When guests arrive at your hotel, they expect a comfortable stay. But 81 percent of them are also expecting your hotel to recommend authentic local experiences outside of the hotel walls. In addition, a top travel trend for 2022 involves integrating hyper-local destination content into apps.
By connecting with businesses and people in your local community, and incorporating local dining and activities into your hotel app, you satisfy your guests’ desires, improve the well-being of your city, and capitalize on one of the most effective marketing strategies you can employ. Here we examine ways you can use your hotel application to build local connections, and top benefits these connections can provide.
Use your hotel app to connect with your local community
An advanced hotel application provides opportunities for guests to learn about and book activities and services from area businesses. This helps the community see that your hotel is engaged and vested in promoting the local tourism industry and economy.
Some great ways to implement this tactic include:
Discover which local dining establishments are pet friendly, offer live music, or are known for their mouthwatering regional dishes. Use your app to create targeted lists that steer guests toward these local eateries, perhaps even partnering with them to offer a special discount when guests book reservations through the app.
Learn which local vendors or tour operators showcase a product, event or experience that’s unique to your region, and create mobile-friendly digital ads to promote them.
Send out staff to visit local museums, popular sites, walking/biking tours and area attractions so that you build relationships with local businesses, and empower staff with the ability to make informed suggestions when live-chatting with guests via your app.
And because apps offer the ability to update offerings in real time, your guests can discover and book different activities while on the go, offering a unique hyper-local experience that is dynamic and on-demand.
Benefits of connecting with your local community
Aside from contributing to the overall well-being of your city, there are other benefits that arise from connecting with your community.
By becoming more involved in and supportive of your local community you will naturally increase brand awareness for your hotel, allowing you to capitalize on valuable word-of-mouth referrals. For instance, if a visitor to the area stops at a restaurant and is looking for a place to stay, restaurant staff are more likely to remember and recommend the hotel that regularly sends guests their way versus simply pointing out one that is nearby. And even for the local population, while they may not necessarily need a room, your hotel will be first to come to mind when they need a place to meet, eat or host a business event.
Hotel brands often have a global, not a local perspective. And today’s hotels are often separated from their surrounding communities. Forward-thinking hotels seek ways to merge global brands with local roles within their communities. Doing this increases goodwill towards your hotel, which can extend to your overall brand as well. As an example, if someone from your community travels outside of it, they may consider booking a hotel within the same brand family purely because of the positive connection they have with your hotel.
New revenue streams
When you increase your connections by teaming up with local businesses, these symbiotic partnerships help you both expand your audiences, empowering you to reach people you may not have reached otherwise. It also helps boost revenues by expanding the activities your hotel provides. For instance, you could partner with local fishermen to provide customized excursions for guests, or connect with a local chef to teach a class on how to make a regional specialty.
Stand out from your competition
It’s likely you’re not the only hotel in your area. When you take the necessary steps to connect with your local community, it shows that you care about your city and also helps you create a unique local flare for your property. You’ll be top of mind when local businesses are asked for hotel recommendations. Plus, you’ll create a significant point of differentiation for your hotel, letting you stand out from your competition in a positive way.
Interested in developing an app that benefits your local community as well as your business?