Luxury Travel, Lifestyle and Marketing Trends

Zika Virus, Travel Security and PR

zika virus

In this age of global terrorism and most recently, the Zika virus, what’s the best way to handle communication about traveler security?

Here are guidelines from KWE Partners’ President & Chief Strategist Karen Weiner Escalera on public relations do’s and don’ts as reported in an article in Hotel News Now.

The most important thing not to do is send out news releases talking about a hotel’s safety and security measures, said Karen Weiner Escalera, president and chief strategist for KWE Partners. All that serves to do is remind people or alert them to the fact there are issues, she said. “For people who might otherwise not have known, it could serve to alarm them, which is the opposite of what a hotel would want to achieve,” she said.

Instead of creating a news release or email blast, hoteliers should prepare a statement to use if guests or potential guests contact the hotel with questions, she said. “The goal is not to broadcast but be ready with a statement if and when there are inquiries,” she said.

In a recent project for a resort group in Mexico, Escalera said her team prepared a letter to send to tour operators and agents to inform people asking about what the property was doing to eradicate mosquitos on the grounds to prevent spread of the Zika virus. There was also a version of the letter for the sales center and contact centers, she said.

“It’s also extremely important to advise everyone in the sales and marketing team of what the statement is,” she said. “Internal communication is critical. That’s where you’re proactive: internally.” Along with the letter explaining the resort’s efforts, Escalera said, it also explained specifically there were no reported problems at the destination.


Full Article: Hoteliers must be subtle in marketing security (Hotels News Now)

Image courtesy of The Daily Mail, UK

Maximize PR from a Celebrity Visit

How to maximize public relations coverage from a past celebrity visit beyond mentioning the name in a description of the hotel’s  or cruise ship’s history? The Fontainebleau Miami Beach has come up with a terrific promotion that could be a case study, around Frank Sinatra’s centennial birthday. Granted, every celebrity doesn’t have the high wattage of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” and it does help that there’s a recent, very successful three part TV series about his life (fascinating, see it). But there are takeaway elements that can be applied to lesser celebs as well. Here’s the scoop:

The hotel is doing a 100 day countdown to Sinatra’s 100th birthday, kicking off September 2. They’re using it to reinforce the image of the Fontainebleau’s “Golden Era glamour”. A highlight will be an exclusive photo exhibit curated by Sinatra’s family and 1966 Americas of personal and historic images. In the iconic Bleau Bar (a favorite of mine)

Bleau Bar

Bleau Bar

guests will be invited to enjoy a sample of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select whiskey as they toast to Sinatra’s upcoming birthday. Additionally, the hotel will also debut unique in-room amenities and packages inspired by the man, while the signature restaurants will pay homage to Sinatra’s favorite meals at the Fontainebleau including throwback, 1950’s-inspired ‘Brunch with Frank’ menus, cocktails and intimate dinners.

For guests who want to ‘Live Like Frank’, there will be a Sinatra-inspired package for $1,915, commemorating the year Frank was born. The package will include a two-night stay in a junior suite or above, a vintage Fontainebleau canvas bag, a Fontainebleau Luxury Art Book, one bottle of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, daily breakfast for two, two 50-minute ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ massages at Lapis Spa, a $250 credit for dinner for two  at one of four signature restaurants and the ‘Ultimate Sinatra’ CD featuring the singer’s greatest hits.

The 100 day countdown culminates with a performance honoring Sinatra’s legacy. The performance act will be announced at a later date.

Culinary Tourism Trends: What’s In and Out

Eat With ; Hummus Brunch with Naama Shefi & Noam Bonnie ; Photo By: Eilon Paz

Make no mistake about it, culinary tourism is booming. It’s now a mature special interest category which brings with it higher expectations for novelty, creativity, and innovative offerings. Cooking and mixology classes, food and wine pairings, and food festivals seem so, well, yesterday. Here’s a look at what was and what’s now.

 

THEN NOW
Cooking classes Behind the scenes with the chef
Wine tastings Hot sauce or other specialty food tastings
Eating local Eating with locals in their homes or outside venues (e.g. mama cooks, eat with a local)
Group food tours Personalized dining itineraries based on food preferences, traveling configurations, budget
World’s Fair with Food Courts Food themed world’s fair (Milan Expo 2015)
Chef driven menus Crowd sourced menus
Dining as party Dining and conversation (“silence is the new luxury”)

 

And in the category of dining trends, it’s important to not leave out gluten free. Any major restaurant has to cater to the needs of gluten free diners. Not only is it expected, but the absence of sensitivity to these special needs loses business and also makes a statement about service.

It’s interesting that in two restaurant visits in Miami in the past 45 days, one to a multi million dollar upscale restaurant operated by an international group, there were only two items on a multi page menu for gluten free. I was with a group of 8 and the diner walked out. In another case, another high-end restaurant, the waiter and kitchen staff had obviously not been trained about this special needs group. Take note!

Photo courtesy of Travel and Leisure