Pillow Mints and Pumpkins: A Hotelier’s Guide to Halloween

The summer is ending here in the Northern Hemisphere. We hope it was a good (and profitable) one. But there isn’t any rest for a hotelier, so it’s time to turn your attention to the fall. With the busy season slowing down you should start thinking about new ways to boost occupancy and generate buzz for your property. And there’s a holiday around the corner that could help you do just that: Halloween! Just like Valentine’s Day and Easter, with a little imagination, this occasion can be a great marketing (and revenue-generating) opportunity for your business. Read on for ideas on how your lodging operation can make the most of this spooky holiday.

Throw a party

This one’s a no-brainer. Everyone loves a good Halloween party. And you can go as big (or as small) as makes sense for your property. Looking for a little bit of inspiration? The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver hosts a 6-ballroom party at their historic property. In the past, they’ve had haunted mazes, amusement park rides, illusions, and even a comedic conjuring of the hotel’s famous ghost—The Lady in Red. Ace Hotels Los Angeles has included Tarot card readings, aura photography and costume contests at their past events. And Hotel del Coronado in San Diego hosts an annual “Hallo-wine and Spirits” party. It’s a fun holiday with unlimited potential, so be creative!

Host a murder mystery

If you’d like to plan an event that’s a little smaller in scale, why not host a murder mystery dinner? The Stanley Hotel in Colorado (known for its role in the movie The Shining) did just that in 2017. Guests dressed up to compliment the 1920’s mafia theme of the event and partook in a 4-course dinner and murder mystery activity. It’s a great way to celebrate the spooky occasion. And if it’s a hit, you can always turn it into a weekend-long affair like these hotels.

Screen a spooky film

If you’re looking for another way to deliver a festive fright, consider screening a scary movie at your property. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. And depending on your space and location, you could set up the screen indoors or out. But whatever you choose, don’t forget the spooky decorations or Halloween-themed treats.

Decorate pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is an activity you can offer to your guests (and community members) that’s appealing to all ages. And you can make it as extravagant as you want. A few years ago W New York offered guests the chance to have their selfie carved into a pumpkin by the famous pumpkin-artist Hugh McManon. But if that seems like too much, you could also create a pumpkin carving competition on social media. Participants can submit photos of their best creations, and the winners can receive a free night stay at your hotel. It won’t provide the revenue of hosting an actual event, but it’ll create some good online buzz for your property.

Offer a themed package

If you are going to offer Halloween-related activities and amenities, be sure to create a themed package for the occasion. In addition to a night (or two) stay, you can include tickets to the events, meals, complimentary candy—anything that makes sense for your property. The Hay Adams in Washington DC offers a stay in their “Transylvania Suite” which comes decked out in cobwebs, skeletons and other creepy decorations. The package also includes a selection of horror movies to choose from and 3-course meal.

Halloween is an exciting holiday with a lot of potential. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your creative juices flowing, so take advantage of it! You’ll be rewarded with new revenue streams and great promotional material for your website and social media channels. Have fun!

Remarketing: How It Works and Why You Should Do It

Of all the people that visit a hotel’s site, only 2% (on average) end up making a booking. So, while it might feel like getting traffic to your website is good enough, the job doesn’t end there. A huge percentage of people who show interest in a property don’t follow through. That’s a lot of missed opportunity. So, how can you mitigate the effects of website abandonment? Answer: remarketing.

What it is

Remarketing is when a brand attempts to re-engage with consumers who have already shown an interest in their product. If, for example, a user visits a website for a hotel and then leaves without making a booking, remarketing allows ads for that hotel to appear on other sites that user visits. The idea is that they’ll be reminded of their original interest and return to complete the booking. And it works. Website visitors that are retargeted are 70% more likely to complete a booking.

How it works

A small piece of code (called a pixel) on your website is used to install cookies on browsers that visit it. The cookie then “follows” that user around the internet and displays ads to them. Targeted ads can be displayed online, by email, or on social media channels. Depending on where in the booking funnel they were before abandonment, those ads can be simple logos to maintain awareness or specific offers for rooms and rates.

