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  • Writer's pictureBernhard Lermann

Gen Z speaks: "No robots, please!"

Students shared valuable perspectives on the preferences and expectations of Generation Z at the 2023 Hotel Technology Forum

Gen Z-Podiumsteilnehmer teilten ihre Gedanken über Technologie und Hotels auf dem HTF 2023.
Gen Z panelists shared their thoughts on technology and hotels at HTF 2023. (Photo: hospitalitytech.com)

In a riveting panel discussion at the 2023 Hotel Technology Forum moderated by Daniel Kornick, CIO of Loews Hotels, seven university students shared illuminating perspectives on the preferences and expectations of Generation Z in the hospitality industry.


Here are the key takeaways of the panel discussion:


1. Marketing for Experiences: With a collective purchasing power of $140 billion, Gen Z values unique and fun experiences. According to Boran Kim from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, "Highlight what’s happening in the city where your hotel is located, create unique experiences that we can participate in while on property, and partner with local businesses to make our stay special."


2. Self-Service Balance: While open to technological advancements, Gen Z prefers the option to choose between self-service and high-touch experiences. Ilayda Zeynep Niyet from the University of South Florida emphasized, "If a hotel were to remove the human element entirely, this could lead to shame and anger among our demographic which could easily lead to poor reviews."


3. Lukewarm Reception to Robots: The panelists expressed a preference for robots to play a back-of-house role rather than interacting directly with guests. Chloe Johnson from West Virginia University stated, "I want to see a human at the front desk greet me with a genuine smile, not a robot. Robots are limiting because they can’t go beyond the codes they’re programmed with."


4. Divided Views on Voice Technologies: Opinions were divided on the integration of Alexa in hotel rooms. Halyna Horpynich from the University of South Florida voiced her concerns, "Alexa is so annoying! It’s always talking at the wrong time and interrupting conversations." In contrast, Noah Stalnaker from West Virginia University commented, "Our generation is more interested in voice technologies because it’s more convenient than having to constantly pick up a phone."


5. Meaningful Loyalty Rewards: Free hotel nights did not resonate with Gen Z. Dallas Jarrett from West Virginia University explained, "We want rewards that are meaningful to me as a consumer. Instead of a hotel night, give me a free ticket to a local experience while I’m staying on property or a discount at a local restaurant that serves my favorite food."


The panel discussion showcased the diverse and nuanced perspectives within Generation Z, underlining the imperative for the hospitality industry to adapt to their unique preferences in technology, marketing, and loyalty programs.



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