Which are the great challenges? Which are the best proposals for the evolution of Portuguese Tourism and Portuguese Hospitality?
Over the course of decades, Hospitality has been at the mercy of economic interests, leaving its growth on the hands of hotel brands on “steroids”, without any concern regarding the regions that ended up drained of their authenticity. Decades of crimes, that are still being committed against our most valuable heritage: Nature, Culture and the Legacy that is part of Portuguese DNA: Hospitality!
Hospitality Brands desperately need to wake up, find their real purpose and acknowledge their truth: some are the product of opportunism whilst some others derive from opportunity; Some are a legacy left by a dreamer, who fought to do the best he knew, bequeathing to the younger generations the responsibility of dignifying and improving that inheritance in a sustainable and profitable way; The youngest brands were born not so long ago and are naturally aligned with the present/future premises.
Proposals for the Evolution of Portuguese Hospitality:
- The new generation of travelers, the “Promadic Travelers” – previously addressed in ABC Hospitality Blog – has been described as “Purposeful Luxurian” by Tina Edmundson, Marketing Director for Marriot International, reinforcing now – in Global Wellness Institute’s latest publication “The Future of Wellness 2021” based on Global Wellness Summit’s November Edition – that this new segment stands out for being more proactive, progressive and seeking to act and be part of positive changes in the places they visit, while contemplating indulgence, quality and authenticity of each place.
- Invest on the Tourism Regions that truly stand up for their heritage: that have the courage to disapprove projects that jeopardize the sustainability of the destination, as well as the main issuing markets’ trust.
- Less is More: a real commitment to quality! It is one of the lessons that Pandemic has teach us all. The Brands that kept an active and proactive communication strategy with their customers and partners, ensuring maximum security in a meaningful way, were the first to welcome back travelers.
- Authenticity: one of New Era’s critical aspects – unfortunately, even “in the present day” we can still witness the growth of hotels with high accommodation capacity, which could be settled in the United Arab Emirates or, that are true visual and ecological crimes. I wonder how this is still possible in the 21st century. The Authenticity of a place is one of its most valuable assets – reflected on the expression “The Sense of Place” – Signature of the Rosewood Hotels Brand, of which I am absolutely a fan.
- Integration within the Community: it is a new reality. We travel to be part of something bigger, a bigger vision combined with a sense of belonging and contribution. We travel to regenerate, recover, reconnect, and rediscover. It is time to broaden horizons, to tread new paths and meet new people – this fusion of generations that add value to each other.
- Online & Offline: an increasingly conscious choice! The Hospitality Units need to boast an excellent Wifi connection, however the guest should be completely free to turn off his gadgets in an attempt to reconnect with himself, family, nature or simply for the need of discovering silence – the most valuable luxury of the 21st century. Working is possible from anywhere as long as there is wifi and after work do an “Ecstatic Dance” or, in the evening, participate in a “Temazcal”.
- Direct Reservations: they are hoteliers’ preferred channel par excellence… or, at least, they should be. Investing on the hotel group website is vital – it is the greatest and most profitable gateway for contacts, engagement and conversions – reservations. Times have changed forever and today the digital universe is in the palm of our hand.
The changes have never been so fast and they will never be so slow again.
The small ones will become the big ones, here the greatness is measured on quality, truth and humanity.
Ana Cristina Guilherme
Hospitality Wellness Brandologist