The Chesapeake Point of View

Keeping it Local

Keeping it Local

December 04, 2017

When guests visit a hotel – whether for business, pleasure or an event – they are doing more than just checking into a room. They are travelers. 

Beyond the comfort and warmth of high-quality hospitality, virtually any stay will benefit from an immersive tie to its locale. Something that steps beyond the fundamentals of being a good host, and actively helps guests engage with the city or town where a hotel is based.

As the broader hospitality industry continues its remarkable period of growth, strategic localization is an increasingly key tool to differentiate from the competition and expand market share. Creating a sense of local that truly competes on the national and international online marketplace begins long before a guest arrives.

Take the Whitehall in Houston, a property that immerses travelers in a vibrant culture from the moment they visit the website. Rich video content that immediately pulls viewers into the dynamism of the city. Easy to navigate maps highlighting the best art hubs, museums, restaurants and parks. Ideas for business and pleasure travelers alike to make the most of their stay, combined with enticing photos.

This information isn’t buried in a drop-down menu, it’s front and center – clear, and impossible to ignore. Once a guest books, this experience is reinforced with a pre-arrival email. Getting readers excited about the trip and engaged in a sense of place, the email includes information on special events even basics like weather.  

Upon arrival at the hotel, guests are treated to classic southern hospitality and truly distinctive design. And that’s just the beginning - when it comes to local, this property dials it all the way up to 11.

Hand-crafted bourbon under an exclusive brand owned by the hotel. Artisanal coffee masterfully roasted on site. And, of course, bars and restaurants that can give any operation in Houston a run for its money.

These additions don’t just make for more authentic and memorable experiences, they significantly underpin the performance of the overall property. The investment in a roaster, or in private labelling small-batch bourbon, is nominal compared to the long-term return of operating a vibrant café, or becoming the must-try bar in the city. By creating more engagement points onsite, hotels keep the spending power of guests within the property - not at the café across the street.

How a guest remembers their local experience can also underpin marketing of the property. Tools like flip.to transform guest experiences captured in their photos and videos into active, strategic and impactful marketing.  Encouraging guests to share, leveraging and targeting what they post – can exponentially increase the awareness of and interest in a property.

Starting with the first touch point, delivering during a stay to capture more guest spending power, and leveraging after a stay to grow awareness of a property like never before. While the concept of local has always been a core component of hospitality, today it is more strategic and relevant than ever before.