3 ways the hotel industry is future proofing for new generations of guests
BOI Payment Acceptance shares insights into ESG, streamlined payment experiences and digital mediums
BOI Payment Acceptance
IHF Associate Member

Ireland continues to galvanise its reputation for best-in-class hospitality and, with eyes on the future, the sector must also ensure it keeps pace with the preferences of future demographics of guests, along with today’s customers.

Generation Alpha, anyone born in or after 2010, is one of Ireland’s largest demographic groups, and Gen Z, consumers about 18 to 26 years old, account for just over a fifth of our population. Both groups experiences and preferences are being shaped by the digital age and, with the latter already a key contributor to the economy, the hotel sector is streamlining its approach to guest experiences now to future proof growth and a sustainable bottom line.

Here’s three key areas the sector is engaging with to ensure they’re following profit boosting trend.

1. ESG - Sustainability and the hotel sector

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is forming a massive part of hotel strategy. Influence has already been growing among hotel owners, investors and lenders to adopt ESG principles when planning. The now and next generation of traveller will look to an establishment’s ESG practices when making accommodation choices. These can include:

  • Reducing single-use consumption
  • Waste reduction
  • Improving energy conservation
  • Supporting local businesses and communities

Generation Z consumers also exhibit a higher willingness to pay more for environmentally sustainable hotels.

2. Tuning into digital mediums - Go where your customers are

Over a third of Gen Z’s spend more than four every day on social media and, looking at millennials too, 20% admit that hotel and travel images on social media influence their booking decisions.

Businesses’ capability to adapt their messaging and approach for digital mediums with a consistent online voice will keep an audience of potential visitors readily engaged. It also allows for a greater and more encompassing reach with a range of approaches to support engagement:

  • Email campaigns with special offers
  • Posting shareable social media content
  • Highlighting an establishment's additional services and amenities
  • Collaboration with influencers
  • Incorporating more video content into posts and updates
  • Publishing content related to the local area, community and businesses around hotel premises
  • Sharing positive guest experiences and reviews

The consolidation of online engagement also means word of mouth recommendations have taken on a digital dialect, with guests likely to share photos/ videos of their stay online or through social apps like WhatsApp to friends and family.

3. Streamlined payment experiences - offering efficiency and convenience

Turning platforms into payments with pay by link solutions

If digital mediums have the ability to turn demographics from viewers into visitors, the next natural step is to transform digital platforms into payment opportunities.

Pay by link solutions are delivering streamlined payment experiences for customers with businesses able to send a payment link though email and text. Products like BOIPA Collect offer added value to these payment avenues with additional functionality allowing personalised messaging, live payment tracking, payment reminders and the ability to take payments over the phone too. This is taking hassle out of payments for guests and business owners, while supporting a better return for hoteliers.

Serving the digital wallet generations

Digital wallet usage is already playing a leading role in how people are paying. 42% of all contactless transactions were made through a digital wallet in 2023, with all counties adopting the payment medium as the year progressed and physical cards became more out of sight. Key drivers in this increased uptake have been:

  • The growing awareness that there’s no contactless limit when making a payment.
  • Advanced security measures, encryption, tokenization, and biometric authentication etc., have increased the security around mobile wallet transactions.
  • Mobile devices are now always at hand with about 9 in 10 Irish adults owning a smartphone.

With future demographics being digital natives, this is only going to grow with digital payments being second nature rather than an adopted preference as it has been for current generations.

Mobile payments offer payment opportunities at all touch points

The latter point speaks to a reality where mobile payments and mobile commerce (mCommerce) are no longer niche payment options. Improved payment capabilities on mobile devices have acted as catalysts that has moved mobile payments into mainstream consciousness. With most hotels now offering additional services, there's extra importance on their capacity to accept electronic payments at various touch points and meet guests' payment expectations. The opportunity to pay through an app, book through a portal or use QR codes can level up guest experiences and encourage a higher return from customers.

Getting in touch

Reach out to BOIPA today to speak with them about taking card payments or follow them on LinkedIn.

Irish Hotels Federation | Working Together