Rooms Hotels

Hotel Industry’s Quest to Go Local Is Reaching Slightly Absurd Proportions

@rafat

Dec 06, 2013 8:20 am

Skift Take

Lets be a bit more real in the marketing of local in hospitality. And a little less lame.

— Rafat Ali

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We are all for hotels embracing a taste of local to help guests have more authentic and deeper experiences in the cities they’re staying in. In fact, we wrote an entire report on the subject.

But this new promotion from Hotel Indigo is, well, if not the lamest attempt we’ve seen, surely a big stretch. Indigo, part of the world’s largest hotel company InterContinental Hotel Group, portrays itself as very local boutique brand, each hotel in every location is very location-aware and aims to provide local experiences to guests.

The latest stunt to prove its local cred? The UK and German branches of Indigo have tied up with trendy Superga shoe maker, to create “limited-edition sightseeing shoes to encourage guests to explore the local neighbourhood in style,” and these will replace the hotel slippers in the rooms.

And then this: “The activity aims to drive awareness of the fact that every Hotel Indigo property is designed to reflect the local neighbourhood.” Um, how? By adding a custom stamp of the city on every shoe — “a unique design sketched onto the insole of each shoe which is distinctive to the particular city” – somehow that’s supposed to spur visitors to suddenly develop local consciousness?

But it doesn’t stop there. Tom Rowntree, the VP of brand management luxury & upscale brands, Europe, has this to add: “Each hotel is designed to reflect the charm of its local neighbourhood, and what better way to encourage guests to get out and discover that story for themselves than a limited-edition pair of Supergas – the ultimate stylish and comfortable shoe!” These magic shoes, leading you directly to the local experiences nearby!

Surely Starbucks is laughing, because by that token it could suddenly turn each of its stores around the world into a local indie coffee shop just by selling a local coffee mug in them, right? Right.

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