Why it’s a good idea

Remarketing is a cost-effective way to spend your marketing dollars. The money is being directed at consumers that have already shown an interest in your product, so ROI is high. It also allows you to offer differentiated offers. If someone has abandoned a booking, you can target them with a discounted rate without making it available to the general public. And for that reason, you won’t have to worry about rate parity issues with OTAs. It’s a great way to incentivize potential guests and win more direct bookings.

Tips for success

Choose pages carefully >> When you’re choosing pages of your website to put pixels on, pick ones that are relevant to the booking process (at least in the beginning), so you can target the customers that are the most serious. This can be landing pages for special offers, the availability calendar, booking engine, etc. And then target them with ads that make sense for where they are in the marketing funnel.

Use frequency caps >> When remarketing to potential guests, you want them to be subtly reminded of your property, not feel inundated by it. So use frequency caps to control how often your ad appears to a guest.

Personalize the emails >> Email ads feel a lot more invasive than those displayed on websites, and social media feeds. So when you send them, they need to be valuable to the guest. This can be achieved by making the emails personalized. If a guest abandons a booking after selecting a room and dates, the email can include the relevant information. For example, you might send an email that says “we noticed you were interested in a [UNIT] for [DATES]” with a “Continue Booking” call-to-action button. It’ll make the email useful to the recipient and feel less like spam.

Send them soon >> If you are using email retargeting, send the first one within three hours of booking abandonment. Emails sent in this time frame average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

 

Remarketing is a powerful strategy to increase customer engagement and drive bookings. Consider giving it a try, so you don’t miss out on any potential guests. Good luck!

A Hotelier’s Guide to Creating Effective Video Content

When creating digital content for your website and social media channels, video cannot be overlooked. It has become the key to online engagement. In fact, video is expected to account for more than 80% of all web traffic by next year. So, if you want to stay competitive, you need to hop on board. Here’s a quick guide to creating compelling video content:

Content

For marketing collateral to be effective today, it can’t look like it did in the past. People no longer trust overt advertisement, and video content is no exception. So steer clear of anything too “sales-y.” It’s not going to land, and users will simply scroll by or click away. If you want people to watch your video, it needs to be valuable for them not just promotional for you. That means making it entertaining, moving, or educational. Curious what that looks like? This video for La Sirenuse and this one for Bugatti Hotels and Resorts, are both excellent examples of the kind of content that works in today’s climate.

Length

There’s some debate about how long a marketing video should be. And it’ll vary depending on the type of video you’re producing and the platform you plan to publish it on. Instagram videos, for example, should stay around 30 seconds as it’s the channel that users scroll through the fastest. Content made for YouTube, however, can be longer. But try and keep it under two minutes as a rule of thumb. Attention spans are short these days and videos longer than that generally see large viewership drop-off.

Production

Thanks to social media, effective marketing material has a much more personal and casual tone. So, you can forgo a stiff, corporate feel but it still needs to be professional. And that professionalism comes from production quality. When making video content, you need to pay attention to things like lighting, audio, and editing (to name a few). If not done well, viewers aren’t going to take your brand seriously. All things considered, it’s likely you’ll want to hire outside help. But if you choose to do it yourself, make sure to use the right equipment and follow these product tips.

Publishing

Video content can be used on all your marketing channels. The length and content might need to vary a bit (as mentioned earlier), but Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all platforms where video thrives. So, take advantage of them. And be sure to embed it in your property’s website to encourage users to stay longer (making a conversion more likely). You should also consider including video content in your email campaigns and on your landing pages—which has been shown to significantly improve click-through and conversion rates, respectively.

Optimization

You invest a lot of time and money into making video content, so it’s imperative you do everything you can to optimize its impact online. For YouTube, this means creating a punchy title that grabs users attention, including a short but informative description, and choosing appropriate tags to help users find your videos in searches. If you’re embedding video on your website, you’ll need to create a video sitemap. This provides search engines with the necessary information they need (such as video title, description, URL, etc.) to index your videos appropriately.

