Why do people travel? Is it to escape the mundane humdrum of their daily lives? Is it to experience new cultures, historical sites, or stunning scenery? The fact is, there are a million different reasons why travelers hit the road each year but one common thread unites all those with a yearning to travel – the notion that custom vacations and experiences help create the stories of our lives.
It is essential, then, that brands understand that crafting a unique and memorable hotel guest experience involves truly understanding what leisure travelers want in a hotel, what various segments of their customer base demands, and the best methods to reach their targeted market.
At the heart of any travel experience is a hotel or a resort worthy of a story. Let’s look at three unique ways to effectively craft a hotel guest experience and deliver truly customized vacations.
Tip #1: Know Your Guest
Developing a custom hospitality experience and creating guest memories that will last a lifetime is only possible when hotels first get to know their guests. When creating the ideal guest experience, it is important for hotels to understand the basic demographics of those who’ll end up reserving a room.
For example, once the hotel understands that two parents and three kids under ten will be staying for a week over the summer, they can then use this information to create a customized digital guidebook to the local area – complete with personalized dining recommendations and itinerary options suited to the ages and likes of each guest.
Hotels must also create a social strategy that enables them to learn about guests, speak to them on their own terms, and interface with them on the platforms they frequently use.
Instead of burying the restaurant menu deep in an amenities page of a website, post pictures of exciting food items, picturesque dining rooms, and luxurious ensuite dining moments on social media platforms like Instagram. Potential guests can post pictures or tag friends and traveling companions to these hotel experiences and begin crafting a custom vacation story.
Tip #2: Let Guests Do the Talking
Think marketing a hotel through traditional means is the way to curate a customized experience? It’s good to have a strong foundation, but the power is truly in the hands of the guest these days. The moment a hotel guest arrives, they’ll start telling their social story via pictures, videos, and online reviews.
Since this is an inevitability, embrace it! Hotels must know and leverage their brand, encourage guests to tell the story firsthand, and create a raving base of spokespeople.
This can be done through user-generated content, guest spotlights, and other interactive ways to help them share their stories with others.
Tip #3: Show, Don’t Tell
Crafting a hotel guest experience means you must appeal to a guest’s emotions. This can be done through pictures. Rather than a long description about the pool features, why not share pictures with fun captions that capture the audience’s attention? The possibilities of showing versus telling are becoming easier through the use of technology such as VR and livestreams.
Creating a memorable hotel guest experience is, ultimately, about understanding the specific likes and dislikes of the person who chose to reserve a room, what their travel preferences are, and how the hotel and custom hospitality can act as a central character in a guest’s unique story.