In today’s ever-shifting hotel industry, maintaining your independent hotel’s identity and culture are more valuable than ever. Although operators are faced with the pressures of competing against non-traditional lodging companies, predicting millennial traveler preferences and satisfying guests’ digital needs, they must remember to stay true to their identity and culture and avoid the temptation of making changes simply to get ahead of the next hot trend. For example, check-in kiosks are designed to make guest arrival more efficient, but if a hotel is known for hands-on hospitality, eliminating opportunities for human interaction could hinder guest relationship building and potentially drive away their core audience.
Strong hotel brand identity and culture can allow for practical change to occur smoothly, but it’s the responsibility of hotel leadership to exercise care and responsibility when altering the way things are traditionally done. To ensure you maintain your independent hotel’s identity and culture remain intact as you navigate today’s quickly-evolving hotel industry, here are a couple essentials to keep in mind:
Great people bring identity and culture to life
Hiring and retaining high-performing team members who understand how to engage guests and deliver exceptional hospitality is key for maintaining your independent hotel’s identity and culture. Hotel leadership is responsible for setting the course and protecting a hotel’s identity and culture, but it’s the unique blend of personalities, values, ethics and performances of team members that bring them to life. Many hotels offer similar goods and services, but it’s the energy and professionalism of team members that shape the guest experience and draws travelers back again and again.
Identity and culture should align with the local community
Aligning with the local community ensures an independent hotel’s identity and culture are authentic and sustainable. Many neighborhoods are known for taking care of their own, so embracing the local community allows independent hotels to build goodwill and gain allies who can serve as valuable, long-term resources. Making practices such as recycling, local vendor sourcing and philanthropy integral parts of hotel operations shows a commitment to the community and encourages locals to reciprocate support. As independent hoteliers keep an eye toward the future, they should always keep in mind the community that’s supporting them today.