Montréal is Bringing Hospitality to New Heights
Montréal continues to attract visitors from around the world. In fact, this year we’re expected to smash tourism records. According to an Ipsos research study, 95% of travellers who have visited Montréal indicate that they would recommend the city to colleagues and contacts. This success is linked to the level of hospitality received in Montréal.
Naturally, here at Tourisme Montréal, we’re always rethinking how we can become even better at hospitality.
Making hospitality a priority
One of the biggest changes in travel behaviours over the past decade is associated with the proliferation of mobile technology. Whereas in bygone days travellers might have been more apt to plan ahead, these days the tools are available to make real-time decisions ranging from where to eat, what sites to see, even where to stay. Technology also allows travellers to share their experience on social media.
Think of the immediacy of emotional reactions. If a traveller is having a lovely time, joy is reflected in tonality of social media updates. Inversely, if something is not going well, a visitor might turn to such platforms as Twitter or Snapchat to express dissatisfaction.
Therefore, it is more important than ever for destinations to offer seamless experiences and unparalleled hospitality (and to know how to respond when things go differently than expected — which is inevitable). As part of an effort to establish a benchmark in this area, Tourisme Montréal has decided to integrate hospitality into its strategic guidelines.
The warmest of strategies
Our hospitality strategy includes several components, ranging from information kiosks to mobile information agents (and beyond). The new strategic hospitality activity developed for 2017 is built around four pillars:
1 / Points of entry
2 / Hotels
3 / Attractions
4 / Shops and restaurants
One of our primary objectives was to create a recognizable in-destination branding that is visible at all points of tourist arrival: airport, train station, bus terminal and more. The visual identity — also is visible on taxis and public transport — expresses Montréal’s personality with a simple bonjour.
Another key to successful hospitality is information. These days, the challenge is not finding information but filtering it. Incorporated into the strategy was training for multiple stakeholders, especially frontline workers, to know the destination inside and out.
We’ve also emphasized the importance of empathy. We know that travelling can be exhausting, and when we’re exhausted the nuances of our manners can become compromised. Simply recognizing that a visitor might be frazzled, and subsequently acting with empathy toward them, can go a long way to creating a culture of hospitality.
Understandably, our convention centre (the Palais des congrès de Montréal) is one of our main partners in this initiative, and its staff are specifically trained for each conference or event held at the facility.
At no point can we kick our heels up and say, “we’ve achieved optimal hospitality.” There are always improvements to be made, and the goal is to improve continuously. It’s a dynamic process.
The strategy, therefore, will continue to evolve, and we’ve already allocated the necessary resources to ensure we have access to data that will form our various consumer interventions over the coming years.
Most importantly, we recognize that success is correlated to the health of our relationships with our business partners. It is in all of our best interests to work together to ensure the most hospitable of traveller experiences.
And with that, we’ll leave you with a simple bonjour — and à bientôt!
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