6 min read

What are the Different Types of Hotel Guests?

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Jordan Hollander in Guest Experience

Last updated August 31, 2023

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Who’s staying at your hotel right now? Unless you’re in the middle of a buyout, chances are you have several different types of guests under your roof, all with different preferences, expectations, and reasons for staying with you. If you don’t know what types of guests choose your hotel, and how to serve them best, you risk low rates of repeat business and negative guest reviews. On the flip side, if you know exactly what matters to your guests and use that knowledge to better cater to their needs, your hotel will benefit from great guest reviews, loyalty, and higher ADR and RevPAR. In this article, we’ll introduce you to ten common types of hotel guests and explain how you can attract them and deliver the kind of service they want and expect. However, knowing what each type of guest wants is only half of the puzzle; you’ll still need to analyze your existing guest mix to learn which types of guests you have in-house.

Business travelers

Business travelers are, as the name implies, traveling for work purposes and usually pay for their stay with company funds. In most markets, business travelers stay on weeknights, and usually for short stays of one to four nights. Business travelers may travel solo or with colleagues, and they might be in town to hold meetings, attend trainings, or visit clients.

Since they’re on tight schedules, business travelers expect their rooms to be ready on-time, and since they’re visiting for a specific purpose, they aren’t interested in tours or activities. They appreciate the convenience of having on-site amenities like a gym or a coffee shop where they can stop before or between meetings or a concierge who can assist with dinner reservations or airport transportation. Business travelers expect amenities that will help them stay productive, like fast WiFi, an in-room desk, laundry or dry cleaning services, and early check-in or late checkout.

Remote workers

More and more people have the option to work remotely, which means remote workers are probably a growing segment of guests at your hotel. These remote workers can be visiting for several reasons: to collaborate in-person with other remote coworkers, to visit their company headquarters, or to meet with clients. Or they could be traveling for leisure while working remotely for some hours in the day.

Fast WiFi is a requirement for remote workers since they rely on the internet to do their jobs. These guests will appreciate comfortable spots to work, like in-room desks or coworking-style lounges, as well as well-placed outlets, ergonomic chairs, and good lighting. This tech-savvy cohort is also receptive to technology in all aspects of the stay experience, like check-in kiosks and mobile ordering at your restaurant.

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Group attendees

Whether they’re attending a conference or participating in a package tour, group guests have unique needs and preferences. Before they even set foot in your hotel, groups need a seamless way to book their rooms, whether that’s a dedicated sales manager contact, a special landing page on your website, or a room block code. Since they’re booking in bulk, groups also expect a discounted rate, and some groups ask for extras like guaranteed early check-in, a welcome amenity, or all rooms on the same floor.

To serve groups well once they’re on-site, your staff should be available to help with any last-minute requests. Signage can help attendees know where to go and when, and having some kind of public space where they can congregate is also appreciated. Although groups can be a little more demanding than individual guests, if your hotel serves a group well, it might book your hotel year after year, giving you a nice block of occupancy that you can count on.

Baby Boomers

Born in the 1940s to 1960s, Baby Boomers are now in retirement, and they’re traveling more than ever. This cohort is looking for high-quality and authentic experiences, and they’re willing to pay for them, often spending more per stay than guests from younger generations. Baby Boomers usually travel as couples or groups, and they look for hotels with reliable service and comfortable amenities. Since Baby Boomers are looking for a more traditional experience, you can appeal to them with more in-person service and fewer tech-forward or self-service options. For example, Baby Boomers might prefer to book tours or activities in person with your concierge rather than book them in your hotel’s app.

Millennials

 

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials are the tech-savvy opposite of Baby Boomers, and they usually gravitate toward those self-service or digital options like check-in kiosks and digital room keys. However, like Baby Boomers, Millennials are also looking for high-quality, authentic experiences, and they appreciate local cuisine and sightseeing that’s off the beaten path. Millennials travel solo, as couples, with friends, or with their young children, but regardless of who their traveling companions are, they’re looking forward to discovering the local area and capturing Instagram-worthy moments.

Gen Zers

Usually defined as people born between 1995 and 2010, Generation Z is just starting to travel on their own. Since they’re young, Gen Zers are more budget-conscious than older generations, so they are receptive to discounts and freebies. Even more so than Millennials, Gen Z grew up using technology, and they prefer to use technology whenever they can, like to order food or make requests for housekeeping or front desk service. Generation Z are heavy users of social media, so promoting your hotel through social media advertising or influencer collaborations can be a great way to reach this cohort.

