An Initial Inquiry into Guest Expectations for Areas in Conflict or Transition
1. Ready, Aim,Relax An Overview of Lodging in Regions of Perceived Unrest What calms the Guest, & strengthensHospitality brand loyalty
2. For This Special ReportWe consider a situation that was recently defused to obtain a perspective from well traveled professionalsCompiled byAlin Maxon Director of Architectural DesignHospitality, Retail & Special Projects 3. Rest in Unrest
Ready for a cruise
you have your lifeboat drillSo when conflict
Do guards help to
re-assure the guest?
Are cocktails &
hors doeuvres a
4. What we found may surprise you
When Messaging and Experience does Not Align, Whats an Effective Strategy for securing the Guest Experience and Brand Loyalty?
Ready for an Adventure? travel incentives, corporate and national re-assurances, but what makes the guest really feel secure when there is any uncertainty in the region?
The Government of Egypt has imposed a curfew from 6:00 p.m . to7:00 a.m. in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez until further notice.Given this situation, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travelto Egypt at this time and advises U.S. citizens currently in Egypt to defer non-essential movement and to exercise caution. ThisTravel Alertexpires on February 28, 2011 .
So the date has passed
and the traveler can Relax
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
seems to think so
First we consider State Department postings & status reports
6. May 07, 2011 News Release:Starwood Hotels & ResortsContinues ToHighlight Egypt As An Attractive Tourist Destination When lodging for business or pleasure is impacted by regional perceivedor real cultural unrest Will positive promotions and messagingsoothe safety concerns and expand business? 7. To tackle this question a random survey was recently taken from a pool of upper end executives to determine what these consummate professionals, (many being extensive travelers on the domestic and international arenas) would hope for in their guest experience in a volatile region.The instructions indicated that though the state department did not have warnings posted that there may be some unresolved issues in the region. What did we find?Listen up Starwood!!! - Some of these results may surprise you.What is presented below is a first pass at a range of options.Respondents were asked to select those actions or items from a list of items specifically to help you (the guest) feel more secure.Did guns and de-briefings win out or are our guestslooking for something else? 8. Here are the Top Three 1) Cocktails won out at top of our guest options2) Guest rooms on upper floors were perceived by 58% as being safer, while 25% perceived lower floors safer3) Tours to specific safe sites away from conflict were favorable 9.
In addition to the questionnaire,
Respondents comments include:
Provide Online access / whenever possible realizing communication
complications may occur within the region
Entertainment choices are a large factor when traveling with children, butneed to be addressed proactively / would not bring children there
Briefing on dos and donts would be informative and appreciated / identify
Would search for low key boutique option to avoid focus and becoming apossible target in large exclusive properties
Would avoid travel to the area (to safe destination without complexity)
Some find the gathering of guests for updates to be disturbing, not calming
About our questionnaire- The questionnaire was provided to a focus group with a 43%
response rate.One may question if the questionnaire format and / or topic contributed
to the moderate percentage of sample respondents.
Further research may be warranted for additional scrutiny of these variables.
10. Some initial hypotheses drawn from the survey:
A sales job needs to have action plans to support the guest experience regardless of promotion and buzz.
Experienced travelers want to see the sites and region in some capacity when they travel afar so they need accommodation with that.
Special activity options for guests with children must be addressed.
Creating a memorable experience in a conflicted environment seems to relate to guest perceptions and preferences which cover a range of responses and desires.
Customization of the guest experience and communication in a meaningful manner is important.
The guest room needs to respond to the guest expectations and needs (for a sense of normalcy and comfort) one might infer.
11. Design for the Exceptional Guest Experience Personalized, Memorable, Enriching