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How Hospitable is your City?

Karoline Wiegerink

Hotelschool The Hague Research Group City Hospitality & City Marketing


How Hospitable is your City?


Wiegerink, Karoline


Hotelschool The Hague


First published in 2012, revised English version

Copyright Š 2013, Karoline Wiegerink Published by Stichting Hotelschool The Hague, Brusselselaan 2, 2587 AH, The Hague, The Netherlands All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Hotelschool The Hague.

ISBN/EAN: 978-90-820073-1-2

Table of contents A Vision on City Hospitality


From City Hospitality to City Marketing


About Hospitality and its Dimensions


A Model of City Hospitality


City Hospitality Guest Journey


On the way to Excellent City Hospitality

Last but not least Endnotes



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A Vision on City Hospitality City marketing, the hype is over: a need for choices and focus

City marketing is heading the agendas of many city governments these days. Any self-repsecting city council can no longer afford to ignore the concept of city marketing. Why is that? Cities and municipalities find themselves in a very competitive environment: as residential city, location for businesses, tourist destination or student city. This is inspired by a vision of economic dvelopment of the city in which growth opportunities have to be utilized, and the distinctive strengths of the city exploited to develop opportunities and eliminate development.

Many municipalities struggle with one question: How can we apply marketing concepts to a city, municipality or region? From a contemporary point of view, city marketing is clearly more than city promotion. It encompasses the entire process of vision, analysis, objectives and programmes aimed at target groups, the effects of which lead to visible results. This strongly links to what is going on in the target groups’ lives, responding to the experiences of the different stakeholders with the aim of creating value. These core values of a city form its unique character and encompass distinctive competitive advantages.


City hospitality as added value

Moments of truth in the relationship between guest and host

Furthermore we see that for many cities the 'hospitality' aspect is an important core value within their city marketing policy. The hospitable city is an element that reappears in the overall positioning. In a city with a hospitable climate, people feel welcome. In a welcoming city excellent hospitality is close to the hearts of residents and service providers: a welcoming city can be recognized by clear signage and easy accessibility, a warm reception at the station, a friendly greeting from the taxi driver, the sincere attention of shop assistants, the interested questions of the waitress and, last but not least, people on the street who are helpful and have an open mind …. Hospitality is all a question of making people feel truly welcome. And, of course, city hospitality is also of economic relevance. The basic thought is that a (more than) satisfied visitor stays longer, spends more and/or returns more frequently. And a welcoming city is not only of importance for tourists or visitors. A high degree of hospitality has a positive impact on the quality of life of residents and the business environment for companies and their employees.

A positive hospitality experience leads to emotional relationships and mindshare; Enthusiastic visitors as great promoters, city residents as a top ambassadors, and companies as valuable business cards for the city.

Each encounter with the city is equal to a moment or truth. The art is to create welcoming and meaningful memories from these moments, by following the basic principles of being a good host, as these form the foundation for a positive hospitality experience. Being sympathetic, listening, asking questions, taking responsibility, showing genuine interest in other people … all these things give people the feeling that they are truly welcome. The human factor is key – excellent hosts as the foundation for city hospitality. But there is more: not only the welcoming behaviour of people is at stake but also the hardware is of importance: Landmarks that define the hospitality experience; cultural events, shopping, architecture, hotspots, the culinary offer and the range of leisure activities. Besides, it is not just all about ‘great, deafening or impressive’, but it can also (or especially) be about the little things that make the difference: the hidden squares of the city, discovering the shops, the special restaurants.

In addition to the hardware the atmosphere has an important influence on the way a city is experienced as a welcoming place. Sounds, colours and fragrants have a strong effect on how a city is perceived, as do ease of access, availability of 'affordable' parking, clear communication and signage, tidy and clean streets; aspects that are, in general, seen as dissatisfiers rather than delighters.


Behaviour, hardware and atmosphere are the ingredients that make or break the hospitality experience. What makes things complicated is that these experiences may vary due to the different perceptions of the guests. How people experience the hospitable city is therefore not a static but a dynamic concept. Observations, experiences, emotions and perceptions are shaped by and dependent on (changing) motives and expectations (presumptions) of the guest. A business conference attendee has a different expectation of hospitality than one-day shopping visitors. And then you have the residents and businesses that experience the hospitality in their own city very differently an, moreover, have a strong influence on hospitaltiy. What also makes managing city hospitality complicated is that so many parties can make or break the hospitable city. The city has to deal with a large number of stakeholders who are strong and/or weak links in the range of hospitality offered, the welcoming atmosphere and welcoming behaviour.

Hospitality is about relationships and encounters between guest and host. In city hospitality, it is the large number of different types of guest-host relationships and guest-host encounters that put their mark on the perception of a guest. If we want to put the hospitable city in the spotlight, then we should always do that from the perspective of a particular target group. What moments of truth matter in which guest-host relationships? What makes the difference? In this case focus is important: a focus that is based on clear analysis and strategic choices.

Heading towards a strategic approach How hospitable is a city? How can the hospitality of a city be improved? Questions that are more easily asked than answered. Hospitality as a generic term is too broad and too comprehensive to answer those questions. The hospitality experience depends on many factors and is different for all the different guest-host relationships. You could say that every city should choose its own interpretation of hospitality, depending on the specific characteristics of target groups and its offer, and linked to the desired hospitality experience. An analysis should be conducted to determine the specific elements that make up the experience of hospitality. Which aspects of city hospitality are relevant to our city? Which touchpoints or moments of truth for which target group? Where do we want to make a difference and where can we make a difference in the hospitality experience of residents, businesses and visitors? In the scenario, an analytical model for city hospitality should serve as a foundation. The results of the analysis will provide tools for strategic choices regarding the 'hospitality concept’ of the city. This does not refer to a basic level of hospitality, but rather those elements of hospitality that make the city stand out and can give guests the wow-factor: the hospitality proposition.


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A strategic approach to city hospitality from the perspective of a municipality or region therefore entails a number of questions:

How do you know that you are there? •

What is the starting point? •

Know where you stand. Sketch the image of hospitality as experienced by the different perspectives of the target groups. Focus especially on those groups that are most relevant to the city.

Measure and evaluate regularly → a dashboard of the hospitality experience will make the status and the progress transparent for all stakeholders. Realize that not all links between effort and result will be equally measurable but that indicators of hospitality experience will also provide a wealth of information and will measure progress.

• Draw conclusions from the analysis: what are the (distinctive) strengths and weaknesses?

Where do you want to go to? •

• • •

Make a clear hospitality profile for selected target groups - focus on the distinctive strength, concentrating on the core target groups à the proposition. Set concrete goals concerning welcoming behaviour, hardware and atmosphere. Develop ideas to eliminate weaknesses that can be considered to be dissatisfiers. Enforce strengths and find out how you can de distinctive.

How can you get there? •

Manage the overall hospitality performance of the city, including parties who do not have a seat in city hall, maintain contacts and keep a finger on the pulse. It should not be about directive management but rather about: facilitating, bringing parties together, working with key figures and creating welcoming hardware and infrastructure. In brief, getting the city, together with all its participants, to move in the desired hospitality direction.

How can you get and keep your city moving towards hospitality? City hospitality is more than an information desk in city hall; it is a philosophy that should have strong support in the city. Hospitality cannot be managed like a service, but has to deal with an administrative task involving informing, motivating, persuading, connecting and coordinating, professionalising, setting goals, monitoring progress and evaluating. This is a process in which a large and diverse group of stakeholders are involved, ranging from municipal officials to receptionists in 5-star hotels, from bus drivers to restaurant owners, museum director to shop staff. All of these groups are involved in guest-host relationships and therefore put their mark on the moments of truth of experience. How do you do this? How can the city – together with all these stakeholders – bring city hospitality to the desired level and maintain it? How can a synergy be achieved?



It starts with vision and commitment of the city council - the hospitality of the city as a core value in (local) government. This has to be structurally embedded within various bodies – namely including a hospitality section in city district plans and policy documents. Internal communication and marketing programmes should aim at concretising the hospitality promise and encouraging welcoming behaviour in employees. Ideally, this type of internal process is not limited to employees in the city hall, but also involves implementing agencies, marketing and corporate bodies that are in contact with 'the city'. A precondition for this is that 'City Hall' is connected to the various consultative structures that have marketing and hospitality policies in their portfolio. This is the concept of co-creation: making connections with and between the parties in order to achieve synergistic collaborations that are targeted at city hospitality goals. Transparency about the status of hospitality, hospitality ambitions and related objectives helps to set the stakeholders in motion. Point out what benefits active participation in city hospitality brings for all stakeholders! Monitor progress, ensure and display a return on investment and, last but not least, energize and stimulate. In short, the policy concerning city hospitality must be more than an official document; it leads the way and inspires all hosts.

Heading towards a deeper understanding of the field city hospitality City hospitality is about all these questions. The Research Group City Hospitality & City Marketing at Hotelschool The Hague, which is supported by the Municipality of The Hague, investigates this subject through research and creates visions and makes its research results available to educational programmes and to professionals working in the field of city marketing.

A successful city hospitality policy is established by following these steps: analysis, choices and proposition adoption (positioning), strategy, implementation and evaluation. This booklet also covers: a shared vision for hospitality in the city, a clear analysis of target groups and hosts (in the broadest sense) and a strategic approach in the design and implementation of programmes.




From City Marketing to

City Hospitality


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1.1 City marketing Cities in Europe, municipalities in a country, all compete with each other. This competition focuses not only on attracting as many different visitors (tourists, business travelers, day visitors) as possible but also on the favour of residents, students, entrepreneurs and investors. What instruments are available to them? In major cities, infrastructure, cultural facilities and educational opportunities are often similar, however it is necessary to delve deeper to build a distinctive strength.

The increasingly similar-looking 'hardware' and 'software' means that image or reputation can be a decisive factor in people’s choice of location1. For many municipalites, this competition and the elusive factors involved, raises new questions, for example: what is the identity of the city? On which target groups and activities does the municipality want to focus? How does the city want to be known in the world?

City marketing • • • • • •

Is a long-term process. Is focused on retaining and attracting the target groups: residents, businesses and visitors. Creates value from a customer-oriented view. Stands for consistent use of marketing tools. Preserves the brand and reputation of the city. Leads to economic spin-offs.

Cities are becoming increasingly aware of the strategic possibilities to attract more people to their city. In the eighties, the concept of city marketing was developed2. Braun gives the following definition of city marketing: “City marketing is the coordinated use of marketing tools supported by a shared customer-oriented philosophy, for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging urban offerings that have value for the city’s customers and the city’s community at large.”3 In the Netherlands, Hospers’ definition is now the most commonly used version: "City marketing is the long-term process and / or instruments comprising several interrelated activities aimed at retaining and attracting specific target groups for a particular city.”4 In the above text box, key elements are summarized that appear in different definitions and that are important in understanding what city marketing is about.

