Hacktoberfest: What happens when design is in your DNA

Thursday's Hacktoberfeast potluck

It’s a wrap—our inaugural Hacktoberfest is in the books.

This all-hands-on-deck hackathon-style event brought our teams together to create an all new feature for the platform, from end-to-end, that reimagines how to tell the visual narrative of a travel brand.

A few special guests joined along the way to collaborate, and after three days of hard work, group think and great food, the project started taking shape.

Here’s a one-minute look at what happened:

 

The week in review

A huge thank you to all of our Hacktoberfest guests!

Throughout the week, there was lots of fun to be had with our team members near and far. From daily “Hackachat” check-in’s, to Thursday’s “Hacktoberfeast” potluck, there was no shortage of Gemütlichkeit—and outstanding teamwork along the way.

Among our top highlights? Visits from a few special guests who share our passion for hospitality and lederhosen.

They brought their expertise in destination marketing, visual storytelling and all things digital, while putting their stamp on the creative process.

A huge “danke schön” to Zach Stovall, Jason Holic, Christina Leake and Dan Spellman for stopping by!

Starting (and ending) with our why

Hacktoberfest: hard work, group think and German-style celebration

Hacktoberfest was more than trying our hand at pronouncing German words and getting to break out the Flip.to robot. These three days were a chance to hone all of our team’s talents in one place, putting our heads together to trailblaze travel marketing. As Zach commented during his time with us, the more creative minds coming together, the more incredible the outcome.

At Flip.to, design is in our DNA. We know that great marketing isn’t just about having a polished final product—it’s about innovation and solving real challenges for travel marketers to help them do what they do even better.

Hacktoberfest brought this to the forefront. In the following weeks, look for more about the event and what’s coming to the platform soon.

Caribe Royale and Shephard’s Beach win big at Florida’s Flagler Awards

Last week was a big one for travel in the sunshine state at the 2018 Florida Governor’s Conference put on by VISIT FLORIDA. Since we call Orlando home, we didn’t have to travel too far to be a part of the event held at the world renowned Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate. (In fact, we’re pretty sure Ricky’s time there might qualify as his latest “staycation.”)

At the kick-off was the Chairman’s Dinner, including the 2018 Flagler Awards. It’s no secret: our customers are rockstars—and we’re not the only ones who think so! Caribe Royale and Shephard’s Beach Resort made waves and won big, all with help from their travelers.

Caribe Royale: A year of advocacy brings home silver

Last year alone, Caribe reached 1.2 million travelers in the most authentic way possible, helping inspire every new traveler’s journey to their hotel.

Caribe takes silver at 2018 Flagler Awards

That’s not all. This quality of this audience was unmatched, converting 2.5x higher than the average paid search campaign.

Shephard’s Beach gets bronze: Four decades of fun & four months of advocacy

Shephard’s Beach is turning trusted introductions to the friends & family of their guests into new visitors—with introductions to the tune of nearly three-quarters of a million as part of their ‘Four decades of fun’ campaign.

Shephard's Beach wins bronze at 2018 Flagler Awards

In fact, Shephard’s Beach Resort earned 15 traveler leads for every storyteller who shared, getting more for every dollar they invest in marketing thanks to Flip.to.


Congratulations to these two stunning properties on their well-deserved wins! We know they’re outstanding, so it’s great to see others in the industry recognize what their guests are sharing worldwide, especially in a state we call home.

So whether you’re in the Sunshine state or beyond, if you’re ready to switch on advocacy, let’s chat. We’ll share how advocacy is changing the game for the hospitality and tourism industries worldwide.

Best of the web: Our favorite headlines from September

We’re halfway through September, which means—besides the fact that we’re jamming to Earth, Wind and Fire more than usual—we’re at the tail end of peak season for those of our hospitality friends and customers with especially busy summers.

With everyone’s full schedules in mind, we combed through this summer’s marketing headlines to give you the tl;dr (too-long-didn’t-read) on everything from new regulations, to the ROI of social media.


Technology trends in the hotel industry: Spotlight on Jordan Hollander

From a thought leader on trailblazing hospitality tech: We love a good conversation with hospitality’s movers and shakers, and this chat with Hotel Tech Report’s Jordan Hollander is especially great. Hollander sat down with Digital Intent to talk industry challenges in their Disruptors podcast. He touched on why, at times, innovation can be difficult to navigate within hotel organizations. To help, he also shared some key examples of how to move quickly and overcome hurdles.

