One day a few weeks ago was asked by one of my staff why we always want to go places, in essence why travel? I’ve been thinking about this while I’ve been planning my next trip. I’ve come up with a number of reasons, some valid some not so much. They are broken down into two categories: work related and personal. On the work related side, things like gaining new ideas, menu items and seeing how others do things are at the top of the list. Guests have commented on notions we have brought back from elsewhere. For instance after my trip to England I started making a few things that we had there; curried dishes and bangers and mash. I went out and bought several new mirrors for my guest rooms and did up personalized welcome packages after staying in a B&B in Victoria and seeing how they were used there. That type of thing, nothing earth shattering just little touches. Another thing that happens when we have been somewhere, we tend to critique our own operations and compare them to those we visit more objectively. We find things we do well and things we can do better. This is probably the most helpful of the bunch.
After being somewhere I think it is easier to gage what your customers are looking for. I say this with some reservation as it could be just that you are more aware of what you are looking for and push that on to your customers. If you follow the train of thought that we all own places, we as customers would like to go to then it stands to reason that with a fresh travel experience in our minds we should be able to guess what our customers want. Does that make sense? Well it does to me so my question is to you what do you get out of travel? What have you brought back with you that was useful?