Family travelers

Not just including parents traveling with kids, family travelers can be multi-generational groups including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and adult children. Usually traveling for vacation, families tend to stay a little longer than other segments of guests, and they tend to seek out hotels that offer more space or bed configurations that allow more guests to sleep comfortably in one room. For example, suites that allow for separate sleeping spaces are well suited for families. Families traveling with young children will appreciate kid-friendly amenities like cribs, toys, and babysitting service, while families with older kids look for recreational facilities like pools, sport courts, or beach access. Families will also appreciate special pricing on tours and activities to make sightseeing with a large group more affordable.

Solo travelers

Hostels aren’t for everyone, and many solo travelers choose to stay in hotels for a variety of reasons. Hotels often offer more amenities, more privacy, higher-quality service than the average hostel, and for a solo traveler who’s not on such a tight budget, a hotel can be preferable. Solo travelers might not want to pay for a room that sleeps two guests, so if your hotel offers single rooms (or even a slightly cheaper single rate) you can target solo travelers more effectively. These guests also like to connect with other travelers in your lounge or coworking space, bar, or fitness classes.

Health and wellness tourists

While some travelers prefer to indulge on vacation, health and wellness seekers use their vacations as a time to cleanse and reconnect. These travelers look for hotels that provide fitness amenities, like upgraded gyms or in-room yoga mats or stationary bikes, and on-site dining that caters to a healthy lifestyle. You can better serve health and wellness travelers by offering menu items that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free but don’t compromise flavor. If your hotel doesn’t have these options on-site, you can partner with nearby restaurants or gyms to give your guests special discounts or perks.

Luxury travelers

Seeking only the best, luxury travelers are willing to pay more but expect perfection. Luxury travelers often book through experienced travel agents or do thorough research before picking a hotel. Many luxury travelers also hear about hotels through word of mouth, so you want to deliver an experience your guests will want to tell their friends about. These travelers look for five-star amenities, high-end furnishings, and beautiful design, but they also desire personalized service and unique experiences they can’t get anywhere else. To appeal to luxury travelers, you want to offer something that your competition doesn’t offer, like exclusive access to a local attraction or a partnership with a renowned brand. To build loyalty among luxury travelers, it’s important to remember their preferences so you can deliver a personalized experience time and time again.

Understanding the different types of guests that come to their property is crucial for hoteliers because it allows them to tailor their services and marketing strategies to meet the needs and expectations of each guest. By understanding the different types of hotel guests, hoteliers can create a better guest experience, increase guest satisfaction, and ultimately drive revenue.

For example, business travelers may prioritize functionality and fast Wi-Fi in their hotel rooms, while leisure travelers may be more interested in unique experiences and local attractions. Millennials and Gen Z travelers may seek out hotels that offer co-working spaces and local culture experiences, while boomers may prioritize wellness amenities such as spa treatments and hikes. Budget-conscious travelers may be more likely to seek out local restaurants and free internet access, while luxury travelers may expect room service and high-end dining options.

By understanding the guest personas and expectations of different types of travelers, hoteliers can tailor their hotel rooms, amenities, and hospitality services to better meet their needs. This can include offering babysitting services for family travelers, creating bleisure packages for business travelers who want to combine work and leisure travel, or providing local restaurant recommendations and cultural experiences for leisure travelers.

Understanding guest expectations also allows hoteliers to improve guest satisfaction and loyalty. By offering well-being amenities, local experiences, and loyalty programs, hoteliers can create a memorable guest experience that keeps guests coming back.

Understanding the different types of hotel guests is critical for hoteliers to create a better guest experience, increase guest satisfaction, and drive revenue. This includes tailoring hotel rooms, amenities, and hospitality services to meet the needs and expectations of different types of travelers, such as business travelers, digital nomads, leisure travelers, backpackers, and luxury travelers. By understanding guest personas, hoteliers can improve their revenue management and offer authentic experiences that keep guests coming back.

Which types of guests frequent your hotel? Which types of guests will you target in the future? By understanding who your guests are and why they choose your hotel, you can deliver better service, earn better guests reviews, and work toward your revenue goals.