Plus, he made some nice mentions for a lot of the folks we call friends—like ALICE App, Highgate Hotels, Travel Tripper, and more.

TL;DR: Hollander identified some of hospitality’s challenges, like slowness to adapt and digitize. His team built Hotel Tech Report to help hotels to incorporate tech into their operation and help innovative vendors to gain market share.

Harvard Business Review's What You Need to Know about California's New Data Privacy Law

On data, privacy & relationship-building: This spring, marketers around the world focused a lot of energy on compliance for the European Union’s GDPR, elevating the urgency of protecting customer data and relationship-focused marketing.

Now, all eyes are on California’s new data protection law that brings this topic to the US. Harvard Business Review passed along the need-to-know details on the law and what it means for marketers moving forward. (Bonus material: You can find a few more great takes on this topic here, here and here.)

TL;DR: As data protection laws arrive stateside, taking great care of guests’ data is even more critical. Marketing and communication that’s focused on building relationships with travelers and nurturing them along the way isn’t just a best practice—it’s where marketing is ultimately headed.

The ROI of Social Media Infographic from HospitalityNet

On social by the numbers: Social media is, of course, one of the most powerful tools for marketers when harnessed correctly, but measuring impact can be challenging at times—so HospitalityNet stepped up to give us the essential stats on tracking ROI. According to CMO’s, they’re spending 12% of their budgets on social, with that number expected to rise to 20% in the next 5 years. That’s a large chunk of hard-earned marketing dollars, so understanding the value, and how social ties back to a business impact is critical.

At Flip.to, we’ve found that using these channels to let travelers introduce properties and destinations to new audiences is one of the most authentic ways to use social (and we work hard to make sure those interactions are super trackable as well).

TL;DR: Many marketers look at social engagement (likes and comments), but find it challenging to track the sales impact. Only 20% of CMOs say they’ve quantified the business impact (with marketing agencies reporting similarly). So if you’re scratching your head to put numbers to those conversions, you’re not alone.

Destination Think! Sparking genuine word-of-mouth is always a best practice

On marketing your destination by word-of-mouth: Destination Think! not only delved into the importance of truly organic word-of-mouth in marketing, but also strategies for sparking it. They also noted the importance of tourism advocacy, as well as using stories and community to forge lasting relationships with travelers.

The bottom line? The importance of authentically reaching audiences on social can’t be overstated—building trust instead of simply trying to shout over an already noisy conversation. (We’ve said it before, and we’ll said it again!) Letting your travelers spread the word about your destination organically on a massive scale is the best way to reach new audiences.

TL;DR: Letting your travelers be the storytellers for your destination powerfully sparks word-of-mouth marketing and relationships with new audiences. Community-building wins out over clickbait every time. Your marketing should have a CTA that is directly relevant and captivating to the reader.


What news caught your eye this summer, and what do you think is next on the horizon? Drop us a line, and we’ll feature it next time.

Mountain moments: storytellers winning over new travelers

Year round, the mountains make for incredible escapes. Travelers lose themselves in scenic beauty while finding that unforgettable experiences abound.

Visitors to the slopes make memories that last long past their stays, and these storytellers warmly introduce hotels, resorts and destinations to entirely new audiences of potential travelers, ready to make their own mountain memories.

Story from Rachel A., recent visitor to Scenic Washington State 365

Scenic Washington State 365

“Exploring Leavenworth in the fall is one of these most beautiful things to see. The colors are amazing.” — Rachel A.

Rachel and her fellow travelers are sharing incredible stories with massive impact for this breathtaking destination. In just the past six weeks, Scenic Washington’s advocates have reached over 50,000 potential travelers who are the perfect demographic just one degree away.

Story from Justin K., recent guest at Gunflint Lodge

Gunflint Lodge—Grand Marais, MN

“I proposed to my absolutely amazing (now wife) while hiking with our dogs on a dog lovers weekend. Everything about the stay was absolutely fantastic.” – Justin K.

Justin and his family began an entirely new chapter in the mountains—with Gunflint Lodge at the center of their story. Our hearts melted over this mountain memory that will last a lifetime. Justin shared his story to more than 1,000 of his friends and family, showing the unmatched impact of an authentic guest story.

