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A new, closer customer With visitors from abroad no longer guaranteed, some hotels are focusing on the audience in direct reach: their neighbours.

Hotels and locals: the two have been trying to link arms for a while now. Our Sep/Oct 2017 Frame Lab was dedicated to the topic, looking at how hospitality spaces were striving to be local in every sense of the word, from the food they offer to the plates on which it’s served. Back then, going local was about sustainability – using what’s around you – and trying to create a so-called ‘authentic’ experience for guests. A shift away from the cloned spaces of chains across the globe towards providing visitors with a sense of place instead. Post-pandemic, hotels are facing a different challenge. How can they treat tourists to a genuine experience when there are barely any walking through their doors? According to the latest research from global real estate advisor CBRE: ‘The recovery of the European hotel market will initially be driven by domestic travel demand, with hotel revenues not forecast to recover across the market to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.’ Going local has thus taken on a new meaning. A number of existing establishments pivoted 122

their offer towards ‘staycations’ throughout 2020, a term whose Google search figures skyrocketed during the same period. Hoy in Paris, for example, had been open for only two months when the pandemic struck, forcing owner Charlotte Gomez de Orozco to change tactics. ‘We turned it into an opportunity to get closer to our clients and to offer something different,’ she says, ‘a retreat in the heart of the city.’ But that was 2020, right? With vaccinations underway and travelling high on the agenda once borders reopen, surely staycations will soon be replaced with old-fashioned vacations? Not necessarily. As mentioned in Frame 138, October 2020 research published by covering over 28 major markets shows that ‘consumers [are] evolving from tourists to “familiarists” as they look to explore their local context more fully’. The platform revealed that 38 per cent of people still plan to travel within their own country in the longer term (in over a year’s time). ‘Many are looking again at what’s on their own »

Frame Lab

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