In practice, city marketing is a concept that has many interpretations and versions. It is therefore, not without reason, often referred to as a manyheaded monster. It refers to a plethora of terms: slogans, mottos and logos, specific actions and events, PR activities or promotion campaigns for offices or new residents; all of which are grouped under the umbrella-term ‘city marketing’. But city marketing is more than city promotion. Berenschot5 , the Dutch cultancy organization, have demonstrated that, after the proliferation of the pioneering years, especially the largerer municipalities are approaching city marketing in an increasingly professional way: integral and strategically, with an eye for regional environment and attention to the organization of city marketing. A good city image is not a goal in itself, but city marketing should serve the long-term agenda and ambitions of the city. It forms the basis for objectives and target groups on which the focus must be placed, and then develops them into an appropriate strategy, thereby making use of a coherent set of city marketing tools.



1.2 City hospitality “ Cities are to be judged by their welcome ”

(Kahn, 1987)

The concept of city hospitality is less common than that of city marketing. The hospitality of the city plays a major role in the marketing of the city. City marketing is about the right way to make the city attractive for visitors, residents, businesses and others, and about communicating this clearly, so that these groups continue to choose for that city. Different target markets are the focus of the formulation of ideas in city marketing. Target markets can be people who visit to go shopping, but also residents, retailers, hospitality operators, students, government agencies and companies. They must all feel welcome.

We can identify a number of sub-domains when studying or working with the phenomenon of city hospitality. Important themes that link to city hospitality have been developed which are also found in city marketing. 1.

We consider city hospitality - the hospitality of the city – to be a sub-domain of city marketing. In urban competition, the aspect of hospitality is increasingly seen as an added value to differentiate6. City hospitality is more than a list of concepts from the commercial hospitality industry: it is about hospitable places where hospitable encounters can take place that create a new lifestyle, and make a contribution to the socio-cultural environment. City hospitality therefore has everything to do with improving the quality of life, sense of belonging, and collectivism from the perspective of different target groups. In this context, the question arises: how makeable is the welcoming city? To what extent can cities choose for a welcoming design? A prerequisite for this is to recognize that there are a large number of guest-host relationships in the city and to understand that the various relationships strongly influence the hospitality experience.

The city as a phenomenon in itself, with questions such as what do people and companies do in the city, what does the city mean for people and companies and what defines the city? These questions can be viewed from many different perspectives, for example sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics. è


The hospitable city as a phenomenon and its significance for people and businesses

City marketing as a philosophy. How can it be ensured that 'the city' puts the marketing philosophy 'the customer is our focus' actually into practice. How can the marketing concept be spread? To what extent is 'the city' connected with what is happening in the market? How is value added to the various guest-host relationships? How do we get the various stakeholders, such as politics, government and industry aligned? è

City hospitality as philosophy: To what extent is hospitality in the DNA of the 'city' and all the relevant stakeholders?


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The perspective of strategic city marketing. How does the city marketing strategy come about? Which strategic priorities are made based on the core mission, vision of the future and the external and internal analysis? What strategic choices are made that are tailored to the core target groups of a city: residents, businesses and visitors? A core strategic question is how to create a distinct brand for the city. Which identity and image should be projected? What symbols are important?


The city marketing policy. Which strategic instruments should be used? How do they contribute to the strategic objectives of all programmes or marketing activities that are developed in order to promote the city: concerts, recruitment campaigns, et cetera? Has everything been developed coherently? How can added value be obtained from the cocreation with the (regional) business community in general and the hospitality industry in particular? è


City hospitality strategy: How to maintain and increase the hospitality experience of the various target groups? How does hospitality contribute to the brand value of a city?

City hospitality policy: Which strategic instruments (focused on awareness, training, support and facilitation, etc.) can be used in order to improve the hospitality experience in a sustainable way?

We consider the issue of the hospitable city to be a part of city marketing.

City hospitality: City hospitality is a long-term process aimed at maintaining and enhancing the different target groups’ experience of feeling welcome in the city, based on a vision of hospitality that creates added value for the city, with an orchestrated deployment of appropriate strategic instruments that facilitate and support hospitality.



About Hospitality

and its

Dimensions 15

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2.1 Guest & Host Hospitality is:

” I SEE YOU ...SAWUBONA! Sawubona is a Zulu greeting based on acknowledging the presence of the other person ” (Bitter) Hospitality is the custom of being hospitable, of receiving and entertaining guests, visitors or strangers, in freedom and with good will. It is the art of making someone feel genuinely welcome. In the literature, hospitality has been defined in various ways over the years. To fully understand city hospitality we have chosen a broad holistic approach7 that is not limited to the hospitality industry, but extends to a mix of tangible and intangible components: F&B and accommodation, the physical environment and people’s behaviour and attitude towards the guest. In the hospitality literature, Lashley is one of the most quoted writers. He defines hospitality as:8 “Hospitality can be conceived as a set of behaviours which originate with the very foundations of a society. Sharing and exchanging the fruits of labour together with mutuality and reciprocity, associated originally with hunting and gathering food, are at the heart of collective organization and communality. It primarily involves mutuality and exchange and thereby feelings of altruism and beneficence. “ In hospitality, there are always at least two parties at play - it is about interpersonal relationships, but also other intangible and tangible elements. Hospitality has to do with a certain kind of 'exchange' - hospitality in return for economic, social or psychological value. The hospitality that is given and experienced is further characterized by its many manifestations, depending on the specific situation and motives of guest and host.


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2.2 The three dimensions of hospitality ” Hospitality belongs to the same lineage as hostility. ... Guests are often former or potential enemies of their hosts, and there are times that guests are a potential source of danger. ” (Tom Selwyn) Using Lashley’s9 definition, we can study the provision and experience of hospitality along different dimensions. We distinguish three domains:

• • •

The private domain of hospitality The social domain of hospitality The commercial domain of hospitality

The private domain of hospitality In the private domain, hospitality involves one person who shows it and another who experiences it: the hospitable person. Is hospitality in our genes or can anyone become a hospitable person? Not every host is hospitable, what makes someone a hospitable person? In the literature we find no clear answer to this question. Many authors10 mention this difference. Real, authentic hospitality demands a sincere interest in others and the will to please other people. Does this involve a genetic predisposition, through which you cannot be anything but hospitable?

Where is the motivation for welcoming behaviour? Is this, ‘deriving pleasure oneself from making other people happy’, or is it ‘a sense of duty towards our fellow humans’? Receiving and dealing with guests has an important social dimension. Belonging and the involvement with others is one of our basic human needs. The connection between host and guest is a relationship of mutual obligations and reciprocity.

Motives of hospitable behaviour (Telfer, 1996) • • • • • •

Pleasure of entertaining, genuine sense of hospitality. Desire to please other people. Compassion to meet people’s needs. A perceived general duty to be hospitable. Reciprocal motives: win favour with others desire to have company, make friends, make pleasure. Self-regarding motives: benefit the host, rather than the guest: show off something.

In this view, receiving hospitality is also bound by rules. According to Derrida11, there is no such thing as unconditional hospitality. Absolute hospitality would mean that someone opens his own house to foreigners and strangers, without attaching any house rules or placing it in context - a situation in which the roles of guest and host become diffuse concepts.

For Gunnarson and Blohm12, hospitality (they call it hostmanship) is: ‘The art of making people feel welcome. The art of creating meaningful encounters within hospitality’. The feeling stems from encounters and experiencing the hospitality contained therein. Encounters between people that become moments of truth. Hospitable encounters are created by following the basic principles of hostmanship.

è The more the basic principles of hospitable behaviour are applied between people in as many encounters as possible, the more a city will be experienced as welcoming. 17

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The Fundamentals of Hostmanship (Source: The art of making people feel welcome, Gunnarson, J. & Blohm, O., 2003) • • • • • •

Interaction: a customer centred attitude, ability to empathize with others – treat others as they want to be treated. The big picture: look beyond one’s own department, take responsibility for the whole organisation. Dialogue: get to the essence, see beyond prejudices, treat guests in a friendly and personable manner, offer a memorable encounter, listen beyond words and answer questions that were not asked. Responsibility: stand behind your guest, treat a promise as a promise no matter who makes it, take responsibility for the whole experience of your guest. Consideration: show a genuine interest in the other, share the best of yourself with the guest, find opportunities to give. Knowledge: interpret your knowledge and skills for the best needs of your guests, keep learning, interpreting and thinking from the guests’ perspectives, understand different frames of references and act accordingly.

The social domain of hospitality When viewed as a social domain, hospitality is a cultural phenomenon, the binding force within and between societies. What is society’s attitude towards foreigners? This question has been asked from the very beginnings of civilization. It is the duty of the host to protect and receive his guests (neighbours or strangers) with open arms. The emphasis on hospitality is reflected in a large number of studies on ancient Greece, the Romans, medieval Provence, the Maoris, Indian tribes, post-modern England and Mediterranean peoples.13 Here lie the roots of hospitality. Studies of these roots14 show that the hospitality DNA of a particular community can be seen in different phenomena. We can also seek the help of literature on the 'creative city' and the aspects that affect them. For example, Landry15 in his book The Art of City Making, provides an analysis framework of criteria to determine the degree of creativity in a city: Trademarks, Talent, Tolerance and Technology. From these sources, we can derive a number of criteria for the hospitable city: •

Which moral values exist for dealing with foreigners and travellers, and also for the mutual interaction between government, citizens and businesses?

• •

What political principles are there for social cohesion; how is the legislative framework? What regulations are there in the area of guest-host relations? How do social status groups in society interact? How large is the aspect of togetherness and tolerance? How high and guest-oriented is the level of facilities in the field of catering, entertainment, culture, as well as in housing, transportation, shops, health care and education? How open and welcoming is the architecture, urban design and infrastructure of the city? Do the design and layout of the city exude hospitality? Are there special landmarks and areas of hospitality? How welcoming is the infrastructure, including virtual devices (Internet)? What is the relationship between (local) government and the citizens? How open and welcoming is the local government towards residents and businesses? How much attention does the (local) government pay to the experience of residents? Is there dialogue and participation? What is the status of diplomatic relations between communities (neighbouring municipalities, cities, countries)? What relations are there? What symbols and stories of hospitality, cohesion, friendliness and openness can be found in the city or community?

