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Hotel Guest Engagement: Retaining the Millennial Traveler

Established over 220 years ago, the first American hotels helped facilitate a quickly growing body of travelers with the essential amenities of shelter, food, drink, and other services and goods usually obtained within the household (Sandoval-Strausz, 2007). Fast-forwarding to the current year, hotels are still using these early guiding amenities, but over time, have adapted them to meet the values and needs of each passing generation. The Millennial generation, those born between the years of 1981-1996 (Gallup, 2014), demonstrate a shift in mindfulness of how they choose to live their lives that is different from previous generations (Gensler, 2016b). Their traveling habits are beginning to blend two common traveling styles together to form “bleisure” travel (Worker, S., n.d., ¶ 3). Bleisure travel is what occurs when business trips extend into weekend leisure vacations (Worker, S., n.d.). The hotel industry is in a position to adapt to this new traveling style. Hotel’s seek to retain customers as fully engaged brand followers, as they are the company’s most profitable consumer in both good and bad economic times, with high levels of emotional attachment (Sorenson and Adkins, 2014). Unfortunately, Millennials exhibit the lowest percentage of hotel engagement levels when compared to other traveling generations (Gallup, 2014). The goal of this study seeks to identify the values and needs of the Millennial generation in order to increase their engagement levels via bleisure style hotel brands. To identify the values and needs of Millennials, this study surveyed Millennial travelers staying at hotel accommodations for business, leisure, and bleisure type travel. From the survey, the author has synthesized the data results into two guest personas which illustrate the top attributes of a Millennial who is traveling for bleisure. These findings have informed the programming, site selection, and proposed design solution for a bleisure style hotel that addresses a potential solution for increasing engagement levels of the traveling Millennial. / A Thesis submitted to the Department of Interior Architecture and Design in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts. / Summer Semester 2017. / June 28, 2017. / Brand Engagement, Hotels, Interior Design / Includes bibliographical references. / Jim Dawkins, Professor Directing Thesis; Marlo Ransdell, Committee Member; Kenan Fishburne, Committee Member.
ContributorsLindner, Jennifer (authoraut), Dawkins, Jim (James D.) (professor directing thesis), Ransdell, Marlo E. (committee member), Fishburne, Kenan A. (committee member), Florida State University (degree granting institution), College of Fine Arts (degree granting college), Department of Interior Design (degree granting departmentdgg)
PublisherFlorida State University
Source SetsFlorida State University
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, text, master thesis
Format1 online resource (163 pages), computer, application/pdf

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