Talking Turkey: Lessons Learned from Turkish Hospitality

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson President, Matuson Consulting | October 14, 2012

Those who know me well know that I love to travel. That's why I'm so keen on helping clients in the hospitality industry create memorable experiences for their guests. I'm fortunate in that I've been to more countries than I can remember, but I have never had the pleasure of visiting Turkey until this summer.

Hospitality is one of the cornerstones of Turkish life. The warmth, generosity, and attention to detail leave visitors like myself yearning to return. Here are some lessons direct from Turkey that can be translated easily by hotel providers in any country.

Reputation drives business

Travel decisions are being made today based on the advice of trusted friends (both real and social) and websites like the highly popular Tripadvisor. I can personally attest to the power of brand and reputation when it comes to the spending of tourist dollars, as these both came into play when deciding where to vacation this summer.

I first learned about Turkey when I asked my Facebook friends for recommendations on where to holiday with a family of four over summer break. I received an immediate reply from a friend, who also was a pilot for Continental Airlines, saying that his all-time favorite place was Turkey. How could I not trust the advice of someone who has flown around the world hundreds of times and has visited even more countries than me? He went on to talk about the gracious people of Turkey, and how hospitable everyone is in that country. I was intrigued. A number of friends chimed in with similar posts. A decision was quickly made, and we began the search for hotel accommodations.

Those in the hospitality industry know the importance of having others tout their wonderful experiences at their hotels. Few realize that the experience begins way before the guest ever arrives and continues long after people have departed.

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Coming up in November 2018...

Architecture & Design: Expecting the Unexpected

There are more than 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and the hotel industry is continually looking for new ways to differentiate its properties. In some cases, hotels themselves have become travel destinations and guests have come to expect the unexpected - to experience the touches that make the property unlike any other place in the world. To achieve this, architects and designers are adopting a variety of strategies to meet the needs of every type of guest and to provide incomparable customer experiences. One such strategy is site-integration - the effort to skillfully marry a hotel to its immediate surroundings. The goal is to honor the cultural location of the property, and to integrate that into the hotel's design - both inside and out. Constructing low-impact structures that blend in with the environment and incorporating local natural elements into the design are essential to this endeavor. Similarly, there is an ongoing effort to blur the lines between interior and exterior spaces - to pull the outside in - to enable guests to connect with nature and enjoy beautiful, harmonious surroundings at all times. Another design trend is personalization - taking the opportunity to make every space within the hotel original and unique. The days of matching decor and furniture in every room are gone; instead, designers are utilizing unexpected textures, mix-and-match furniture, diverse wall treatments and tiles - all to create a more personalized and fresh experience for the guest. Finally, lobbies are continuing to evolve. They are being transformed from cold, impersonal, business-like spaces into warm, inviting, living room-like spaces, meant to provide comfort and to encourage social interaction. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.