For many years, major hotel brands focused on catering only to the traveling guest. However, now there is a subtle shift, where hospitality providers are widening their approaches to cater to locals who live near their properties.
In addition to aiming to get locals to dine at their properties, they are offering a wide-range of services, such as holding packages and coordinating dry cleaning services – all with the intention of creating a closer bond with neighboring residents and businesses.
At the company’s recent analyst conference, AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin announced the launch of a new pilot program called “Accor Local,” which is looking to change how the brand operates on a localized level.
“Ninety-nine percent of what we have done for 50 years has been based on the guy coming from outside of town,” said Brazin in this recent Skift article. “A traveler, from a different city, from a different country, which I think is interesting, but not too smart. Because we missed a population which is 100 times greater and better and easier: The guy living next door. The local inhabitants. They live around the hotel, or they go to an office around the hotel, and 90 percent of them never dared coming into the property, because they’re fearful that we’re going to be asking, ‘What’s your room number?’ They don’t need a room, but they may need a service.”
According to the same Skift article, AccorHotels’ loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels will most likely serve as the foundation for the Accor Local program.
For other brands that want to follow this trend, there are new guest recommendation applications that put a hotel’s local curated knowledge right at guests’ – and locals’ – fingertips. This means offering completely customized recommendations for local restaurants, attractions, concerts and other events.
In addition, these types of mobile apps allow hoteliers to compile relevant guest (or locals) data about on- and off-property preferences.
Going local seems to be an emerging trend for some of the most cutting-edge brands. Fortunately, there are ways for hoteliers to offer highly customized experiences and services that expand beyond catering to the traveling guest into an entirely new untapped market.