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Mobile and Millennials: 4 Ways Hospitality Brands Must Accommodate

August 26, 2015

Millennials. Studied, analyzed, and taking over the business travel world. The largest working generation in the United States with 53.5 million, those born between the early 80s and late 90s have a somewhat different mentality than their Generation X and Boomer coworkers.

This of course translates to the business travel world as well, and although we’re not here to make sweeping generalizations about this generation, we would like to highlight how these groups are changing the minds and strategies of travel and hospitality brands.

One of the biggest things to note is the importance of mobile communication to millennials. With 80% of them report that they sleep with their mobile phones next to their beds, and fewer using landlines, creating an experience focused on the cell phone or tablet is pivotal to travel and hospitality brands.

Search and Book

The connected generation, millennials value the ability to book on mobile devices, and “[…] of the 145 million people who traveled in the U.S. last year 90% searched for travel on a mobile or tablet device at some point and about 25% of Expedia transactions are now mobile transactions,” according to Cyril Ranque, president of Expedia Lodging Partner Services.

Among leisure travelers, a full 84 percent of American millennials haven’t used a travel agent at all, according to the report Travel Habits of Millennials.

In Transit

According to Expedia, 75% of millennial travelers use smartphones and tablets while traveling. Further, according to a Skift report on the digital habits of the business traveler, Wi-Fi is a must, even if it costs.

This report found that millennials are four times more likely to pay for onboard Wi-Fi on their planes and twice as likely to download and watch in-flight entertainment.

Personalized Mobile Hotel Experiences

Hotels are called to personalize for the mobile needs of the millennial traveler. According to Hotel 2020 by Grant Thornton, hotels will need to personalize services from guests’ booking experience to their in-room preferences around lighting, temperature and refreshments. Hoteliers that can deliver effective mobile-centric personalization will become brands of choice


From booking to check-in to payment, the millennial traveler is seeking convenience and mobility. According to the GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index, 37 percent of business travelers between 18 and 34 are will “definitely” or probably” use a mobile, cashless wallet within the next 12 months, nearly twice the level of all business travelers who had similar plans.


Even if the statistics about the generation shift, the mobile millennial will continue to be a trending topic in hospitality and travel, and the brands that can cater to the booking, lodging, and paying needs of them will undoubtedly gain an edge in this massive, mobile, millennial market.

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