Until now I have focused primarily on the ordinary business associations. In this blog I want to look at a special breed of consumer: the tourist/hotel guest. I am regularly surprised by the haphazard nature of international city marketing here in the Netherlands. Quality English language texts are standard in Belgium, for instance, even outside of major cities. Aside from Amsterdam, many cities with significant tourist potential in the Netherlands do little to attract guests from abroad, despite desperately needing the revenue that they would bring. Even more surprisingly, some hotels chains do not optimize their marketing; many websites even have English texts that contain elementary spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Hotel guest priority list:
Hotels typically have two main types of guests, business and pleasure. There are common detonators, with some exceptions—groups of teenagers want to party rather than to sleep; the elderly are less likely to be wifi-obsessed—most guests are looking for:
· A comfortable, clean, quiet place to sleep
· A place to relax and plug into (or out of) the world
· A place to forget worries, let someone else clean, and otherwise take care of things…
In a descriptive text, therefore, these items should naturally be emphasized. Perhaps more important, however, is providing information and links in your website to indicate local highlights and events. These encourage guests to stay longer. They might even decide to tack a vacation onto their business trip, bringing those lucrative tourist dollars/pounds/yen/euros to your establishment and local area.
Don’t underestimate the breadth of the foreign visitor’s interest. For instance, many visitors are fascinated with the two World Wars and would enjoy a short description of the local history of the era around the hotel, and the existing memorials. Others want information about museums, temporary exhibitions but also a general text about the permanent collections. Other people are particularly interested in architecture and would be interested in a list of monuments. These are often already available here in the Netherlands, but generally not in English. If a city has parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, areas of natural beauty, then a general text about them is also worth placing. Musical events and festivals are also ideal content to provide in a website, or at least a link to the appropriate site.
This kind of free information is generally greatly appreciated by clients because you are providing the basic information, which saves them time. Further it entices people to plan for more time in the area and in the hotel! In addition, if being better prepared means that they enjoy their stay more, you increase the chance that they provide positive feedback. Which is, after all, free advertising and is particularly convincing for potential guests.