Let us be your guide

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Never have our accommodation providers had a bigger influence on how the visiting guest experiences the local area. Once visitors check into our Hotel, B&B or Guesthouse they are a captive audience that we can promote to,  give advise to and possibly determine where they spend their time and their money.

In an industry where everything up until the actual stay has become a virtual path, our front of house staff, our B&B owners and our receptionists play an increasingly important role. First ‘human’ contact is all important and a friendly face to greet the weary traveller will always be welcome. A first impression that can be used to build a level of trust that the digital world will never equal. But trust works both ways and we have a responsibility to provide them with positive experiences that will enhance their visit.

That’s why our familiarisation trips are important. Educating ourselves about the possibilities to be had by our guests by trying them out first hand can make the business of passing the recommendations an easy one. We can have confidence in where we send guests and satisfaction in knowing we’ve made their stay that little bit better. Visitor attractions can be the biggest beneficiaries and DAVAA Members are already working with Dundee Heritage Trust and Glamis Castle to offer our guests better value prices and encourage them to visit our top Dundee and Angus attractions.

But how much influence do we really have?

Well, let’s look at it this way. we (DAVAA) have over 2000 potential guests staying each night. Multiply by an occupancy level of say, 65% and that gives us a captive audience of up to 474,500 overnight visitors coming to Dundee and Angus each year. They will have face to face interaction with our B&B owners, our receptionists, our bar and waiting staff and our managers. Sure, some may have predetermined plans, but not all and even the organised ones will take advice on which cab company to call or where to get a quick G&T before the show.

But being influential must be done in a positive way to gain the most benefit for both parties. For the guest the gain could be;  saving them money, receiving better service, an enriched experience or saving on wasting precious time. For the accommodation the gain could be;  repeat custom or better reviews which leads to an enhanced reputation which ultimately can bring more business.

Our hotels also offer service to the good folks of the area and thus we can also add the local market. So all in all, that’s quite a sphere of influence. But it’s not a one way conversation. With our front of house staff reaching that amount of people we are constantly coming into contact with the opinions, wants and needs of visitors to the region. Surveys can be commissioned by the public sector but they can only dream about the visitor engagement we get every day, week or month in our accommodation businesses. The high level face to face nature of our work allows us to gauge the mood of the visitor and we are ideally placed to offer insight to those making the decisions on how we promote our region of Dundee and Angus.

But we only make part of the tourism industry in the area, so what about the private sector run attractions? How many visitors do they interact with each year? How many interactions happen in the our private sector cafes, restaurants and bars?

Becoming active in promoting local initiatives to encourage tourism in Dundee and Angus is vital. If the people who work on the frontline of the local tourism industry and who talk every day to the visitors were to become more involved with the decisions in, for example, the way the area is marketed, would an increased level of stakeholder engagement becomes a very powerful force to be harnessed to achieve greater results.

We can influence where our guests dine, what they eat, where they visit and what they buy. We are the trusted local guides that can make the difference between a good stay and a great one. We can give a one to one personal recommendation based on our own personal experience. But most importantly we can both individually and as an organisation help with the promotion and marketing of Dundee and Angus as a destination. But first we all need to be part of the conversation of how we go about doing it, together.