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Hotel trends – millennials, green sustainable initiatives, technology

Meow Wolf Phoenix: Hotel, immersive art exhibition and music venue

Hotels are targeting millennials, prioritising green initiatives and advancing technology, according to a new Lodging Survey from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

The survey from AHLA assesses hotels and industry trends to see how hotels are advancing guests’ experiences.

It found that hotels are catering to millennials, focusing on community and convenience, creating functional shared spaces, with over 10 percent of luxury, upscale and midscale hotels implementing communal living spaces.

In January, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand aimed at millennials, Moxy Hotels, confirmed that it was expanding with six new openings.

Plans for a hotel, immersive art exhibition and music venue, Meow Wolf Phoenix, were also recently announced.

Health-conscious millennials are also having an impact, with a third of hotels offering sit-down food alternatives such as ‘grab and go’ markets, and higher priced hotels providing healthy dining options.

Millennials at hotels

  • Higher end chain hotels more likely to have communal rooms with shared living space
  • Food alternatives at hotels increased from 21% in 2016 to 31% in 2018
  • Higher priced hotels more likely to provide vegetarian and/or healthy menu options

Supporting green sustainable initiatives also remains important in the industry. As of 2018, 25 percent of US properties have received a Green Certification, the gold standard for hotel sustainability.

Linen and towel reuse is almost universal among hotels, and the majority of hotels have implemented a water savings program.

Going green

  • Green Certification in 2018 stands at 25%, up from 16% in 2016
  • Linen and towel reuse are nearly universal among affiliated hotels (94%-99% across chain scales), with independent hotels (83%) not far behind
  • About two-thirds of hotels within all chain scales report some type of water savings programme

On the technology front, more guests than ever are using apps to access hotel services, while using mobile devices as room keys has doubled in popularity. Mobile device check-in remains on-trend.


  • Using mobile apps to access hotel services is more popular than ever, up from 35% in 2016 to 40% in 2018
  • Hotels’ use of mobile devices as room keys moved from 6% in 2016 to 17% in 2018
  • Mobile device check-in popular among midscale or upscale hotels.

“The hotel and lodging industry is paving the way in innovation as evidenced by STR’s latest trend survey,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA.

“We continue to be laser-focused on meeting the dynamic and diverse desires of consumers, focusing on service and guest experience, as well as developing and enhancing our properties and workforce.”

Image: Meow Wolf

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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