By John Smallwood
Promoting local experiences might lead to more direct bookings.
If you have 60 seconds, I have 300 words that might help at the NOI line.
For many people, going on vacation has become about far more than finding a hotel with the best facilities, rooms and amenities. Increasingly, travelers are prioritizing authentic experiences and local encounters in the destination they visit. This is clearly illustrated by the success of AirBnB.
These experiences often translate into simple but rewarding moments: finding a hip live music venue, a trendy gourmet coffee shop, a quirky art gallery, or a little-known restaurant that locals rave about.
Regardless of specific interests or preferences, what unites a growing number of travelers is a desire to plug into the local scene and live it authentically. By promoting destination highlights and local landmarks and attractions through their own website, hotels can take advantage of a desire for a more immersive travel experience.
A small number of hotels are now integrating virtual guides into their website to showcase local sights and attractions. These interactive pages feature images, maps, and useful information that help travelers plan their entire trip — removing the need to consult countless websites to research the destination’s top attractions.
Maintaining a regular blog is also an easy way to inspire and inform customers as they begin to firm up their travel plans. This might involve posting content about the best hiking trails, family-friendly restaurants, live music events or gourmet food festivals.
More than ever, travellers want authentic local encounters when they’re on vacation. And they spend endless hours researching to plan for these moments. By providing guests with insightful advice and content about your hotel’s neighborhood, you can make their planning easier and spark a sense of wanderlust that increases the chances of them booking with you direct.
This is one in a series of short essays by John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook Premium Reservations Call Center about voice reservations, the second most profitable revenue channel. Travel Outlook is a hospitality company that takes voice reservations calls for its clients.