May222013

Starwood Hotels targeting luXurY travelers

Starwood Hotels says the future of luxury hotels is catering to the luXurY traveler, according to an exclusive interview given to Melanie Nayer in her column at 4Hoteliers.com.

The article says 85% of Starwood’s luxury guests are Generation X and Generation Y wealthy travelers. These are the people who were born 1966-1976 Gen X, and 1977-1994 Gen Y.

Generation X and Generation Y are the two age groups that encompasses most of the BoardingArea bloggers, although a few of us are older Baby Boomers and there is even a Generation Z blogger or two who were born after 1994.

Generation X in the USA is also called the ‘lost generation’ since they were exposed to a much higher divorce rate and time in daycare than baby boomers. This cohort of 40 million or so is considered to be the generation of people who tuned out the news and politics. They had the lowest voter participation rate of any generational cohort. Yet, this is the best educated cohort with nearly 1 in 3 earning a college bachelor’s degree.

Generation Y is a cohort of 70 million in the USA born from 1977 to 1994. This generation is supposedly characterized by their immunity to advertising and marketing pitches. They are characterized by diversity and segmentation due to the expansion of cable TV, internet, and satellite radio during their lifetime. This cohort is less brand loyal.

In the USA the Generation X and Generation Y cohorts are less likely to become the millionaires and billionaires of tomorrow.

Starwood appears focused on its Asia properties for revamping and expanding luxury.

The new luxury hotel environment is geared for the tech savvy with personalization catered to the guest’s interests. One of the topics I frequently read articles about is using social media for data mining to build a personalized profile for hotel guests. This is a rapidly growing area in hotel and revenue management.

[Three bottles of Stella Artois and a fruit plate please! That makes this hotel traveler a happy guest upon arrival.]

Generation X and Generation Y are big on credit cards. This is another great source of data mining on personal spending habits and interests.

Melanie Nayer is a popular hotel industry columnist I read regularly.

Her Starwood luXurY trends article was focused on the Chinese traveler.

Do Generations X and Y in China have the same characteristics as Americans?

Chinese Gen X/Y traveler desires, according to Starwood Hotels:

  • full-service urban hotel.
  • breakfast option at hotel.
  • dual sinks, shower and separate vanity make-up area to reduce congestion in the bathroom.
  • in-room amenities like coffee/tea maker, WiFi and internet access.

That does not sound too demanding to me.

I like those same features in hotels.

My other primary request is an ice machine where I can cool the warm bottles of Stella Artois. Sometimes I just can’t squeeze enough beer bottles in between all the other items in the electronic mini-bar.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. “Three bottles of Stella Artois and a fruit plate please! That makes this hotel traveler a happy guest upon arrival.”

    Ric – funny you should mention this. I recently status matched from SPG to Kimpton Inner Circle, who reached out to me very proactively about things I liked in my room as a guest. My choice – Stella and high-quality potato chips. So far, every stay with them I’ve had them. Can’t tell you how happy it makes me when they’re there – great feature.

  2. Your dates are a little off on the Gen X/Y thing. Gen X is generally considered 1961-1981 and Gen Y is 1982-onward.

    Just sayin’. Don’t group me in with those Gen Y-ers. 🙂

  3. @MRN – Wikipedia shows there are several studies that define Gen X as 1961 to 1981.

    That actually works a little better in my experience. I was born 1960 and my wife and I both have sisters from 1964 and 1965 that we feel grew up as a different generational cohort than us, even though we shared the same environment and culture.

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