Strategies Shaping Guest Behaviour in Hospitality & Leisure

Strategies Shaping Guest Behaviour in Hospitality & Leisure

In the vibrant landscape of hospitality and leisure, comprehending guest behaviour plays a pivotal role in shaping their decisions. From the initial contemplation of a holiday or leisure activity to the eventual confirmation of a booking, various elements come into play. Recognising and leveraging these aspects can significantly impact business success in these sectors.

Unveiling Guest Preferences in Leisure and Hospitality

1. Emotions Drive Choices:

Guests often base decisions on emotions rather than purely rational factors. The desire for relaxation, adventure or excitement significantly influences their choices. Businesses can tap into these feelings by designing experiences that evoke these emotions. For instance, promoting a tranquil escape or an exhilarating holiday can trigger emotional responses, driving bookings.

2. Social Influences:

Guest behaviour is profoundly affected by social factors. Recommendations from friends, family, and online reviews have a considerable influence on decisions. Positive experiences shared by others serve as powerful endorsements, while negative feedback can dissuade potential customers. Businesses should focus on creating experiences that guests are eager to share and discuss, using positive social proof to attract more guests.

3. Perceived Value:

The perceived value of an experience significantly impacts guest decision-making. This encompasses not only the actual cost but also the quality of service, unique offerings and the overall experience. Guests are often willing to pay more for an experience they perceive as valuable. Businesses can enhance perceived value by offering tailored services, exclusive packages and unique add-ons that cater to individual preferences.

Unique Strategies and Case Studies in Guest Behaviour for Leisure and Hospitality

1. Sensory Experience Design:

Engaging multiple senses can significantly impact guest behaviour. Soneva Resorts, for instance, utilises scents, music and unique culinary experiences to create an unforgettable ambiance. The use of custom scents in their properties establishes an associative memory for guests, leading to brand recall and emotional attachment.

2. Behavioural Nudges:

Implementing subtle nudges to guide guest behaviour has proven effective. Alton Towers Resort in the UK used 'Fun Theory' to encourage guests to use the stairs instead of the escalator by transforming the stairs into a giant piano keyboard. This playful and engaging nudge resulted in increased stair usage and positive guest feedback.

3. Surprise and Delight Strategies:

Implementing unexpected elements into a guest's experience can create a lasting impression. The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain is renowned for empowering its staff to engage in "Wow Stories." These instances involve employees going above and beyond, surprising guests with personalised gestures or unexpected amenities, fostering an emotional connection and positive memories.

4. Community-Centric Experiences:

Airbnb is a prime example of how community-centric experiences influence guest behaviour. The platform taps into the desire for authentic and local experiences by offering stays in unique homes and experiences led by locals. This strategy leverages social influence and the appeal of belonging to a community, resonating strongly with travellers seeking genuine cultural immersion.

5. Framing and Anchoring Techniques:

Framing pricing and options can significantly influence perceived value. Disney's "Magic Your Way" pricing allows guests to create their own package by choosing features a la carte. By providing a base price and then offering add-ons, they anchor the perceived value of the experience, allowing guests to feel in control of their spending.

6. Psychological Segmentation:

Psychographic segmentation can lead to a more nuanced understanding of guest behaviour. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a luxury resort, uses psychographic data to target different types of guests. By catering to specific personas with tailored experiences, they create a deeper connection, providing personalised services and events based on individual preferences.

In today's competitive landscape, mastering guest behaviour in leisure and hospitality is an ongoing journey. By implementing innovative strategies and drawing from unique case studies, businesses can transcend the ordinary and create experiences that resonate deeply with their guests.

Sonder Capital Limited, headquartered in London, is your strategic partner in the hospitality, leisure, retail, consumer and luxury goods sectors. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, we offer customised business strategies, comprehensive financial advisory services and harness cutting-edge technology to empower your success. Partner with us to unlock your business's full potential.

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