 

Video is a powerful medium that has become an integral part of digital marketing across all industries. If you want to maximize engagement online, it’s something will have to invest in. But make sure you do it right. Poorly produced content that undermines credibility could be worse than no videos at all.

Selling the Experience: How to Market Effectively to Today’s Travelers

A recent study conducted by Expedia and The Center for Generational Kinetics, found that 74% of Americans value experiences over things. That’s great news for the hospitality industry as most of those people are planning to travel in pursuit of those experiences.

So how can you capitalize on the emerging “experience economy”? For these travelers, the memory is the product. You need to adapt your marketing material to reflect that. It’s not enough to simply advertise a luxurious bed or first-rate amenities. You need to showcase the unique travel experiences that guests will have at your property. Here’s how:

Create video content

Video has become a powerful marketing medium across all industries. It improves SEO and boosts conversions—one study even suggests that including video content in a landing page can increase conversions by 80%. It’s also an ideal tool for showcasing experiences. If used correctly, the dynamic medium can inspire viewers and help them imagine what a stay at your property would be like.

Create videos that portray people experiencing everything your property has to offer (with #travelinspo footage of events and other highlights) and post them across your digital channels. Once viewers start picturing themselves laughing with friends over a drink on the patio, or kayaking peacefully on the lake out front, for example, they won’t want to book anywhere else.

Promote your destination

For most travelers, the destination is the draw. They’re looking to explore and experience the local culture. So, you should promote your locality as well as your property. Sharing helpful information about things to do and see in your area shows a commitment to experiential travel that guests will appreciate. And demonstrating your local expertise will earn their trust. Guests want to stay somewhere connected to the community with insider tips for getting the most out of their holiday.

Share UGC

User-generated content (UGC) is a big deal in today’s marketing landscape. And for good reason. Consumers are much more trusting of their peer’s reviews than traditional marketing material. And, as it’s the real-life experience of your guests, UGC is particularly well-suited for marketing in the experience economy. So, when a guest posts about their stay at your property, use it. It’s the most authentic promotional material you could hope for.

Considering the value of UGC, you should do what you can to encourage guests to post online. This can be done by creating a strong social media presence, hosting contests, and including calls-to-action on other marketing collateral.

Partner with influencers

For high-impact UGC, consider partnering with social media influencers. These are people with a significant number of followers whose content generates considerable engagement. Unlike traditional UGC, these posts will cost you (either in fees or free stays at your property). But if you choose the right influencer, it’ll likely be well worth the investment. 81% of marketers that have tried influencer marketing considered it effective.

Be authentic online

Part of selling the experience at your property is showing off your unique personality. Travelers today aren’t interested in generic accommodation. And if your digital content is uninspired and formulaic, they’ll assume your property is the same way. So make sure you’re being authentic on your website and social media channels. Avoid an overly formal tone and steer clear of canned responses to guest posts.

 

Today’s travelers are seeking exciting experiences they’ll remember forever (and can share on their social media pages). Make sure you’re creating effective marketing material so you can capture their imaginations and ultimately win their bookings.

 

Bleisure Travelers: How Hoteliers Can Capitalize on this Travel Trend

In the past, vacationers and those traveling for work were distinct demographics. And they were marketed to in very different ways. But a new type of traveler has emerged that merges the two worlds. More and more, business travelers are extending their trips in order to get in some sightseeing and leisure time (hence the moniker “bleisure”), in addition to their work duties. And it makes sense. If you’re going to take long flights to exciting locations, why not take the opportunity to enjoy it. It’s a trend that’s here to stay, so make sure you’re doing what you can to capitalize on this growing market.

Facilitate their business

Provide the necessities >> At the end of the day, business comes first for the bleisure traveler. They need to be able to check emails, work remotely, and video conference. It’s their primary focus, so you need to make sure your property is equipped for their work needs. Today that means offering fast and reliable WiFi and workspaces in rooms or communal areas.

