Despite the difficulty of striking that fine balance between international appeal and local taste, getting it right is critical, now more than ever. If there ever was a time when providing a room and breakfast was enough, that approach certainly won’t cut it now. In this piece, Africa hospitality expert, Mark Havercroft, Regional Director for Africa for Minor Hotels, shares with WALE OLAPADE carefully curated and unforgettable travel experiences that appeal to local expectations.
Competitiveness, lies in the ability to create and integrate value-added products or experiences which, in the current scenario, have to appeal across the traveller spectrum, while taking advantage of what makes a particular destination unique and distinguishable for tourists.
“These include features that set the destination apart, and include things such as culture, architecture, gastronomy, infrastructure landscape, events and shopping,” not something a local guest feels can be had at home.
Fine dining with a local twist
A menu offering local ingredients prepared with international flair will always be a drawcard for international and domestic travellers alike. Take, for example, the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort’s “Grilled Lobster”, roasted on an open fire on the beach within steps to the Indian Ocean which pays luxurious tribute to Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage:
Other meals that appeal across the board combine well-known international dishes with bold local flavours, such as the Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort’s “Island Benedict with English muffin, lobster, poached egg, bacon, avocado and curry hollandaise sauce.”
Of course, impeccable service from well-trained team members is an essential part of this dining experience, says Havercroft.
A wine list to celebrate
Start with innovative cocktails that showcase authentic African flavours, like Mundambi Gin, a New Harbour Distillery gin infused with the Mundambi flower. Mix with cucumber rind over lots of ice and a splash of Fever-Tree tonic, and you have a unique smoky spice and citrus taste experience that guests won’t get anywhere else, locally or internationally. Then move your guests on to a well-selected choice of excellent local and imported wines that pair perfectly with their meal.
A view to remember
Locals looking for the ideal spot to entertain important clients or celebrate special occasions appreciate an exceptional venue just as much as domestic and international travellers. Offer comfortable and luxurious surroundings, locally inspired decor that creates a true sense of place, and if you can add breathtaking views that showcase the surrounding natural beauty, you have a winning combination for every type of guest.
Events that educate and entertain
Include some local culture and give your guests even more to boast about to their friends back home. From local music playing softly in the background of the lobby through to bespoke day trips that take guests out of the hotel, there are plenty of ways to get this right. It’s also critical to take note of, for example, Generation Z travellers’ appetite for more risk and adventure, which marks a significant shift away from traditional sun, sea and sand, and attraction-based tourism. This requires an out-of-the-box response that provides diverse and distinct experiences, while supporting the socio-cultural and economic development of local communities.
So it’s essential to offer the expected guided horseback rides, boat trips, dune surfing, island picnics hikes and escorted trips to the “mainland” to visit a bustling street market followed by a meal in an authentic local restaurant. And we know that for those who prefer to take things at a more relaxed pace, a romantic sunset picnic with food provided by a personal chef, or a spa day using products made in the community will appeal to both domestic and international visitors.
But definitely also focus on experiential journeys. For example, Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort in Mozambique offers Spice Spoons. This introduces guests to local ingredients through a tour of the resort’s vegetable garden, giving them an opportunity to pick their produce and catch their own fish if they choose. An expert chef then teaches them to prepare their meal using traditional techniques, equipping them to host an African dinner party for friends when they return home.
Getting the balance right
Today’s travellers are seeking familiar comforts they can rely on, a dash of indigenous adventure and a sense of luxury that reminds them they’ve earned this holiday or a blend of all three. Whether they’re local or have crossed an ocean to reach your establishment, says Havercroft, ensure that what you’re offering will entice them to return – and become the kind of word-of-mouth ambassadors that may just be your saving grace during these unparalleled challenges for tourism.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
More Shocks As Unemployment Data Exposes Misery Status Of Nigerians
BEFORE now, economic and finance experts found it difficult to assess the healthy nature of the labour market and how to measure the impact of government policies targeted at creating jobs because of lack of real time labour data. But on Friday, August 14, 2020, the concerns were only slightly eased as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published second quarter (Q2):2020 labour statistics, the first report since Q3:2018…Changing twist in hospitality
MONDAY LINES: Obasanjo’s (D)Art Of Condolence
Ben Guriano of The Washington Post described them in 2018 as ‘taboo enforcers.’ These are trolls seeking to upend truth and subvert facts about the life and times of the dead. ‘Do not speak ill of the dead’ came originally from a Spartan philosopher, then it was latinated by the Romans to read De mortuis nihil nisi bonum – and got spread around the world like Chinese viruses. The black man, as in all cases, contracted the no-no and turned it into a religion, got drunk with it and won’t mind killing for it…Changing twist in hospitality
2.4 Million Households To Benefit From FG’s Stimulus Package — Presidential Aide
TO ensure food security for citizens, at least 2.4 million households will benefit from the Federal Government’s post-COVID-19 stimulus package, a presidential aide says. Dr Andrew Kwasari, Senior Special Assistant (SSA), to the President on Agriculture, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. Kwasari spoke against the backdrop of projects anchored by the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Committee (NESC) to secure the economy against the effects of COVID-19…Changing twist in hospitality Changing twist in hospitality