Story from Shauna R., recent guest at Mountaineer Lodge

Mountaineer Lodge—Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

“Having a breakfast onsite is fantastic! Fast and easy and lots to choose from! Great front desk staff, quick checkin and love the fact that they remember us regulars!” – Shauna R.

Shauna and her family relished their quality time spent at Mountaineer Lodge during ski season. They felt a true connection to the resort staff and, even though it was cold on the slopes, they warmly introduced the lodge to their friends and family around the world—a win for everyone!

Story from Hilary T., recent guest at Grand View Lodge

Grand View Lodge—Brainerd, MN

“Two year old London Clare counting the reasons she loves Grand View Lodge!” – Hilary T.

Hilary and her family enjoyed unforgettable experiences at Grand View Lodge and captured priceless moments along the way. This sweet story, shared to hundreds of her friends and family, garnered over 2,000 site visitors for Grand View Lodge and led to 150 potential travelers claiming an offer for a future stay. Authentic storytelling wins every time.

Story from Caitlin M., recent visitor to Ski City

Ski City—Salt Lake, UT

“Skis, boots, coat, gloves, goggles, binky… check!” – Caitlin M.

Caitlin captured this memorable moment with her niece, who was strapped and ready to take Salt Lake’s snow-covered trails. Not only will this be a treasured memory for Caitlin and her family, but it helped Ski City reach a new audience hundreds of potential travelers strong—and she’s just one storyteller.

Story from Tabitha N., recent guest at Westgate Branson Lakes Resort

Westgate Branson Lakes Resort—Branson, MO

“We spent day 3 of our honeymoon at Westgate Branson Lakes Resort. Everyone was very friendly and congratulated us at every chance. We felt like VIP’s the entire stay. The room was beautiful and very clean we didn’t want to leave. Thanks again for having an awesome property.” – Tabitha N.

Tabitha had an unforgettable experience at Westgate Branson Lakes and shared her story to nearly 5,000 of her friends and family—and she’s just one advocate. Westgate’s advocates are a powerful extension of their marketing team, massively growing their reach to potential travelers around the world.

Story from Rebecca C., recent guest at Hotel Alyeska

Hotel Alyeska—Girdwood, AK

“My 6 year old daughter, Kelley, ready for her first snowboarding lesson. She says it’s more fun than gymnastics, snowmachining and swimming… combined!” – Rebecca C.

Hotel Alyeska will always be at the center of this memorable “first” for Rebecca and her family. Not only that, her story led to lasting impact for the resort, to the tune of more than 1,400 site visits and over 120 potential travelers interested in a future stay at Alyeska.

Story from Meredith B., recent guest at Red Mountain Resort

Red Mountain Resort—St. George, UT

“I loved getting outdoors and reconnecting with myself during my time there. All the staff was so friendly and generous!” – Meredith B.

Meredith’s time at Red Mountain Resort left her feeling centered and refreshed, not only because of her time in nature but also because of the resort’s amazing team. She shared her experience with over 1,200 of her friends, introducing Red Mountain to a large audience of potential travelers along the way.


These are just a few of the storytellers sharing their experiences to new audiences of travelers around the world, each and every day.

If you want to see the incredible impact of storytellers for your property or destination, let’s talk! We’ll share how advocacy powers new awareness, warmer relationships and a whole lot more.


Great stories from the green: our favorite golf resort moments

One of the best things about working for Flip.to is seeing the advocacy platform be a “driver” of incredible impact for hotels, resorts, destinations and more.

As we reach the end of summer—and approach peak season for some of golf’s greenest destinations—, we’re teeing up some of our favorite stories from customers whose guests loved their stays and shared their stories. The best “par”t? (Okay, the last one—we promise! ⛳) Along the way, they introduced their friends and family, like-minded travelers with similar interests, to these amazing properties as well.

Story from Andrew U., recent guest at the Sanctuary at Kiawah

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort — Kiawah Island, SC

 

“Used on our save-the-dates for our wedding which will be in the same exact spot!” —Andrew U.

 

Kiawah Island Golf Resort made an amazing impression on Andrew and his fiancée—Kiawah will always be a part of their love story. Not only was the resort at the center of their experience, but Andrew shared it along to over 1,300 of his friends, leading to over 600 unique site visits and 70 friends interested in Kiawah Island Resort—and he was just a single advocate.

