A Recent History of Boutique Hotels:
While chain hotels such as Holiday Inn, Ramada, Marriott, and Hilton took off in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, boutique hotels also began to make their mark on the industry during this time. Places like Miami Beach began to feature unique, one-of-a-kind hotels such as The Beacon Hotel or The Century Hotel. Travelers flocked to these hotels because they stood out from the others. These hotels were later labeled as some of the first boutique hotels.
Boutique hotels are now making a comeback faster than ever before. During the 1960s, 70s, and 80s chain hotels grew enormously, however, boutique hotels are now seeing their time for growth. The switch back to boutique occurred when travelers started to want and expect more during their stays, more authentic experiences, more local culture, more one-of-a-kind moments, in order to accommodate the growing traveler, boutique hotels are back and here to stay for the foreseeable future.
The Growth of Boutique Hotels:
In 2014 it was reported that revenue for boutique type lodgings increased by 8.8%, outpacing traditional chain hotels at the time. This was the beginning of a large comeback for boutique hotels. Currently, 70% of travelers report that they want an immersive experience while traveling which is something that only boutique and independent hotels can provide.
A recent Expedia study showed from their Q1 2017 data that “travelers spent more per night at independent hotels than at branded properties and that the ADR growth for independents has doubled the pace of branded ADRs since Q1 2014.” This study shows that travelers are valuing boutique hotels and unique experiences and independent hotels continue to be on the rise. This is because of the experiences boutique hotels are able to create and provide for the guest.
Trends for Boutique Hotel Industry:
While there are many trends within the hotel and hospitality industry the following four trends tend to have made the biggest splash in the boutique hotel pond and are what helps properties appeal to new and repeat travelers.
Digital Marketing: While boutique hotels may not always have the large budget branded-chain hotels have, it’s still just as important for boutique properties to be active on digital marketing channels such as social media, search engine optimization, mobile website and booking and more. Learn more about digital marketing solutions for your property here.
Authentic Experiences: It’s important for your boutique property to promote and embrace what makes it unique. Identify your hotel brand, and help travelers and guests connect with that brand. Offer local recommendations and provide cultural amenities at your property.
Personalized Service: Hotels that go above and beyond with customer service stand out to travelers. Make sure your staff is welcoming, memorable and helpful for every need.
Loyalty Programs: Travelers today want to be rewarded for being loyal. Make sure to implement an easy-to-use and straightforward loyalty program that rewards your guests for booking direct and booking repeatedly with your hotel. Learn more about loyalty programs here.
Why Boutique Hotels Appeal to Travelers:
With character, charisma, uniqueness and more, what’s not to love about boutique hotels? Boutique hotels not only provide a home away from home for guests and travelers but help add to the traveler’s overall travel experience.
One-of-a-kind Experiences: This is one of the key distinctions between boutique hotels and chain-branded hotels. Because of the individuality and unique brand behind independent hotels, these hotels are able to provide guests with a travel experience unlike any other. With real, local recommendations, character in every decoration, local culture and more, boutique hotels can help add to and enhance a travel experience. This helps make them memorable and encourages guests to become loyal customers.
Unparalleled Service: Because of the strong emphasis on experience and providing an unforgettable stay, boutique hotels often go above and beyond with customer service. Whether it’s remembering a guests favorite candy and placing it on their pillow, to tailoring specific local recommendations to a family’s preferences, boutique hotels put their guests first.
According to a recent study, 70% of travelers report that they want an immersive experience and 78% report that they wish to learn something new while traveling. These statistics perfectly capture why boutique hotels are gaining and staying in popularity, they are able to provide immersive and new experiences for travelers.
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