Cultural Travel & How Your Hotel Can Benefit From It
An increasing fraction of the travel sector, cultural tourism is defined by the search for rich experiences that go beyond beautiful views and adventurous activities. This type of travel has seen an uprising level of popularity in the last years. Globalization has opened up doors towards different and often exotic cultures that are waiting to be explored.
The hospitality industry is striving to keep up with the increasing wave of cultural travelers, that pose some very particular features that separate them from regular travelers. As a hotel manager, it’s important to know the full extent of your guest demographics and motivations, in order to be able to properly cater to their needs and expectations. In this case, we’ll answer the question of what differentiates cultural travelers and how can you better engage with them?
First of all, cultural travel is based on particular motivations that are usually focused around history, art, religion, cuisine, etc. This means that travelers are seeking to do more than relax or enjoy adventurous activities - they are looking to learn and discover different cultures, backgrounds, and historic traits of a certain place. It is said that cultural tourists tend to have a higher level of education and culture, as well as a tendency to spend more on valuable experiences. Since their travels go beyond the need to escape everyday life and activities, cultural travelers also tend to have a more positive attitude and initiate communication with locals, in order to discover more about a different lifestyle and truly understand it. Also, a vast majority of cultural travelers tend to be very open to smaller trips and activities during their stay, which enables them to get a better “taste” of the local culture. Keep in mind that this particular demographic is looking to add value to its time, not necessarily to the money they spend.
This are great news for hoteliers since you get the chance to upsell and increase your revenue, as well as communicate more openly and increase the chances of receiving positive feedback.
Based on these specific traits, here are a number of strategies that can help your hotel business whenever you welcome cultural tourists:
Mind international guests
This is a topic that we have previously tackled and especially when it comes to cultural tourism, it’s important to keep in mind that in most cases, you will be catering to foreign travelers. While cultural travels are not unheard of in one’s own country, they are usually happening abroad. This is why you need to make sure that you are equipped with the necessary information and knowledge, like the availability of communication means in different languages and the international currency that you enable when receiving payments.
Be knowledgeable and make useful recommendations
If the area where your hotel is positioned in is known for something historical or cultural in any way, don’t let your guests catch you off guard. Questions about the cultural side of your surroundings will eventually arise and when they do, make sure that you and your staff know how to answer them. Be knowledgeable and helpful to your guests and they will appreciate it.
Partner with local attractions/tours
You probably know by now what cultural tourists are looking for in your area, so why not start a partnership with a certain attraction or a tour? You can create packages to encourage travelers to book your hotel and enjoy the best accommodation, along with a great cultural experience. Also, you can organize your own activities that would potentially bring you more revenue. For example, if a famous movie was shot in you area, an idea would be to organize a screening of that movie, once a year, and enable your guests to get a taste of the local heritage.
Focus on your local cuisine
It’s no secret that cuisine is a big part of any type of tourism and there are places where culture is seamlessly combined with great local food. If you also have a restaurant in your hotel, make sure to offer special meals with your best local ingredients and recipes. If you don’t have a restaurant, you can make recommendations that your guests will surely appreciate.
Bottom line is: whatever makes your hotel appealing in the eyes of cultural travelers, make sure to market that and build on that. It will take nothing from your regular guests, but it will attract more cultural tourists, which is a win for your business.