The International Traveler: Their Special Needs

By David Benton Vice President and General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel | October 28, 2008

The global travel market is one of the fastest and dynamic growth businesses on the planet. Not only are business travelers jetting around the globe attending to, and managing the globalization of commerce, but leisure travel is just as robust as the so-called 'tourists' look for more adventure and uniqueness in their limited free time.

How has the travel and hospitality industry adjusted to meet this insatiable demand for both business and leisure travel?

It was not too long ago, when the majority of business travelers visited London, New York, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong and Washington. Just visit any major airport and read the "Arrivals and Departures" boards to see the myriad of destinations that business travelers are flying in and out of...Surabaya, Yangon, Maputo, Cabinda, Porto Alegre Magnitigorsk... to name but a few of the destinations reachable by air.

Leisure travelers want a more fulfilling experience than going to an amusement park, strolling along a boardwalk or simply soaking up the sun. Climbing Macchu Picchu, diving on an ancient shipwreck in the South China Sea, or taking cooking lessons in a villa in Provence are today, quite typical of the experiences that travelers are looking for to maximize their free time with interesting content.

The enormous expansion of airline routes, cruise destinations and specialty travel operators and agencies has made what was once a dream vacation, become reality, as these travel-related businesses recognize and understand the new needs of the international traveler.

Not only have the transportation options become plentiful together with well-qualified travel specialists to offer expert assistance, but the variety of accommodation options has also multiplied.

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Coming up in June 2019...

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.