Story from Christopher H., recent guest at Reunion Resort

Reunion, a Salamander Resort — Orlando, FL

 

“Birdies were flyin’ and so was the Bethel College Women’s Golf as they played the Jack Nicklaus Course over spring break!” —Christopher H.

 

Christopher’s golf story at Reunion Resort is one their team won’t soon forget. The resort’s guests are the perfect extension of their marketing team, amplifying Reunion’s reach and introducing them to new audiences of friends and family around the world.

Story from Stu P., recent guest at Shawnee Inn

The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort — Shawnee on Delaware, PA

 

“Coming to the Inn since 1996, every year is better than the last on the course and in the Inn itself. Preserving the history is so very important!” —Stu P.

 

Stu and his friends come back to this beautiful resort year after year. They certainly enjoy spending time on the green, but even more important are the memories made with dear friends.

Story from Gabrielle S., recent guest at Westgate Painted Mountain Golf Resort

Westgate Painted Mountain Golf Resort — Mesa, AZ

 

“We loved our stay at Westgate Painted Mountain. I mean what’s not to love… golf, great food and a comfy bed all in one spot!” —Gabrielle S.

 

Gabrielle enjoyed an all-around incredible stay with Westgate, and shared that story with friends and family, like-minded fellow travelers. She pointed out that not only was the property a great stay, but an amazing experience. Together with Gabrielle’s fellow travelers, Westgate Resorts earned introductions to 2,354,831 travelers in the last 90 days alone.

Story from Johnathan L., recent guest at Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort

Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort — Wicklow, Ireland

 

“You can really unwind and relax. I mean really unwind. The staff are excellent, hotel layout is amazing and the surroundings are opulent.” – Johnathan L.

 

With advocacy, Druids Glen is winning over new audiences who are the perfect fit for their hotel. Johnathan shared his story to a warm audience of other golf-loving, outdoor enthusiasts and friends. There’s no better way for Druids Glen to be introduced to a highly targeted audience.

Story from Nicole W., recent guest at Semiahmoo

Semiahmoo Golf, Resort, and Spa — Blaine, WA

 

“I was sitting on a log on the beach at Semiahmoo Resort. A bonfire was being lit and s’mores ingredients prepared. The waves were crashing, and my 3 kids and husband were skipping rocks as the sun set on the most amazing day spent together as a family. I snapped this picture as my son Nolan brought me a flower he picked at the resort. We love Semiahmoo.” – Nicole W.

 

Nicole’s story reminds us that there’s something for everyone to enjoy at these incredible golf resorts—on the green and beyond. For Semiahmoo, these lasting memories shared by visitors like Nicole turn into lasting impact for their resort, well beyond their stay.

Story from Belen M., recent guest at the Wigwam

The Wigwam — Litchfield Park, AZ

 

“Every moment there is a great time!” – Belen M.

 

Thanks to this memory shared by Belen, the Wigwam is sparking new conversations with potential travelers—to the tune of nearly 1,000 new people thanks to Belen alone.


OPMA Summit: On knowing your audience and your industry

This May, we attended our second OPMA Executive Summit since becoming members.

 

Aside from industry insights, one of our favorite aspects of both OPMA membership and events is the chance to meet up with like-minded industry partners and friends who are also committed to advancing travel.

We reached out to a few for their thoughts on the spring summit and received some great thoughts on the event and OPMA’s advocacy network.

Take a look at their insights below:


Alex Husner, CMO, Condo-World Resort Properties on OPMA:

“The purposefully small group atmosphere allowed for great conversations and networking, and the ability to meet almost everyone at the event. The attendees represented many of the most well known and respected brands in the industry, traveling from as far east as Vermont to as far west as Hawaii!

One of the key takeaways I noticed with this group was an abundant support of collaboration between members…from sharing marketing successes to tackling legal challenges and homeowner relations—no topic was off limits!

This is a group of like-minded, innovative business owners and C-level executives that are all supportive of helping each other succeed. I’m excited to attend more events and learn from our industry’s best and brightest.”

 

Stuart Butler, COO, Fuel Travel on the vacation rental industry and the organization’s role in shaping travel:

“The condo-hotel space faces several unique challenges. Firstly, the fact that the management company has to juggle the priorities of the two stakeholders (the owner and the guest) means that there are constant decisions that have to be made that may benefit one party, while negatively impacting the other.

