From an economic standpoint, the US tourism industry is a huge source of revenue and employment. Incidentally, 2019 marks a decade since the US grappled with the devastating effects of an economic recession. Of course, the country has come a long way since then. From 2009 to 2017, hotel bookings in the US have increased from $116 billion to $185 billion, and airline revenue has also surged from $155 billion to $222 billion, according to a 2019 Deloitte Report on the US Travel and Hospitality Industry.
A significant part of this growth can be attributed to the huge influx of international visitors to USA from across the world. In 2018 alone, 78 million foreign travelers set foot on US soil, a number that is expected to increase to 89 million by 2022, according to figures by Statista. No doubt the US is one of the prime destinations for travelers from all corners of the world, who come to experience the rich cultural and geographical diversity of America. This is why hotels are now constantly on a quest to improve their game to be able to cater to foreign visitors. The tourism and hospitality industry of any country are closely interlinked, and each derives significant value from the other.
Here are some ways in which hotels can be more attractive to foreign tourists.
Targeting Millennials and Their Love for Social Media
This population of 30-something individuals is known for its wanderlust. The tech-savvy generation considers itself a global citizen. An increasing number of young people are working harder than ever in high profile jobs and putting off critical life events like marriage and children, in order to be able to save enough money to indulge in frequent travel. Even those who cannot afford international trips, make it a point to go to domestic destinations on the weekends.
Millennials respect and rely on peer reviews of hotels and travel sites on social media platforms, which is why hotels are gradually trying to build a strong online presence, rather than investing in magazine ads or travel brochures, according to an expert at The Reeds at Shelter Haven.
Staying visible on the top travel aggregator sites is important too. Platforms like Google and Facebook can help put targeted ads for a specific audience demographic. But, to be discovered online, brands need to have a great story, be socially aware and, of course, good reviews don’t hurt either. The aim is to offer and execute brilliantly on something special, which can compel millennials to share it on their social media profiles.
Multi-Lingual and Multi-Currency Optimization
Being hospitable is one of the key aspects of hospitality, and that includes putting guests at ease and making it easy for them to comprehend the experience being provided, according to an article on eHotelier.com.
Not only should foreign visitors be able to read the content on hotel websites in the language they are most comfortable in, but also be able to interact with the hotel staff comfortably in their native tongue. This will ensure that they are able to have a great experience, resulting in positive reviews on the internet. Along with that, they also need to be able to pay or view rates in their domestic currency, failing to do which could lead to abandoned bookings. A number of critical factors are to be taken care of:
Website and SEO localization: Content optimized for language and cultural relevancy.
Document translation: Role of multilingual staff to ensure that translated messages are appropriate for the target audience.
Social Media Localization: Corporate communication and press releases for international audiences.
Multi-lingual interactive voice recording: Providing live, telephonic or remote interpretation.
Lastly, the ability to produce multi-cuisine experiences is important as well, apart from the local cuisine. In fact, 90% of young people are more interested in trying the local food than visiting museums, beaches and monuments, according to an article on Forbes.
With all that said, the hotel industry is quite a close-knit sector, and customer grievances like racial or gender discrimination wouldn’t be easily forgotten. Analyzing the countries from where visitors majorly come from will equip hotels to deliver a truly global experience.