Category Archives: Product

Check-in desk and concierges say brochures are best for guiding visitors

Bentley University, Center for Marketing Technology, in collaboration with the IAPBD (now Visitor International), surveyed 1,560 hospitality professionals to understand the usage and effectiveness of visitor information. The survey was undertaken during October 2015 and January 2016 at locations in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Greece.

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Important Respondent Characteristics

The value of this data comes from the survey answers provided by the front office staff within the hospitality industry. These are the opinions of the professionals at the check-in and concierge desk who have a great understanding of guest needs and the greatest potential to impact guest satisfaction levels.

The Importance of Providing Hospitality Visitor Information Resource

The survey shows hospitality professionals overwhelmingly favor the use of printed media to assist guests in their properties. 94% of Hospitality Professionals said Providing Visitor Information to Guests was “Extremely Important” or “Very Important”. A further 4% thought it to be moderately important.

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Printed Visitor Information is Most Valued

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98% of Hospitality Professionals said ‘yes’, they see value in having printed visitor information.

Printed Brochures and Maps Most Popular

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Printed brochures and maps are almost equally the most popular choice for guests and concierge staff. Maps are easy to use, easy to share and easy to trace a route along (26%). Brochures of attractions and events are the slight favorite (27%), and place-based guides are third (22%).

Rather unsurprisingly, other visitor information services currently used at surveyed properties are led by personal interaction and knowledge of front desk staff. If this data is combined with the data that shows the favorability of printed media, it is a reasonable assumption to speculate how face-to-face interaction, combined with an easily viewable printed map or brochure, is an excellent method to service guest requests for city and sights information.

Information Brochures have High Frequency of Use

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86% of Hospitality Professionals said Guests ‘Always’ or ‘Often’ utilize visitor information brochures. Brochures are frequently used among hotel guests. 40% Always, 46% Often, 13% Occasionally. Less than 1% of visitors completely disregard printed materials in their hotel. Also, only 1% of responders prefer web-based information provided by hotels and other properties, rather than printed materials.

In the age of mobile phones guests still look to the front desk for printed maps and attractions (55%) rather than kiosks (11%). The use of the Internet and kiosks at properties is much lower than hypothesized which suggests guests look to their own mobile Internet devices to conduct their own place-based research. However, this data suggests the importance of well-placed printed materials in displays to catch the attention of the guest and assist the front desk staff in their advice to guests on where to go and what to do while visiting.

Conclusion – Visitor Information Brochures

The data shows that hotel front desk staff in United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and Greece overwhelmingly favor brochure displays in their properties today.

Hotel front desk staff much prefer to assist their guests with printed media. In particular, brochures and maps are almost equally popular to share with guests. Even hotels without displays often use printed media to help guests. Electronic kiosks are infrequently used and often supplemented by printed material within the hotel. Web-based information sources are seldom preferred by hotel front staff to assist their guests.

In the digital age, printed media is the most preferred and maps guides and brochures are a highly valuable support tool to supplement the local knowledge of the front desk and concierge team. The use of printed maps for direction finding is interesting in the age of mobile apps and suggests that there is a shared connection with the concierge and the guest using a printed map together to highlight locations.

This survey data highlights the importance of printed guides and maps to visitors. It suggests that all hotels should offer printed information brochures and maps and that any hotel considering the removal of printed material from their property should reflect on their guest’s clear preferences and the ability of printed brochures and maps to guide guests to wonderful experiences – enhancing their stay.

Do you need maps and brochures at your location?

If you are Sydney based, please contact The Word for these services:

sales@thewordaustralia.com.au

Source: Visitor International

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Ancient Indigenous aquaculture site Budj Bim added to UNESCO World Heritage list

A south-west Victorian Indigenous site that is older than the pyramids has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Key points:

  • A 6,600-year-old Indigenous aquaculture site in Victoria has been added to the World Heritage List
  • Older than the pyramids, the site proves that Indigenous people were agriculturally inclined
  • The listing ends a 17-year campaign for recognition and is expected to boost tourism in the area

After more than a decade of hard work and lobbying, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape near Portland was accepted onto the list at a meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan on the weekend.