Having homeowners maintain the quality of their units also poses unique challenges in terms of the quality of the product and the guest experience. This can lead to negative reviews, which impacts ADR and occupancy. Finally, the lack of awareness that the consumer has regarding the differences between on-site and off-site renters is a major problem — one that is exacerbated by the fact that the OTAs and TripAdvisor don’t distinguish between the two.

OPMA is a very special and unique organization. The members—both managers and vendors—seem to have a genuine desire to want to work together to help drive the industry forward. OPMA has introduced us to a lot of new people with whom we can collaborate and solve the problems that the industry is facing.”

 

Maurice Arbelaez, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing, Millenium Management on the summit:

“OPMA explored common issues and challenges we share with other management companies and condo resorts operators, working to improve collaboration with other members to benefit both of us.

OPMA creates a vehicle to share and exchange ideas and best practices with other on-site management companies that experience similar challenges. Members also benefit from services that offer solutions to those challenges, enhancing the guest experience to surpass expectations.”

 


What are your thoughts on the challenges for the vacation rental industry? Join the conversation! We look forward to continuing to advance this dynamic industry together.

The memory-making business: building lasting relationships with vacation rental guests

Vacation rental properties provide travelers with a taste of home away from home that they can experience with the ones who matter most.

As you help guests make lasting memories with their loved ones, they’re creating stories they’re excited to share—with your property at the center. This is the perfect time to build lasting relationships with travelers, inspiring them to visit your property over and over again.

We love when vacation rental guests tell their stories of incredible experiences, so we’re sharing them with you! Here are some of our favorites:

Bald Head Island Property Management — Bald Head Island, NC

“This was our third trip to Bald Head but second trip with our friends and everyone’s kids. It is a one in a million kind of place, and we can’t wait to watch our kids grow up each year we vacation there!! It reminds us to slow down and truly enjoy the little things!!” – Hilary Y.

Hilary’s family has years of memories on Bald Head Island, and those experiences make it their go-to vacation spot. Not only have they shared their stories and become some of Bald Head Island’s most powerful advocates, but they’ve brought back friends to make new memories together.

And if one story wasn’t enough, check out some more incredible memories from travelers to Bald Head Island below:

 

Finger Lakes Premier Properties — Canandaigua, NY

“The combination of the relaxing comfort of a spectacular home with a stunning landscape and vista, made for a most memorable long weekend. We will definitely return!” – Ginny U.

Finger Lakes Premier Properties is inspiring new travelers to visit through the stories of their guests. Ginny is already planning to return in the future and by sharing her travel story, she warmly introduced family and friends to create memories of their own.

The Beach Club — Gulf Shores, AL

“This is our second year to stay here and we love it. We have a big group of parents and kids that come down for a high school baseball tournament and lots of memories have been made each year. Not only is the resort perfect the beds and pillows are the best!” – Michele W.

From the little touches to the overall experience, every moment a guest spends at your vacation rental is a chance to impress and build lasting relationships. The Beach Club Resort is taking care to continue being a part of Michele’s travel stories worth sharing.

Tahoe Getaways — Lake Tahoe, CA

“Very friendly and responsive staff. We will definitely be booking all of our trips through you guys!” – Jason L.

Tahoe Getaways took the chance to truly shine during Jason’s stay with the outstanding guest experience given by its staff. These interactions make all the difference and have made repeat guests out of these travelers.

Thomas Beach Vacations — Myrtle Beach, SC

“My family and I have been coming to Myrtle for almost 70 years! We have photo albums full of memories but nothing compares to that first moment when you see the ocean and smell that salty air!” – Jan R.

Jan’s family has decades of favorite moments in Myrtle Beach, making the destination a second home. By sharing her stories on to family and friends, she’s also introducing Thomas Beach Vacations to new audiences that are the perfect demographic for their property.

Garrett Realty Services — Destin, FL

“My husband and I are walking our young granddaughter down to the waters edge so she can get her toes wet. We’ve stayed at Beach Crest two years in a row now and love it.” – Roseanne L.

Roseanne’s story is a perfect example of how travel stories span generations. The memories she and her family have kept them coming back and make for compelling, authentic introductions between the property and her family and friends.

