Have you ever heard the term “guest inclusivity” in the hospitality industry? Lately, it’s been generating a lot of buzz, forcing the corporate portion of the hotel industry to take notice.
Hotels from far and wide are realizing how important diversity and inclusion can be. However, many organizations, especially small hotels, have no idea what guest inclusivity means.
Continue reading to find out how the small hotel and even large players can create an inclusive environment and improve bookings.
Inclusivity and diversity mean embracing and including people from all walks of life, ensuring that each of them feels welcome when they step through your door. It doesn’t matter if someone has a handicap or comes from a different part of the world; everyone should have equal access to benefits and resources in your hotel.
The Current Situation Regarding Guest Inclusivity and Diversity
There are several significant statistics regarding inclusivity and diversity:
- 56% of travelers feel it’s important that the company they deal with is committed to inclusivity and diversity
- 50% of travelers are willing to pay 5% to 20% more to book with companies that value inclusivity and diversity
There you have it. Travelers place a strong emphasis on feeling welcomed and being treated fairly. Regardless of a customer’s age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or abilities, hotels must remain open-minded and serve a larger demographic to cultivate a sense of belonging.
How Can Hotels Leverage Guest Inclusivity and Diversity to Maximize Profit?
It’s understandable that making changes to turn your hotel into a completely inclusive and diverse organization can’t happen overnight. You shouldn’t get overwhelmed and feel as if you have to make this change right now to stay competitive. However, you must understand how important diversity is in the hospitality industry, and you must start now.
The best part is this transition can be made one step at a time. A small hotel business can benefit from the following list of steps.
1. Assess Your Hotel’s Current Strategy
The most important thing to do is to assess your current operational strategy. Examine everything closely to understand every aspect.
Start with the type of guests that have been your bread and butter. If you have had a diverse number of travelers, find out how their experience went and which services they preferred.
The main point is to understand the atmosphere of your hotel. This can clue you into which portion of the market you’re missing out on. This enables you to enter those markets and service your target markets in different communities.
2. Develop Your Inclusion Strategy
The need for the right diversity and inclusion strategy in the hotel industry is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. Developing your inclusion strategy doesn’t mean you’ll only open the doors for a certain demographic. This is counterproductive.
The main purpose of your strategy is to find out where you’ll need to invest your time, effort, and money. For example, you should only spend money on the services and amenities that your new set of target guests are likely to prefer. This avoids overspending and maxing out your budget.
Additionally, your strategy should focus on providing a sense of purpose and encourage a strong commitment across the entire hotel. Every department must align with your commitment towards including all types of guests. It’s critical that this is a collaborative effort.
3. The Hiring Element
It was stated earlier that guests wanted organizations with all-around diversity and inclusion. This means the hotel staff, as well.
Normally, hotels hire people that are a good fit. But what exactly are they a good fit to? The hotel? The problem is this does nothing for your inclusivity. It’s important that you focus on hiring individuals with different life experiences and from different communities and countries.
4. Voice Your Efforts
If you’re doing something worthwhile, you should include it in your brand story. This is where marketing comes into play.
Guests are currently paying close attention to hotels and how they behave. When you spread the word that your focus is on inclusivity and diversity, you’re more likely to gain a favorable reputation.
This leads to maximizing your revenue and drawing a bigger crowd. Additionally, since this is a fairly new topic, when you post this information, you could be educating the globe. This is important for passing these ethics on to organizations in small hotel management.
5. How About a Chief Diversity Officer?
Hiring or appointing a chief diversity officer can be a great idea. It’s not always possible for a hotel owner or manager to keep an eye on the inclusivity element and staff. This is when creating a new department can be extremely beneficial.
When you have a CDO, you’ll have someone that’s an expert at taking care of diversity and inclusivity. CDOs will serve in an executive-level leadership role and have a strong sense of dealing with D&I issues and hurdles.
Additionally, a CDO can eliminate conscious and unconscious bias. They’ll also be accountable for compliance, advocacy, and education regarding guest inclusivity.
The hospitality industry stands to gain some significant benefits when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. Not only will you impress your regulars, but you’ll also open up the market for a whole new group of travelers.
Additionally, adding this as a highlight of your brand in terms of marketing can open up some big changes for your organization. Entire strategies have been based on this element alone, and you can separate yourself from the pack if you approach it in the right manner.
This could be the perfect strategy for a small hotel business that’s looking to put itself on the map. There’s a certain advantage and ring to being “that hotel that includes guests from all walks of life.”
It’s tiny elements like that which lead to huge levels of success. One day there’s a small buzz generated regarding your D&I strategy, and the next, you’re opening entire franchises based on this element that everyone wants to be a part of.
Even if you’re a larger outfit with an established track record, there’s no reason to think you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Showing an element of adaptability is a great way to refresh your brand.
Regardless of the size of your organization, diversity and inclusivity are critical elements going into 2022. Don’t miss out on the revenue potential and the newfound level of ethics by giving this the proper attention.
This article was originally published on partner sites.