In modern times, the trend in resort development is “lifestyle branding,” which seeks to take the traditional resort and focus not on the amenities and the location so much as the “lifestyle” it promotes and caters to. This is a combination of self-image and aspiration, mixed with a bit of marketing flattery, and has seen the launch of several hotel and resort lines in recent years, such as the Hilton Canopy and Marriott Edition brands.
One of the greatest value-adds that an expert resort development consultant can bring to these sorts of projects is one key understanding: That today’s affluent travelers and resort customers are growing older and being replaced by a younger generation.
Resort Development and the Millennials
The craze for naming each generation began with the Baby Boomers. Boomers are aging into an elderly demographic, however, with their descendants, the so-called “Generation X,” becoming the mature, affluent professionals who resorts have catered to in recent years.
The smart resort development consultant knows, however, that right behind Generation X are the Millennials, who until recently have been regarded as youths with little buying power and fickle brand loyalties. However, all generations age, and Millennials are now becoming the group that “lifestyle branding” markets to. These younger people are advancing in careers and while they are not yet as materially comfortable as Gen-Xers, they are “up and coming.” And it is a very large group—approximately the same size as the Boomers.
Planning for the Future
This means that new resort developments need to be designed with Millennials and their tastes in mind, as they will become ever more important in the market, eventually becoming the bulk of the market, as Generation X ages. And then of course, the new generation just being born will begin to take over from there.