What The Wanderlust Generation Wants In A Hotel

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Airbnb hasn’t dominated the travel industry just yet, but to keep young travelers checking into national chains, hotels need to know what 13-35-year-olds want...

Gen Z and Millennials have a strong case of wanderlust. A huge majority say they are interested in taking trips, and the jet-setting generations have rewritten the rules when it comes to where to go, what to do, when to plan, and how to budget. And while this means that far-flung destinations are in vogue and extreme activities abound, it has also led to the creation of the biggest disrupter in the travel industry—Airbnb. Since its inception, the home-sharing platform has promised to overtake the hotel industry as thrifty and experience-driven Millennials flocked to its unique destinations, and national hotel chains have scrambled to stay relevant. As it turns out, however, Airbnb is third in line when it comes to where 13-35-year-olds prefer to stay when they travel. Ahead of the Millennial-directed home-sharing service are more classic accommodations. The number one place 13-35-year-olds want to stay? National hotel chains.

This may come a surprise to those in the travel industry who have long braced themselves for the day when Airbnb’s beach bungalows and treehouses officially lured Millennials away from high-rise hotels for good. But so far, hotels have held their own. While Airbnb's growth rate has been astronomical, it hasn't yet hurt the bottom line of hotel chains. From 2014 to 2015, the revenue per available room for hotels in the US grew 6%, according to hotel industry research firm STR, and between 2010 and 2015, the price per room jumped $20 to $78.71. A recent survey from Resonance Consultancy also found that 35% of Millennials prefer to stay in upscale or luxury hotels compared to 23% who prefer short-term…


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“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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