è The level of hospitality of a city can be traced back to cultural and historical roots, key principles that colour the values and political choices regarding city hospitality. è Analysis of this social dimension gives the city an image of what the principles are on the ‘hospitality scale’ à further research is needed here. 18

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The commercial domain of hospitality The third domain views hospitality as a concept as reflected in the hospitality industry, but also on a broader scale in all forms of commercial contacts and (commercial) services. A more philosophical discussion focuses on whether commercial hospitality is directly opposed to sincere hospitality. Is there a paradox?16 If we consider the discussion on reciprocity and motives described earlier, then the hospitality relationship is essentially involving exchange: the experience of a friendly welcome, well-being and pleasure in exchange for money, affection or other personal benefits from the host.

It focuses on creating value for customers by responding to expectations, desires and needs. The hospitality experience generates and represents value. The hospitality industry is a sector that has made the hospitality experience and hostmanship into in a professional business and from which other sectors can copy the principles of managing and organizing customer experience. •

• The hospitality industry has continued building on this over the centuries. The welcoming reception does not take place in the domestic / private domain, but within a specific and targeted setting and concept. The purpose of the hospitality industry is to please the guest as much as possible, whether a holidaymaker or business traveller.

• • •

Strategies with distinctive and competitive power, based on enduring distinctive competitive advantages. Design and realization of hospitality and experience concepts for defined and selected target groups. Professional formula and brand management. Operational excellence in delivering and managing hospitality: 24/7, all year round. Guest-driven innovation, based on and responding to changing customer wishes and behaviour, and taking into account new technological developments.

è Guest-oriented commercial hospitality has a positive impact on the hospitality experience of the city. è A city seeking to brand itself as hospitable city can learn a lot from the professional approach of the hospitality industry.


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company "We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen." The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests. This credo is part of the Gold standards encompassing the values and philosophy by which we operate. Three Steps Of Service 1. 2. 3.

A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest's name. Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest's needs. Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye and use the guest's name.

Service Values: I Am Proud To Be Ritz-Carlton 1. 2. 3. 4.

I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life. I am always responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests. I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests. I understand my role in achieving the Key Success Factors, embracing Community Footprints and creating The Ritz-Carlton Mystique. 5. I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve The Ritz-Carlton experience. 6. I own and immediately resolve guest problems. 7. I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met. 8. I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow. 9. I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me. 10. I am proud of my professional appearance, language and behavior. 11. I protect the privacy and security of our guests, my fellow employees and the company's confidential information and assets. 12. I am responsible for uncompromising levels of cleanliness and creating a safe and accident-free environment.



A Model


City Hospitality 21

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3.1 Overview We have seen that hospitality is all about the art of making people feel welcome. In order to make the hospitality experience tangible, Hotelschool The Hague has developed the 'Hospitality Experience Model'17. For us, this model is the basis for the design of an analysis framework around the city hospitality experience. The model is built up of a number of elements and shows relationship between the host and guest.

How can hosts deal with guests in order to create optimum value? The model shows clearly that several elements of the hospitality proposition form the experience; behaviour, hardware and atmosphere, which of course also interrelate and together make up the congruent hospitality concept.

Economic translation of value creation

Experiencing the hospitality



Residents Companies




Needs of all stakeholders/guests




Value creation

The core of city hospitality is the way "the city" is experienced as hospitable by its different target groups. It is therefore all about the experience of the hospitality proposition, i.e. when objectives and expectations of residents, businesses and visitors match with the welcoming behaviour, hardware and atmosphere of the welcoming city and its hosts.

Hardware Atmosphere

The hospitable city Indicators for the hospitality performance of all hosts

from the hospitality experience

The nature and intensity of the experience depend on the characteristics of the demand side: the guests. They are people from different backgrounds and with different relations (situation, motives) to the city (as a resident, employee, visitor, student, expat, etc.) and different goals, wants, requirements and expectations concerning the (hospitality of the) city.


Example: If you have friends over you know exactly what it takes to welcome them and give them a pleasant feeling. A good host pays attention to how guests react and adapt to them. An environment is created where guests feel welcome and relaxed. This makes the visit more enjoyable for all parties. The hospitality industry does basically the same thing except that the service is paid for. The aim here is also to ensure that the other party feels welcome and recognizes the value of this. City hospitality is about feeling welcome in the city, making the visitor feel welcome and therefore stay longer, creating a lasting, positive feeling; the visitor will spend more and is likely to form a positive image of the city, spreading the news, and returning again someday.

And then there is the 'city' as a host, a metaphor for all hosts that create the hospitality experience of the city. Actually, this can refer to anyone who comes into contact with the host (for simplicity this generic term is used) and to everyone and everything that the guest comes into contact with and that affects this experience. It includes, for example, the entrepreneurs, but also retailers and those working in public transport, cultural institutions, amusement parks and, of course, local government itself. All hosts jointly contribute to the elements welcoming behaviour, hardware and atmosphere.

When describing the City Hospitality Experience Model, which is derived from the hospitality literature, it is often refered to as a situation in which the visitor is a guest of the city. In "our" definition of city hospitality, the theme has a broader scope and city hospitality is also aimed at the hospitality experience of the residents and businesses of the city. Residents and businesses are both host and guest. See the example in the box below, showing how the City of London invests in being a welcoming place for businesses.

Vision - The Greatest City on Earth - London (Source: Greater London Authority, 2013) The Mayor’s 2020 Vision is a signal of serious intent – one designed to lengthen London’s lead as the greatest city on earth. It demonstrates why London must have the freedom to invest in the infrastructure needed to keep the city growing. It announces to the world that London is a sure bet – the best place to do business. A London of 2020 will be a city with: •

A neo-Victorian surge of investment in mass transport – by 2018 the great engineering feat of our time, Crossrail, will be open and a massive programme of tube upgrades complete.

A cycling revolution – new superhighways will cross the city, connecting rail hubs, while a network of quietways will radiate from town centre ‘mini-Hollands’.

The education and skills to compete to win London’s share of global growth, with enough school places and more valuable work-place opportunities.

The best place to invest and do business on the planet, building on our financial prowess and investing in tech and med hubs – areas in which we can lead the world.

The biggest home-building drive for a generation providing homes that Londoners can afford.

Opportunity areas opened up for homes and jobs, creating new neighbourhoods and tackling social exclusion.

Vibrant, safe, attractive, green town centres and streets bustling with life and business.


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3.2 City Hospitality Experience � Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even though you wish they were. � Experiencing is a dynamic process; an experience is a complex series of emotions that have a (lasting) influence on and represent value for the individual in a particular context.18


We define the city hospitality experience as:

City hospitality Experience: All events / encounters and impressions that within the context of a specific situation make individuals feel that they are welcome in the city.

During the encounter between guest and host, the hospitality proposition is created and experienced. The overall experience of city hospitality is the result of the interplay between all related parties, the guests and the hosts, at different occasions. It is the sum of a series of contacts, also called touchpoints, which determine the individual experience. This is not a static, but a dynamic experience with constant interactions and in which feelings and emotions play a large role.

We are living in a time where products and services are becoming increasingly similar. Creating a set of unique experiences, from the first contact to departure, makes people feel touched, a special and lasting impression is formed, and they will return.

Experience: static and dynamic When looking at customer experience it is important to distinguish between static (unconscious) experiences and dynamic (unconscious) experiences. The static experience has to do with unconscious associations, motives and feelings of a customer about the city, e.g. on safety, accessibility, conviviality. This perception consists of a network of unconscious associations. The dynamic experience of the city however, relates to the often unconscious accumulation of emotions that accompany the actual visit to the city before, during and after the visit. What are the expectations? Who or what was surprising? What is unclear? How does that feel? (Derived from: 9+ Organisatie)


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But what should be done to create a meaningful experience in a commercial setting? Boswijk, Peelen and Olthof19 provide a new perspective on the basic principles of the experience economy for the creation of meaningful experiences, which is summarized in the following: •

• • •

Concentrate on the individual and let him / her experience an individualized proposition that has significance for him / her. The provider stays focussed on the individual, despite of other customers and guests. The customer is always regarded as a guest, a culture of hospitality is experienced. Pay attention to an interactive process.

This list of principles can be complemented with design criteria which must be taken into account when creating experience environments (Mikunda20) that can also be applied to the hospitality experience. • •

The place presents itself in a surprising way to the visitor ("come in and find out"). The visitor is seduced into exploring every nook and cranny of the city (“stay longer and discover me"). There is a red line that makes the experience itself seem like a cohesive entity ('understand the story of the (friendly) city'). It triggers curiosity ('the place exerts an attraction on people').

The city as Third Place: Home away from home (Source: Mikunda, C., 2002) Looking at meeting places for people, a distinction can be made between first places, second places and third places. •

The first place is the home, that is decorated and furnished by its inhabitants so that it suits their personality and individual style.

The second place is the workplace; a pleasant and welcoming workplace contributes to a positive perception of the environment and thus to increased productivity.

The third place is where people spend their time outside home and workplace. The city with all its different facets plays an important role in this. The extent to which the city feels like a home away from home will affect the hospitality experience.


3.3 City hospitality target groups: Residents, businesses, visitors liveable cities one can lead a good life regardless of age, gender, race, social status or income. ” ” In(JantrulyGehl, architect)

How do the different target groups of the city experience city hospitality? How does this differ for the main groups of residents, businesses and visitors and the more detailed division of this rough classification: students, expats, day tourists, beach holidaymakers, business travellers and so on? In relation to the city they are all guests in the city. Each group has its own background, motives and expectations around and in relation to the (hospitable) city. Different guests of hotels and restaurants will vary considerably in their motives. Target groups of 'the city' are very complex, which is a reason for segmenting them by goals and expectations. Research and differentiation into different target groups of the city are necessary preconditions for working structurally on hospitality.

One of the preconditions for urban policy on hospitality is knowledge of the target group. Who are they? How do they live? What do they want? What are they looking for? How do we reach them? How do they communicate? And, how is hospitality currently experienced? Residents, businesses and visitors can and will judge the welcoming city on its different elements. What is relevant? What aspects play a role? How can policy respond to this? Below we take a look at the main categories of city target groups: residents, businesses and visitors.

Example: of divergent goals and the search for aspects and features of the city. The day visitors’ main motive is a fun day out during the children’s holidays. They are looking for amusement that caters for and is enjoyable for adults and children alike. A student who is studying in a large city wants to have a good time when studying here. The sought-after aspects could be an affordable room in the city centre near nightlife and public transport.

