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What Hotel Guests Want In The Digital Age – Part 2

The Needs Of Families And Baby Boomers In Hotels

Families and baby boomers are two target groups, that hoteliers should definitely keep an eye on. 25% of the main holiday trips are family vacations and the boomers spend the most money on travel and hotels. In order to successfully address these target groups, the hotel offers must be adapted exactly to the guest and its needs. This is the only way to stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of the potential guest.

Focus On Needs Of The Target Group

That is why it is important to know the needs of your target group and focus on their demands. In Part 1 of our series “What Hotel Guests Want In The Digital Age”, we talked about the wishes and expectations business travelers have in hotels. Today, we are focusing on the needs of families and baby boomers, also known as silver surfers or the 50+ generation.

What Do Families Want In Hotels?

Families plan their holidays most frugally and consciously choose cheaper holiday countries. The most popular destination for families is Croatia. Prior to the vacation, they extensively look for Information about the destination and the hotel on the Internet. But the Internet not only used for the research. More than half of family holidays are booked online. Thus family vacations, together with city trips and active holidays, have the highest share of online reservations in comparison to other types of holidays.

Guest books hotel room online with a tablet

Less Stress During The Hotel Search

Planning a family vacation with everyone’s needs in mind is not easy and often involves a lot of stress. It can be easier if important information about the hotel and its surroundings can be found on the hotel website quickly. It is important to remember that the needs of families are mainly focused on children. Is there child friendly food and childcare at the hotel? What activities for children and families are nearby and how far away is the next doctor? This information not only helps with planning, but is also essential when choosing a hotel.

Recreation During Family Holidays

An overview of activities and services in the hotel as well as in the surrounding area, helps to plan the day on-site. With digital guest directories in the hotel rooms, such as the iQ Tab, children can surf on the Internet thanks to youth protection. It is also possible to directly integrate internal and external services in the guest directory that meet the needs of families. A trip to the swimming pool or a visit to the zoo can be booked directly from the hotel room using smart hotel information books. Thanks to these promotional partners, the guest directory is refinanced by itself.

Satisfied family is in the hotel bed in the hotel room

Enjoy Family Vacation In The Hotel Together

Two out of three people think, that spending time together with the family helped them to relax during the holiday. Stress and disappointments at the holiday destination, however, destroy the recreation factor. Long waiting times in the restaurant, for example, and the resulting stress for children, parents and your hotel staff can be prevented with the right planning. Give your guest the opportunity to make reservations for tables in the hotel restaurant via the digital guest directory. This makes it easier for hotel and restaurant staff to ensure that there are enough seats available for small and large groups at the right time.

The Hotel Assists With Planning

The needs of families are varied. The transportation to the airport, train station or the hotel should be well organized and family-friendly as well. With an information display in the hotel lobby, such as the iQ Display, your guest can quickly and uncomplicatedly call a taxi. The digital concierge informs and assists your guests at all times. Relieve your staff at the reception desk with digital assistants and provide your guest with information and insider tips 24/7. Such little things will not only be remembered positively by families.

Happy senior couple in the hotel room

What Do Baby Boomers Want In Hotels?

The needs of baby boomers changed due to the digitization regarding hotels as well. Who still thinks that the Internet is mainly used by the young generation, is mistaken. Almost 43% of Internet users are older than 50 years. The silver surfers not only use the Internet to stay in touch with friends and family, but the medium is also a helpful addition to their vacation planning. As a source of information for concrete travel planning, the Internet is with 54% slightly behind offline sources such as catalogues and travel agencies, which are used by 57%.

High Budget And A Lot Of Comfort In Hotels

Baby Boomers prefer nature and recreation holidays and want to enjoy as much comfort as possible. For 45% of travelers, doing without special services is not an option. They pay much more attention to quality and are willing to pay more for their holidays. With their planned holiday budget, the 50- to 59-year-olds with 2.631€ are far ahead of the younger groups and also the over 60-year-olds rank above average. In large, comfortably furnished rooms boomers feel particularly well.

