Hiding Construction, Strikes And Other Elements Can Ruin The Guest Experience
A friend of mine in Hawaii objected to me posting this story about a hotel workers strike affecting bars and restaurants and guest services in Waikiki Beach.
She works in the tourism industry and said while it’s true there’s a strike, it affects tourism to put it out there in the news beyond the islands.
I, on the other hand, feel the story does just the opposite – it actually helps Hawaii tourism.
Let me explain.
By alerting travelers to any inconveniences in advance, those travelers can mentally prepare for it. They can adjust to the situation.
If you don’t tell them, or try and hide it, then can really tick off a customer. I’ve heard several stories from disgruntled travelers who have booked hotels that are under renovation or have some other construction taking place during their stay. They only learned of this walking past people in orange hats and yellow vests and stepping around construction zones.
They arrive pissed and they leave pissed. And they are not likely to return.
Same with an employees strike. Imagine your disappointment at arriving at a place for a nice vacation – something you’ve been planning and looking forward to for a while – only to discover after arriving that, say, the pool is closed. Or no bars or restaurants on the property are open (which is the case with the Sheraton properties in Waikiki).
Heck, maybe you picked that very hotel because it has a great restaurant or bar you want to visit while you’re in town.
Not getting the word out hurts the guest experience and not only are they not likely to return, they are going to tell all their friends and these days, go on social media and trash the place with images and negative comments.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser ran a photo of people sunbathing on Waikiki Beach with a picket line of workers behind them; that surely was not the Hawaii paradise they envisioned when they booked their trip.
Now if the travelers know ahead of time there’s a problem, then a well-prepared staff can offer alternatives and work with the tourism board to provide discounts – or complimentary – admission to local attractions or tours. Or some other compensation to keep the travelers happy.
Things may not be perfect, but most travelers would adjust and appreciate the effort. Otherwise, they will leave with a sour taste in their mouths.
So when it comes to strikes, construction and other inconveniences tourism boards, hotels and any other entity that travelers are likely to encounter should put out the word so people know the situation well before they arrive at their destination.
Cheers and happy travels!