City hospitality from the perspective of residents For residents a hospitable city is a city with a high quality of life. This often goes beyond the basic services and needs, which be in order: love-ability, not just livabiltiy is the slogan. Hospitality is not really a way of attracting new residents. Reasons for moving are not based on a degree of city hospitality, however a warm welcome to the new citizens and a welcoming environment from existing residents will lead to positive emotions and may contribute to the goal of making people ambassadors of the city: an example of 'warm city marketing' as Gert-Jan Hospers phrased it.21

For the questions about aspects might play a decisive role in a hospitable quality of life for residents, we can consult various studies. For instance, the Quality of Living City Survey (2008) by Mercer LLC regularly researches and benchmarks the quality of life of a number of European cities. 22 Every year, the Lifestyle magazine Monocle publishes a Liveable Cities Index23. Other national examples are the annual survey commissioned by the Dutch magazine Elsevier into residential attractiveness resulting in ‘The best city in the Netherlands'24 as well as the Stads-DNA25 (Urban DNA) which elaborates on factors on the basis of which hospitality indicators could be derived.


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Overall, it can be concluded that the (experienced) attractiveness of residential communities depends on many aspects. Clustered into categories it appears that people base their preferences on a range of aspects. • Habitat, the combination of beautiful buildings, nature, peace and space. • Accessible basic services, such as education, healthcare, shops and facilities nearby, housing, utilities. • Culture, entertainment, recreation and sport. • Safety and security, a minimum of disturbance, vandalism and graffiti, no problems with neighbours and residents, low crime rates and high traffic safety, low air pollution. •

The Liveable Cities Index – Top 10 (Source: Monocle, 2013) 1 2 3 4 5

Copenhagen Melbourne Helsinki Tokyo Vienna

6 7 8 9 10

Zürich Stockholm Munich Sydney Auckland

Political stability and crime, accessibility for foreigners.

City hospitality from the perspective of businesses To achieve a positive economic development the business community is an important target group for city marketing. The question is: How does the business community experience the hospitality of a city? What factors play a role? Research by Master’s students of Hotelschool The Hague26 into the city hospitality of The Hague has yielded a dozen factors that determine the City Business Friendliness. We have combined these in the following summary of indicators used by the creators of the model of Stads-DNA27. A friendly business environment is characterized by the following aspects: •

• • • •

The business environment, networking possibilities, formation of clusters and the recognition of these, focussing on the specific industry. The attractiveness of urban life - quality of life in the community with a rich spectrum of basic and additional facilities. The cost of living. Local availability and accessibility of talent. Availability and rental prices / land prices for office space and industrial areas. Number of embassies, consulates and international organizations.

• • • • • •

Income, expenditure and attractiveness for new entrants, number of new entrepreneurs, volatility of companies. Working conditions and restrictions. Rules and regulations for entrepreneurs. Commitment from the top-level of local government. Municipal services - ratings. Relative accessibility by road, rail and air. Crime against businesses.

The level of hospitality for businesses can be measured against these factors. The creation / influence of city hospitality is the responsibility of the municipality itself: how much awareness is there of the importance of welcoming and business-friendly services and facilities? How do local laws affect entrepreneurs and how is this communicated? And finally, a variety of factors that contribute to the profile of the living and working environment of the city.


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Factors for Business Friendliness

• Business Costs and Other Rules and Regulations

• Livability attractiveness • Cost of living • Availability of local talent • Office space availability and pricing • Number of foreign embassies and consulates • Income, expenditure and prospects

The Municipality

• Labor Restrictions

The City

Business Regulations

(Source: RSM/Hotelschool The Hague Master of Science in Hospitality Management Programme Students, 2010-2011)

• Commitment and support from the top • Infrastructure and municipal services

City hospitality from the perspective of visitors For many years, the Dutch consultancy frim Spronsen & Partners28 has published the results of studies into ‘The Most Hospitable City of the Netherlands’, in collaboration with VVV Netherlands (Tourist Information). In October the prizes are awarded and, from among the 21 largest cities, the most Hospitable Dutch City of the Year is announced. The award is based on 8000 interviews with Dutch visitors about their experience of a total of 27 hospitality aspects.

Kindness & Safety: both the general sense of security, as specifically in the street, in restaurants and shops.

Hospitality & Leisure: the number of restaurants and terraces, their diversity, the size, appearance of shopping areas and the diversity, opening times of shops and range of cultural venues/events.

City & Architecture: the decor, atmosphere and appearance of streets, squares, buildings, city centre and parks. The aspect of hygiene belongs to this category: odours, waste bins, etc.

Accessibility & Information: Findability in the city, accessibility on foot, by public transport to and within the city, information about public transport facilities; accessibility by car and parking and finally, maintenance/construction work in progress.

This study provides a clustering and framework for variables on which basis the hospitality of the city is experienced, and also provides an annual publication, thereby focusing attention on city hospitality. The value of this study for the city lies in a more detailed analysis of the research results. It is recommended that cities do not focus too much on the exact spot in the rankings, but that they use this research mainly to look inwards: How do parameters develop over time? What are our priorities and do we score high or low on these points? Are we on the right track and where are slight modifications needed?


Facts The Chinese ... shopping and luxury as a first priority




Mainly travelling alone (32.3.%), with friends (21.2%) or as a couple (17.2%). 21.4% are travelling individually while 15.9% travel as part of an organized group. Average lenght of stay: 6.7 nights. Average spent per day per person: â‚Ź 171.

Expectations -

Curtious and efficient service. Assistance during the visit and informtion in their native language. Services, offers and web sites taking on a professional image.

A simpel smile and a Greeting in their language makes them happy!

How Olympics hospitality leads to sustainable welcoming London (Source: Mayor of London, Team London, 2013) The 8,000 Team London Ambassadors were one of the highlights of the Olympic summer of 2012. Based at 43 visitor hotspots, travel hubs and tourist attractions, the Ambassadors were London's 'friendly face', on hand to answer questions from tourists and Londoners alike and helping to show the world the very best that London had to offer. All Ambassadors completed a three-day training course covering customer service, the capital itself, the Games in context, and the individual site location. But that's not the whole story: Team London Ambassadors will continue to stay in action at key locations around the London capital. A few months after the Olympic events, teams of Ambassadors (in their distinctive magenta Tshirts!) have been spotted swotting up at locations around London, as they took part in one-day refresher training courses ready to prepare them for the next summer's programme. In the future, over 1,000 Ambassadors will take part in successful events, welcoming visitors at key London locations and events, including St Pancras International, Covent Garden, the Tower of London, Gatwick Airport and the Chinese New Year celebrations on Trafalgar Square. But there is more: as part of the Ambassadors in London Schools programme, Ambassadors are being placed in Londons primary and secondary schools to help inspire young people to volunteer, both in the school and in the local community.


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3.4 Hospitality performance of hosts In the previous chapter the factors that determine the quality of life, work, doing business and visiting a city, were highlightes from the perspective of the different target groups of the hospitable city. These factors contribute to the hospitality experience - the left side of the City Hospitality Experience Model. It is clear that the hospitality experience is about more than the actual products and services: it is the combination of the tangible and intangible. The overall hospitality experience, according to the model, is made up of welcoming behaviour, the hardware and the atmosphere - the right side of the City Hospitality Experience Model. •

The (welcoming) behaviour of all those in contact with the guest. Such as: being-guest oriented, paying attention to others, friendliness, speed and the attitude of employees, for example, in shops and restaurants, and of residents. 'All' refers in this case, to a wide range of hosts. The town council only has direct influence on a small part of them, namely the government officials. But the feeling of hospitality of the visitor to a city is determined by the more frequent encounters with the bus conductor, the cashier in the department store, the guard at the entrance of the museum, the waiter in the café.

The hardware: this entails the presence of (distinctive and special) buildings, roads, parks, leisure facilities and other facilities that radiate hospitality. Where in the city do we find meeting spots of social interaction? In which areas does the town or city distinguish itself? Think of special shops, hospitality, nature and recreation possibilities, museums, squares and parks, as well as special events for the public: all these can be seen as landmarks of the city. The third element that determines city hospitality is the atmosphere; this is shaped by the interior and exterior of the city. These are all the things that trigger the sensual perception of the city. Think of scenery, architecture, colours, smells and sounds. What atmosphere do the people in the streets radiate? How is the overall ambience experienced? This is about creating a feeling; looking for ways to add something distinctive.

Example: You are abroad and you visit a city for the first time. Arriving at the train station you look for the way to the city centre. By asking people passing by, you get a clue and you hope that they have understood you properly. You continue to feel insecure until you see the first shops. If the station has an information desk or an interactive kiosk with free maps, with clear signage along the way, a major feeling of uncertainty is removed. If you feel that you can easily approach people on the street, you will feel more comfortable in that city. By offering the visitor information points and signage, as well as adding the ‘human factor’, you make it possible for everyone to feel at home and to find their way around.


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A true ‘red carpet feeling’ It is Saturday afternoon; you just found a parking spot in the busy city centre. You step out of the car and look around to orientate yourself. You are looking for that special shoe store; the purpose of your visit this afternoon. Then a uniformed parking attendant walks towards you. “Oh dear, I must have illegally parked here” crosses your mind. And yes, it seems the parking attendant pulls out a device to print the parking fine. But meanwhile he says "Ma'am, how may I help you?” “Hey, I didn’t do anything wrong here?” “No, I saw that you were looking around and I am wondering if I might be able to help you find your way?" "Yeah... actually I would like to find the small street with all the little shops just next to city hall” "Indeed that is not so easy to find” you hear the man saying, and you see him typing the address into his device, which looks like an iPod. A piece of paper rolls out of the machine, not a parking ticket but a downtown street map that shows the route to the store .... WOW. Does this really exist? Yes, since recently in Rotterdam, where city hospitality is one of the major points in municipality programmes. This example shows how a ‘red carpet feeling’ can be generated by exceeding expectations. The wow-moments remain etched in the visitor’s memory.

‘Business as usual during the renovation’ Every city has at times to deal with infrastructural work; the renovation of the station, the redevelopment of the shopping areas or the necessary replacement of the sewage system: all projects that will not benefit the hospitality experience of visitors, residents and businesses. The city, as excellent host, can make a difference by not losing sight of its attention to its clients in these situations. What effect does maintenance work have on accessibility? How can we provide solutions? How can we communicate about the work in unclear situations? The excellent host does everything to help users, putting themselves in the guest’s place to search for creative solutions that can surpass the expectations of the guests. Attention and communication can prevent a lot of trouble, so that the host city is experienced as hospitable; even during maintenance work.

The desired warm welcome that makes visitors, residents and businesses develop a preference for a city has to come from several directions. The list of stakeholder groups who find themselves in the role of host is a long one. The greater the number of these stakeholders who support city hospitality, the faster the desired direction will come about. Much has been written about the complexity of city marketing: a complexity caused by the large number of stakeholders who are involved. The same goes for city hospitality. The hospitable city concerns everyone: retail and hospitality businesses, the cultural sector, transport, event organizers and many more. The local authorities themselves are also an important support factor in city hospitality.