Mature couple in hotel with smartphone

Good Connections Are Important

Pictures of hotel rooms on the Internet are a decisive factor for 84% of the silver surfers when choosing a hotel. Reviews on hotel rating platforms are taken into account by 80% when making a decision. In addition, the 50+ generation wants to stay online during their holidays. Four out of five baby boomers state, that free hotel WiFi is important. The need for an Internet connection is as important as the need for a good central location. By now, there are providers who offer solutions specifically made for the hotel industry, like iQ WLAN. To satisfy the primary needs of hotel guests, reliable wireless LAN should be part of the basic equipment of every hotel.

Expectations Of Baby Boomers For Hotel Bookings

Even if silver surfers do not want to miss Internet access, according to the ADAC Reisebericht 2018 17% prefer the travel agency over the Internet portal with 15%. Front-runner is with 27% the direct hotel booking through the accommodation provider. The needs of the 50+ generation changed over the time. More important than recommendations from friends are the cancellation conditions when booking a hotel – at least that is what 87% of the surveyed people say. With 71%, sustainablity in hotels is for baby boomers of greater importance than the offer of food and drinks in the hotel.

Digital guest folder with the cancel function for room cleaning

Sustainablity And Environmental Protection In Hotels

With digital solutions you can make your hotel more environmental friendly and sustainable. Let your guests cancel room cleaning with a digital guest directory and save water, detergents as well as staff costs. Or avoid wasting resources by creating a perfect climate in the hotel room with intelligent room control. Heating while windows are open and running air conditioning in unoccupied rooms are no longer a problem. Show the boomers that environmental protection is an important issue in your hotel and at the same time provide more comfort.

The Need For Electromobility In Hotels

In a study, the Scandic hotel group found that EV charging stations in hotels are among the needs of boomers. After all, the demand for electric cars has doubled since 2016. Although the need for EV chargers are more evident in younger generations, eight percent of the 50- to 64-year-olds also prefer a hotel, that provides the opportunity to charge their electric vehicle. With charging solutions adapted to the needs of the hotel industry, such as the iQ Charger, you offer your guests an additional service, that will make you stand out on the market. A trend, that will not stop in the coming years.


The needs of families and the 50+ generation regarding hotels changed in the past years because of digitization. Families hope for a relaxing holiday in which they can enjoy time together. Child-friendly offers in the hotel, that can be easily booked, faciliate the daily planning for families. Neither old nor young want to do without Internet in the hotel. Baby boomers prefer comfortable hotels, that value quality and sustainability. Stress can be avoided for families, baby boomers and hotel staff by integrating digital assistants, like a digital guest directory, into the everyday hotel life.

In the third and last part of our series “What Hotel Guests Want In The Digital Age”, we are talking about the needs and expectations of millennials and the Generation Z in hotels. The extent to which the preferences of these younger generations with an affinity for technology and who have grown up in the age of digitalization differ from those of baby boomers, families and business travelers can be found in Part 3.


ADAC Verlag (2018): ADAC Reise-Monitor: Trendforschung im Reisemarkt 2018, Seite 64

Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (2018): vir Daten und Fakten zum Online-Reisemarkt 2018

Holidaycheck AG (2018): Familienurlaub: Diese Dinge sind Familien bei einem Urlaub besonders wichtig

DAK-Gesundheit (2017): Forsa-Umfrage: Urlaub

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung e.V. (2018): daily digital facts: agof e. V. November 2018

Statista (2017): Wie wichtig sind Ihnen die folgenden Punkte bei der Auswahl eines Hotels für eine Privatreise? (nach Alter)

Kraftfahrtbundesamt und Aral AG (2018): Anzahl der Elektroautos in Deutschland von 2006 bis 2018 (2018): Scandic befragt Bevölkerung zu Hotel-Trends

Statista (2017): Wie wichtig sind Ihnen bei der Auswahl eines Hotels für eine Privatreise folgende Informationen?