Prioritize convenience >> For people rushing to meetings and working hard to stay on top of their work, convenience is critical. Their time is limited, so anything you can do to make their lives easier will be a huge draw. This means things like offering complimentary breakfast and early/late checkout.

Facilitate their leisure

Extend the corporate rate >> To encourage guests to extend their business trip, offer them additional nights at the same rate that their company paid. The guaranteed occupancy is worth the reduced room rate.

Make it easy >> When it comes time for the bleisure traveler to enjoy the destination, they’re still crunched for time. Typically, trips are extended for 2-3 days, so finding the most efficient way to see the sights and experience the community is a necessity. This is where you can help.  Provide a city guide with local highlights and recommendations to help guests narrow down their choices. And be sure to include activities and attractions that appeal to various interests.

Be family-friendly >> When business travelers extend their trips for leisure, they will often bring family or friends with them. Make sure your property is family-friendly by offering dining options for children, rentable strollers and highchairs, and kid-centric activities.

Make sure they know

Partner with the right distribution channels >> Businesses often make hotel bookings through corporate booking agents. To score those reservations, you need to be connected to the Global Distribution Channel (GDS). It’s also a good idea to build relationships with booking agents (local and international), so they think of you first when dealing with corporate clients.

Feature it online >> If you have a business service section on your website, include information about how you cater to bleisure travelers. And post about it on your social media pages. Promotion is an essential part of any hospitality campaign.

Include it in emails >> Once a corporate booking is made, ensure guests know about your special offers right away. Include information about special rates (and other services relevant to the bleisure traveler) in confirmation and pre-arrival emails. You want to give them the opportunity to extend their stay as soon as possible. And for existing corporate clients, consider creating a targeted email campaign promoting your property as the ultimate bleisure-friendly accommodation.

Millennials have changed a lot about the hospitality industry. Their expectations for hotel operations and communication are a substantial departure from the past. And their expectations for business travel are no different. There’s a growing trend of mixing work with leisure that is here to stay. Make sure you’re doing what you can to cater to this new demographic.

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Hotel Lobby

The lobby is one of the most important spaces of a lodging operation. Whether they’re checking in, checking out, or waiting to meet friends, every guest spends time there. It’s where they form their first and last impressions of your property. So ensuring optimal design and functionality should be a priority. Here are our top tips for making the most out of your hotel lobby:

Utilize an integrated lobby layout

First and foremost, you want your lobby to be welcoming. It should be a place guests feel inspired to sit down and spend some time. And it’s a positive feedback loop. A welcoming ambiance will encourage guests to linger, and people relaxing and enjoying the space will create a welcoming ambiance. But how do you get the ball rolling? A lot of it has to do with layout.

The key to an inviting lobby is integration. Instead of designing a traditional lobby with a front desk and little else, try to blend in other functional zones. Places to lounge, places to eat, places to work—a variety of seating options will turn your lobby into a dynamic space your guests can enjoy, instead of just pass through. And if your staff are equipped with a tablet, you can skip the traditional front desk altogether.

Add more plants

There is a plethora of benefits associated with indoor plants. In addition to being aesthetically appealing, plants help filter pollutants out of the air, reduce noise levels, and alleviate stress. It’s the basis for the extremely popular trend of biophilic design. So add more plants to your lobby—it’ll be good for the wellbeing of your guests and staff alike.

Offer food and beverages

Nothing encourages people to sit down and relax quite like food and beverages. So consider having things to eat and drink on offer in your lobby space. It’ll go a long way in converting it from a simple transition space to the buzzing epicenter of your property.

Depending on the size and culture of your property this can take many different forms. Full cafe and bar service will make sense for some hotels while a complimentary tea and coffee station will be the most practical for others. Whatever you choose, try and a throw in a little taste of the local culture—that’s what most of your guests are there for after all.

Provide entertainment

In addition to offering things to eat and drink, providing entertainment can do a lot to make guests feel welcome in your lobby. Whether you go as big as hosting live music or as simple as providing board games and reading material, the presence of entertainment will tell your guests they’re welcome to kick back, relax, and enjoy the lobby.

