As hotels gear up to compete in an increasingly saturated post-pandemic travel industry, the question that often gets asked is: “What can I offer that no one else can?” In response, hotels large and small are moving beyond the typical USPs of low prices or elaborate facilities to more personalised experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Local talent proves to be the biggest asset in this context, as they know the area intimately and can offer insider tips on the best activities, attractions, and dining options. 

In this article, we discuss how you can leverage employee core skills to craft experiences unique to each property, and boost your hotel’s non-room revenue.  


What Is Guest Experience Personalisation in Hotels?

Personalisation in the hotel context refers to the tailoring of experiences and services to what the individual guest most wants. It could be as simple as preparing meals to each guest’s personal taste, or as complex as designing an entire holiday itinerary based on their interests.

By leveraging local talent, your hotel or resort can provide personalised experiences unique to what the surrounding areas have to offer. For instance, a hotel located in a hiking hotspot can have a hiking concierge who offers trail recommendations, packs high-energy lunches, helps to arrange transport to trailheads, rents out safety equipment, and so on. 

Or, a hotel located in a district known for its art can have an art concierge who conducts walking tours, offers gallery or street art recommendations, obtains tickets to auctions/gallery openings or arranges private art viewings for prospective buyers. 


Benefits of Involving Local Talent When Personalising the Guest Experience

With 83% of hoteliers concerned about labour shortages and staffing costs, now is the time for hotels to examine how they can better leverage their existing employees. A concierge programme offers the ideal way to do so, while also serving to help the hotel stand out from the local competition and boost its non-room revenue. The key benefits of this program are: 

  • Helping employees build leadership skills - Being a concierge involves taking full ownership of the personalised guest experience. By giving employees that kind of exposure, the hotel can boost their confidence and help them shine in ways outside of their job description. The advantage of this approach to personalised hotel service is that local talent is not contingent on age or years of experience in the hospitality industry. Anyone, young or old, can sign up to be a concierge as long as they have a deep understanding of local attractions and what might appeal to guests who share those interests. 
  • Enhancing the hotel experience at minimal cost - Personalised concierge services leverage existing employees who can offer local recommendations, provide rental gear, organise small-group events or arrange for packed lunches. These are low-cost services that even smaller hotels can provide, and most importantly, there are no additional staffing costs to take on. 
  • Building an outstanding reputation - Most leisure travellers treat their hotel as a starting point for exploring nearby attractions. By offering a concierge service that helps guests enjoy those attractions more fully, the hotel can position itself as the ideal place to come to for experiences that the guidebooks don’t mention. This will help boost brand awareness, attract more guests year-round, and appeal to local talent seeking a hospitality job where they will be enabled to grow as leaders. 

→ 😎Your non-traditional employees are your secret weapon when creating experiences that your guests won’t find anywhere else! Here’s how you can get them up to speed with core skills training.


How Hotels Can Enable Local Talent to Deliver Top-Notch Personalised Service

Personalisation involves flexibility and spontaneous thinking by default. But you need to have systems in place to support that. Here’s what we recommend for hotels exploring personalisation for the first time:

  • Involve your staff from the get-go - Treat the personalised guest experience initiative as one you are co-creating with your staff. Ask the team what they think customers might find interesting or are likely to need assistance with. Then, encourage them to volunteer as concierges for the activities and interests they know best. 
  • Conduct specialised training - Designing and implementing a personalised service is a skill of its own. Help your local talent develop their expertise through training on communication, decision-making, customer management, and leadership. This is especially important if your concierge hasn’t been in a customer-facing role before.
  • Give them creative freedom - Trust that the concierges you appoint know what they are doing and can design experiences that will appeal to a range of tastes. Oversee the programme, but don’t micromanage their day-to-day decisions. 
  • Offer multiple personalised services throughout the year - This enables hotels to create unique seasonal experiences while increasing non-room revenue, and giving different types of local talent an opportunity to shine. For instance, in a hiking hotspot, there could be a concierge for hiking and camping experiences in the summer, and a different concierge to offer tips on winter activities like skiing or sledding. Similarly, if one concierge offered walking art tours in the summer, another could conduct indoor art appreciation sessions during the winter, perhaps teaming up with someone on the kitchen staff who specialises in hot beverages and comforting meals
  • Keep monitoring and evaluating - Particularly when you’re new to offering personalised experiences, regular check-ins are vital. Ask the concierges what they need to do their jobs better, and assess customer request patterns to see if there are changes that can be made. For instance, if there are a lot of requests coming in for packed lunches the day before an outing, perhaps there could be a desk set up in the evening where guests drop written lunch requests and a pick-up time in the morning, so that the kitchen can keep the meals prepared in advance. 

True hospitality is about more than just a clean room and on-site facilities - often, it comes down to how the guest is made to feel. As consumers and activity lovers themselves, local talent can help create the kind of made-for-you holiday experience that travellers keep coming back to. And with 78% of guests ranking high-quality service above all when booking hotels, now is the ideal time to invest in a top-notch personalisation programme.


→ 😎Want to create even more unique seasonal experiences and increase your non-room revenue? Then, bring in fresh skill sets through a talent exchange program.  Here’s how to make one work for you!