In Marketing, Segmentation

multigenerational family by a campfire on the beachMultigenerational travel—classified as trips with three or more generations in one group—has been on the rise over the past few years, and the trend is only growing. But appealing to groups of all ages can be tricky. Can a variety of guests be entertained at your property? Are you communicating properly to all age groups in your marketing materials? We’re here to help answer these questions and more.

Why multigenerational travel?

A big reason why groups are traveling with people of varied ages is geography—families are living apart more often, and a group trip is a great way to see one another. Plus, people’s schedules are more jam-packed than ever, so a vacation provides much-needed relaxation and family time. Another reason these trips are taken: celebrating a milestone. So be sure to offer ways for groups to commemorate things like birthdays, anniversaries and family reunions.

How are these groups planning?

It’s probable that the grandparents will be footing the bill for the trip, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the ones planning—that will most likely be left to the millennials. And while these 18- to 34-year-olds will be using social media—especially Facebook—for research, they’re also likely to utilize a travel agent. While this may seem out of character for the tech-friendly generation, they recognize the complexities of booking and planning a multigenerational trip, and using a travel agent helps ensure a more seamless planning process.

What are popular multigenerational destinations?

According to a 2014 study conducted by Preferred Hotel Group, beach and theme park vacations are the most popular, at 35% and 28%, respectively. So if your property is located near one of these two hot spots, then you’re already at an advantage. But it’s important to really capitalize on it. Near a theme park? Offer ticket packages and shuttles to and from the park. On or near the beach? Make it as easily accessible as possible, and offer activities to do once there, like equipment rentals or beach volleyball.

Does your website serve the needs of these groups?

Making your website easy to navigate is key. Be sure to detail all there is to do on property, as well as the surrounding area. Also, adding some kind of trip-planning functionality—like a “my saved ideas” feature—can go a long way by allowing travelers to bookmark things on your site that spark their interest. We also can’t stress the importance of website optimization enough—accessing the Internet via smartphones and tablets is becoming the norm, so you want to ensure that users are getting the best possible version of your site.

Also essential: a blog. As we’ve discussed before, hotel blogs are extremely important. And in the case of multigenerational travelers, a blog can help direct them on how to book on-property and what activities may be available off property.

Are you showing that you’re multigenerational-friendly?

In your marketing materials, be sure to feature photos of multigenerational groups. That way, it will stick in prospective customers’ minds that your property hosts these groups and can accommodate them.

What can properties do to attract multigenerational groups?

The group that travels together wants to stay together. So offering lodging options like houses, villas, suites and connecting rooms is key. Also important? Give travelers the sleeping space they desire—consider adding sleeper sofas to a common area, or two twin or double beds in a room instead of one queen or king.

Can your staff handle these groups?

Train staff to help multigenerational groups plan. Employees must be able to direct customers to book the right kinds of accommodations and activities geared towards multiple age groups. It’s also important that staff members be prepared for groups with children. Consider offering coloring books and crayons at check-in, or have a staff member make balloon animals in the lobby. Making it known that children are welcome on-property will go a long way. Also vital: Ensure your property is easily accessible for elderly guests, and make sure there are dining options for people of all ages.

Want to take your multigenerational appeal to the next level? Dana can help! Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at
lkaniper@danacommunications.com
or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.

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