The travel industry is one of the world’s most robust. In the United States alone, leisure travelers generated more than $380 billion in 2017. As the economy continues its confident, forward motion, there is every reason to expect even more growth in the years ahead with plenty of cause for optimism throughout the hotel sector.
Yet one thing is for certain, the average consumer has become a lot savvier and will demand a great deal of the hotelier for their hard-earned tourism dollar. They will want to make sure that the property is well configured and can meet their every need, and furthermore, will expect to find technology that also matches their expectations.
Before you fling open your doors to those customers, you need to focus on five crucial areas that matter most to leisure travelers if you want to get your slice of that ever-growing pie.
All your leisure visitors will be looking for a unique experience. They want to create a raft of memories to take home with them and will expect to find more than simply a hotel room and standard amenities. Consequently, you need to focus on giving them what they want by capitalizing on your location and unusual attributes or USPs. If you’re struggling to leverage any of those, you will need to come up with some new ones. This may require a great deal of creativity so get to know the buyer persona of your average customer well to inform your strategy.
For example, you can cater to older travelers, who may be looking for integration rather than independence. If so, why not create dance lessons or a group activity each evening so your guests can mingle with people who have a similar interest and foster new relationships?
You cannot expect to maximize your potential as a hotel property if you do not offer dining options to your guests. Once again, be familiar with the average needs of your guests and provide a variety of different solutions for each part of the day. You may not need to focus too much on breakfast time if you cater for the younger set, but you will definitely need to have late-night service or a snack bar that is open 24/7 for all those night owls. Remember, people are outside of their regular schedule when they are on a vacation, so don’t expect them to eat at “traditional” times. They will be disappointed if your facilities are closed when they are craving something to eat.
Leisure travelers will want to explore the hotel’s facilities, especially if it happens to be a rainy day outside. Ensure that you have a well stocked, clean and up-to-date gym, swimming pool and other facilities, and not something that is just “adequate.” Furthermore, ensure that your steam rooms and spas are professionally staffed and offer first-rate service, especially if this is a separate cost for you and you expect to earn dedicated revenues. Foster relationships with off-site facilities as well like your nearest golf course or trail riding company so you can offer “special” rates to your guests and create a good impression.
Gone are the days when you can offer connectivity as an afterthought. Everybody wants to check their email or social media, even when on vacation. You must ensure that you provide high-speed Internet connections throughout the property. Furthermore, make it easy for them to log on to Wi-Fi with a simple password. Don’t make them log back on every five minutes should they move away from their device as this is guaranteed to annoy. Don’t think about charging for the service either as it should be one of your included services.
You may have long since given up on the humble bedside telephone as a profit center and understand that most guests simply do not make use of it, apart from the odd call to reception for an ice bucket. However, you need to replace this old-fashioned device with a customized smartphone and make this available to your customers instead.
These phones are specially designed to help the average guest enjoy their stay even more and look just like the phone that they are carrying in their pocket or bag. However, this device can be more than a valuable resource for the guest, but also a profit center for the hotel in its own right.
This type of solution offers your guests the chance to make free and unlimited calls to international destinations, in addition to domestic contacts. It provides 4G connectivity and a high-quality link so they can use this device rather than their own and, potentially, avoid any roaming fees from their provider.
The device is specially configured with information relevant to your hotel and surroundings. In short, it can double as a tourist guide that will help them explore. In addition, they’ll be able to use the device to book room service, schedule some time at a spa, operate the in-room TV, turn on the air conditioning and so much more.
When you focus on providing this type of service, make sure that you choose high-quality and impressive devices so your guests are inclined to interact. They should be configured with an operating system that is easy to work with and has multi-language support. Remember, this is also a chance to enhance your corporate message so you can customize a welcome greeting or other detail which they will see every time they switch it on.
Five Chances to Shine
If you’re in charge of promoting a hotel and maximizing room occupancy, you need to ensure that you stand apart from all your peers. Focus on these five areas and you will do just that.