This column is still about tourism: do not get alarmed by the title! A few days ago, while I was taking stock of the presentations to be held at the next Web in Tourism event, I thought that many hotel workers (in Job in Tourism we do not like to use the word ‘hotelier’ inappropriately) do not quite perceive to what extent travellers are actually modern Dr. Jekylls and Mr. Hydes. And I am not talking about eccentric personalities or bipolar syndromes, but of the way in which they live technology, i.e. their fluency in moving between digital and physical reality.
Many hotel workers, on the contrary, keep on viewing the world in a rigid way. Their thinking stops being strategic, and rather focuses on the individual tools that are used in order to sell better or manage web reputation.
This is only a part of the scenario. In order to have an adequate vision of current times, we should no longer reason as if the online customer journey and the hotel experience were two separate entities.
We need to take a broader and more comprehensive view, being aware that our customers will go through the phases of travel research, purchase, hotel stay and post-stay in a constant osmosis between the online and offline experience.
If we think that our involvement with the net may be confined to monitoring the online purchase process or TripAdvisor reviews, we are wrong.
If we are not planning to be present in even just one of these phases, we are making a mistake: soon somebody else will be doing it in our place. Our guests now live online even when they are in the hotel: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have become one person!
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