And last but not least, the residents themselves are important stakeholders that make or break city hospitality29. Some of them are listed on the following page. The trick is to activate people within these stakeholder groups, and make them enthusiastic and alert about their role in the 'hospitality level of the city’. To speak in hospitality industry terms: At what star level do they perform with their hospitality profile? We will elaborate on this in chapter 5.


Hosts in the hospitable city Municipality






Sport/ Events





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3.5 Creating value from hospitality experience The value of the experience is not in the products and services, but in the individuals themselves. The creation of value occurs through this interaction and how this interplay ‘affects’ the host. Value arises, as the guest’s perception becomes a conscious experience, meaningful and memorable. In a process of conscious control and design intended to increase the city hospitality experience, the offer will need to be coordinated. If the city wants to create meaningful encounters, all hosts will have to work together to offer the warm, sincere welcome that makes the difference. Hospitality then becomes a distinctive strength, making visitors, businesses and residents develop a preference for this city above others.

Value arises from the right match. It is interesting that there is never a single right match. The hospitality experience is not shaped for everyone by the same factors. For example, an American visitor to a metropolitan city has a completely different perception of safety than an inhabitant from small village. An international mindset, polyglotism in many places in the city, will be an important factor in the feeling of hospitality and quality of life experienced by international tourists, students and expats. A good understanding of this is the basis for targeted policies, in which the hospitality profile for various target groups important for the city will have to be determined.

To conclude: In a welcoming city è Residents feel more at home and become proud ambassadors of the city. è Businesses find themselves in an attractive business climate and share it with peers. è Vividness and attractivity increases. è More visitors, residents and businesses are attracted. è Economic growth appears.


Highlights of the City Hospitality Experience (Source: RSM/Hotelschool The Hague Master of Science in Hospitality Management Program Students, 2010-2011) Master’s Students investigated both the positive and negative factors that determine the experience of the hospitable city of The Hague for diverse target groups. The tables below summarize and give an overview of the positive elements and areas for improvement.

Highlights of positive findings

Highlights of improvement areas



City Hospitality

Guest Journey


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4.1 Searching for moments of truth ” The art is to define ‘small’ projects that have a big impact on customer satisfaction. Therefore we first have to better understand how customers think. (Uit: de 9+ Organisatie)

The City Hospitality Experience Model of the previous chapter provides insights into the relationship between guest and host. Which factors play a role and for whom? It demonstrates that the ultimate experience of hospitality is always a two-way stream. It also shows that hospitality experience is subjective and contextual. The starting point for city hospitality is insights into the target maket. It is about learning more about the specific city expectations and experiences of different target groups. Experience is associated with emotions. The experience of hospitality is associated with the emotions around specific encounters / places that make someone feel that he or she is genuinely welcome. This chapter introduces you to the methodology of the guest journey, also called guest experience chain, based on which the different experiences of the hospitality of the city can be analysed.

The mapping of guest journey gives insights into those moments, the so-called touchpoints that provide a memorable interaction between "city" and representatives of the target group. The touchpoints of city hospitality are those moments in which a city can make a difference: the moments of truth. You expose the true relationship between the users of the city. Being aware of those moments provides the possibility to manage, improve, innovate and work in a city that will become increasingly attractive to visit. A chain of touchpoints can be described in a guest journey. It is a visualization of the (often unconscious) journey of the guest specified in the touchpoints that characterise the interaction with the hospitality of the city. It highlights how a guest experiences what is offered by the city during that trip. These touchpoints may involve elements concerning a physical product, a service or the ambience of hospitality. They reveal the total experience of the hospitality of the city.

è Analysis of the Guest Journey forces cities to look through the eyes of the guest. è It gives a clear idea of how visitors experience the city, what their emotions and memories are. The touchpoints are made visible, together with the strong and weak points. è Insights into the Guest Journey enable the development of strategies that have the visitor and his experience as a core. è A Guest Journey can be drawn up for each target group (not only for visitors, as perhaps the word ‘journey’ suggests, but also for residents and businesses refering to a specific aspect of their relationship to the city.)


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Looking at the time of departure for instance, for both shoppers who travelled by car as well as those who travelled by public transport, this was a negative moment. This last contact with the city has a stronger influence on the memory than the beginning of the 'journey'. Research31 shows that last impressions are inscribed for a long time in people’s memory. Of course, you could accept that the moment of leaving always has a more negative connotation, however you might also want to consider exceeding expectations precisely at those times!

In 2010, research was carried out by Hotelschool The Hague students on the experience of shoppers on a day trip30. The Hague serves here as an example. In the figure below, the vertical axis expresses the emotion and the horizontal axis is to be read as a timeline. The figure almost speaks for itself. The highlights of the day have to do with the shopping experience. Further investigation reveals that the city distinguishes itself by the great number of stores with a rich diversity. The visitors experience this strength very clearly. The city would do well to further strengthen this strong point of authenticity in the store base and to incorporate it into the unique hospitality profile. Also interesting are the negative emotions. One of these has to do with the accessibility of the centre and the departure times. This raises questions like: How can this be dealt with? What can we do as a city? An even better signage? Invest in a mobile way-finding (and shop-finding) app? Post city hosts at key places in the city to act as approachable hosts of the city?

It is the small things can make the difference here: a thank you for visiting The Hague at the exit of the car park, a 'goodbye' at the station or an e-mail from the hotel that not only asks for a review of the stay but also informs about events that the city has to offer in the coming period - and hence arouses the visitors interest in returning.

The Guest Journey of one-day visitors for shopping in The Hague



(Source: Van Prooijen, M. (red.), 2011)



ur e De pa rt

Di ni

in g

in g

Sh op p

Lu nc h

in g Sh op p

ca r) es Ce si b nt i li t re y


Ac c

Pa r

kin g

(a pp

li e s

Ar r

iv al

Public transport

Start-up Phase




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4.2 Dissatisfiers & Delighters: finding the wow -factors of the city Professor Noriaki Kano32 developed his customer satisfaction model in the 1980s. He saw a relationship between the degree of (dis)satisfaction of customers and the presence or absence of certain factors. He grouped these factors into different categories. He distinguishes between the basic factors that should be present and are only noticed when they are not there (dissatisfiers) and the factors that lead to unexpected joy (delighters) also referred to as wow-factors. If the latter are not present you do not miss them, and their absence does not lead to dissatisfaction. If they are present then expectations are exceeded and memorable city hospitality moments are created.

This green line in the figure below indicates the experience of points considered to be basic prerequisites. The absence of this would be an important reason to avoid a city. The blue line shows the points that people use to compare cities against each other. The red line indicates the surprises, elements where expectations are exceeded, where a wow-factor is in play. If these are absent, they are not missed, and there is also no dissatisfaction.

Kano Model (Bron:

Example: A visitor may be annoyed by a long queue at the station’s information desk. However, if this queuing problem was resolved by opening more counters, then this would no longer be an irritation factor for the visitor. Neither would it be experienced as a positive factor, as people assume that they should not have to wait at an information desk.


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The Kano model provides us with a closer look into the different touchpoints of the guest journeys. When can we decide that a dissatisfier is so great that it should be addressed immediately? Through which elements of the 'performance' line can we affect the distinctive profile? Which points are so unique that the city can tackle them as points of differentiation? Please note, as this concerns expectations, they may be different for different groups. How should we work on the wow-factors? Exceeding expectations is a wonderful goal, but how does the city deal with the fact that this will raise the expectation level even further? On the one hand, creating wow factors requires focus, and on the other flexibility, sensitivity, adaptability, as well as consistency in policy. This requires a continuous and conscious choice about which distinctive elements of the city experience are needed.

The 'proclamation' of a city as a unique and surprising shopping city, for example, is in this sense not a desperate move, but can be pioneering for everything that is happening in this area in the city. Being relevant to the target audience, enduringly distinctive and continually surprising as shopping city, through events, (virtual) communication, striking concepts, courteous and surprisingly attentive shop assistants adds value to the experience of 'the welcoming city' and makes it concrete. We then speak of working on a branded guest experience. A branded guest experience is achieved through the consistent focus on an aspect of the city that is important and unique to the city and its residents, visitors and businesses. In the extract below, we consider the difference between 'expected' wow-effects and unexpected wow-experiences.

The difference between Expected WOW and Unexpected WOW (Source: Bloomberg Business Week)

Expected WOW is something you’d use in your marketing. It’s what people read on your website and hear from others online. Whether it’s the design of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the amenities at a Kimpton property, or the service at a Four Seasons – people arrive expecting an extraordinary experience. (And failure to consistently meet these expectations would cause disappointment.) Unexpected WOW is usually the result of attentive staff thinking quickly and creatively. Chip Conley writes in Peak about how Joie De Vivre encouraged bellhops and other front-line staff to listen for clues about the purpose of a guests’ visit, then provide unexpected service based on that. The advantage to this is that even the tiniest gestures can surprise and delight your guests. We’re seeing more and more experience designers pursuing WOW through various ways like this, but Ritz Carlton was one of the pioneers. Every staff member at every Ritz Carlton in the world gets together each morning to share a story of when a member of the team went out of their way to create a WOW experience. These are true stories of employee heroics that go above and beyond conventional customer service expectations. In one, a hotel chef in Bali found special eggs and milk for a guest with food allergies in a small grocery store in another country and had them flown to the hotel.


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Both are relevant to the hospitable city. The planned (expected) wow is a result of targeted policies in the field of city marketing and city hospitality, focusing on the distinctive strength, based on the way it is experienced. By consistently underlining those touchpoints that make the difference, the city can work on the so-called branded guest experience.

The unplanned wow is more related to the interpersonal encounters between guests and hosts in the city; difficult to manage as a whole, but not impossible - witness the unique performance of RitzCarlton in this area. Admittedly, as a city it is more difficult to direct and facilitate wow-moments in this way (Ritz-Carlton employees even have a fixed budget at their disposal to go 'the extra mile' and make the extra added value possible). But a city could, for example, share the wow stories through (social) media and / or discuss them in internal municipal meetings and at meetings of destination marketing organizations.


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4.3 Guest Journey

as a tool

to set hospitality in motion Mandy Lane33 describes in "The Visitor Journey: the new road to success" six phases in the Guest Journey. The author goes one step further by analysing not only the chain of customer experiences, but by looking at each stage to see what can be done to manage and then improve the customer experience. Her article is based on her research into the Visitor Journey in London. The various stages of the guest journey cover the whole period from the first orientation to the memories when back home. • • • • • •

Orientation: Stimulation, Planning & Anticipation. Bookability. Travel to the destination. The Destination Experience. Going Home. Recollection of the experience.

