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Company insight


With pandemic restrictions still making international travel unpredictable, travellers will increasingly choose more local destinations for the summer holiday season. Angie Hospitality by Nomadix explains how boutique hotels can boost demand and guest satisfaction with local deals and perks.


ravellers are packing their bags and hopping on the road as the summer travel season begins to gain momentum. Many holidaymakers are sticking closer to home for quick weekend getaways to escape the cities for some fresh air, to the beach to feel the sand between their toes, or to explore local attractions. In fact, Google Trends shows ten times the growth worldwide for the search term ‘staycation’ over the last year. This is great news for boutique hotels.


Summer of staycations T


With travellers being stuck at home for pandemic lockdowns, these smaller hotel groups or individual hotels are uniquely positioned to provide guests with a fun atmosphere, local ambiance and an unforgettable experience. What can hotels do now to entice these road trippers to stay with them?


For example, Staypineapple – an artful hotel in New York City – has embraced its fun, comfortable, yellow and dog-friendly brand to welcome back guests after a year of limited travel.


Personalised experience First impressions when welcoming back guests are key. And Staypineapple has every detail designed into the journey, from its yellow bikes and fun pineapple decor to its high level of cleanliness, which addresses Covid-19 concerns. When walking into their Glamour King room, each guest can personalise their experience by requesting extra plush towels, a water dish for dogs and ‘afternoon delights’ pineapple snacks – all via the personal in-room assistant. They just say, “Ok, Pineapple”, and the voice assistant (Angie) has it all delivered in a contactless way. Guests can efficiently request items, order room service or even book time in the spa. If a call is preferred, the in-room assistant is also a phone (via cloud PBX) that can connect the guest to hotel staff.


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


Are guests travelling in groups for a special event? They can have an entire floor. Newlyweds checking in? Deliver champagne to the room. Children? No problem: there’s TV casting to select the films and shows of their choice. It’s the small details that make the biggest difference and boost satisfaction and loyalty. Pet-friendly accommodation is a growing industry trend, and it’s no surprise when, according to Condor Ferries, 53% of travellers take holidays with their pets. The ‘Pineapple pup package’, for example, includes a dog bed, water bowl, treats, waste bags and dispenser, as well as 50% off their regular pet fee.


Think local


How can guests be encouraged to come up for the weekend? Create unique package deals for a memorable getaway. Boutique hotels can partner with local businesses to create a weekend of pampering with a neighbouring spa, an educational experience by partnering for tickets to museums, or even taste and sips with local cuisine and brewery discounts. Alternatively, maybe guests don’t want to leave the hotel at all. What amenities and events could draw business from locals? Spa packages can be promoted as self-care gifts, or socially distanced live music events can be hosted at the pool. Or, specials can be run at the restaurant for the next big sporting event. Even small spaces can be repurposed for events. Give guests and local residents a chance to break out of their routine, especially as more people are vaccinated and restrictions on gathering lift. Staypineapple even offers a full package of TV casting, fast internet, bike rentals, tea and coffee, food credits and more – all for one set price. Guests get added convenience without paying for lots of extras.


Reboot the guest experience Returning guests are likely to choose hotels that offer the highest standards for cleaning protocols, clear social distancing guidelines and contactless technology options. The Stayclean Staypineapple programme offers zero-contact experiences to guests with mobile check- in, physical distancing prompts and signage, as well as a limited touch pick- up for keys. Plus, hospital-grade cleaning products paired with comprehensive virus-prevention training and certification for staff ensure a safe stay. “Prior to Covid, our guests chose us for our unique and memorable hotel experiences, and we want them to continue making those connections with added confidence while travelling,” said David Thomson, CIO of Staypineapple. “With the help of technology, we are able to provide our high level of service and fulfil requests while offering a safe and true Staypineapple experience at our property.” When every guest travels with multiple devices, implementing mobile tech is an obvious solution, from digital keys to mobile apps where guests can order room service or reserve time at the pool or fitness centre. Touchless technology allows hotels to meet guests where they are, and lets them determine how and when they interact with the hotel. With many travellers reporting they are more likely to travel within their own area after the pandemic, now is the perfect time to consider just how to appeal to returning guests. Get nitty-gritty with the little details, dream up the perfect package deal, implement the latest tech or deliver dog treats. By defining and embracing brands, such as Staypineapple, guests can enjoy an inviting and unique experience without having to travel far from home. ●


www.nomadix.com | https://angie.ai 33


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