Is Hospitality Industry Ready for Generation Z?
Updated: Mar 26
The Digital Natives Generation - Generation Z is now started to enter the hotel Industry and has contributed a significant shares to the market, which according to an article from En Garde, it stated that by 2020 Generation Z will become the largest group of consumers worldwide, particularly in the United States, Europe, and the BRIC states; Gen Z will takes up to 40% of the consumers and 10 % in the rest of the world. The influence that Gen Z brings to the hotel industry and the markets is tremendously influential, even though they are still at a very young age.
Being part of the Generation Z, I also possess the common characteristics of this Digital Natives Generation. Like what the picture has shown above, I am digitally active and just like all the Gen Z people, digital devices usually never leave my side, I used my phone from the moment I opened my eyes until I go to bed, we even bring our phone with us when we go to toilet. I am part of the generation which mobile device is basically attached to our hand. It is because of this trait, the hotel industry has to change the way they do marketing and even the design of the facilities or hotel interior, just so that they will be prompt and ready to attract and welcome this Digital Natives Generation.
The hotel industry is not the only one who has changed a lot just to be ready for Gen Z, as one of the student from Hotel Institute Montreux, the school has also changed a lot in terms of teaching method and the way students received information. For instance, we no longer use physical books in classes, instead, teachers used PowerPoint to teach all the lessons. Online platform such as moodle is used for teachers to post all the lesson materials and share information with students. In order to enhance the teaching quality, iPad was also given by the school when we first arrived and projectors were set up in all classrooms. Moreover, school email was set-up for the purpose of communication between students and school. Those are the indications of the beginning of Digital Era and in my opinion, physical books will soon becomes e-books and we might find less and less people reading physical books.
According to an article from Insights, “Generation Z are highly familiar and dependent on technology, confident, hardworking, embrace team work, seek happiness at work, and expect to move up quickly in their career.” These characteristics showed that Generation Z in general is indeed motivated and ready to embrace the world with their full potential.
As part of the Digital Natives Generation, we learned all kinds of information instantly through internet. Therefore, we no longer find the traditional ads interesting, instead, we are more easily drawn attention to innovative and interesting ads, which is one of the biggest reason why the traditional advertising is started to go out of fashion and not as impactive as before when it comes to targeting us. Then, some might wonder, what kind of advertising will attract our attention and make ? Most of the hotel industry nowadays are using content marketing and storytelling method, which story is implemented to showcase their products and services. Take the example of Marriott, their Content Studio launched a short film sequel called “Two Bellman,” which according to an article from the Origin, it generated 5.1 million views after the sequel has launched. Also, they invited Gen Z to be part of the film making processes, which is considered a big success for their content marketing strategy that not only gain people attention, better yet, they created a positive and humor image that could attract Gen Z to consider their brand either for their future career or vacation stay. And this is exactly what our generation is looking for and willing to take time to watch and even participate in.
Nowadays, we can see more and more companies, not only hospitality industry, but industries across different fields are taking advantage of implementing content marketing strategy to advertise their products or services in order to attract Gen Z. Also, it helped industries generating a customer-centric reality, which all industries are operating in now. When content marketing is successfully implementing like Marriott’s “Two Bellman,” it not only helped raising brand awareness, it also created a positive brand image to the public that will help increase sales and job applicants.
In my opinion, since our generation the beginning of Digital Era, we are constantly seeking for innovative ideas, which is also why content marketing worked so well with our generation. I, myself, also got attracted by advertisement that has a story line, sometimes, if the storytelling is compelling and touching, not only I will spend time watching it, better yet, I will share it with friends on Facebook, which become an earned media for the company. Hospitality industry is a labor intensive industry which makes than more in need of taking advantage of content marketing that attract Gen Z’s attention, thus, choosing the career path in hotel industry. If you agree with my view point, please don’t forget to share and leave me some comments below.
Author: Ms. Yifan Cui, Hospitality Bachelor student at Hotel Institute Montreux (Taiwan)