It is a step towards developing a plan in which choices must be made about how to portray the hospitable city. The phases are used not only to visualize the customer experience but also to analyse how, through focused management, the customer experience can be managed and improved. Municipal policies and programmes can be measured against this yardstick. You can see which buttons are being pushed and the effect this has, or could have on the customer experience. So this is about the match between policy and actions of municipalities and other stakeholders and the various visitor groups. And here the question is: where should the municipality invest its efforts and scarce resources? Obviously, all phases are important, but perhaps through targeted cooperation with the city, win-win situations can be created.

The emotions, the highs and lows of the Guest Journey together with these six steps help to map the experience of the different target groups.

Example: Destination Marketing Offices work mainly on making the stay in the city attractive. Businessmen work together on the marketing of the city as a distinctive, accessible, pleasant shopping destination with a surprising range of amenities, a pleasant atmosphere and a welcoming environment. The municipality in this case is the relevant party - focused on shoppers on a day visit to the city – to look critically at how the access to the centre is regulated in a welcoming way: think not only of the condition of access roads, but also information and communication on how to reach the various shopping areas; parking space management; in this case parking apps in combination with shopping apps can make the difference.


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The Visitor Journey Model by Mandy Lane (Source: Lane, M., 2007)

Guest journeys are tools to gain understanding; no more, no less. The concept of the guest journey is often used for external target groups. However, we must not forget that city hospitality extends also to residents and businesses. The methodology of the guest journey can then be used to portray certain aspects of the urban experience, such as a visit to the city hall for a passport application, a visit to the theatre / museum, a day at the beach.

People deal with city hospitality every day. What is the hospitality experience of a resident of an elderly home, the commuter, the expat family who settled in the city just a month ago and still has to explore much of what the city has to offer? A day in the life study34 reveals routines, identifies where similar aspects that make a difference for the host city can be identified. It makes background information visible, thereby providing a valuable context for successful hospitality policy. In this study respondents are asked to document their daily activities and to relate those to how they value specific services or other contacts in the city.

è Guest Journey mapping reveals the delighters and dissatisfiers of the city experience. è Wow-factors can be key to memorable experiences of the hospitable city before, during and after the trip. è In-depth ‘A day in the life' research reveals the routines and provides indicators for managing the hospitality experience of 'regulars' in the city.



On the way to

Excellent City Hospitality 43

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5.1 A strategic approach to city hospitality City marketing is more than logos and slogans; everyone in the field of city marketing is slowly starting to agree on this. The pioneering phase is over - the field is developing into a fully-fledged discipline in which an increasingly strategic approach to strategic marketing management is followed. City hospitality, or the city hospitality strategy and policy, should therefore in line with this thinking and be more than implementation programmes and slogans. The question at issue is: How can we embed city hospitality in city strategy and policy in a sustainable way?

Analysis Successful city hospitality starts with the analysis. It is all about gaining insights into and understanding the hospitality experience of the major segments of the target groups residents, businesses and visitors. What is it that really matters? In addition, it is important to build knowledge and understanding of those factors that determine these hospitality experiences: the supply side of city hospitality which are determined and developed by the hosts.

Strategy and action points The next step is to determine the ‘How’. Where is the most natural match? Where are the obstacles and where are those positive experiences that could be pointed out as branded guest experience? This is done through the establishment of a clear hospitality profile - what does the promise of hospitality in the city entail? What service level is necessary, desirable and feasible? Is it 3, 4 or 5 star quality? And what does this mean? The next question is: how to realize city hospitality in co-creation with the city? Managing hospitality in the city, how do we do that? What programmes are effective? Who and what do we need?

Strategic priorities and goals The analysis of guests and hosts leads to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from a city hospitality perspective. These lead to strategic priorities and specific objectives. Where should the (improved) hospitality experience lead to for residents, businesses and visitors? Achieving objectives will then be more concrete. How will the city make a difference in behaviour, hardware and atmosphere? Aspects such as distinctive planned wow-factors are then at stake. Specific objectives and result areas are identified. Visualization is done by means of a City Hospitality Dashboard ÂŽ.


VISION ON CITY HOSPITALITY ‘HOSTS’ à Hospitality, retailers, service providers, residents, municipality

‘GUESTS’ à Residents, businesses, visitors

à How is hospitality experienced? à What really matters in the experience?

à Strengthen the hospitality experience, priorities in target groups (economic interest) à What will we concentrate on?

à Hospitality experience residents, businesses, visitors à Length of stay, expenditure, retention, experienced hospitality, ...


STRATEGIC PRIORITIES Where lies the focus of City Hopsitality? Proposition

RESULT AREAS OBJECTIVES ‘DASHBOARD’ What are our concrete goals?

à What makes the difference? à How is hospitality supported? à Is it part of the DNA?

à Promote hospitable behaviour among the hosts, priorities in target groups hosts à Ho do they (we) make a difference? à What do we focus on?

à Knowledge, attitude, behaviour à Service levels à Interpretation of the city hospitality concept à Branded guest experience

HOW? STRATEGY How do we approach it? Whom do we reach?

Example • Tourist Office • Websites • Signage • Your opinion • Complaints procedure

ACTIONS / CAMPAIGNS Which concrete actions will be set in motion?

Example • Campaign • Hospitality ambassador • Courses – e-learning • Internal marketing

à Criteria and measuring methods

EVALUATION and RESULTS MEASUREMENT How do we measure if we are on the right track? How do we determine the effects of hospitality policy?

à Criteria and measuring methods


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5.2 Getting started and seeing results Acting as a host concerns everbody! Excellent hospitality should be strongly embedded in the city!

Managing city hospitality has been discussed a number of times in this booklet. We will elaborate on this further in this section. When strategic choices are made, a translation must be made to the daily practice of the involved 'hosts’.

How to get everyone on board is one of the challenging questions. The following steps can serve as a guide for municipalities that want to go the extra mile in hospitality.

Step 0 (conditions): The vision of hospitality from the ‘top’ City hospitality starts at the top: the vision, attitude and behaviour of mayors and aldermen: Hospitality is one of the core values of the city and is carried out as such. It is thus politically and democratically embedded in the city. This is the framework, which is a precondition for sustainable implementation.

Step 1 Creating awareness and commitment around hospitality in the city It is clear that ‘city hall’ alone cannot make a hospitable city. Communicating, persuading, motivating stakeholders / hosts to actively get started with hospitality should pave the way for joint action, also called co-creation. The objective of this step is to increase the support for hospitality, to make stakeholders (hosts) aware of the power of welcoming behaviour and positive effects on experience. A framework must be created around the moments of truth, (the wow-moments on one hand, but also the ouch-moments) in the experience of the city’s hospitality. This is needed to make stakeholders think and to create enthusiasm for the subject of city hospitality.

This is possible by putting the subject regularly on the agenda and making it a fixed agenda item for consultation bodies and marketing organizations involved in city districts, city and region, and by making it a part and/or theme of meetings. Experience the hospitality of your own city yourself: slip into the skin of the visitor who comes to your city for the first time. Experience how the hospitality of your city comes across. Live a guest journey and learn from it. All of these activities can make abstract subjects clearer. Experience shows that without the intrinsic motivation of the 'hosts' there is insufficient basis for successful action.


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Step 2 Implementation of the hospitality profile based on analysis Targeted city hospitality policy calls for the application of focus. This focus is very important for the city, because besides coordinated actions, there will already be many individual initiatives that are taking place in the field of hospitality. As a city, you can of course, only appreciate this. For an extra push in the right direction, a certain prioritisation is neeed. Combining forces and bundeling efforts! Focus also means making choices: not being happy to score an overall average, but to achieve scores in exceptional areas: exceed expectations and create memorable moments. The objective of this step is to formulate the distinctive hospitality profile of the city and respective objectives for different target groups.

This means making decisions about the 'hospitality level' (in the words of the hospitality industry: 3, 4 or 5 star?), preferably focused on the core target groups of the city. This involves not only identifying and then removing the bottlenecks, but especially the development of hospitality best practices and distinguishing factors in the hospitality profile. When is the hospitable city successful? What are the intended effects on the hospitality experience and who are they experienced by? Ideally you have already thought about this in advance and you have a picture of what the hospitality programme should result in: an increase in visitor satisfaction in relation to the city? These are preferably defined in terms of SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Step 3 Getting and keeping everyone on board – internal marketing If it is clear how the city wants to make the difference, and what is needed in terms of hospitality, the challenge remains to get "the city" on board in the desired direction. Whom do we need to get moving in the desired direction? How do we organize hospitality in a sustainable way? How do we structurally integrate hospitality in the city? The organisation of city marketing depends on how the stakeholders represent and position the core values of hospitality.

Communication plays a vital role. It is important that all the different hosts are aware of the vision, purpose and hospitality strategy. We have seen earlier that a large number of stakeholders are involved in city hospitality. The challenge is to distinguish between the level of involvement and its importance. An analysis will help to clarify this. (See the example on the next page of how this differentiation can be made by means of stakeholder mapping.)




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Influence = low Start co-creation!

In a study of the internal branding of a city35, a comparison was made between internal branding in business and the internal marketing of the municipality. “Employees must become advocates of the brand, it is therefore important that they know what the brand is, how it is constructed, what the brand of their organization stands for and what their role is in delivering on the brand promise”, according to the author. This view can also be projected onto city hospitality. Considerations for the internal implementation of hospitality in the city36 are: •

Find an occasion and link city hospitality with urgency.

Influence = high Harvest quick wins!

Connect city marketing and city hospitality with communication and human resources. Make people responsible for internal city-hospitality. Create a fixed contact point, process managers and guards; for example a Chief Hospitality Officer.

Set clear core values for welcoming behaviour of employees. The front office staff (in the city hall) are the first to realize this.

Specify hospitality per department. Hospitality is not relevant in the same way for every department. Involve employees and / or managers and let them think about what this means for their department and their employees. (What the housekeeping department or kitchen are to a hotel, is the parks & public gardens department and policy staff to the municipality.)


4 3

Train managers in exemplary behaviour, give feedback to employees on the new core values and evaluate according to the new values.

Introduce new employees immediately to city hospitality. Make the hospitality core values part of the evaluation and selection criteria.

Make sure that staff are also a target group. They need extra motivation to get started with hospitality. This could be done by the managers but also by training employees. The training must focus on the content of hospitality and what this means for them.

Communicate through various media (intranet, staff magazine, posters, movies, pictures) about hospitality. Display hospitality, even indirectly, everywhere. Invest in symbols and protocols.

Pay continuous attention to internal branding and do not see it as something that "just happensinbetween".

Let employees actually experience hospitality, let them be a part of activities related to city hospitality.

