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Simple Steps for Accommodations

A How To for Accommodations Businesses

No point in reinventing the wheel. The following is a list of ways that you can attract travellers intending to stay for authentic experiences near you. The ideas are drawn from the case studies presented in the Appendix.

Whether they intend to explore by car, by bicycle, by canoe or kayak or on foot—all will arrive by car or RV. Despite much discussion about Via Rail’s possible cycle-friendly transportation, personal vehicles – owned or rented – are how travellers will come to you. And so it’s not the means of how they arrive that identifies them, it’s how they will identify with you.

All travellers driven to explore and experience this region do have one thing in common: a need for knowledge. They will read between the lines of your websites and print ads to see if you really know the things to do, places to go, events to enjoy and people to meet  - in your region, not just your backyard.

Become a resource, an expert in experiences and exploration. It’s not that difficult.

Bookmark the following sites in your browser, at you front desk and at the computer for guests. 

Print this list on a card, along with your wifi site and code, for each room.

Visit, and have your desk staff visit those sites to know how they work, and what each offers.

Take yourself and staff on any one of the appealing Ready-routes from the FAB Experiences Gateway for your business – have your own ‘familiarization’ tour of the region.


If they come by cycle, or to cycle…

 

Tips for B&Bs, Inns, Hotels, Motels:

1. Provide a covered and locked place where bicycles can be kept while the cyclists are guests.

  • Often, these bicycles cost several hundred dollars, or more.

2. If food services are available, include on the menus meals that are high-carb, and with higher than average portions of fruits and vegetables. Buy local, and make that known.

  • Cyclists burn considerable energy, and count on you to fuel them for the day ahead. And, locally-sourced food is a valued part of the authentic, local experience they seek.

3. Provide tools for cyclists for basic repairs.

  • The basics include a tire pump with gauge, a set of Allen keys, a set of metric wrenches, spoke wrenches, and two tire irons.

4. Provide information on local bicycle repairs and service, and rentals.

  • Check your phone book to see who’s nearby, and call them to be sure of what they offer – make the write-up of this resource available at the desk.

Tips for Campgrounds:

1. Provide a place at the campsite where bicycles can be locked.

  • Often, these bicycles cost several hundred dollars, or more. 

2. Provide dedicated camping spaces for cycing visitors, with or without reservations, providing they are arriving by bicycle.

  • Such spaces do not need to be premium sites, or large, but suitable for the small and light-weight tents cyclists carry.

3. Provide tools for cyclists for basic repairs.

  • The basics include a tire pump with gauge, a set of Allen keys, a set of metric wrenches, spoke wrenches, and two tire irons.

4. Provide information on local bicycle repairs and service, and rentals.

  • Check your phone book to see who’s nearby, and call them to be sure of what they offer – make the write-up of this resource available at the office or service desk.

If they come to paddle…

1. Provide a secure place for kayaks or canoes to be kept – indoors, or outdoors. A stacking or rack system is an advantage in terms of your space, and if outdoors for a lock.

2. If food services are available, include on the menus meals that are high-carb, and with higher than average portions of fruits and vegetables. Buy local, and make that known.

  • Paddlers burn considerable energy, and count on you to fuel them for the day ahead. And, locally-sourced food is a valued part of the authentic, local experience they seek.

3. Provide information on local repairs guiding, and rentals.

  • Check your phone book to see who’s nearby, and call them to be sure of what they offer – make the write-up of this resource available at the office or service desk.

If they come to hike…

1. If food services are available, include on the menus meals that are high-carb, and with higher than average portions of fruits and vegetables. Buy local, and make that known.

  • Hikers burn considerable energy, and count on you to fuel them for the day ahead. And, locally-sourced food is a valued part of the authentic, local experience they seek.

Consider a Business to Business Strategy… 

Cyclists, paddlers and hikers hate to retrace their steps. Not all routes are loops to get back from where you started. Distance makes the trip more rewarding, for many.

  • Offer a service, or help create a service that picks paddlers, hikers or cyclists up at their destination, and bring them back to your starting point establishment, where they’ve left their vehicle – and another night’s stay. 

Cyclists, paddlers and hikers very often would very much like to avoid carrying everything they brought along, all the time. A day-pack or light pannier with the day’s needs is ideal, taking the ‘lug’ out of luggage.

  • Consider forming local networks where you network with other accommodations along key and favourite routes, to move luggage to the travellers’ next night’s stay. Word of that kind of service gets around in the self-propelled travellers community. The advantage for all in the network is business is brought to your door.

Next Steps… Associations and Marketing… 

Let the world know that you have an expertise surrounding fabulous experiences in the region, and are a traveller’s resource.

  • On your website, include a thumbnail map of the region you serve. You likely already have a map inset or map link to your location – go the extra step to show the region itself. Include a few links to help those considering a stay with you that your ‘neighbourhood’ is prime for their experience. And, any traveller will be impressed at what the region offers. The best links to experiences are:
  • FAB Experiences  www.fabexperiences.ca
  • Frontenac Arch Biosphere  www.frontenacarchbiosphere.ca/explore
  • Amazing Places  www.visitamazingplaces.ca

When you’ve got facilities and abilities to accommodate the needs of any or all of the experience-driven travellers, broadcast that news as well. 

  • Add a page or section at your website to tell whether you are cycle friendly, hiker friendly, paddler friendly – or any combination. List what you offer – the tools, menu, storage space, the interest in their type of travel. Suggest a favourite route near you.

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