To maintain a competitive business proposition hotels need to be attentive to the needs of guests. Understanding the specific and varied desires of global travellers is paramount to providing world-class service.
Once you have this knowledge you can develop creative strategies that set you apart from competitors and give guests a reason to talk about, and return to, your hotel.
Here are four ways you can set a higher standard for hospitality when international visitors come to stay:
1. Give guests control over your brand culture
Instead of telling guests what they will experience when they visit your hotel, let them shape the direction of their stay. By extension, this will also help contribute to your brand image and potentially improve the reputation of your hotel.
To do this you need to enable a social, intimate, and networked environment where there is a constant buzz around the property. Consider the following tips:
- Repurpose spaces
Instead of a normal hallway, why not implement a mini art installation as guests roam your hotel?
- Facilitate positive interactions
Give your guests the opportunity to attend a bingo night where they can win prizes such as bar and restaurant vouchers, or amenity discounts.
- Create a social platform
A Facebook group specific to the guests staying at your property will encourage networking, meet-ups and a social atmosphere for guests who don’t want to be cooped up in their rooms when they’re not out and about.
Essentially, you should always gear activities towards giving your guests a chance to interact with each other and also your staff.
Instead of telling guests what they will experience, let them shape the direction of their stay
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2. Emphasise the creation of valuable hotel experiences
Don’t be afraid to experiment to ensure you’re always presenting a fresh experience for guests. Travellers increasingly value experiences over materials or products so you should allow them to customise their own stay.
For example, some guests may prefer a downstairs room, later breakfast, or 24-hour gym access. Providing these choices will make the guest feel like they’ve had a more personalised stay.
You can also give guests a lasting experience by letting them purchase hotel features such as glassware, linen, or soap, and sending them home with interior design guides they can try themselves.
3. Create flexible and unique property spaces for long-term guests
You may want to pay closer attention to those guests who book for longer periods of time, visit frequently, or require more flexibility than the average traveller. Most often this group will be characterised by business travellers or families.
If you are targeting these travellers you’ll need to foster an environment that promotes work, play, and relaxation. It’s also important to remember you don’t have to be in the heart of your destination, but where your guests want you to be. For instance, many business travellers enjoy a hotel that has close proximity to the airport.
Spaces within the hotel, such as under-utilised common areas, could be transformed into co-working areas or retail spaces for local businesses. Designing the hotel as a set of interconnected spaces, instead of a single centralised hub, will give guests more flexibility and choice about how they enjoy their stay.
4. Embrace the strengths of your property’s destination
Demonstrating cultural awareness and sensitivity at your hotel will impress local and international travellers alike. Guests are looking for meaningful ways to engage with the local flavour of their destination so you will want to help them do this by incorporating it into your property.
Here are some things you can do at your hotel:
- Open space for a farmer’s market or other similar activities
- Collaborate with other companies to promote things like educational forums, public events, and exhibitions
- Incorporate the work of local designers, artists, and craftsmen into the spaces of the hotel
This will increase the authenticity of your hotel and make guests want to spend more time there, giving you an opportunity to earn more revenue.
To find out in more detail what creative strategies you can adopt at your hotel in the future, take SiteMinder’s Interactive Quiz today.