price of a European tour for extra trips, says President Frank Marini. Among the most popular add-ons: A cable ride to the top of 13,600-foot Jungfrau Mountain in the Swiss Alps for views or skiing.
• Spending per leisure trip/per capita• Gen X- $1,297• Gen Y - $1,155• Also, Gen X spends more on extras• •More activities. This generation stays busy at home — and at play. "They want to talk at the water cooler about the great things that they did," Peluso says.Thats why, in the past 12 months, Travelocity has added adventure offerings, such as a Chichen Itza tour of Mayan architecture in Cancun, Mexico, and a London pass with access to 50 sites for one price.• •Boutique hotels. InterContinental, parent of the Holiday Inn chain, became the first big operator to launch a midpriced boutique hotel chain. The first Hotel Indigo opened in Atlanta; others will open in Chicago and Sarasota, Fla. The concept, more casual and relaxed than the parents other hotels, was designed for people familiar with Pottery Barns whitewashed furniture and vibrant colors. "Xers are looking for something different than boomers," says Mark Lomanno of Smith Travel Research.