Influence +

Importance -

Importance +

Influence -


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Step 4 Resources for the activation of hospitality Once priorities are set, a programme can be developed with appropriate policy instruments. Hospitality policy distinguishes between: •

resources that are directly aimed at improving the experience of the visitor and,

resources that support the welcoming behaviour of staff / hosts.

A Hospitable City Treaty, signed by the main players.

Developing a hospitality audit as part of municipal policy / permits / procedures, etc.

A hospitality audit for hardware & atmosphere.

Slogan, symbols, supplementary items for the implementation programme.

Creating meeting places for hospitality ideas: suggestion box, fixed agenda items in regular consultations, meetings, and policies - share and discuss the wow-moments of the city.

Some ideas are: •

Roadshow hospitality workshops focusing on different groups of hosts.

E-learning programme for front-line people: programmes aimed at helping people to recognize situations and respond to them in a welcoming way - the basics of hospitality.

Stap 5 Dashboard A city hospitality policy has to lead to measurable results: it should be clear for which points the hospitable city should be aiming.

How do we make progress and results visible and tangible? Link the results in hospitality with city marketing objectives. (See also 5.4).

Heading towards excellent hospitality in the city: è The hospitality experience depends on the target groupà segment and choice è Make the hospitality experience visible à develop journeys and analyse touchpoints of the main city target groups. How is hospitality in your city experienced during moments of truth? What are ups and downs? What can we build on and what will we remove? è Determine goals and choose a hospitality strategy and matching programmes. è Know the hosts: know who you can address; know who makes and breaks the hospitable city. è Implement and manage city hospitality in co-creation with the hosts. è Measure and evaluate city hospitality! Know its return.


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5.3 The accountability of city hospitality: Measure and evaluate Paradox in thinking about accountability If we can show what the effect is of hospitality programmes, we will get more money! Or The budget for accountability is at the expense of what we can spend on hospitality!

We have to be accountable for marketing investments. But how can we make this value visible and tangible? How can we show what the effects are of each Euro invested in city marketing in order to achieve the objectives? Ideally, the effects of each Euro invested in city marketing will be clear: budgets can be seen as investments with a tangible Return on Investment. In practice, such a one-on one relationship is not (at least not at acceptable research costs) always demonstrable.

Everyone will agree with this statement. But how can this value be made visible and tangible? How can we show the effects of the hospitable city? The assumption is that in a welcoming city (a city where people feel welcome): •

Residents feel more at home and are more likely to become ambassadors of the city. (City Pride is a city marketing objective found in the objectives of many municipalities).

This, however, does not release the city marketer of his obligation to look critically at the links between action and result. Where are the connections and relationships?

Companies are more likely to perceive the business climate as positive.

Visitors to the city experience the city as even more attractive, stay longer, speak about it more positively and come back more frequently.

City hospitality creates value; value that fits within the framework of city marketing strategies.

The brand value gets a positive impulse.

è Hospitality contributes to the achievement of the main objectives of city marketing: • •

Retain and attract residents, businesses and visitors. Strengthen the brand and reputation of the city.

è The accountability of city hospitality is making a reasonable case for which results can be achieved with the investments in hospitality.


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A clear framework of objectives The literature recommends clearly separating the different objectives related to city hospitality, in order to build a clear framework. In the marketing literature37, a distinction is made between the impact objectives (what is the ultimate effect of the marketing campaign?), process objectives (how does the marketing campaign come across to the target group?), reach objectives (are we reaching the right target groups) and activity objectives. (What is included in the marketing activities? Can you succeed in getting these activities started and executed successfully?)

The following table contains examples of this hierarchy of objectives. It is obvious that the concrete implementation of the objectives should be expressed in figures as SMART38 as possible.




Impact objectives

Attract and retain residents, visitors and businesses Preferably specified per segment!

Growth percentages Length of stay, spending Return percentage % city pride


Strengthen the brand and reputation of the city

Living index % brand familiarity % brand association with hospitality

Selected target groups residents, visitors and businesses experience the city as hospitable and give the city a high ranking for hospitality. Specified per target group and per point of interest!

Experience of facilities, accessibility, personal service


We reach especially young professionals and empty nesters with our programme

X % of the target group experiences an improvement in city hospitality


Designing a hospitality programme together with the key players of the city


Set up workshops and E-learning programmes and make them available to the city

è Process objectives

Reach objectives

Activity objects

Wow factors: exceeding expectations in %

There is an active demand for programmes and guidelines for the improvement of hospitality

Number of participating stakeholders is growing

Number of participants


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Hospitality thus contributes to achieving the impact objectives of city marketing, however there is no one-to-one relationship. In other words, you cannot substantiate what exactly the relationship is between 'investments in the hospitable city' and, for example, the parameters for increase in visitor numbers, or an increase in the city pride percentage of residents, etc. But even if connections are not always clearly quantifiable, policymakers are quite capable of providing an estimate of the relationship. Further studies may clarify the relationship between, for example, the hospitality experience of the visitor and the likelihood of a return visit.

The policy around city hospitality focuses on strengthening the hospitality experience of the target groups of the city. Are the hospitality policies and programmes coming across? Are we reaching the right target groups? These are the process objectives and reach objectives. The more specific these objectives can be made, the more powerful they are. These variables measure the effectiveness of the hospitality policy. Activity objectives relate to the following questions: Are we doing the right things and are we getting everyone on board? To achieve the desired results in the field of city hospitality a programme of activities will have to be realized in consultation and cooperation with the hosts of the city. An important measure of the success of this is the question of how active ‘the city' joins in with existing initiatives and / or whether activities develop spontaneously.

Example of impact objectives Growth in the number of business visitors and overnight stays by 3%. The length of stay of day visitors grows from x to y hours and thereby the spending per day visitor grows. The percentage of residents that experience the city as a residential city with star quality grows from x to y%.

Examples of process objectives and reach objectives: International visitors are surprised by the friendliness of the people on the street. Research shows that "feeling welcome" ranks high in the experience of foreign guests of the city. Residents feel welcome in the city on Thursday evening. The small and medium-sized enterprises give the accessibility of the municipality a score of 8.5.

Examples of business objectives Half of the district organizations have hospitality for residents on the agenda. A quarter of the taxi companies register for the e-learning programme "A warm welcome" developed by the local authorities. The local hotel industry is involved in the study into the hospitality experience of the city by international business tourists by including this question in their standard questionnaires.


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Measuring instruments To measure is to know. Where are we? What is good? Where should we adjust? What is the net effect of the host city? This is valuable information which has to be provided by research, which can be a costly process. A large number of research tools are available to the city marketer.

Research instrument/ sources

The challenge is to find a good mix of self-initiated research studies that directly show the results of your own actions and hospitality programmes and studies that contribute to ongoing studies and existing sources. Instruments for measuring city hospitality are numerous. The table below gives an overview with examples.

Research examples Regular city questionnaires


Studies into hospitality among target groups Image research studies Customer satisfaction surveys by stakeholders

In-depth interview

Ethnographic research

Mystery guest research

Review sites Internet platforms

Qualitative research into the experience of hospitality gives the analysis depth and uncovers bottlenecks. Research is increasingly performed through mobile applications. Measuring and reporting on hospitality experience is a complex field. It is about measuring emotions that should ideally be registered at the moment they are experienced. For this purpose mobile applications have been developed such as My Service Fellow39 that allows respondents to record their experiences as guests in a tourist destination, on the spot. A mystery guest takes on the role of a customer and experiences the city. Through observation of landmarks, ambience and behaviour in the city the mystery guest takes a ‘snapshot’ of the city hospitality. Social media is a valuable source for obtaining insights into how consumers experience and value products and services. Review sites and internet panels provide the city marketeer with a wealth of information about strong and weak points in the city experience. Research and analysis programmes can be used to read the ‘mood’ and ‘experience’ of the Internet posts.

Dashboard / monitor Successful marketing campaigns are flawlessly executed, reach the right audience and result in the desired response induced in the target audience, which ultimately translates into the intended end result. Using a city marketing monitor, the results for each objective are monitored and regularly evaluated. The relationship between the different programmes and the realization of the city marketing objectives can be visualized. The monitor functions as a reporting tool, but also as a means of learning which activities are successful or through which nothing can ‘be gained.’

Keeping this hierarchy in mind and estimating the relationships between them provides an assessment framework for the effectiveness of the (city) marketing policy. A necessary condition is that the city marketing objectives are clearly formulated. The more specific the results to be achieved are, the easier marketing campaigns can be related to them. The matrix below shows the relationships between the different levels of objectives:


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Main objective Specific interpretation (smarte) of effect objectives è What is the ultimate objective?

Process and aim objectives as intermediate variables è What do we want to achieve and with whom?

Activity objectives of the marketing efforts è What are we going to do exactly?

Retain and attract residents

Retain and attract businesses

Retain and attract visitors

What are the primary target groups ? What is to be achieved specifically in terms of numbers, growth percentages, cover percentage?

e.g.: Residents are proud to be residents

e.g.: Experience the business climate of target groups

e.g.: Hospitality experience of international visitors

Strengthen brand and reputation of the city Brand values Image per target group/ stakeholders

e.g.: Stakeholders spread the brand

A large range of activities / programmes contributes to the realisation of the intermediate objectives and ultimately to the main objectives of the city marketing of the city. Per marketing activity it is important to relate to the city marketing objectives.

In addition to this, for all activities, any other side effects that can be found should be taken into consideration. For instance, inspiration for the business community/co-creation.

By completing this matrix for different activities, their effectiveness can be visualized and an indication of what the relevant indicators can be given immediately.

Finally, a perspective on the makeability of the host city The host city is the sum of individual hospitality experiences that are formed in an environment where the private, social and commercial aspects of hospitality play a role. People experience city hospitality based on their own motivations and frames of reference. You therefore do not make a city, but you make sure there is something for everyone, matching motives, mood and behaviour. How can this be reconciled with terms like accountability and dashboard, as discussed in this chapter?

The municipality may be unable to make the hospitable city, but it can enable growth by facilitating, promoting and investment. Such a policy demands focus, more effectively targeting and using (scares) resources. This focus is reflected in choices – from a hospitality perspective - with regard to spatial planning (hardware), facilities and amenities (atmosphere) and the mobilization of all the hosts of the city in the direction of more welcoming behaviour. Obviously, local conditions and assumptions are to be taken into account.



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Last but not least The unique partnership of the city of The Hague and Hotelschool The Hague was the basis for the creation of this booklet about the hospitable city. As initiator, financier and inspirer, the municipality made the Chair of City Hospitality & City Marketing possible. Innovation often starts with unique combinations. The link of hospitality to city marketing is one of these combinations that leads to new insights and hopefully a new move towards more city hospitality. This is not only to the advantage of The Hague, but for anyone who wants to give city hospitality meaning. It was a pleasure to work on this ‘story of the hospitable city’. Valuable input was obtained from research projects performed by students in recent years within the research group and with the collaboration of Hotelschool The Hague lecturers. Inspiration also came from contacts with stakeholders in the field of city hospitality, in and around city hall as well as with members of the board of associates of The Hague Marketing.