Newman-Dailey Resort Properties — Destin, FL

“Mother’s day weekend in Destin with my amazing daughter!!” – Paula B.

Paula’s story reminds us of what makes travel truly special: incredible experiences with the ones who matter most. The trip is one they won’t soon forget, and it’s a story worth sharing.

Turquoise Place — Orange Beach, AL

“The beautiful room with the amazing view was the best part of our stay. Having two indoor pools to choose from was also a very big part of our vacation, given that it was so cool outside over spring break.” – Brett J.

Through providing a truly extraordinary guest experience, vacation rental properties build relationships that last. Not only has Turquoise Place made Brett and his family satisfied guests, but many of their travelers have become advocates to the tune of thousands of introductions.

Honeymoon Hills — Gatlinburg, TN

“Absolutely beautiful views, and great cabin. We enjoyed our time. Hot tub was perfect and the heart shape tub was such a great idea. This picture was our first morning here in Honeymoon Hills as a married couple. Great weather, coffee, my spouse, and look at that view, Perfection! Thank you guys for a great experience.” – Veronica B.

Veronica and her husband made once-in-a-lifetime memories at Honeymoon Hills. By sharing their stories, she and other guests have helped create thousands of rich introductions to the property.

Integrating local experiences to differentiate your hotel

At Flip.to, we’re constantly working with people in the industry that inspire us. Here’s a special post from our friend Nancy Huang, Marketing Director at Travel Tripper. Join us for more on experiential marketing during our webinar on May 3!

With travel inherently rooted in destinations, it’s vital for hospitality companies to provide customers with high-quality local offerings. In recent years, there has been an even stronger push for hotels to deliver more authentic and integrated experiences, perhaps due to the preferences of the Millennial generation and the advent of the social media age. Today’s travelers want more than just a place to stay; they want to truly connect with the destination. Hotels can satisfy this need by integrating local products and activities into their amenities and offerings.

Organizing local activities

In addition to local products, hotels can also arrange for activities that allow guests to experience the destination in a way that goes beyond what’s typically found in tourist guides. Airbnb is currently experimenting with a new product, Experiences, which allows local residents to sell their own guided tours, similar to the way hosts offer up places to stay.

Guests can book such experiences as city tours, food and drink tastings, hikes, and bike excursions, which are only made available to them after they complete a booking on the site. Currently Airbnb’s experiences are only offered in San Francisco and Paris, but if things go well the company may expand the product to other cities.

Generator Hostels, part of a new breed of boutique hostel, offers its own events in the eight European cities where it has properties. Guests can take part in a group tapas tour in Barcelona, play petanque in Paris, sample whiskeys in Dublin, and much more. Each of the design-forward “poshtels” reflects its local culture and history. The branch in Berlin’s hip Mitte neighborhood, for example, celebrates the area’s thriving art scene. Generator also provides high-quality content in comprehensive guides of each of its markets, and even facilitates opportunities for guests to meet local residents.

Crafting your own unique offerings

When brainstorming ways to integrate local experiences into your own hotel’s special offers, amenities and packages, make sure to cater to a wide range of interest areas. Local food and products are always good places to start, and they’re easy to source and offer to guests.

It’s important to note that while higher quality local products can be more expensive than generic equivalents, they are worth it for the elevated experience, and can actually lower shipping costs since they’re transported from nearby. These products can be sold in the hotel’s gift shop, or offered complimentary as trial size toiletries or snacks in guest rooms.

When it comes to crafting local experiences, find ways to allow your guests to experience the destination as residents would. For example, instead of a typical guided city tour, craft a run or bike tour that takes guests through your city’s most scenic parks and walkways.

Another route is to create social experiences in which guests can meet and interact with local residents. Generator Hostels frequently hosts art and music events featuring local DJs, musicians, artists, and more. Roger Smith in New York City, which displays local art throughout the hotel, frequently hosts art talks and discussions that are open for guests and the public. Also consider the benefits of incorporating social media influencers into these local experiences, as they can bring an added layer of promotion and PR to the event.

All destinations are unique, so take advantage of your property’s neighboring community and everything it has to offer. Take time to fully explore the surrounding area’s history and culture, and come up with creative methods to commemorate them.

Incorporating local products

As farm-to-table dining has become increasingly praised for quite some time, hotels have also been adopting sustainable, environmentally friendly practices for their food and beverage offerings. Travelers are keen to sample local cuisine, and if ingredients come from nearby farms or the hotel’s own rooftop garden, then they will be all the more impressed.

