Travel can be tough. For better or worse, it takes people away from their daily routines and resources. Whether the adventure is mandatory (road warriors) or elected (the family road trip), travelers are going to encounter some bumps. And a few brands are creating messages and forward-thinking solutions that acknowledge the difficulties of life away from home.
It certainly isn’t traditional for a hotel brand to use its marketing efforts to shine the spotlight on the fact that travel can be challenging. But this year, Westin departed from the status quo with Let’s Rise, a campaign that nods to the “disruptions, distractions and unpredictability” of travel. The brand has long been a wellness advocate, and this initiative speaks to the ways that the hotel empowers its guests to continue their healthy routines (from a morning run in New Balance gear to a good night’s sleep in its Heavenly Beds) even when they’re away from home. You can check out more in our previous post.
According to a StudyLogic survey sited by Westin, over 60% of vacationers say that get less sleep, 65% say that they log less time exercising and 15% say that they feel a rise in stress. And that’s on vacation.
For weary travelers in need of a power nap, there’s an app for that. Over the past couple years, Recharge has let San Francisco visitors book high-end hotels by the minute. It recently ventured out to give New York tourists access to super short-term stays to four- and five-star hotels like The Pierre and The Knickerbocker. Rooms range from $.60 to $3 per minute, but most hotels have a minimum spend around $25 to $50 (ThePointsGuy.com, 30 April 2017).
While the app offers a smart solution to visitors who are in need of a private space for a phone meeting or to hammer out a report, it’s also a creative option for those who want to rest their head in a place that’s more peaceful than the airport. Recharge says that the average stay is around 2 hours, and customers are business travelers, families, commuters and red-eye flyers. Demand for ephemeral stays is fueling the app’s growth: It’s experienced an 800% year-over-year increase in San Francisco since launching in 2015 and 75% of reservations come from return guests.
Brands that can smooth the inevitable bumps that arise from travel have a growing audience: 15% of travelers plan to travel more frequently for business in 2017 compared to 2016, while 21% expect to travel more for leisure next year compared to this year (Travelpulse.com, 17 November 2016). Rather than sidestepping the issues, it’s important for marketers to explore ways to solve the challenges and speak the language of tired travelers.