Travelers want to make sure their accommodations check off certain boxes. But decisions aren’t based merely on your hotel amenities. Instead, consumers make emotional choices that reflect their trip expectations.
Hotel stories told through visuals, and written content help travelers imagine lounging poolside or relaxing after a business meeting. They also provide reassurance about safety and convenience measures.
By tapping into the power of storytelling, you can invite travelers to make themselves at home or take care of business without leaving the hotel. Discover the stories your hotel should convey this year.
1. Comfort: Feeling at Home While Away From Home
Consumers crave experiences that emulate their homes, with comfy beds and extra blankets or pillows. They want to select their room’s layout and know it’ll fit every family member. But what about amenities travelers might forget when booking a room yet still require all the same?
These may include accessible outlets for personal devices, the ability to stream Netflix from the tv, or space for the kids to play with their Legos.
Help your audience visualize themselves in your hotel. Share images of families enjoying downtime in the room or a business traveler seated comfortably at their in-room workstation. Each story reflects how your hotel can be a visitors’ home or office on the go.
2. Safety: Enjoy Clean, Safe, and Sanitized Spaces
Hotel cleanliness has always been a concern for travelers. No one wants to read reviews about bed bugs or dirty bathrooms. Now, more than ever before, health and safety protocols are a priority for guests.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) reports that 62% of consumers place cleanliness as a top priority when choosing a hotel, up from 38% pre-COVID. So, health and safety is an important story to tell.
Ease guests’ minds about staffing issues or sanitation diligence by featuring a narrative about your housekeepers — a day-in-the-life type of tale.
3. Examples of Customers Wowed by Your Service and Amenities
People are skeptical about stories and messages that aren’t authentic or don’t show the whole picture. And no matter how well packaged your messaging is, customers are more likely to trust a stranger’s account than your brand’s. Excellent guest reviews can go a long way in reaching potential customers.
In reviews, people tell anecdotes about special moments they had, such as a child meeting a new friend by the pool or an excellent meal with an attentive server. Likewise, guests also tell of once-in-a-lifetime experiences spent in your hotel, like a honeymoon, babymoon, or a child’s first vacation.
Customer testimonials tell the real story about your hotel, so make sure they’re telling the right one. A 2021 study by JD Power found that hotel staff experience, smart TVs, and pleasant views are becoming increasingly crucial to maintaining high levels of guest satisfaction. So ensure you’re providing excellent service and amenities, encourage guests to give their reviews, then share them throughout your digital platforms.
4. Technology: The Latest Tech for Family & Work Experiences
New research polling released by ALICE reveals that 43% of consumers want in-room technology that can integrate with their devices, 34% want a business center, and 33% want a learning center to discover more about the culture or life of the city they’re visiting.
Perhaps you’ve seen more travelers coming on family trips while also remote working. One parent might go off on an adventure while their spouse stays behind in the work center or their well-equipped room. Share multiple-use scenarios so your guests understand the possibilities and alternative ways to enjoy their trip, whether it’s for business or pleasure.
5. Human-Touch: Friendly Staff That Understands Your Needs
Hotel staff interaction continually ranks at the top of a guest’s overall experience. Everything else about their stay can be top-notch, but one bad encounter with a rotten apple can leave a lasting impression on your traveler, and that’s a hard aftertaste to shake.
Your stories cement the promises you make to your guests. Are you true to your word? The best way to answer that question is by paying attention to customer feedback. Reading reviews is a great way to check your team’s temperature. Do reviewers thank your team, comment on service, or single out specific employees?
Perhaps your staff helped change a reservation or secure specific amenities. Maybe someone mentioned how your front desk staff anticipated a need before they knew they’d have it, such as passing over a few extra towels for a large family or pointing out the QR code for a discount on a family meal. Create stories that convey these special moments and let travelers know your team is focused on them.
6. Location: Connection to Local Services and Attractions
Use a combination of storytelling and virtual reality to share how your centrally located hotel offers regular and socially distant activities. Mention how your brand partners with other businesses to provide guests exclusive discounts or show drone footage outlining the path to a good restaurant, arcade, or rentals.
Walk down the street while recording on your phone and point out the most popular activities and unique ways people enjoy their vacation while social distancing. Highlight any prominent features, such as a referral or concierge service or in-room entertainment where guests can discover activities or score discounts.
7. Stand-Out Features: What makes your hotel brand unique?
When faced with several accommodations in an area, guests want to know why they should choose your hotel. Most travel engines offer filters to help travelers narrow down locations. So potential guests can already figure out how your hotel differs in that respect. However, only good storytelling can show what makes your hotel stand out from the rest.
Listing that you offer smart TVs for streaming and in-room workstations provides information, but imagine a short video comparing the thickness of your mattresses to a competitor or showing your unique hotel aesthetics. Now that tells the story.
8. Culture: Tales About Your Staff and Community
Many establishments have a restaurant or bar that’s popular with locals. Others sponsor community softball teams or source products from local businesses. In addition, you may offer excellent benefit packages or take sustainability measures. All of these features and more are tremendous opportunities for storytelling.
Explain the concept behind your low-water landscape or showcase team members who volunteer with local charities, perform in community musicals, or coach their kid’s soccer team. Introduce staff in a way that humanizes them and connects them to your customers.
Give Your Hotel Guests a Starring Role
Traveling isn’t always a desirable adventure. Sometimes it’s filled with business meetings or hospital visits. Indeed, even the most luxurious vacation comes with a certain amount of stress. So, tell your guests a different story, framing each one to fit their needs.
After all, who doesn’t love a great story? Give your customers a script they can’t wait to star in, and you just might find an audience filling every room in your hotel.
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