The hospitality industry has served numerous travelers wishing to see as much of the world as possible. Multidestination holidays became somewhat of a norm as people tried to check as many countries, historical sights, and natural wonders off their lists as possible. Hotels and restaurants catered to travelers who had booked short stays, often while seeking all the comforts of home. Interestingly, this trend has changed.
The rise of COVID-19 dramatically altered vacation plans. As concerns over exposure grew, those who were still willing and able to travel turned to a concept called slow tourism. They sought, and continue to seek, local and culturally relevant experiences over whirlwind travel. This mindset shift changes the landscape for those serving them. Restaurants, hotels, and other tourism-dependent businesses should modify their operating practices and update their hospitality insurance to keep up with the trend.
What Is Slow Tourism?
Slow tourism emphasizes meaningful experiences and sustainable practices, favoring peace and relaxation over experience collecting. Travelers spend extended periods in one location while learning about local history, culture, foods, and natural resources. They eschew large tour groups, striking out on their own instead. Lodging, dining, and entertainment choices center around the community and benefit local citizens. Slow travelers make more of an effort to truly interact with residents and business owners. The goal of slow travelers is to have an educational and enriching experience that benefits the region’s economy without exploiting its people.
How Can the Hospitality Industry Adapt?
Hotels, restaurants and shops have many options for adapting to the emerging trend of slow tourism. A few changes can draw visitors and encourage repeat customers.
- Activities– Offer activities and excursions that immerse tourists in nature and the local culture. They can learn about local crafts and trades and even acquire new skills.
- Transportation– Provide bicycle rentals as an alternative for guests who would prefer not to use gas-powered vehicles. Create maps for walking and biking routes that can help travelers explore on their own.
- Food and Beverage– Update menus to include local cuisine with fresh ingredients from nearby farmers and vendors. For added educational value, consider leading cooking classes that feature regional dishes and cooking techniques.
- Energy Sources– If possible, consider switching from traditional, fossil fuel-based energy sources to renewable energy. Install solar panels on your property, and look into providers that use wind power or biofuels.
You have the power to give your guests deeper, more enriching travel experiences than ever before. Incorporating local resources and sustainable practices allows you to provide travelers with a top-notch vacation while honoring the communities in which you are located. If you are unsure how to start, reach out to your hospitality insurance provider for more guidance.
About The Hilb Group
Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.