Delivering a Great Guest Experience

By Sanjay Nijhawan COO, Guoman Hotels (UK) | June 06, 2010

The demands of guests have changed over the years, as travel for both business and leisure becomes more commonplace, our visitors are exposed to different experiences, quality and insights.

The internet and other new media channels have opened up the opportunity for people to share these insights so customers and potential guests have more information about hotels than simply the website, brochure and possibly a media review.

'Citizen Journalists' are the new influencers of consumer choice and they are continually looking beyond the expected for a memorable and different experience, either for business or leisure.

Therefore it is more important than ever that hotels consistently exceed expectations and ensure a quality stay.

1. Unique Service

As those of us in the hotel industry are only too keenly aware, good service should underpin the mission statement of all hotels. Getting it right, however, can be altogether more of a challenge and can mean the difference between success and failure.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.