Make the most of your local community

19 April 2007
Make the most of your local community

Midmarket, full-service hotels should take the high ground with ‘local' social responsibility, says David Clarke, chief executive of Best Western Hotels

According to the recent British Hotel Guest Survey, full-service, midmarket branded bedrooms have seen a staggering 19% growth in demand since 2000. By thinking in a locally, socially responsible manner, properties in this market can also drive their reputation in the local community.

To be a successful, full-service hotel within this middle market, hoteliers must understand the important role they play within the community in which they operate. Whether you're the owner or the general manager of an independent hotel, there will already be an emotional connection between you, your employees, your guests and your community.

Poorly run hotels will suffer from a lack of this, and it's this failure to notice the impact on their key stakeholders that produces a poor reputation. Whether it's the owner who has lost interest or the hotel manager who has no pride in the brand, hotels with this negative outlook will be viewed as stale and as a result be unable to maximise their sales.

People need to be proud to represent their brand. This is my responsibility at Best Western, but it's only through our members that people can be inspired to create the right atmosphere within our hotels.

Midmarket hotels set within the community should become the social and business hubs of their society. By understanding this importance, hoteliers can use this key opportunity to gain essential connections with these stakeholders.

Now is the time to engage with the local community. If you're already doing so, great, but don't rest on your laurels - try to do more, and if you haven't yet started, get going.

But you need to do more than just contribute to the local raffle. Try working with local schools, buying locally produced food and helping those in need in the community, hosting special events to bring locals together… whatever works.

Let's use this opportunity for independent hotels to stand out in the community, and let's do it with real pride and passion.

• For ideas and inspiration, visit

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