Hitesh (HP) Patel
AAHOA Chairman (2018-2019)
Innovation is what drives our industry forward and keeps hotels competitive. As hoteliers, we have to integrate new technology, consistently refresh our hotel properties, and find better ways to compete for business, whether that be with other local hotels or Airbnb hosts, to stay ahead of the game. One of the major ways that hotels have had to adapt in recent years is to offer guests the unique and one-of-kind experiences they now look for. For our industry here in the U.S., one of the best means to accomplish this goal is to investigate hotel practices abroad that may differ from what American travelers are used to.
The simplest way to conduct this research is to reach out to brands and see what insight they have into international practices. Brands have presence across the globe and have the unique ability to observe and track the best and most successful practices being implemented in hotels. Too often, hoteliers do not use the assistance brands offer to their advantage, but they can truly be your best tool to investigate what international trends are booming and which ones to steer clear of.
We want our properties to be on par with world class hotels and to do that we must have adequate knowledge of how in-demand foreign hotel and lodging accommodations function, what amenities they offer their guests and how their practices differ from our own. Whether this be purely design or the actual management strategies, lessons can be learned from abroad to increase demand.
Certain practices like fostering a more home-like feel, bringing in communal spaces for guests to interact, or embracing eco-friendly tactics like automatic lights, solar panels, and asking guests to consider reusing towels are some examples of practices that are giving guests around the world more personalized hotel stays. Now more than ever, it is important to stay in tune with practices that fit the desires of a wider range of people. This allows customer bases to grow and reputations for unique service to form that will keep your business thriving.
This is important because international tourists make up a major component of the hotel industry’s clientele. These visitors expect their accommodations to look and feel a certain way and if your hotel meets their needs, they will have a more enjoyable stay. For domestic travelers these updated environments will also bring in added appeal. Your property will stick out and set it apart from local competition.
Be sure to utilize your brand relationships to learn about foreign hotel practices and how they can help you implement them into your business. By harnessing this information, you can make small changes to your hotel to appeal to foreign visitors and bring new experiences to American tourists. This effort is beneficial to both hoteliers and brands because it leads to mutually greater success.