Who Gives Coherency To The Senses And Sensibilities?
By Georges Panayotis, President & CEO - MKG Group
By trying too hard to get back to industry basics have hoteliers wound up weakening their trade(s)? Today, the major service businesses are asking how they can take better advantage of their brand awareness and their clientele, to diversify while offering complementary options, while eventually expanding their supply into universes that seem leagues away. What is the logic behind Facebook offering banking services, if not a desire to create closer ties with its members and become even more ineluctable?
course, if they re-appropriate their original functions; they give themselves a new legitimacy, but in the end they limit their horizons and prevent themselves from truly standing out from one another. Does the client only exist upon arrival at the property? Does he stop existing at checkout?
Before arriving at reception, he had to make a series of decisions regarding transportation, transfersand activities... But what if he found all these offers right on the hotel's website for one stop shopping? Even a "Swiss knife" or multi-services option that will maintain this relationship...
During his stay, guests undoubtedly have other basic or more sophisticated needs besides sleepingwell and having a full stomach. And what if the hotel made it possible to enrich his experience beyond the swimming pool and spa, by expanding it to the surrounding area of the hotel, local boutiques, preferred addresses...?
Upon leaving the hotel and going home, the guest may enjoy prolonging the hotel experiencethrough products and objects that are more bonding than a plastic card. Might the hotel's spirit be reproduced through derivative products, a printed collection?
Not so long ago, hotels and inns were convivial places for meeting, a public place where beautysalon and shoe polisher cohabited alongside newsstand and travel agency. They were home to boutiques and craftsmen who participated in the life of the lobby. More than just a place to stop along the way for a traveler they were central to neighborhood life for celebrating weddings and marriages and communions, taking tea and enjoying a piece of cake, listening to music or watching a show, seeing an exhibition, but above all for experiencing sensations, for goodness' sake! Reviving this philosophy means transforming forgotten expectations into sources of revenues for the hotelier. Why would it be less justified to do so today? Is he carefully listening to what his clientele are trying to tell him? Is he trying to more broadly reach the different segments that guarantee customer renewal?
Anything goes when it comes to opening onto the primary zone, to implementing simplepartnerships that give the hotelier and his clientele real added value: museum or chocolatier, beauty salon or restaurant, limousine or factory tour ... the possibilities are infinite. 50% of services or products consumed in the next five years have yet to exist.
By trying too hard to "verticalize" the integration of businesses, the hotel industry pulled itself fromthe market. By focusing too much on its familiar universe, it de-socialized itself. By trying too hard to apply profitability ratios, the industry sanitized itself and forgot the price/pleasure ratio. The hotelier can and must be a leader in his neighborhood, in his city, an ambassador as well as a merchant. In my mind the true business of the hotelier lies in aligning all the senses!