PR News | When hotels become the destination
The evolution of hotels and their purpose has evolved from simply providing a place to sleep and have a bite to eat in a city where one is doing business or visiting family. People no longer visit cities just to see the famous sights or “check a destination off their bucket list,” with the hotel being secondary. Often the hotel itself is the reason for the trip, but more and more travelers are looking for hotels that truly reflect and support the community of the destination.
This could be as simple as a hotel using honey from a local beekeeper or other suppliers, or on a larger scale committing to hiring locals and pledging a percentage of profits to community charities. Travelers have increasingly realized that to truly experience a destination, they must support hotels that reflect and support its local community.
With this evolution, hotel management teams have become aware of the responsibility they have to support their communities. Not only is the community a source of business for them, but it is also the home of their employees and families, their local artisans and vendors, and most importantly, a key part of their property’s DNA. Hotels that don’t attempt to engage with their local communities are not only missing out on key resources, but also missing out on enriching their guest experience.
|This article is featured in O’Dwyer’s Jul. ’22 Travel & Tourism PR Magazine
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In the age of conscious consumerism, travelers are increasingly looking to support brands that put the community first. As a result, the hotels and hotel groups that are built on the foundation of uplifting their communities are the ones that will continue to lead the industry. Whether it’s local partnerships, charitable alignments or hiring practices, a community approach rooted in authenticity will increasingly be recognized and rightly celebrated.
Charitable alignments with local organizations are an important focus for a growing number of hotels such as Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, which contributes to the local Maldivian community through local outreach programs. The hotel’s initiatives provide career and learning opportunities for local youth through its girls’ apprenticeship program and hydroponics project promoting sustainable agriculture. Supporting the community through youth programs is also a priority for The Central Romana Corporation, the parent company of Casa de Campo Resort and Villas, which supports three major charities in neighboring La Romana, including The Hogar del Niño, a nursery and an educational center for children. over 1,500 local children.
Balancing strategic expansion and organic growth is a key consideration for brands whose foundations are built on being an asset to their communities. With a growing number of hotels springing up in some of the North East’s most sought-after destinations, Main Street Hospitality achieves this balance through its unique, diverse, yet always locally-focused portfolio of independent hotels, which range from historic properties such as the Red Lion Inn to new builds and restorations, including the soon-to-open Canoe Place in Hampton Bays. Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to “building things that last and preserving things that matter,” the group prioritizes genuine development over aggressive expansion, ensuring that each new project is not only beneficial to his community, but deeply integrated within it.
According to American Express Travel’s 2022 Global Travel Trends report, beyond seeing dollars flow back into local communities, an overwhelming majority of tourists are motivated by seeking a connection to local culture in the destinations they visit. visit. For new hotels like The Morrow, which will open this fall in Washington DC’s NoMa district, connecting guests to the new 3rd Street District means showcasing its history while redefining its future. Located in an area known for its rich industrial history and artistic innovation, the hotel’s offerings are rooted in its surroundings.
For many hotels like The Morrow, considering the connection between guests and local culture starts with design. For newly built properties and those that prioritize this connection, locally inspired design is a priority and prevails in some of this year’s major openings. Opened earlier this year, the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya features design shaped by local artisans, with handcrafted art installations and design details throughout the hotel, and soon to open in Manhattan, the Ritz-Carlton New York, the NoMad’s design is inspired by the area’s colorful history as a floral district, with floral expressions depicted in public spaces and guest rooms.
Hospitality, like public relations, is a business built around finding connections with the people and places that give rise to culture. Amplifying the cultural catalysts that shape the places we travel, and doing so consistently, is a practice shared by hotels that have become synonymous with culture itself. To do this, in many cases, it is crucial to defend local artists. At the Hammetts Hotel, the Sarah Langley Gallery showcases the work of Newport-connected artists, showcasing local work through Newport Curates. Hammetts Hotel and Main Street Hospitality have a strong focus on arts and culture and support community arts initiatives, inviting artists, musicians, performers, filmmakers and creatives to call the hotel home, in partnership with organizations such as NewportFilm and Newport Jazz & Folk Festival to host creatives throughout the season.
Allyn Magrino is President and Chief Revenue Officer at Magrino.