Furthermore, discussions and brainstorming with city hospitality stakeholders in other cities contributed to forming an image and developing a vision. A special thank you goes to Marjolein de Jong (Alderman), Ernst van den Berg (Chief City Marketing Officer The Hague) and his team, the members of the steering committee and project group of the research group and, last but not least, my Hotelschool colleagues Jan Huizing and Monique van Prooijen, who together with me form the research group. I would like to mention Monique in particular for the development of the City Hospitality Experience Model and the description of the Guest Journey. I wish the reader success, inspiration and fun in initiating, moving, accelerating and enduringly embedding city hospitality!


Endnotes 1

Hospers, Boekema, Lombarts, 2008a Borchert and Buursink, 1987 in: Hospers, 2009 3 Braun, 2008 4 Hospers, 2009 5 Brouwer et al., 2010 6 Bell et al, 2007 7 Cassee, 1983 8 Lashley, 2000 9 Lashley et al, 2007 10 Among others Telfer, 1996 11 Derrida, 2000 12 Gunnarson, Blohm, 2007 13 Heal, 1990 14 Among others O’Gorman, 2010 15 Landry, 2006 16 Heal, 1990 17 Cassee e.a., building upon Lewis & Chambers, inspired by the SERVQUAL model of Zeithaml & Parasuraman, revised by M. van Prooijen 18 Boswijk, Peelen, Olthof, 2011 19 idem 20 Mikunda, 2002: Brand Lands, Hot Spots & Cool Places, Welcome te the Third Place and the Total Marketing Experience 21 Hospers, 2011: There is nothing more than Citymarketing 24 Louter, 2011 22 Mercer, Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings, 2012 23 Monocle, briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design, issue 45, volume 05, July/August 2011 25 ECORYS, 2010: City-DNA of smart cities, Rotterdam 26 RSM/Hotelschool The Hague Master in Hospitality Management Students: Making the difference with city hospitality, 2011 27 ECORYS, 2010: City-DNA of smart cities,, Rotterdam 28 Research on the most hospitable city in the Netherlands, Van Spronsen, 2011 29 Hospers, Boekema, Lombarts, 2008b 30 Student Research, Hotelschool Den Haag, How hospitable is The Hague?, 2011 31 Kahneman, 2011, Ons feilbaar denken 32 Six Sigma, Greg Brue, Robert G. Launsby 33 The Visitor Journey: the new road to success, 2007 34 Research Tools of Service Design, Marc Stickdorn, This is Service Design Thinking. 35 Anja Frankort, 2011, Internal marketing, the forgotton part of city marketing 36 Derived from Frankort, 2012 37 Floor en Van Raaij, marketingcommunication strategy 38 SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely 39 A mobile application, funded by the EU project ‘Service Design in Tourism’ ( 2



References • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Bell, D., 2007, The hospitable city: social relations in commercial spaces, Progress in Human Geography. 31 (1), pp7-22 Binkhorst, E., den Dekker, T., 2009, Agenda for Co-Creation Tourism Experience Research, Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management Borchert J.G., Buursink, J., 1987, Citymarketing en geografie, Nijmegen Geografisch en Planologisch Instituut. Bosman, Peelen, Olthof, 2011, Economie van Experiences, Pearson Education Braun, E., Otgaar, A. en van den Berg, L., 2005, Op weg naar een geïntegreerde aanpak van citymarketing, EURICUR, Rotterdam Braun, E., 2008, Hoe steden effectief gebruik kunnen maken van citymarketing, Erasmus School of Economics Brouwer, M., van der Kolk, A. en Mourits, J., 2010, Ondanks bezuinigingen investeren gemeenten in citymarketing: analyse collegeakkoorden G30, Utrecht Berenschot Cassee, E.Th., Reuland, R.J., 1983, The Management of hospitality Pergamon Press, Oxford CCI Paris Ile-de-France, 2013, Do you speak ‘touriste’? Derrida, J., Dufourmantelle, A., 200, Of Hospitality, Translated by Rachel Bowlby ECORYS, 2010, Stad-DNA voor slimme steden, Rotterdam Floor, J.M.G, van Raaij, W.F., 2008, Marketingcommunicatie strategie, Stenfert Kroese, Groningen Frankort, A., 2011, Interne marketing, de vergeten kant van citymarketing, Masterscriptie Rotterdam School of Management, Rotterdam Greater LondonAuthority, 2013, The Greates City On Earth, City Hall, London Gunnarson, J., Blohm, O., 2003, Hostmanship, The Art of Making People Feel Welcome, Dialogos Forlag AB Heal, F.,1990, Hospitality in Early modern England, Clarendon Press, Oxford Hoffman, L.M., Fainstein, S. en Judd, D., 2007, Cities and Visitors, regulating people, markets and city space, John Willy&Sons, Inc. Hospers, G.-J., Boekema, F. en Lombarts, A., 2008, De Stad in de Schijnwerpers, in: En nu aan de slag met Citymarketing, Nicis Institute Hospers, G.-J., 2009, Citymarketing in perspectief, IVIO Wereldschool, Lelystad Hospers, G.-J., 2011, Er gaat niets boven Citymarketing, Hoe zet je een plaats op de kaart?, Haystack, Zaltbommel Hospers, G.-J., Verheul, W.J. en Boekema, F. (red.), 2011, Citymarketing voorbij de hype, Boom Lemma Den Haag Huizing, J., Wiegerink, K., Huss, D., Guest Journey Experience Mapping, EuroCHRIE 2012 Kahn, B., 1987, Cosmopolitan culture, the gilt-edged drea of a tolerant city, New York, Atheneum Kahneman, 2011, Ons feilbare denken, thinking fast and slow, Uitgeverij Business Contact Amsterdam Landry, C., 2006, The art of city making, Stearling VA, London Lane, M., 2007, The Visitor Journey: the new road to success. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 19(3): 248 – 254 Conrad, L., Morrison, A. (ed), 2000, In Search of Hospitality, theoretical perspectives and debates, Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Lashley, C., Lynch, P. en Morrison, A., 2007, Hospitality: A Social Lense, Oxford, Elsevier Lewis, Chambers, 2000, Marketing Leadership in Hospitality, Foundations and Practices, 3rd edition, John Wiley & sons, inc Louter, P.J, van Eikeren, W., 2011, Waar willen we wonen?, Burau Louter, Delft Marlet, Gerard, 2009, De aantrekkelijke stad, VOC Uitgevers Mayor of London, Team London,, 2013 Mercer, Quality of Living City Survey, Hague Netherlands: in Haagse Bluf of het verbindende element in de positionering van Den Haag, Beleidskaderadvies Citymarketing Den Haag 2010-2020, AloA Consultancy, 2009 Mikunda, C., 2002, Hot spots & Cool spaces, welcom to the third place and the total Marketing Experience, Kogan Monocle, 2011, briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design, issue 45, volume 05 O’Connor, D., 2005, Towards a new interpretation of ‘hospitality’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 17 No 3, 2005 O’Gorman, K.D., 2010, The Originals of Hospitality and Tourism, Goodfellow Publishers Ltd, Woodeaten, Oxford Reuland, R., Choudry, J. en Fagel, A., 1985, Research in the field of hospitality, Int. J. Hospitality Management Vol. No4. RSM/Hotelschool The Hague Master of Science in Hospitality Management Program Students, Class 2010-2011, Making the difference with City Hospitality, The Hague Schneider, J., Stickdorn, M., 2011, This is Service Design Thinking, BIS Publishers Seisdedos, G., 2006, State of Art of City Marketing in European Cities, 42nd ISOCARP Congress 2006 Van Prooijen, M. (red.), 2011, Gastvrijheid in Den Haag, rapport gebaseerd op drie studentenonderzoeken, Hotelschool



• • •

The Hague Research Centre, Lectoraat City Hospitality & City Marketing Van Prooijen, M., 2012, The Cityhospiality Experience Model – shaping a hospitable city, EuroCHRIE 2012 Van Spronsen en Partners, De meest Gastvrije stad van Nederland, 2009, 2010, 2011, onderzoek van Spronsen & Partners, horeca advies in samenwerking met VVV Nederland Veldhoen, Berry en van Slooten, S., 2010, De 9+ organisatie, van marketshare naar mindshare, Van Duren Media BV, Culemborg


Colophon Text:

Karoline Wiegerink, Hotelschool The Hague, Research Group City Hospitality & City Marketing, Chapter 3 and 4 in cooperation with Monique van Prooijen


Karoline Wiegerink


Sophia Gross


Xerox Nederland

Design & Lay-out:

Sophia Gross


Den Haag Marketing, Hotelschool The Hague, Thinkstock

Hotelschool The Hague Chair City Hospitality How Can We Help You Achieve City Hospitality Excellence? Cities and municipalities are becoming increasingly competitive as they strive for economic growth whilst balancing this with the needs of existing residents, businesses, students and tourists. To achieve this, cities require a vision based on a set of distinctive values and propositions. Our mission is to create value for cities and their stakeholders through implementation of a hospitality concept based philosophy. We help cities and their stakeholders develop a sound understanding of the elements that make a city hospitable, and provide the management tools needed to implement city hospitality as an enduring core. Our passion is to contribute to increasing the city hospitality experience both nationally and internationally, supporting the Chair’s ambition to be recognized as a knowledge centre of city hospitality excellence. We offer demand-oriented and applied academic research programmes; we initiate and guide the implementation of hospitality concepts and programmes, and we share our knowledge through consultancy and training. We strive to generate spin-offs for hospitality education and to be a value-adding partner in related (academic) peer discussions on city hospitality.

Welcome at the heart of city hospitality! Team Research Chair Karoline Wiegerink PhD MSc - Chair Professor Jan Huizing MSc - Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow The Hague Amsterdam


Hospitality Marketing

Research Group City Hospitality & City Marketing Hotelschool The Hague Hospitality Business School The Hague Campus:

Amsterdam Campus:

Brusselselaan 2 2587 AH The Hague T 070 750 30 29 F 070 750 30 97

ISBN: 978-9082007305

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Profile for Hotelschool The Hague

How Hospitable is your City?  

A vision on City Hospitality Author: Wiegerink, Karoline Research Group City Hospitality & City Marketing Publisher: Hotelschool The Hague

How Hospitable is your City?  

A vision on City Hospitality Author: Wiegerink, Karoline Research Group City Hospitality & City Marketing Publisher: Hotelschool The Hague


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