Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 32

Maximizing your experiential travel potential

After all, it's these memories that are the ultimate contributors to any post-stay satisfaction survey, online review or word
of mouth expressed to friends and relatives. As hoteliers, we
strive to deliver the best possible guest experience. To put it
another way, this means that we are attempting to imbue said
guests with the most positive memories about all interactions
at the hotel from arrival to departure.
While much of this is accomplished by other departments
working in tandem to deliver service excellence - such
as the front desk, housekeeping and food and beverage
(F&B) - a systemic problem in the hospitality world is that
consumers have come to view most properties as almost
interchangeable. There's nothing exciting anymore about
an economy or midscale branded hotel where the lobby
and guest rooms look the same no matter what continent
you're on. As boredom is hardly an emotion we want anyone on our premises to feel, offering visitors the chance
to partake in something exciting and something they cannot find anywhere else is just the cure for the malaise of
monotony. Importantly, unlike renovating your rooms or
hiring an interior designer to deck out our lobby, developing
an activities program is a solution that doesn't demand a
significant capital expense.
In practice, the proliferation of experiential travel indicates
that, when researching their accommodation options, customers will now first ask, "What is there to do at this place?"
instead of even, "Is this the best hotel for budget?" As such,
capitalizing upon this trend not only affords your property
with a host of new opportunities for ancillary revenues but
also greater attention from prospective guests so that they're
more likely to choose you in the first place.
Knowing that embracing experiential travel as a method
towards healthier income is only just the beginning, though.
Establishing local partnerships and building a functional
internal engine to support this revenue stream are both very
difficult tasks. Hence, this is where your attention must go,
with the following steps addressed sequentially for you to
maximize your results.
This phase is the most cerebral but also the
most fun, even though it is nothing more
NE:
STEP O
than a well-researched brainstorm that will
inevitably lead to far more work for your team.
The point is to research all the experiences that
are already available in your region - be they
major attractions, outdoor excursions, indoor
activities, shopping districts, culinary specialties,
museums, cultural centers or anything else that
might be fun for guests.
This is not the stage where you should limit yourself to only
what's feasible - that comes later! Encourage team participation and get creative with what you might potentially offer.
You will also want to reach out to tour operators and your local
DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) or CVB (Convention

AREA
LOCALET LIST
BUCK

32  | APRIL 2018 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

and Visitors Bureau) to see what they already have slated and
to explore all opportunities for collaboration.
For all experiences that you list, you must also sort them
according to time and monetary commitments, both for you
to setup and for the guests who will inevitably buy them.
This is critical for later on because this cataloguing will play a
primary role in how you build out your program. For instance,
you wouldn't want to put a new craft beer tasting accessible
at your lobby bar in the same category as a half-day fishing
trip because these two are vastly different in time required
for enjoyment and cost, thereby affecting the type of guest
who will be keen to purchase one or the other.
Right after or concurrent to your
STEP T
brainstorm, you need to assign a
WO:
program leader. Such ownership is
important so that there's a clear direction
as to what experiences will be further
developed and so there's accountability for achieving specific objectives and
meeting deadlines.
It's important to stress here that the position of activities director is a full-time job.
Even though it falls within the reigns of the front office, you
cannot let someone whose plate is already spilling over with
daily tasks and last-minute guest requests handle this - it
just won't get done. While asking internally to see who wants
the job is a great first step to finding your passionate leader
of experiences, you cannot expect this person to do this in
his or her spare time.
Yes, it can be a part-time project until it has blossomed to
the point where it requires constant attention, but it cannot
start out as a token effort. You're looking for someone who can
rise to the challenge of juggling many different and complex
tasks such as developing a sound budget, staffing, properly
liaising with second-string vendors, negotiating performance
deals, figuring out all the insurance requirements and crafting
good marketing materials. Then once you've found a suitable
shepherd, empower them to take action and plan to meet once
a quarter for a strategic review.

PRO
CHAMJECT
PION

One reason why I would recommend
STEP T
that every property, no matter your
HREE:
current circumstances, initiate at
least the beginnings of an experiential
travel program is that it affords you the
chance to deepen your understanding
of your key customer demographics. In
this sense, your observations about what
activities your guests like most can also
be utilized to drive local market sales and
enrich your offers across all sales channels.
The key to this stage is to focus first on what types of guests
are predominantly coming to your hotel. If your property caters

KNOW
AUDIE YOUR
NCE


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2018

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Government Affairs & Advocacy
The C-Suite
Common Ground
Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Trends to Watch
Finance
Operations
Marketing
Small Business
Spotlight
Q&A
Perspectives
Travel
Leadership
Strategy
Design
Guest Experience
Food & Beverage
Technology
Operations
HR & Employee Relations
AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
AAHOA @ Industry Events
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Intro
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 4
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 5
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 6
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 7
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 8
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 9
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 10
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 11
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 13
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 15
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Government Affairs & Advocacy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 17
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 18
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 19
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - The C-Suite
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 21
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Common Ground
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 23
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 25
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 26
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 27
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 28
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 29
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 31
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 32
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 33
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 34
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 35
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 37
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 38
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 39
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 40
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 41
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Trends to Watch
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 43
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 44
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 45
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Finance
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 47
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 48
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 49
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 51
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 52
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 53
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 55
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 56
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 57
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 59
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 61
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Q&A
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 63
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 64
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 65
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Perspectives
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 67
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 68
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 69
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Travel
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 71
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 72
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 73
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 74
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 75
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 77
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 78
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 79
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 80
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 81
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Strategy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 83
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 84
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 85
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Design
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 87
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 88
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 89
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 91
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 92
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 93
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 94
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 95
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Food & Beverage
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 97
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 98
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 99
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 100
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 101
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 103
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 104
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 105
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 107
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 108
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 109
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 110
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 111
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - HR & Employee Relations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 113
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 114
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 115
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 116
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 117
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 119
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 121
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 122
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 124
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 125
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 126
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 127
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 128
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 129
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 130
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 131
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 132
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 134
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 135
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 137
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 138
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover4
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