And it’s not just smaller, boutique properties that are hopping on the culinary bandwagon. Even chain hotels are attempting to appeal to business travelers with discerning culinary tastes. Hyatt, for example, requires all of its restaurants to feature at least five local ingredients in their menu offerings. Drink lists are also being upgraded, with hotels across the globe offering beers brewed on-site.

Provenance Hotels does a particularly good job of telling a location-based story through the hotel experience. In addition to designing each hotel around a unique local theme and decorating its properties with locally produced art, Provenance offers its guests an array of local products so they can learn about the businesses flourishing in nearby areas. In Portland’s Hotel Lucia, for example, guests can sample local hand-harvested salt and handcrafted olive oil, as well as Bee Local honey, which is produced on the hotel’s own roof.

Storytellers at work: Families share memorable Caribbean moments to audiences worldwide

Last month, we had the chance to attend the annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Marketplace event.

Few themes rang louder than this: let the Caribbean become the topic of travelers’ conversations as we work together to raise the region. Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló probably said it best: “Be the spot everyone’s talking about.”

This we know: real people sharing real stories to family and friends is one of the most powerful ways to warmly introduce new travelers to a destination. For the Caribbean, it’s an important way to shape the perception of the vibrant and resilient region.

Family travelers in particular are eager to share. And the best part? They’re visiting the Caribbean (and your destination!) here and now.

Meet some of the storytellers and their families reaching new audiences for just a few of the region’s stunning properties—while showing the world that the Caribbean is open for business.

The Somerset on Grace Bay — Turks and Caicos

“In 2016, I got married at the Somerset and in 2017 we brought our son here for his first vacation. We hope to come back again soon!” – Curtin S.

The Somerset at Grace Bay will always hold a special place in the hearts of Curtin and his family. Their milestones celebrated at the resort make it a place they feel connected to, already planning to visit again.

Las Terrazas Resort — Belize

“Caught our own lobster that day and Chef Nolvin at O Restaurant cooked it up to perfection!” – Ashley L.

Ashley’s family shared about the immersive activities and dining experiences at the Las Terrazas Resort this January, introducing the resort to a new audience in the most authentic way possible.

The Crane Resort — Barbados

“Extremely courteous staff in a beautiful setting… The Crane Resort, a beautiful place with beautiful people.” – Sam B.

The Crane’s hospitable and attentive staff made all the difference for Sam and his family last summer. Sam shared his story to his family and friends, making for incredible first impressions while also leading to more unique site visitors and warm leads interested in visiting the Crane for themselves.

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort — St. Thomas

“My cousin’s wedding was held at Bolongo. It was amazing. Laurie and the staff were so accommodating and every detail was perfect!! Pure paradise!!” – Jennifer C.

Jennifer’s family had an extraordinary experience at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. From start to finish, the resort provided memories that last a lifetime and were shared on to the perfect demographic: Jennifer’s like-minded network of friends.


These are just a few of the many unforgettable Caribbean experiences being shared to new audiences of travelers each and every day.

When your travelers-turned-storytellers share their amazing stories to family and friends, they’ll reach sizeable new audiences in the best way possible—and start conversations with your destination at the center.

If you want to see the incredible impact of storytellers for your destination, let’s talk! We’ll share how advocacy powers new awareness, warmer relationships and a whole lot more.

Introducing Invitations: Grow your largest team of storytellers yet

Advocates are powerful. They’re helping destinations, hotels, and rental properties compete from the point of inspiration—connecting with new & future travelers in a more meaningful way to win them over from the start.

(And we’ve shown you the impact: it’s that big.)

So how do you get even more? More advocates sharing their travel stories… more introductions… more wins!

Introducing: Invitations.

In just a matter of clicks, earn incredible impact when you widen your scope to even bigger audiences. Invite past travelers, their friends and family, your own audiences, and anyone else to share their experiences with your travel brand at the center.

And thanks to your growing team of travelers-turned-storytellers, you’ll spark new conversations with the warmest, most receptive audience yet—at a scale like never before.

Take a peek:

 

If you’re ready to put Invitations to work for your travel brand, reach out. We’ll share how you can power growth (plus warmer relationships and a whole lot more) with advocacy.