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How are you helping your guests to have a ‘local’ experience?

How are you helping your guests to have a ‘local’ experience?

It’s official: travelling like a tourist is out, and living like a local is in. Hotel guests want a more authentic experience when they book a stay. But what’s behind this trend, and what can hoteliers do to make sure guests get what they’re looking for?

What do you offer guests when they book a stay? A room or an experience?

When guests book a break, they crave a great experience, or – more specifically – a great local experience.

You know as well as I do that everyone’s time is precious. We are all busy people.

So, when someone gets a chance to escape for a night or two, they want everything to be just right. There’s no room for error (aka, a bar with no atmosphere, a restaurant with poor service or a disappointing cup of coffee).

They want to have a choice of where to stay, but they also want guidance once they’ve booked. The continuing popularity of review sites proves this is the case!

Helping them plan their stay

Even if a guest has done plenty of research on a local area, they’re still hoping someone will tell them where to eat or drink, or at least point them in the right direction.

In the same way many Airbnb hosts provide guests with local information through welcome packs, hotels need to work on their personalised service – whether it’s a list of their top three pubs for craft beer, the best bars for espresso martinis or the team’s favourite places to go for a hearty Sunday roast.

Local knowledge can be especially handy for city breaks. Cities are busy places; bars get crowded and restaurants get fully booked. If a hotel is able to take the initiative and book a few key stop-offs for a guest over the course of their stay, that guest will undoubtedly thank them for it.

This personalisation can even start before a guest arrives. On booking a room, there’s an opportunity to offer to reserve the guest a table at a local restaurant. And believe me when I say, plenty of guests will jump at the idea. They’d much rather have their stay mapped out for them (to an extent), eliminating the risk of ending up in a restaurant simply because it’s the only place with a table for two.

When life’s so hectic, it’s a treat to have someone else consider all the different options and take control. I know it sounds good to me…

Training is key

Larger hotels will often employ a concierge to give guests recommendations and advice relating to their stay. Smaller hotels don’t always have that luxury, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take their guest experience up a level.

The key is making sure that every member of staff is bought into the idea of offering insider knowledge – and is enthusiastic when giving that information to the right people.

By employing local people and offering them the right training and flexibility, front-of-house staff can give guests the attention they require and guests will benefit from a wealth of local knowledge.

Everyone working in a hotel should be proud and knowledgeable of the city or area they work in and be able to talk to guests in an enthusiastic and passionate way. A lot of this has to do with recruitment and training processes: staff need to learn how to read guests so they can appropriately guide them towards what they want to do in a respectful way. Gauging what each guest wants will make the best experience for that individual. After all, each guest is different, and while one might want to be left alone, another might be keen to get to know your hotel’s team.

Want to help enhance your guest experience and improve the way you train your staff? Get in touch with our team of hospitality experts today on 01225 470999 or enquiries@hgem.com.

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