In her studies of love and brain chemistry, biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher has discovered that anything that causes excitement increases dopamine and has the same effect on the brain as romantic love. Otherwise put, excitement is powerful stuff. It stands to reason then that being a part of encouraging a traveler’s excitement about an upcoming trip creates positive connections.
Tapping into traveler excitement is valuable whether or not your property houses its own restaurants and activities. According to TripAdvisor, if you can “tap into the elation and energy guests feel… you’ll strengthen the emotional attachment travelers have with your property.” Participating actively in the Build Up & Excitement Phase sets the tone for your service levels and creates an emotional attachment with the guest. This is an essential ingredient of a loyal, long-lasting relationship with your guest.
What’s Happening for Travelers During the Build Up & Excitement Phase?
Travelers are dreaming about their trip. They are asking themselves—or better yet, the Internet—what there is to do on or nearby the property and whether or not they need to book these things in advance. Other questions they are considering include: What are the must-see and must-do attractions and activities? Which restaurants are well rated? Will I take day trips?
How are they Searching During the Build Up & Excitement Phase?
During this phase, the search expands from the very specific rates and promotions terms of the prior phase. Searches will cover activities, attractions, and restaurants and many, if not all, will include your property or the destination name.
Searches may look like:
“Restaurants near The Plaza New York”
“Things to do near The Plaza”
”Kid-friendly activities around Central Park”
What Should Hoteliers & VRMs Be Doing to Reach Guests in this Phase?
Think about keeping incoming guests excited for their stay, even if it means promoting activities and restaurants that aren’t necessarily on your property. Become a part of the inspiration for the way the trip looks and feels, for the overall experience.
Strategies should include email campaigns that encourage guests to make reservations or sign up for excursions before their stay, as well as tips and tools for traveling to your destination or property.
NAVIS Tools for the Build Up & Excitement:
- Create an online concierge that offers reviews and ratings of restaurants and activities.
- Ensure on-site spa, restaurant, and golf reservations are prominent and simple.
Some properties will generate incremental revenue from encouraging spa appointments and restaurant reservations, but this shouldn’t be the leading factor in encouraging travelers to dream about and plan the rest of their trip. Let guests know that you care about their experience when they’re with you and when they’re not. Encouraging them to enjoy the very best restaurants and the very best activities will set guests up for a memorable, dopamine-producing experience—and create an attachment to your property that brings them back again and again.