According to Phocuswright, Europeans spend a lot on travel activities—approximately €38 billion is the figure cited. And the increasing number of Segway tours, museum walks, and pub crawls being touted throughout cities around the world demonstrates that many areas of the tourism industry are scrambling to reap a share of the revenue.
How can the hospitality sector stake its own claim in this market?
The telling statistic from Phocuswright proves that travel activities market is expanding. The growth can in part be attributed to the booming share economy, in which local hosts play an increasingly influential role in how travellers spend their time and money while on holiday. It’s their hosts’ favourite hangouts, activities, restaurants, museums, and events that interest travellers looking for authentic experiences.
But hoteliers can also tap into the local scene and integrate it into their guests’ experience.
We’re not talking about traditional walking or Segway tours, bike adventures or attraction tickets—although these are also appealing. But rather, we’re referring to those activities that can only be done in your particular city, village, or region. An excellent example comes from Casa do Outeiro Tuias B&B in Portugal, on her quest to understand what makes or breaks the guest experience. Her findings are sound proof that hoteliers too can facilitate for their guests authentic engagement with their unique setting: one of the B&B proprietors put together a “personalized itinerary of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Douro,” including a private tour of an “otherworldly” vineyard. Douro, the picturesque setting of Casa do Outeiro, is famous for the vinho verde made in there, and thanks to her hotelier host, Jamie was able to visit the very source of one of her favourite wines.
By generating meaningful, strong ties between your hotel and its location, you’re improving your business on many fronts. The first and probably the most important thing is that you’re enhancing your guest experiences. Consumers are looking to take part in special activities that they’ll remember forever. Hoteliers who can recommend, facilitate, or even offer such activities make their guests’ stays even more satisfying, and set themselves apart from their competitors.
It’s important to consider market fragmentation when determining what activities to promote and offer, as your guests are diverse individuals with equally diverse interests.
Hoteliers can showcase the unique activities their guests can take part in on social media, via OTAs, and their own websites. It’ll pique the interest of potential guests and make your hotel even more attractive to them.
Some intriguing examples are this classic San Francisco photography tour in the fog, an intimate walk through the post-war, now bohemian Kreuzberg neighbourhood in Berlin, or a delicious truffle-making class with the finest Peruvian chocolate in Lima.
Finally, the relationships a hotelier builds with local businesses contribute to the community and enrichen the context to which the hotel belongs. Creating strong and lasting B2B connections with those around you fosters mutual development, as well as good marketing outlets for your own business. Whether hoteliers decide to promote those activities directly as part of their hotel offerings, or to recommend that their guests use websites such as GetYourGuide, Vayable, Context Travel, or LocalYoo, creating meaningful experiences and connecting their property with its environment and context will surely have a positive impact in many areas.