By: Abbie Deaver, Marketing Manager
There has been a lot of talk about “bleisure travel” and “bizcations” recently, which happen when a guest combines business travel with leisure. Nearly every article I found on the topic highlights the opportunity for business travelers to extend their stay for a few days so they can bring their family along for a mini vacation. This is great, and certainly a trend that should not be ignored, but what about the Millennials who don’t have families?
When you ask a 20 or 30 something what they like to do in their spare time, chances are you are going to hear “travel” somewhere in their answer. Millennials love to explore and many are obsessed with the romantic notion of seeing the world. Yet, with so much to see in the world, it is nearly impossible to get to it to all, especially while holding down a full-time job. Enter the bizcation. Opportunities for Millennials to turn a business trip into a vacation are more obvious in bigger cities and international destinations– New York, Las Vegas, London, Barcelona etc., but that doesn’t mean your property in the Midwest or a small town on the East Coast shouldn’t target bleisure travelers. I think it is important to point out that while Millennials want to see the world and visit many countries, they are just as curious about destinations close to home. What they are ultimately seeking is adventure, a good story to tell, and an experience they can share with friends. As a hotel marketer, it is your job to pick out these opportunities for adventure near your hotel and share these ideas with your guests. Give them a reason to want to explore your city or town, and they will come.
By now, you know the typical tactics to turn a business traveler into a bleisure traveler: Offer them a special rate for the weekend, throw in perks such as free wi-fi or free breakfast, highlight fun & interesting activities near your hotel, etc. What you may not realize is that you are more likely to entice the Millennial traveler with a few small tweaks to your typical messaging.
Most hotels & resorts list nearby attractions on their website, but how can you re-think this section to target the Millennial audience? The trick is making sure you highlight UNIQUE attractions & activities that are hard to come by in any other place. Below, I show you how to look for alternate activities to list on your website and in your marketing message that may better attract Millennials.
Typical hotel listing: National parks, hiking & biking trails
Attract Millennials with: Rollerblading tours, tandem bike rentals, corn hole tournament in the local park
Typical hotel listing: Big name brewery tours
Attract Millennials with: Craft breweries, distilleries, and smaller wineries that offer tastings and tours
Typical hotel listing: Art galleries, local plays & performances
Attract Millennials with: Chalk art festivals, ice sculpture competitions, street performers
Holidays & Festivals
Typical hotel listing: Mardis Gras Festivities, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, Christmas Tree Lighting
Attract Millennials with: Local Holiday celebrations. For example, Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, CO or the National Hollerin’ Contest in Spivey’s Corner, NC
Typical hotel listing: chain restaurants close to the hotel and upscale restaurants within the city
Attract Millennials with: Location of food trucks or pop-up restaurants around town
What kinds of adventures are awaiting Millennials in your city or town?