Display useful information

As the hub of your hotel, your lobby is the perfect place to display information relevant to your guests. And including info about the hotel as well as the surrounding community will undoubtedly be appreciated by them. Consider presenting transportation information and weather conditions (near exits), content about hotel amenities and events (near the counter and elevator banks), and info about local attractions and businesses.

And in this day and age, you should consider doing it all digitally. Using screens to display content (instead of posters and brochures) will keep your property feeling current, allow you to make regular updates as things change, and reduce paper waste at your property.

 

Your lobby is an important space. Every single guest walks through it multiple times in a day. It sets the tone for the entire property, so make sure you do everything you can to get the most out of it.

 

 

Inspire with Art: 6 Tips for Choosing Pieces for Your Property

What travelers are looking for in a hotel has changed a lot over the years. While run-of-the-mill chain hotels were favored in the past (for a standardized experience you could count on), guests today are looking for something completely different. Unique spaces that inspire (and look good on social media posts) are a top priority for many. Generic decor just doesn’t cut it anymore.

So how do you deliver inspiring, one-of-a-kind design? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. But one way to showcase your property’s individuality is through the artwork you display. Obviously, this means forgoing the mass-produced landscapes and floral still-lifes that filled hotel wall space in decades past, but there’s a lot more you need to think about. Here are a few tips for choosing the right artwork for your property.

Hire a consultant

Navigating the art scene can be intimidating. Luckily, finding the perfect pieces to display at your property is a burden you don’t have to bear alone. Consider working with an art consultant to help you with the job. Their connections can give you access to studios and galleries you might not know about, and their expertise and experience can help you choose pieces that compliment your brand. They’ll be able to find you unique art that you wouldn’t otherwise consider. It’s their job to stay abreast of upcoming trends and spot talented emerging artists after all.

Showcase your identity

Finding art for your hotel isn’t just about choosing pieces that are beautiful and interesting. That’s an excellent place to start, but the pieces you ultimately pick have to reflect and compliment your brand identity. A lively hotel in Las Vegas would (or should!) have very different artwork than a quiet beachfront inn. So know your hotel! What’s its story? Who are your guests? What’s the local narrative? These are questions that will influence the choices you make (and will undoubtedly be asked by your consultant).

Know your parameters

Before you start looking for artwork, you first need to know some important physical and financial parameters. Assess your property to determine how many pieces you need. And then make sure you take measurements, so you know how much space you have to work with. Taking pictures is also advisable, as they can help you (and your consultant) determine how well a piece will fit the space and compliment the color palette.

You should also have a budget in mind from the beginning. This will keep the search to pieces within your price range. And don’t worry if it isn’t extravagant. The price of a piece doesn’t define the impact it will have on your guests.

Consider alternative mediums

When you’re on the hunt for pieces, don’t limit your search to just traditional paintings. There’s so much more out there. Depending on your brand, anything from photography to sculpture to multi-media installations could be the perfect addition to a space (be it in the lobby, a guest room, or an outdoor garden).

Look locally

We mentioned earlier that your artwork should showcase your property’s identity. And part of that identity is your locality. Choosing pieces by local artists is a great way to pay homage to where you are. And considering your guests are choosing to visit your part of the world, they’ll appreciate the local flavor.

Ensure proper installation

Once you’ve chosen the perfect pieces, there are a few more things to think about. Installation is an important piece of the puzzle. You need to consider height (pieces should be hung with their center at approximately eye level), lighting, framing, spacing, and maintenance.

 

Artwork can be a powerful tool for inspiring guests and conveying your property’s culture. Make sure you’re choosing the right pieces by following these six tips. Good luck!

An Independent Hotelier’s Guide to Hosting Private Functions

Large hotels have been in the private function game for a long time as they had the traditional banquet halls typically favored for weddings and holiday parties. But tastes are changing. Many people planning weddings (and other parties) today are searching for smaller, unique spaces to host their special celebrations. That puts independent hotels in a unique position. And it’s one you should consider taking advantage of. Not only do the events themselves provide great revenue opportunities, but they’re also an opportunity to land group bookings, expose your hotel to a broader audience, and generate more marketing fodder.

