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Hotel success depends on local guests

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Hotel success depends on local guests

Hotel success depends on local guests

Local guests are the key to hotel success, claimed speakers at the Independent Hotel Show.

The speakers, from the Artist Residence Group, the Hoxton Holborn, Watergate Bay, and Aubrey Park Hotel, argued that the ambiance of authenticity created by local guests plays a key part in attracting tourists to stay. Ensuring a hotel is an integral part of the community will help to boost brand visibility and awareness. In addition, unlike tourists, local guests are around all year long, and so are a great way of advancing out-of-season sales.

However, it's not going to be your spacious rooms and comfortable beds that persuade the local community to visit. To attract the interest of local residents, a hotel needs to present itself as more than a place to rest one's head. PJ Kenny, general manager of the Hoxton Holborn, emphasised the need for a hotel to be "not just a hotel or a café or a restaurant. It's all that, in one".

The necessity for hotels to be "more than hotels" is a reoccurring theme in the industry of late. Only last week did the topic come up at the Annual Hotel Conference, where it was stressed that hotel restaurants are in competition not only with other hotel restaurants, but with every restaurant in the area.

And, unfortunately, they're often perceived as coming up lacking. Our own research, conducted earlier this year, reveals that service in hotel restaurants often falls short in the eyes of their guests. Only 22% of respondents believed hotel restaurants had the best trained staff in the hospitality sector, coming in behind independent restaurants and chain restaurants.

The panellists at the Independent Hotel Show discussed different ways they encouraged local guests to visit, from design and décor to locally-targeted events to offering facilities packages, but certain ideas kept emerging. Firstly, that hotel restaurants need to be able to stand alone, as though independent restaurants... and for that to happen, there must be the same monitoring of standards that hotels are subject to. And secondly, there needs to be an investment in the staff. PJ Kenny revealed that 90% of the staff at the Hoxton were hired, not for specific hotel experience, but for displaying a friendly demeanour.

With a reliable team that know how to engage and build relationships with locals, you can expect the word to spread quickly in the community that your hotel is an inclusive and welcoming place to be.

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