AccomNews recently published an article titled “Why it's important to let your destination shape hotel culture” that we thought would be good to share with you.
Hoteliers should try have their hotel’s culture reflect that of the local community to secure more bookings. This is due to the scenario that many travellers are seeking experiences of something new, authentic, and engaging. They expect it to be different from another city or home. While Airbnb is mostly entrenched within local culture, it is something hotels should take into consideration as they strive for more bookings.
What should hotels do to foster a cultural connection?
Depending on the property, the ways to achieve a greater affinity with the local community may vary and it’s a complicated process to find the right balance between providing luxury and giving guests a thorough connection to local culture.
The question seems to be; is it more important for guests to connect with your brand, or the culture in which your brand is situated?
Your hotel should respectfully reflect the culture, not exploit it, as people will be able to tell the difference. The last thing you want is to alienate guests with an insensitive experience. Your ultimate goal (although it may be hard) is to achieve authenticity.
Some brands are already doing this to varying degrees. Ritz-Carlton uses local food trucks on its premises while in New York. Roger Smith brings local shopping straight to guests with pop-up stores. And there are other, more extreme, examples across the world where the balance is tipped in favour of authenticity over brand character – but for the most part this is what travellers expect.
Note the Native American-themed Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. Guests want to be surprised and delighted by things they haven’t seen or experienced before.
If guests check in to a hotel in China and it feels the same as a hotel in Sydney, they’d be entitled to feel disappointed. Every hotel – even in a chain – should have a sense of its own charm based upon its location. It’s not only about catering to incoming traffic but also assimilating and feeling a part of the surrounding community.
Something that is also important to be aware of is local inhabitants’ negativity towards incoming tourism and big hotels, but this can be avoided if you make an effort to stay true to parochial values.
How will a cultural connection help hotels get ahead?
All travellers, even many business travellers will appreciate a taste of local flavour. The first step is to let the culture of your destination shape the design and decor of your hotel.
This way, your guests won’t feel like they’ve flown thousands of kilometres to sleep in the same city as the one they left. If your hotel is circumferenced by the iconic architecture, your hotel should feel the same, be it sweeping high ceilings or intricately woven corridors.
Another useful way is to create ‘culture’ packages that provide the guests with experiences of local cuisine, combined with visits to local shows and attractions that will immerse and educate them in a manner that can’t be emulated anywhere else.
Enriching your hotel culture with local influence can only end positively for guest and host alike and doing so will keep you in line with the progressive movements of the industry as a whole.
To read the source article, click here.