How the Hospitality Industry Can Cater to Multicultural Family Vacations
Ours is truly an interconnected world. Perhaps no one knows this better than those who work in the hospitality industry. Similarly, perhaps no other industry is called upon to do more to serve today’s interconnected and highly diverse population.
Indeed, if you want your business not only to survive but to thrive, then it’s increasingly important that you understand how to meet the needs of a multicultural clientele. Prioritizing multiculturalism in your business model can provide a distinct competitive advantage while ensuring that your guests enjoy exceptional service and an unsurpassed vacation experience.
Read on to learn how your business can cater to a multicultural clientele and keep your guests coming back year after year.
Consider Your Guests’ Needs
Every hospitality professional strives to anticipate, meet, and even exceed their guests’ needs. After all, making guests feel at home is a part of the job description.
When you’re serving a multicultural clientele, though, you may need to work a bit harder, do a bit more research, and expand your roster of amenities. For example, rather than catering to a culturally homogenous population, you may often find yourself serving multigenerational families, including third culture families, who speak a range of languages.
Offering services and amenities, from room service menus in various languages to TV channel line-ups from diverse regions of the globe, can help ensure that every member of the family feels comfortable and well-served.
Likewise, when you serve a diverse clientele, it’s important to remember that daily needs can differ widely from one group to the next. As we've also seen, these differences can even hold within the same family.
This is especially true when it comes to dietary restrictions. Your guests may require, for example, kosher or halal menus. Similarly, certain holidays or days of the week may require specific meal options. Understanding and seeking to accommodate the various traditions, values, customs, and beliefs that your guests represent, even within the same family, can make a profound difference in their vacation experience.
Understanding Guests’ Interests
In addition to serving the needs of a heterogeneous clientele, it’s also critical to accommodate their interests. If you own or manage a hotel, chances are you already provide your guests with in-depth information on local attractions.
Expanding this practice to include more specific insight into attractions that may be of cultural interest to certain groups will help you better serve your guests.
For example, if your guests ask for recommendations on local areas of interest, and you know that they are religiously observant, then you may point them to an area church, mosque, or synagogue that perhaps is not described in the traditional guidebooks. In this way, you’re providing a unique, personalized experience that your guests are likely to value far above the generic tourist fare.
Indeed, if your guests find that they have cultural or familial ties to the area, they may choose to transform a standard vacation into an annual family tradition. That tradition may well combine the various cultures of a multigenerational or blended family into new customs in which your hotel plays a central role as host and setting.
Catering to Each Generation
Any hotelier knows that family groups, even if they derive from a shared culture, will have varied needs and interests. That means ensuring that you are accommodating families’ cultural customs and traditions, from adapting language and dietary needs to identifying points of cultural interest, is only a part of your job.
You’re also going to need to offer an array of amenities to ensure that every member of the group is both well-accommodated and richly entertained. This likely means, for example, that you will offer a range of activities for families to choose from, such as facilities where children can play safely while the adults take in a show or explore a cultural site.
Similarly, by providing a wide variety of recreational activities, your guests can more readily craft the vacation experience that suits them. Thus, a grandparent who by religious custom eschews alcohol might want to take a cooking class by an employee fluent in the grandparent’s language. At the same time, their adult child might choose to sample the craft beers offered by a local brewery, and while parents and grandparents are engaged in their own interests, minor children can enjoy your hotel’s on-site arcade or the in-house movie theater.
The hospitality industry has always been characterized by the diversity of its clientele. However, multiculturalism has perhaps never been more important in the hospitality industry than today. Now more than perhaps ever before, families are embodying the multiculturalism that makes our world so rich. Each unique family group may represent an array of languages, customs, and traditions that you must strive to accommodate if you are to provide your guests with the level of service they deserve. This means expanding your services and amenities to ensure a truly personalized experience for every member of the family, one that will have them returning year after year!