When we think of hotels and traveling, it’s easy to immediately shift our thoughts towards ideas of catching flights to far away locations where we take our minds off of “reality” for a few days. But what about the “not-so-common” travelers who enjoy getting away without actually leaving the state — or even the city? This is what staycations are for. Staycations are becoming more popular, as people are turning weekends into mini-getaways where they explore the new and/or unvisited parts of their place of residence.
Believe it or not, there are a few reasons staycations might be more ideal compared to more common expeditions. According to the Travel Pulse article, Survey Finds One-Third of Americans Haven’t Vacationed in Over Two Years, contributor, Janeen Christoff presents findings from The Allianz Global Assistance 11th annual Vacation Confidence Index, which sheds light on a variety of reasons why many Americans have not traveled in over two years: “44 percent, do not travel because they don’t have the money. Only 14 percent who said they are not confident they will take a summer vacation because they cannot take time off work, and 12 percent of Americans not confident they will take a summer vacation report that they do not want to take the time off work.”
Not having the time or the budget doesn’t mean people are not willing to stay locally and take advantage of the amenities their local hotels have to offer. A staycation could be as simple as a day trip to a hotel a city away, one that provides a fresh perspective and just enough different to make a difference in a person’s workflow or state of mind. It could also be as simple as a parent’s night out, romantic stay-away or even a simple personal day where professionals want to get out of the office and find inspiration at the newly renovated hotel across the street.
While this is not necessarily a major concern for hoteliers, it is certainly an opportunity to take a more community-based approach when upgrading hotels. For this reason, hoteliers should consider focusing on different ways to make hotel, specifically the lobby area, more appealing to traveling guests and locals alike. According to the New York Times article, Checking In? No Thanks. I’m Just Here to Use the Wi-Fi., Aytan Litwin, CEO and Founder of White Space, states that “The lobby is the new public square. The benefit for hotels is both in the immediate and long term. The more locals you attract to your lobby, the more genuine everything feels…and that is what travelers today are increasingly attracted by truly authentic experiences.”
Authenticity is something that most, if not all, travelers are looking for no matter where they go. They want to feel like they’re getting a true representation of the city or state they’re staying in. And who better than actual locals to make them feel that way? The idea of creating a communal space in hotels that caters to both types of travelers seems priceless if you think about. It creates a strong sense of community and gives guests the opportunity to connect while disconnecting. Incorporating tech-based amenities and even fresh, unique food and beverage items adds to the “local” feel and gives all travelers a chance to try products they might not find anywhere else (or have the time to cook at home). It also allows locals to explore the different amenities you have to offer and recommend staying at that specific location — whether it be for staycations or vacations — to friends and family.
All-in-all, it’s important for every traveler to feel at home during their visit or stay at your hotel. Upgrading your lobby and incorporating different ways to increase engagement — ultimately leading to the lobby and hotel becoming the actual destination — is sure to make any traveler feel at ease and increase revenue.