In an economic era that has been as challenging as we have ever seen, in a tourism industry that has also been slow to recover and in a time when the consumer has more choice an control of the purchase transaction including weather to take a trip or not, what kind or lodging to stay and what activities to do it all comes back to hospitality. According to Encarta World Dictionary hospitality is defined as “kindness to visitors: friendly, welcoming, and generous treatment offered to guests or strangers”.
Here is a great example. There’s this little lodging property located on Highway 395 in Walker California. Walker has two or three lodging properties and a couple of seasonal restaurants. Most of the people visiting Walker are passing through or staying for fishing along the Walker River. But to their credit this property sends an important message to all the motorcycle touring riders that they are welcome at the property and they make the claim explicitly. Now I know it’s not possible to tell every segment they are welcome using a banner, but it is important to be reminded that the essence of the business we are in is to make people feel welcome. Too often our focus is rooms sold or average daily rate but it is just as important to let visitors to your destination know they are welcome. After all isn’t that what the business is all about?
Think about it. Perhaps the best marketing strategy for these challenging times is the simplest.