Interested? Here’s a quick guide to hosting weddings (and other private functions) at your independent hotel.

Use what you have

Take stock of the spaces and amenities that you have to offer. You might not have a large banquet hall, but you don’t need one. On-site restaurants, outdoor gardens, even a picturesque dock can make for an ideal ceremony or reception. Your individuality is your greatest asset. So find the locations on your property that scream #weddinginspo and come up with a plan. Where would the tables go? How many people can it hold? This will vary depending on the type of reception. A formal sit-down dinner requires more space per person, but a cocktail-style reception allows for a higher capacity. Have numbers ready for both.

Create packages

Once you’ve determined what spaces you have available—and therefore what type and size of events your property can host—it’s time to create packages. Every event is different so you should have a variety of options. When it comes to weddings, for example, some couples might be looking for a venue for the ceremony and reception, while others might only need a location to shoot photos. Some clients will require a hotel room for the wedding parties to get dressed, in addition to a honeymoon suite for the newlyweds. Whatever packages you offer, do something to make your clients feel special. It doesn’t have to be big—a complimentary bottle of wine or even a hand-written note will go a long way.

Make connections

Event planning is a big job. To help make it a more seamless experience for your clients, consider connecting with other local businesses in the industry. Juggling all the moving parts of a big event will be easier if you have a pre-existing relationship with caterers and photographers. You’ll already have a point of contact, and they’ll be familiar with your property. It’s also an excellent way to drum up more business as you can cross-promote one another.

Promote

Speaking of promotion, that’s the next big piece of the puzzle. If you want to break into the private function business, you need people to see you as an event venue. Create a page on your website dedicated to private functions and promote it across social media. You want people to fall in love with the space, so professional photos are a must. In fact, you might want to consider staging a wedding photoshoot so prospective clients can imagine their own weddings at your property. And when private functions are held at your hotel, don’t let the opportunity for great user-generated content pass you by. Ask for feedback and then use it in your marketing collateral. There are few things better for your reputation than a happy bride.

 

As an independent hotel with unique spaces, you’re in the perfect position to host intimate, personalized private functions. And given the potential for additional revenue streams and promotion, it’s an opportunity you should certainly consider.

6 Tips for Maximizing Occupancy

Occupancy is the name of the game in the hotel business. You need to fill rooms in order to be successful. But how exactly do you get more heads in beds? If a property is hoping to increase occupancy, typically the first instinct is to lower rates. But slashing prices cuts into your bottom line and could end up costing you more than any additional reservations provide. And it can undermine your credibility—making guests see your property as less valuable because your prices are telling them that it is. Luckily there’s a lot you can do to win bookings and improve your occupancy rates that won’t sacrifice revenue or reputation. Read on for six tips you can use to maximize occupancy:

Target the right market

This is pretty obvious advice but finding your market and targeting it is the most essential step for making bookings. Creating generalized marketing material that applies to everyone just isn’t going to fill rooms efficiently. So, consider your property culture, analyze the historical data, and find the demographic that your property is particularly suited for. Then make marketing decisions accordingly. A targeted effort will yield far better results than a haphazard one.

Offer something special

Instead of cutting rates to incentivize guests to book, add value to the offer instead. This can be anything from special packages and promotions to simple policy changes that add convenience. Late checkout, free WiFi, or a complimentary breakfast are easy additions that mean a lot to your guests and make you stand out from the competition.

Promote your location

Use your website, social media accounts, and blog to hype your locality. Creating content that highlights the things to do and see in your region will help inspire people to make the trip. You’ll be seen as experts with strong local connections and they’ll remember your property when they go to book accommodation.

