The health crisis we are experiencing has led tourism professionals to rethink their strategies, as demands and clienteles are changing. Indeed, with numerous travel restrictions and border closures, international tourists were much less present, or even totally absent at times, with domestic customers taking over. Locals are therefore becoming the new core target of the hospitality sector, which maintains its activity partly thanks to them. Stakeholders in the sector also see the local population as a source of wealth in terms of production, crafts and skilled labour.
Exquisite Member Programme by The Saint Regis Venice is a programme created for locals that first invited them to come to the hotel to meet the General Manager for an informal cocktail in one of the hotel's suites. The guests would then leave with a card created especially for them, which they could use to benefit from discounts when they came to eat at the hotel. This initiative also encourages them to join the Marriott Bonvoy Programme, creating a local database to which a newsletter is sent each month.
Dekho Apna Desh - Independence Day Campaign by IHCL (Indian Hotels Company Limited) is a communication campaign launched on August 15, 2021 that invites Indians to travel to their own country by highlighting the diversity and beauty of India's landscape. In order to address the campaign to local travellers, the language chosen is Hindi as it is the most widely spoken language across the country, the name of the campaign means "Discover your own country". The campaign was developed in the same year that India celebrated its 75th anniversary of independence.
Le Monument restaurant (Maison Albar Hotels - Le Monumental Palace), of the Centaurus brand, puts local producers in the spotlight through its new menu which retraces the discovery of Portugal by French Chef Julien Montbabut. In order to offer a more unique and local experience to the restaurant's customers, the Chef travelled all over Portugal to meet producers from different regions. This passion for local know-how and products is reflected in the restaurant's dishes.
Pedzouille La Grange, the place to be at Novotel Paris Porte de Versailles also honours local know-how with carefully selected local products. This new F&B offer is presented as a "high altitude inn" that reinvents the codes of the sometimes too stuffy Parisian rooftop by playing the authentic card with 100% French products. This restaurant is meant to be offbeat and offers a trip to the countryside for a meal or an evening.
The Dixon, Tower Bridge of the Marriott Group has been committed to including and supporting the local community throughout its development, starting with hiring local youth for employment. The hotel also supports local schools by hosting their events and allowing students to do internships at the hotel. Finally, at the beginning of the pandemic, the hotel delivered free food and drink to local residents in need.
Healthy and sustainable food by the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena Hotel also aims to harness the talents of local communities by purchasing more local products and hiring local people. These people add value to the hotel through their knowledge of the area and their attachment to it.
Phāea Farmers Program by Blue Palace of Luxury Collection Resort, demonstrates the resort's commitment to maximising the use of local staff who work on farms during the off-season. With this programme, the hotel supports the farming activities of its employees by working with agronomists to train them in organic farming methods and sustainable land use.
Accor Indigenous Programs by ACCOR Pacific is a Group-led initiative for local talent that plays a key role in the success of indigenous people in the Australian hospitality industry. As a result, more than 1,400 young Indigenous people have joined Accor since 2015 in roles of varying levels of responsibility.
FIRE. SLEEP. FIRE. by W Hotels was to offer the local community, the people of Barcelona, the opportunity to escape lockdown and other health restrictions for at least one night. The package included accommodation for two people, dinner and breakfast at the FIRE restaurant, parking and access to the GETAWAY spa area for 275 euros. The initiative was a great success and gave the locals a chance to get away from it all without having to travel far from home.
Marriott Bonvoy Local Explorers is an initiative developed during the health crisis to respond to a growing tourism trend, staycation, a contraction of 'stay' and 'vacation'. In particular, the approach is designed to meet the needs of families wishing to stay close to home by offering them an experience that exceeds their expectations and also exceeds similar offers. The Group has made extensive use of social media to promote its offer and also to encourage its customers to make it more visible through a dedicated hashtag.
Nota Bene: The HON editorial team highlights and values the entries submitted for the Hospitality Awards 2021 in complete independence from the competition itself, which is governed by precise rules. This in no way prejudges the outcome of the specific process of nominating finalists or winners, which follows the rules of the competition through the examination of the entries by a jury followed by a sworn bailiff and live voting on the day of the ceremony. The abundance of initiatives submitted during this 21st edition is a fine illustration of the efforts made by the profession in the face of the crisis and it was important for us to share them with you.