The site was created about 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people, who used stones to build an elaborate series of channels and pools to harvest eels from Lake Condah.

There is also evidence at the site of stone dwellings, and trees that may have been used to smoke or preserve the eels that were caught.

Not only does Budj Bim bust the myth that all Indigenous people were nomadic and not agriculturally inclined, it is also considered one of the oldest aquaculture sites in the world.

A lake with patches of grass growing though under a cloudy sky.

PHOTO: The area around Lake Condah contains evidence of one of the world’s oldest aquaculture systems. (ABC News: Bridget Brennan)

A long and valuable journey

Denis Rose, project manager for Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, said it had been a long journey to UNESCO recognition, but a valuable one.

“We first talked about this in 2002,” Mr Rose said. “I sometimes wondered over the years if we’d make it or not.

“It’s a very exhaustive process.

“We based it on a lot of evidence, and now that it’s been decided, I’m extremely happy.”

A man in a blue shirt and red hat stands in front of what looks like a pile of stones.

PHOTO: Denis Rose in front of one of the remnants of small stone houses the Gunditjmara people lived in at Budj Bim prior to European settlement. (ABC News: Steph Juleff)

He said the listing had three main benefits — recognition of Gunditjmara achievements on a global scale, increased protection for the site, and the potential tourism boost.

“There are a number of reports that say that once a place is declared as a world heritage site, tourism increases dramatically,” Mr Rose said.

The State Government has announced $8 million for a visitor centre and major works at the site to ready it for an expected visitor influx.

A man and woman stand on a timber boardwalk and study papers

PHOTO: Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation chairman Damein Bell (left) with the Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins in 2016. (ABC News: Steph Juleff)

Glenelg Shire Mayor Anita Rank said the whole region would benefit from the UNESCO announcement.

“It means people get the opportunity to come out here and see what we get to see every day of the week,” Cr Rank said.

“The tourism thing is really important but there are also other important cultural and historical elements to this announcement.

“We’ve worked hard as a shire to … encourage the storytelling around what happened here on country 6,000 years ago.”

Making the list

Elevation to the World Heritage List means the site is recognised as having “outstanding universal value”.

Australia has 19 locations on the list, ranging from natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef and fossil mammal sites at Riversleigh and Naracoorte, to cultural landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

Mr Rose said he was delighted to think something the Indigenous people of south-west Victoria built now appeared on the same list as the pyramids, Stonehenge and the Acropolis.

“I think what it really does is it’s … an important acknowledgement of the work that our Gunditjmara ancestors have done,” he said.

“When I take people out to country I tell them this aquaculture system was first built 6,600 years ago — there’s not many things on the planet that still exist today that are older than that.”

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Adventure Cairns partners with The Word to promote FNQ

The new and exciting Adventure Cairns group has recently re-formed and now boasts over 50 local members after being off the radar for the past few years. The group want to promote Tropical North Queensland as the Adventure Capital of Australia, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a backpacking mecca. Adventure Cairns have rebranded, launched a new website and has formed a committee of driven and dedicated members with different strengths and backgrounds from within the tourism industry.

President Phil Warring realised the region was losing market share and decided to resurrect the Adventure Cairns brand and look to engage with youth travellers prior to coming to Australia. “The current focus is on social media marketing through video and strong imagery on the Adventure Cairns website and disseminate this through our members and their channels.”

“A group of us realised it was time to resurrect the group. It started at a TTNQ (Tourism Tropical North Queensland) meeting where they discussed low numbers and the fact there is no dedicated representation for the Youth and Adventure market. I had also been talking about it for a long time, had all the domains and information and we all got together and made it happen.”

Many travellers are still post arrival decision-makers and only make their final travel plans whilst in Sydney. ” We wish to engage our market with as many touch points as possible in order to showcase the best of the Cairns and Tropical North Queensland region.” continues Phil.

