Travel has often been about escape and relaxation — lazy days on the beach, soaking up the sun and sipping margaritas. But recent travel trends have shifted from escape to experience — specifically more immersive, adventurous and authentic experiences.
There are huge opportunities in the hotel space to provide ‘new experiences’ for your guests. When I read about the big players like AirBnB spending lots of money and leading their communication with these ‘experiences’ we know how important it is to guests. The opportunity for boutique hotels is to have their own conversation with their guests and audience.
What are your ‘best kept secrets nearby’, ‘most amazing hole-in-the-wall coffee spots’? The things only you as a local know that guests can connect with? These simple things can totally be the difference why someone chooses to book with you. The most frustrating thing I see is everyone offering 10% off, it is what everyone else is doing, where is the creative value in it for the guest, what experience is being promoted?
Essentially, experiential travel means steering clear of tourist hotspots and exploring the lesser known gems to achieve a more genuine and local sense of a region.
The opportunity for guests is that by tying experiences, learning, and emotions to their travels, they come away with an altered perspective of themselves and the world. This also adds hugely to the referral of who, what and where they went through social, word of mouth with friends and family.