Leisure and Tourism has a Key Role to Play in Regional Economy17th June 2014
Leading players in leisure and tourism gave Champions a fascinating insight into the cultural and tourism opportunities available in the Southampton region.
Adam Hamadache from the Wow Guest Group had some advice for guests at the Business South breakfast seminar held at the Ovation restaurant in the Mayflower Theatre.
He said there were simple ideas that could help create a wow for guests that were inexpensive, not time-consuming and easy to implement.
He suggested hotels could send guests a pre-arrival text to reassure them they are expected and also let them know of any traffic hold-ups.
“It shows you care and it costs about three pence to do – you can also give a call to late arriving guests to say we know you are coming and would it help to organise a snack for when you arrive?
“I also recommend giving each guest a personalised letter on arrival – it makes them feel really special.
“These are all relatively easy to do – and they are ideas that can be adapted outside of the hotel industry.
“Ultimately these are tools to build relationships with customers,” he said.
Stephen Boyce provided an update on the city’s emerging Cultural Quarter and revealed that while he is standing down from his role with Culture Southampton, he is pressing for a more strategic approach to be taken.
Gavin Elliott from the Southampton Hoteliers Association spoke about the Tourist Information Points that had been introduced in six hotels following the closure of the Tourist Information Centre in Southampton.
“The response so far has been really positive and we are looking forward to doubling the number from Autumn this year,” he said.
Liz Batten, Communications Manager at Southampton Solent University, gave an update on Southampton’s 50th anniversary of receiving city status and revealed work is already underway to bring the year long festivities to a close in February 2015.
“We are working on the closing ceremony with Neil Maddock from Love Southampton – we are looking at having music and lots of young people involved.
“And we would love to have some fireworks too,” she said.
Jo Andrews, Managing Director of The Marketing Collective, explained how her company is promoting the city with the popular Pocket Guide and Guest Guide. The publications specialise in giving visitors an insider’s view of the city with itineraries and recommendations from locals.
• 7.9m day trips were made to the city
• Visitors spend £373m in the city – and shopping accounts for the vast majority
Anna Hales from Business South said the city’s official website Discover Southampton was going from strength to strength. Students from Southampton Solent University were now writing blogs for the site and there were many new opportunities for advertising and sponsorship.
Speakers at the Business South Champion Briefing