The Word approached Adventure Cairns to offer an eight to 12 page centre section within the Aussie Guide. Distributed in Sydney via hostels, international student colleges and via www.SydneyBrochureDistribution.com, also owned by The Word.

The Aussie Guide will be distributed in mid-August with 100 000 copies hitting the streets and connecting with the youth market.

As a bonus, 5000 extra copies of the Adventure Cairns section will be printed and distributed with copies given to Adventure Cairns members for their sales reps to distribute intrastate, locally and interstate.

“We are delighted to be working with The Word which has a long history of publishing and distribution in the backpacker and youth markets in Sydney. Sydney is a gateway and we want to reach our market there, and show them that Cairns is a ‘must do’ destination during their trip to Australia.” states Phil.

For more information on Adventure Cairns, please visit their website:

www.adventurecairns.com.au

If your region is interested in destination marketing for the post arrival backpacker and youth market, contact Mike Barrow from The Word. E. mike@thewordaustralia.com.au

Written by: Adventure Cairns

Multi-Million Dollar US Expansion for Kiwi Pod Hotel Chain

An innovative Kiwi pod-hotel chain will expand into the United States in what its owners are describing as a significant move for the company.

Jucy Snooze, a micro-accommodation provider which has more than 530 beds across its Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch locations, is New Zealand’s first hotel chain to offer pod-style rooms for budget conscious travellers. 

Jucy has now signed a joint venture with a Los Angeles-based hotel developer to operate a Jucy Snooze hotel with more than 220 pods under the ‘Stay Open’ brand in San Diego

Jucy CEO Tim Alpe, says while the company already has campervan rental operations in the US, the proposed $16m San Diego hotel will be the company’s first offshore accommodation expansion. 

He says the company is also working with its US partner to open hotels in a number of other Southern California  locations including Hollywood and Santa Monica.

“The Jucy Snooze concept is about meeting the growing demand for budget accommodation as well as designing socially interactive spaces for Millennial and Centennial [Generation Z] travellers who want to connect with others while they travel. 

“We have also created new technology to remove some of the traditional pain points which allows guests to manage their own check-in process without needing to queue and access their rooms via a smart device.

“The US operators have visited our sites around New Zealand and have seen nothing else like it; they plan to expand the Jucy Snooze concept throughout the US,” he says.

Alpe says the opportunity was developed after extensive research of the North American market which was facilitated by NZTE

He says the move will complement Jucy’s rental vehicle business in the US while providing opportunities to cross-sell accommodation to their customer base expanding it’s hotel presence  under the Stay Open brand.

Alpe says their move into the US is timely with a number of new players entering the micro-accommodation space. 

The two storey, approximately 2000sqm Stay Open site is adjacent to the San Diego Airport and will have 226 pods plus six rooms with ensuites. The hotel will feature a rooftop bar and restaurant and an app which supports social connection between guests, introduction to local events and seamless ordering of food and beverages via their mobile device.

Earlier this week, Jucy launched a new fleet of fully electric rental campervans targeted at eco-conscious European tourists to the New Zealand market.

ADVENTIUM TECHNOLOGY API SUCCESS FEES

Adventium Technology emailed their clients on 26 March 2019 to advise that effective 15 April 2019, they will be implementing API Success Fees.

The proposed fees will be on all successful API bookings and the fees for API connections are:
Accommodation Providers: 1.0% of retail recommended price
Tour & Activity Providers: 0.50% of retail recommended price
Operators accessing via Junction6: 0.25% of retail recommended price

Several members have contacted us to raise their concern about these fees and both BOA, AQ and ATV intend to respond to Adventium Technology on behalf of members.

As a BOA, AQ or ATV member, if you are affected by implementation of these fees and would like to share your feedback, please send an email to one of the following:

boa@boansw.org.au or get in touch with a BOA representative.

info@adventurequeensland.com.au by 10am Thursday 4 April, 2019 or get in touch with your local AQ representative to discuss.

www.facebook.com/adventuretourismvictoria

…or please comment on this forum on how it will affect your business even if not a member of the above state organisations.

Source: BOA/AQ

Sourced by Mike Barrow