‘Hotel holidays are horrid with younger children,’ writes one mum. ‘I don’t want to be stuck in a hotel room being quiet all evening.’ (Carrie Longton, Justine Roberts, “Toddlers: A Mumsnet guide”).
How many times have you heard parents either asking their relatives to care for their toddler while they go on vacation or simply stay home because it is too much hassle, as you don’t get to enjoy yourself if you go with a toddler? Too many. Parents with toddlers spend a significant amount of time choosing a hotel. Why not make it easier for them, by making sure you provide exactly what they’re looking for; a professional crèche.
Is this a market you’re missing out on because you simply don’t provide the right childcare for this gap in the market?
It seems that in the 21st century, hotels would know how important it is to provide care for children under 4 years old. Many hotels are afraid of the liability this could bring, which is understandable.
As childcare specialists, we believe that if the solution is being resolved professionally, the risks are mitigated.
In fact, we would go as far as saying that a poorly operated kids club service for children aged 4 years and older is a far higher risk than caring for younger guests.
Consider this very simple example:
- a group of toddlers running away
- a group of 10 year olds running away
Which group would you prefer to try to catch?
And yet many consider the younger age group to be higher risk?
There are risks involved throughout the hospitality industry with every guest who is taken care of, during their stay. Just as you employ the best chefs to develop your menus in a restaurant, or a spa specialist to set up your spa, should the same specialist help not also apply to services you offer for families?
If you agree that I have some fair points here, perhaps also consider the following questions:
1) Are your hotel childcare staff professionally trained to care for toddlers?
2) Do your adult guests feel comfortable and assured that their babies are safe in your care?
3) Is there a safe and secure play space within your hotel where parents can play and interact with their children?
4) Do you provide age appropriate equipment for all age groups of children?
5) Are there stimulating activities for your ‘little guests’?
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these, and the family market is an important market for your hotel, then you should consider what is needed to ensure you can answer a resounding ‘yes’ to all of these.
Some hotels are specifically geared towards the family market, and provide crèches and childcare. As one mum says, ‘We would like a bit of a rest, too, so somewhere with the option of childcare is fab.’ (Carrie Longton, Justine Roberts, “Toddlers: A Mumsnet guide”).
Understand your potential family guests’ needs and desires from a family friendly hotel. Meet and exceed these needs and desires, and they will come back.
Katja Konina, Business Development Consultant, <span class=”notranslate”>Worldwide Kids</span>.