According to a recent study, 2015 was a record year when it came to the number of international travelers who visited the U.S. Last year, 77.5 million international visitors came the states, which is a three percent increase over 2014.
Many of these visitors came from China, South Korea and the UK and arrived into major cities like New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.
For hoteliers in these cities, this means that they deal with a culturally diverse group of travelers – many of whom came from long distances – to experience the U.S. This calls for hotels to enhance personalization on a cultural level – beyond using innovation to achieve this.
This means considering implementing cultural sensitivity training programs for all front-line staff that allows them to engender comfort from the international travelers. It extends beyond just serving international meals in the hotels’ restaurants to knowing how to properly greet a guest in Chinese – by way of example.
Of course, there will be scalability challenges when it comes to doing these types of training programs. However, if large brands focus only on the properties in the cities that attract international guests – this is a great start.
The ultimate outcome of these types of training programs is global loyalty. International travelers – many of whom are affluent – will share their culturally positive experiences with friends and family when they arrive home, and continue to re-book for future trips.
Guest loyalty is the holy-grail in the hotel arena, and now is the time to develop the right programs that are truly personalized for any international guest.