Tourism and hospitality businesses are highly competitive and it is often the small things that make or break them. To distinguish themselves, many hotels have targeted niche markets, with families being one of the faster-growing areas. Travelling with one’s family, especially children, is always an adventure in itself. Parents with young kids often consider the environment the hotel offers and base their choices on the overall ‘familiar’ experience. Many hotels now focus on helping parents make their vacation plans as easy as possible so that their stay is fun and memorable.
Nowadays it is generally easier to get around and families with children represent a considerable portion of the travelling population, making them important segments to hospitality providers. Many hotels focus on being family-friendly and attract their guests via various mediums: photos, videos and descriptions help parents make better choices for them and their loved ones. Families often come with an agenda to unwind and bond and because of that, they expect things to be as simple as possible but still endearing. (First things first: not every hotel needs to be pirate-themed to attract families.)
Therefore, it is important to promote your establishment so that it stands out from all the clutter and noise on the Internet. You have to consider this niche market as a great opportunity to expand and showcase your creativity as many hotels are not using this adequately. There are many ways to attract guests but families require special strategizing because they present two buyer personas (adults and kids) in one. Here are five solid ways to make your hotel more family-friendly:
Your website, the ultimate storefront: Right now, as you read this, there are many parents planning weekend getaways with their children. They are comparing offers, booking flight tickets, and making itineraries. If you wish to make your hotel more noticeable, make sure all your family-friendly amenities are listed on the website. Do you offer a baby cot for your rooms? Put it on the site. Is there a playground nearby (or even at the hotel)? Put it on the site. They need to be on display because almost everything is decided online. Highlighting nearby attractions, recreational activities and amenities, displaying family packages and presenting a place that is clearly well fitted for a family group: these are the things a website should call attention to.
Focus on the family factor: Families come with a certain list of ideas in their minds that may or may not be very clear to them. Something you could do is to surprise them: spend time on research, identify what families like in particular and focus on them thoroughly. Parents are sensitive and will always look out for their children’s well-being first. Some ideas are:
A Kids’ Club: A place where children can remain engaged and be entertained is a great option. A spot that offers excitement and is safe means that parents too can enjoy a bit of lone time. This also means employing staff who is patient, polite and capable of handling children.
Early Dinners and Lunches: Some families will want to take small breaks to nap and rejuvenate. Planning early meals and being flexible with meal times allows parents to plan out their entire day properly. It is also a good idea to offer special meals or meal sizes for children.
On-site Partnerships: Kids love playing with other children and if your hotel can manage to help forge new friendships, then that is priceless. A pyjama party or a fun games night can result in happy kids and even happier parents.
Studying the competition: Families differ from the regular guests who are at your hotel for business, leisure or a weekend getaway. They often do not need single or double rooms but larger, more spacious ones. This allows you to be proactive and have an edge over the competitor. Since there is often room to improvise and innovate, it is good to keenly study the competition not only for their prices but also for the amenities they offer. Highlighting and increasing the number of your features will always be effective.
Customer Service exclusivity: Parents will always be sensitized to how their children are going to fare during the trip. And customer service is always key. Employ staff who is dedicated to attending to calls and queries of parents who wish to know about the provisions at the hotels, allergy medicines, babysitting services, etc. Train the staff to interact with families and handle children well during the parents’ absence. A concierge who will address your guests’ every wish is a great addition to the team, not just in terms of families.
Group Bookings and Discounts: Many families enjoy travelling in large groups; be it with grandparents or other families. For such scenarios, it makes sense to offer deals for multiple room bookings. Providing interconnecting rooms or organizing parties for special occasions can be quite helpful, too. Hotels should display this information on their websites so that families can plan accordingly.
Summing up, it is important to keep families in mind. Whether that includes children, grandparents, or even adult siblings — it is always beneficial to make sure that your hotel is ready for a bigger group of relatives. The most essential is to remember that all the facilities you do offer need to be represented on your website so that families can properly plan to be able to enjoy the best vacation they can.