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Hotel guests from Asia-Pacific want to improve their lives. Here’s how you can help.

It’s the start of a new year – a time when many choose to reflect and think about how to make the next one even better. Setting goals for the new year while reviewing our accomplishments is a human trait that spans countries and cultures.

Your hotel guests from Asia-Pacific come from many different cultures and places. Their homes range from some of the world’s largest, most modern cities to agricultural communities where families carry on centuries-old traditions. But no matter our cultural heritage or the place we call home, we all share an innate desire to improve ourselves and we love the feeling of achieving goals and sharing accomplishments with those around us. This is especially true of Asia-Pacific consumers.

As we move into 2017, the hotels that understand their guests deeply and use that knowledge to add value to their lives will be the ones to win ongoing loyalty. Sabre partnered with TrendWatching to identify the cultural and consumer trends emerging in different global regions. Our deep-dive report on the Asia-Pacific region highlights trends with the power to fundamentally change what your guests expect from hoteliers, and how they will interact with your brand in the coming year.

Work hard, live better

Many Asian cultures value a strong work ethic and a desire for continuous self-improvement. Travelers from the Asia-Pacific region have seen dramatic improvement in their quality of life in recent decades, and along with it, increased opportunities for personal growth. This “Betterment” trend offers opportunities for hoteliers to not only incentivize and reward those improvements, but position themselves as partners in helping guests achieve their goals.

There are many small ways for brands to encourage customers to achieve their goals for personal improvement, or provide opportunities to enrich others’ lives – simply by offering rewards for doing so. Consider missing child information website Baobeihuijia, which has helped reunite over 1,700 families with their long-lost children. In return for sharing information on missing children, Baobeihuijia offers free wi-fi internet access.

Blood donations save the lives of millions annually, but many fail to realize how much their donation can help. Earlier this year Asia Soft, creator of the online video game “Special Force 2,” offered in-game rewards to players who committed to donating blood.

Some hotels already reward guests with perks for being environmentally conscious – by reusing towels and bed linens, for example – but how could your hotel encourage travelers to do things that help themselves as well? What if guests could earn a reward for working out at your hotel’s fitness center -- or take advantage of a promotion by ordering something healthy from your hotel’s restaurant?

Tech that promotes personal improvement

Across Asia, ever-present technology helps empower consumers to improve their health and personal well-being, educate themselves and live better lives. The brands that customers already know and trust have an opportunity to help them meet those goals using technology.

Consider Australia-based CommBank, which earlier this year launched “The Teleporter Adventures,” a virtual reality experience that teaches kids important financial lessons through interactive storytelling. Using a printed storybook, a free smartphone app and a Google Cardboard VR headset, Sammy the Space Koala teaches children the difference between financial “needs” and “wants.”

And in a world where experiences, not just possessions, are increasingly becoming marks of social status, technology combines the chance to have a unique experience with an opportunity to be a part of something exclusive. This summer, athletic apparel retailer Lululemon hosted a special two-hour yoga session in Beijing’s Forbidden City – part of a nationwide event where thousands practiced yoga simultaneously around the country. Livestreaming technology allowed participants to join in across China, while the live session in Beijing provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for women who are passionate about fitness and self-improvement.

Could your hotel partner with other brands to provide opportunities for guests to fulfill their personal goals?

Hotels are ideal for helping guests achieve these “Betterment” goals, not only because they already provide a location for events, but because they can position themselves as partners helping people visit new places, accomplish their personal goals and achieve the better quality of life they dream of.

I challenge you, as a hotel decision-maker or influencer, to make helping your guests achieve their goals one of your brand’s resolutions for 2017.

For more examples of how emerging trends are shaping guests’ expectations across Asia and the Pacific, download your copy of our new report, Asia-Pacific: Consumer Mega-Trends Impacting Hospitality, as well as our regional deep-dive on consumer trends in Europe and the Middle East.

Hugh Fisher
Data Storyteller
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