Take advantage of local events

Whether it’s concerts, festivals, conferences or even a marathon happening nearby, events in your community are great opportunities to win new bookings. You just have to take advantage of them. Post about the events on your website and social media pages so guests who are interested find your hotel on internet searches. And consider offering special packages or promotions for attendees. A ‘Marathoner’s Package’ could include a discounted massage at your on-site spa or guests with a ‘Festival Package’ could have access to a free shuttle to the venue. And if possible, collaborate with the hosts of the event so you can be listed on their marketing collateral.

Collaborate with locals

It’s more than just local events that have the potential to attract guests to your property. Partnerships with local people and businesses can be a considerable advantage as well. Real estate agents can score you some long-term guests (from a few weeks to a few months), and cross promotions with local restaurants and attractions can bring more awareness to your business.

Be inclusive

You can win a lot of guests by making your property as inclusive as possible. This can mean having things like high-chairs available for traveling families, wheelchair-friendly units, and pet-friendly policies. It can also mean allowing guests to host private events on-site. Anything that makes your hotel welcoming for all guests will work in your favor. It’ll widen your pool of potential customers and earn the loyalty of the ones who choose to stay.

 

The hospitality business is a competitive one. In the pursuit of winning bookings over competitors or securing high occupancy rates, hoteliers can be tempted to start cutting prices. But there are better strategies out there. Follow these six tips to fill rooms without reducing rates.

 

Be the Destination: Three Ways to Make Your Property the Attraction

In an industry as competitive as hospitality, finding a way to stand out from the crowd is imperative.  Whether it’s luxurious rooms, breathtaking views, or a perfect location, every successful lodging operation offers something special—winning the loyalty of guests looking for a place to stay while enjoying the destination. But what if you went a step further? Instead of just accommodating travelers while they explore your locality, make your property a destination in and of itself. Not only will you stand out from the competition, but you’ll have excellent social media fodder and more opportunities to upsell. Here are three ways you can turn your property into a destination in its own right:

Host events

Garnering a reputation for hosting events is a great way to get the attention of the experiential traveler looking to get the most out of their accommodation. They’ll be more inclined to book a stay and more likely to post about it on social media. So what events should you be planning? That’s really up to you. It’s about finding things that fit your culture, your infrastructure, and your clientele. That being said, try to find inspiration from within your community. Travelers of today are interested in immersing themselves in activities and experiences that are authentic to the location. Things like live music, cooking classes, and cultural performances will give your guests the local flavor they’re looking for. The St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio was inspired by their local history to host an annual King’s Ball. The Stanley Hotel in Colorado used their property’s 100+ year history as inspiration for ghost tours as well as an annual horror film festival. So don’t be afraid to get creative. Guests will love the originality.

Create communal spaces

We’ve mentioned before that hotels today are placing a larger emphasis on shared spaces. As millennials have become an influential cohort in the consumer landscape, their desire for connection has begun to influence hotel design and operations. Consider creating your own co-living and co-working spaces to attract these community-centered guests to your property. In need of inspiration? Look no further than The Asbury in New Jersey. With a living-room-style lobby, well-stocked rec room, rooftop lawn and seasonal beer-garden, this popular hotel is at the forefront of the communal-space trend.

Cater to the transformational traveler

Another millennial travel trend your property should consider capitalizing on: transformational travel. Guests who fall into this category are looking for experiences that help them discover a new part of themselves in addition to a new place and culture. The idea is that guests return home transformed. That might sound like an overwhelming expectation, but don’t let it scare you. Catering to the transformational traveler just means providing opportunities for guests to connect with themselves and others. This is often in the form of wellness retreats, workshops, or volunteer experiences. Fairmont Chateau Whistler hosts an “All About Me” Women’s Weekend, with an itinerary full of activities for “realigning the mind, body, and soul.” And the Emirates One & Only Resort in Wolgan Valley provides guests the opportunity to plant trees, conduct plant and animal surveys, and perform water testing in order to protect the local environment.

Travelers today are looking to be more than just tourists checking out the sights. They want experiences. And that means hotels need to offer more than just a place to sleep. They need to provide the experiences their guests are seeking. Consider hosting events, creating communal living spaces, and offering transformational travel experiences to make your property a must-stay destination.