Travellers are always looking for that something special, the lure of a swimming pool next to a bar that served Mojito´s to pictures of beautifully cooked food or it could just be that they fall in love with a hotels walk-in therapeutic shower. For the traveller that is seeking inspiration or just a getaway from the daily stresses, they need to be captivated by what they see not only inside your hotel but also what is going on in your local area.
Having worked in hotels, one of our hardest battles is promoting the many great activities that take place in and around us. There is so much going on all the time, but to ensure your hotel is up to date is always difficult when there are so many other priorities. So how does a hotel provide a potential guest with that intoxicating view that makes them want to book that magical holiday or weekend break?
Here are five simple solutions that technology can you help
1. HD Webcam
Webcams have been around for a while now, but taking a continuous image of your best view from afar such as your swimming pool, view over the city or iconic monuments can set you apart from your competition. Guests like to feel they are already there. What is a better story than showing off your beautiful weather with your guests diving into the crystal blue water of your swimming pool! This technology can be embedded into your website, and as all the images are saved, they can be used in any marketing material or just shared on to your social media. Some great content to drive engagement. In this video below, you can see some examples of time lapse videos that auto-generated, which could be the perfect tool for that Mice agent looking for examples on how your hotel prepare events!
2. Virtual Concierge
Providing up to date information has always proved challenging, with then the task of having to get that information on to your web and other channels. Guests, once they have identified a possible destination like to research and see what is going on around your hotel, so the more information you provide, the more chance you have of convincing them to choose you. For a city like London, which has numerous tourist attractions. It is imperative that Hotels keep up to date information on their website. Companies like fiz.com offer hotels solutions in searching automatically and curating locally based content, which could save you a lot of time and resources.
3. Smartphone Apps
Once a client has reserved at your hotel, they are most likely to download your concierge app and discover the many great services you have to offer. I have covered this functionality in a previous article. The main attraction being that you can communicate with your guest via Push notifications, which at present have 90% readability rates, much higher than any email campaign, in order inform of any events taking place in your hotel or surrounding area.
4.Virtual Reality (VR)
Still a relatively new concept, but will allow your guests to experience first-hand what it is like to be on your terrace bar at night time with views overlooking Times Square, or what is a wedding would be like at your resort. We are already seeing destination bureaus starting to use this technology to get travellers a feel of what it is like in their part of the world. Marriott has already launched “VRoom Service,” which allows guests (Currently only available at New York Marriott Marquis and the London Marriott Park Lane) to order a Samsung Gear VR headset, which is brought up to their room for 24 hours. The devices, which run on Samsung’s Milk VR platform, come pre-loaded with three videos that Marriott is calling “VR postcards.” which promotes destinations such as Chile & Bejing.
5. A Blog
We have seen hotels slowly start to curate content on guest experiences within the local area. I believe that this is something all your staff can take part in, not writing the articles but provide opinions of local restaurants or recent visits to local monuments or museums, just make sure they take photos and videos of their experience. Airbnb is leading the way and has been highly successful about sharing experiences of cities or locations from a guest perspective. Marriott also launched there Traveller magazine traveler.marriott.com. This recent article goes into more detail on how to help you build a content marketing strategy.
I am sure you can think of other ways; the main thing though is that hotels & resorts have to be more adept in the way they promote their local area by being proactive and offering travellers visually compelling arguments coupled with useful information and personal experiences. After a stressful week at work, we sometimes need to be carried off to the place that takes us away from our daily routine. Ensure that your hotel & resort make it easy for them to get there.