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Know your guests - the ultimate guide for different age groups

How to cater to different generations?

Peace and quiet or hustle and bustle? Aromatherapy massage or kids’ pools? Fast internet access or soundproof spa? Do you know what your guests want?

Knowing the needs and preferences of your main clientele is essential for any hotel manager. If you know your guests, you can easily categorize them and tailor your marketing and sales activities based on the needs of different groups. In marketing, this is called customer segmentation. Processing of available guest records and segmentation plays a very important role in the hotel industry, but this task is somehow often pushed into the background.

In my blog post I’ll show you a simple segmentation method that requires only the birth records of your guests. Here is the generation-based segmentation...

Generation Z (1997-2012)

Gen Z is the youngest generation who can make independent travel decisions. They’re the first grown-up digital generation with characteristics radically different from their elders’. They have different needs, priorities, travel and entertainment -  and spending habits an they are also extremely informed thanks to the internet.

Gen Z  is a huge market and makes up 30% of the Earth’s population. They’re young and they love to travel. Exploration and experiencing new things are the most important things in their lives ,so Gen Z represents a huge business potential for tourism and hotel industry too.

Many of them work remotely so they can get their jobs done while traveling. Even after the Covid-19  travel restrictions, Gen Z's were the earliest international travellers. The are experienced globe-trotters, but many of them also look for special, exclusive and authentic places. They prefer to spend on experiences rather than expensive hotels. Technological innovations, stable and fast internet access are on the top of their wish list.

generation z

How to make your hotel attractive for Gen Z?

  • Co-working, co-living, workation, and staycation: if you’re not yet familiar with these concepts then it is time to look them up and how you can achieve them in your hotel. These are popular and beloved options by digital nomads.

  • Mobile-friendly online presence: “these young people are constantly on their phones” - so if you want to reach and address them, it's essential for your hotel to have a strong presence on mobile platforms such as mobile-optimized websites, or apps like GuestAdvisor.

  • Social media: These days Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Snapchat are one of the most effective marketing and sales channels without a doubt. Creating engaging content regularly on social media is crucial in winning over Gen Zs hearts.

  • Local relations: With authentic experiences and with the opportunity to connect with locals, you can make your hotel more attractive for Gen Z people. Organize volunteer programs or offer other opportunities to get them involved with the local community.

The Millennials, or Generation Y (1981-1996) 

Generation Y can be divided into two groups. Some people prefer to focus on their work and do not have a family yet. They’re typically guests traveling alone, with their partner, or with friends. They are the ones who want to recharge between two tiring work weeks. They usually vacay several times a year, but for shorter periods. Their average stay is 2-4 days long. A term has already appeared in the industry for these mini-holidays, namely “micro-cations”.

The other group is those who travel with their babies and children. They also stay for shorter periods, but their needs are different from the previous group. They usually look for baby and/or family-friendly hotel services.

generation y

How can you attract more Millennials?

  • Package deals: help them get the most out of their short vacation. Give them a unique and personalized offer. Promote the destination and the potential experience they could get, rather then your hotel’s services.

  • Pet-friendly hotel: Millennials and Gen Z people also like to take their pets with them during they holiday, so it could be big advantage if you run a pet-friendly hotel.

  • Personalized experiences: don’t forget to highlight the benefits and services of your hotel which are important especially for Millennials. Is there a vibrant cultural life in the area? Are there attractions that offer authentic experiences nearby? Make sure your guests know about them.

Generation X (1965-1980)

Two groups should be taken into consideration. Families traveling with older children or teenagers, and groups of friends or couples where children have already grown up. Members of this generation are more likely to travel  durign those periods where weekends or national holidays are included, thats how they are managing their limited paid holidays.

When choosing your target group, you need to consider not only the facilities and services of your hotel but also your other guests needs. If your hotel is known for its epic stag parties, this generation will probably not be the one you should be targeting.

generation x

Todo's when your target group is mainly Gen X-guests

  • Make it clear on your website and all your sales channels that your hotel is family-friendly.

  • Services should also reflect this, from high chairs in the restaurant, to animators and babysitters.

  • Make sure your hotel offers something for everyone. Babysitting and exciting games for the little ones or even discounted zoo tickets. A list of family-friendly restaurants can be also helpful for them.

  • Provide services and facilities in rooms that can attarct youngsters or even the whole family.

  • Organize events for families, such as game nights, kids’ club or anything that may be appealing for families traveling with children.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

This generation is close to retirement or is already retired. They typically have a bigger budget and more free time. This means that they travel more often and/or spend more money and time in a particular destination. They’re more likely to sign up for a loyalty program.

During their travels, they enjoy local experiences, visiting authentic restaurants and taking sightseeing tours. They typically look for a calm, quiet environment to relax. High comfort is important to them and they spend a lot of time inside the hotel. The availability of recreational and spa services plays a major role in their choice when it come to making a reservation in a hotel.

baby boomers

Todo's when your target group is mainly Baby Boomers

  • Organize everything for them, so they can concentrate on relaxing. Recommend guided tours by locals and provide a list with authentic restaurants nearby.

  • Provide services wellness, relaxation and recreation services.

  • Create your own loyalty program or join one. 

  • Work with the best providers and use high-quality products. Boomers set high standards, don’t give them a reason to complain.

Effective implementation of customer segmentation in a hotel setting based on generational differences involves gathering and analyzing guest data to understand the unique needs and preferences of each age group. This may include factors such as travel habits, spending patterns, preferred amenities, and communication channels. By segmenting guests by generation, hotels can tailor their marketing messages, service offerings, and guest experiences to better meet the expectations of different age groups.

Hotels can adapt their services, amenities, and marketing strategies to cater to multiple generations simultaneously by offering a range of options that appeal to different age groups while maintaining a cohesive brand identity. This might involve providing a variety of recreational activities and entertainment options, offering flexible dining choices to accommodate different dietary preferences, and ensuring that technology and communication tools meet the expectations of younger guests while still providing comfort and convenience for older guests. By balancing the needs of different generations, hotels can create a welcoming and inclusive environment that appeals to a broad range of guests.

If we learned something during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is that tourism is one of the most sensitive industries. It’s worth having a stable and diverse business to get through difficult times. If you are running a hotel, you can achieve this by targeting more than one guest type. With the right management and tools you can meet different needs and even become the favorite hotel for many generations.

Join us next week too as we introduce a more common form of segmentation that could redefine your overall sales strategy.

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