Guess what people; this year we the hospitality industry are going to have the last two letter generations in our lobby, each with different needs, all under one roof. Are we going to have fun! The golden ones, and the new techies. This is going to be a sight to behold, and we may well question how to stop them from killing each other when they get together. Talk about diplomatic relations in our industry.
It had to happen sooner or later – let’s face it each new generation wants to be original, they don't want to be known as a copy cat. You can imagine those that have been there, done that, next to those that want to do that, and haven't been there yet. Atomic bomb waiting to explode. I am trying to imagine the confusion and disarray of conversations between both parties. The big discussion is going to be free Wi-Fi in hotels, especially in rooms. Some hotels charge for internet service in the rooms, in certain cases hotels average 200.00 per occupied room. That's a lot of money to give away. This is going to be a deciding factor in where the techies will stay. Of course there will be other factors as well. The retiring generation may not consider it that important since they will be more likely on leisure status as opposed to business status.
I had occasion to be in Austin TX and stayed at The Driskill hotel a few blocks from the convention center where I was presenting a workshop. The hotel offered FREE wireless in all of their rooms. Great restaurant and grill. The rooms where fantastic, and a gorges lobby. Not that I spend much time on the internet, it's the fact that I dislike the prompt that comes up in the room, there will be a 12.95 charge for internet use (24hr) being there 3 days it becomes an additional 39.00 on the bill. I can say that the hotel is first class, the staff seemed to be having fun working and taking care of guest, especially in the Grill. Texas hospitality at its best.
These are some of the things that will change as the new generations come in to play. WIFI will evolve, don't know into what but it will change. Other amenities and manner of satisfying guests will be different. Generation X and generation Y are the current landlords of the travel industry, while the baby boomers will occupy the leisure track. There is a distinct difference between these two groups (X Y) the span is about 10 years difference, and as you well know that is a big difference.
The nation will have two generations retiring pretty much together. The wheel starts over with the next unnamed generation to come. Hoteliers will have their hands full trying to decide what will motivate this generation to choose their property over the competition. The biggest problem facing the hospitality industry in employing generation Y is that they believe that showing up for work in itself is deserving of a promotion. Generation Y was raised on personalization, so all of the social media icons are in their likeness. They expect instant response from a question asked. Generation Y employees pertaining to hotels won’t be staying with you for long the don't have career in mind just what serves them now. In order for us in the hospitality industry to have a measure of success we must adapt and be flexible with this new crop of future hospitality leaders. I see that many changes are on the horizon, so buckle up and enjoy the ride. Parting thought — if Starbucks can offer free WIFI in all of its stores why can’t hotels?
About the Author
Alan Campbell has been in Las Vegas for over 30 years and has worked for the major strip hotels. He has spent some time in California, Los Angeles where he worked for the Radisson and Sheraton hotels. Alan considers the hospitality industry the best job in the world - it is the only place that both king's and Paupers will visit you.