Marriott’s Pursuit of the “Elusive” Millennial

 Is the rest of the AARP world in danger of the millennial traveler? Let me clarify, I love millennials, all of my nieces and nephews are in this group and I am extremely proud of their technical savvy, education, and in awe of their tactical brilliance at absorbing and retaining the seemingly millions of acronyms infused within their other language…texting.  I study emerging media to understand the business side of communication mediums, and above all to be a part of the social waves the Internet and the World Wide Web are brilliantly creating, building, and leading us into the next trending topic.

old man

Bill Marriott by Melissa Golden for Wall Street Journal

This leads me to the focus of my blog, Marriott International, my employer for the last thirty years and their pursuit of almost every type of traveler known globally and locally to our marketing groups, but placing the millennials as their top prize.

In an interview with Alexandra Wolfe (2014) of the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Marriott spoke about our latest brand, the Moxy Hotels which are aimed at the millennial generation (roughly ages 18 to 33).

In partnership with Inter Hospitality Holding, the hotels will feature small, low-cost rooms with grab-and-go food and the feel of a Silicon Valley startup.  Wolfe reported, “In four years, 60% of our business will be millennials,” says Mr. Marriott, who adds with a laugh, “All of us old folks are moving on.”

Moving on? Who me, after all we’ve been through?

And on top of that I have to lose some of my most pleasurable hotel amenities because it tested low with the millennial group. The latest trend is rooms without work desks.  I need a desk, I love having extra room to work, spread my books about and have space for my Kindle and phone.  I have been to our innovation labs and walked through the redesigned rooms. They are well appointed but each one, we test by brand, all have amenities everyone can enjoy but the overall feel is still millennial. I asked, “Where are the rooms for our disabled and elderly travelers?” They are a growing market group with plenty of capital to spend as well. My guide for the day, an architect for the brands, took note and promised to get back to me on my inquiry quickly. Guess he felt I may need it soon!

marriott room

Desk-less room by Marriott

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Angela Johnson @aj7124_angela

Emerging Media Graduate Student

Loyola University

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