The guest experience has become more than just upgrades and fancy espresso makers in rooms. It’s become a phenomenon that touches every aspect of travel. For example, the amount that travelers are willing to spend on in-destination tours and activities is projected to be worth $266.7 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets.
That isn’t too surprising when we consider the sheer amount of tours and activities being touted in locations around the world, from an afternoon of sampling street food to a private tour with an art historian. Travelers are keen to splurge on this segment of the guest experience, and the market is more than happy to indulge them.
How can hoteliers integrate the local scene into the guest experience?
The growth in tours and activities can in part be attributed to the booming share economy, in which local hosts play an increasingly influential role in how travelers spend their time and money while on vacation. It’s the hosts’ favorite hangouts, activities, restaurants, museums, and events that interest travelers who are looking for a guest experience to remember.
We’re not talking about traditional walking or Segway tours, or attraction tickets—although these are also appealing. We’re referring to the activities that can only be done in your particular city, village, or region.
An excellent example comes from Casa do Outeiro Tuias in Portugal’s Douro region. To help guests feel an authentic connection to this picturesque environment, the owners put together personalized itineraries that take in all the sights, sounds and, best of all, the tastes of this famed wine-growing area (private tour of a vineyard included).
By generating meaningful, strong ties between your property and its location, you’re improving your business on many fronts. The first and probably the most important is that you’re enhancing the guest experience. Travelers are looking to take part in special activities that they’ll remember forever. Whether you recommend or even offer such activities, you’ll make their stay even more satisfying, all the while setting yourself apart from the competition.
One point to keep in mind is to consider market fragmentation when determining what activities to promote and offer. Your guests are diverse individuals with equally diverse interests.
To showcase the unique activities your potential guests can take part in during their stay, use your social media channels, your presence on partner booking sites and, of course, your website. You’ll pique their interest and make your property even more attractive to them.
Looking for some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing? A few intriguing examples include a San Francisco sunrise photography tour, an intimate walk through Berlin’s bohemian Kreuzberg neighborhood, or a delicious truffle-making class in Cusco with the finest Peruvian chocolate.
In the end, the relationships you build with local businesses contribute to the community and enrichen the context to which your property belongs. Strong and lasting B2B connections with those around you foster mutual development, as well as provide good marketing outlets for your business.
Whether you decide to promote activities directly as part of your offerings, or recommend guests use websites like GetYourGuide and Context Travel, you’ll be creating unforgettable experiences that connect your property to its environment. And that will surely have a positive impact on everyone.
Featured image by lordn on Adobe Stock: