Change in customer behavior is evident with the choices and demand they make. The specifics are now more important in the luxury hospitality business. This change appears to be an influence of the better living standards and spending power of the customers with the advantage of easy availability via internet. A few decades ago who would have thought of a hotel specifically catering those customers who likes to have amusement for their kids? At present there are hotels that are offering kids-friendly programs like Kid’s spa, club and water parks. The new trend is still in its early stage but it is growing faster among hoteliers.
A child-friendly stay
A lot of people go out exploring different places on the pretext of their kid’s vacations. This is a timely business initiative from many hoteliers to offer family packages which includes many kids’ related amusement and entertainment stuffs to the families to have a better vacation. In a fast paced and growing industry targeting a highly important group makes for a great opportunity for the hospitality business. From oldest to the youngest, all are for better times on vacations. Be it a tropical spot or ski destination, everyone goes with the idea of a fruitful vacation, especially kids.
In this context Heather Beasley, senior VP of the Americas region for the Holiday Inn Brand Family tells, “We know that both families traveling on vacation as well as individuals who when they travel on business are looking for opportunities to spend time with their families is a huge segment of the market.”
Since there is internet for easy accessibility to the hotel properties and facilities to the customers, it makes a good choice for the hotels to spread their services through booking sites. There are numerous hotels which are selling a number of rooms based on reviews on travel and booking websites and being a child-friendly hotel it really makes thing easier for the hotels to reach out to its prospective customers. More and more families are looking forward to see child friendly facilities. It is an important factor found in research that more parents are looking for properties that not only offers comfortable stay for the family, but also gives special amenities that attracts the kids. As a result of this, child-friendly hotels are making a booking appearance, with some going all out to appeal children.
Balsley further adds, “As a parent myself, when you’re making a booking decision and thinking about vacation, the most important things for these families are that their kids feel cared for, that they’re finding experiences for their kids to learn and experience new things.”
Therefore, it is evident that offering amenities and packages where it has child-friendly environment attracts customers with families. The trend is catching up and many hotels are developing their properties in a way to delight the little ones. Here are some ways through which hotels can make it countable:
Creating a Unique Experience: It comes to the hotels to create an environment that ensures unique experience for the kids by developing facilities that offers a great deal of joy. From check-in to check-out, few hotels are making sure that the trip remains memorable for the kids. To understand it better we can take the example of Marco Island Marriot Beach Resort which offers the families with a baby butler service that includes crib in the room, diaper delivery, complimentary meals and gifts for infant along with discounts on purchase of baby items.
In another example, Inn of Anasazi, a luxury hotel in Santa Fe which gives kitchen access to the kids and let them enjoy cooking with professional chefs. The chefs then make children to create the signature dishes of the hotel which later gets served beautifully with the kid’s name on the plate. Not just this, the kids are allowed to decorate cookies that are delivered to their rooms at night. These gives kids a sense of belonging with the hotels that is good for the hotels to develop a long term relation with their customers.
Amenities: Many hotels offer nannies, crèches and babysitting services. Others in the hotel business who took initiative to streamline their business on the kids-friendly model are creating a home-like environment, filling rooms with toys, books, puzzles, bright bedding and healthy snacks. Spa treatment especially for kids is also catching up to attract families. From on-site games to indoor swimming pools, to lessons on golf, there are a wide range of amenities to attract kids and their parents alike. Many hotels keep special space for kids that allow parents to have free time while their children play and make new friends.
Entertainment & Activities: Fiesta Hotel Group has launched a different initiative, Pirates of the Caribbean themed kid’s club offering entertaining activities for kids of 1 to 12 years of age. The activities in the large playground includes game area, pool, video game center, nap zone and craft center, the hotel has taken specifics into consideration and made its staff to wear the themed dress. Indoor cinema, bowling alley and video game zone are few other entertainment ideas are incorporated by the hotel. Outdoor activities are also offered to children in form of biking, horse riding, trekking, treasure hunt and nature walks.
Safety: There are many hotel establishments that are pitching on child-proofing kits to ease the parent minds of the young kids. It is difficult for the parent to travel with all the safety kits. Few beach resorts have initiated the idea of providing baby watch while parents enjoy swimming. Hotels now seem committed to provide safety. The hotels take care of rooms before you arrive. Most hotels put note in their property management system about customization – child proofing, before you reach the property.
Marketing: Hotels are now targeting families with their marketing strategies. Strategically they are trying to reach out to the audience to get a good response.
Sales and marketing consultant, Brenda Fields of Fields & Company says, “Marketing should be directed to families and adults with kids and supported by the appropriate product offerings such as swimming pool, games, sports room, video games and children’s foods.”
To ensure better return in terms of customers, your marketing strategy should be attractive to children. It means the marketing plan should have a kid-friendly, listing all the packages. Some hotels are also offering customizing packages for different age group of children – infant, toddler, kids, teens, to provide joyous experience for parents too. To make your hotel all child-friendly, begin it in small way, because every step counts.
To have a systematic approach to child-friendly hotel you should use property management system (PMS), by this you can streamline and control room bookings. The point of sales (POS) module of system helps you to add more child-centric amenities while having a better management of the resources. This prominent feature can definitely work better in the hotel industry. Try and reap the benefits!