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  • Ryan Johnstone

Networking for your Motel or Tourist Park Business

Where to start and why.


So, you’ve either taken the leap into the accommodation industry or you’ve just moved on to a new business. Either way, now is the best time to engage with the local community. Whether your motel or tourist park is based in a CBD or regional setting, building rapport with locals, other businesses and prominent members of the community is essential for a growing business.


So where to start. Well the list is endless, so you’re probably best starting with a focused approach. Who in town has influence, who would be beneficial to promote & support your business and who likes a good chat.


To give you an idea of where to start and why:

Chamber of Commerce


You’ll generally meet local business operators in this space and you’ll become part of the local decision-making process. Push focus onto tourism based activities and this will hopefully filter through to your business.

Local councillor


The perfect person to support your business and assist when matters governed by council arise. Having your local councillor onboard can often make government processes move faster than normal.

Popular coffee shop


Regularly attend the local coffee shop and get to know the staff. Everyone talks to a coffee barista and what better way to get the word out about your new accommodation business.

Restaurants


Regardless of whether your motel or tourist park has a restaurant, get to know restaurants owners close to your business. If you don’t have a restaurant, customers will look for recommendations, if you do have a restaurant, but it doesn’t serve what the customer is looking for, they’ll appreciate alternative recommendations.

Accommodation businesses


Don’t be shy when it comes to competing businesses. When they’re at capacity, they’ll need to recommend an alternative. Likewise, when you’re at capacity, you will want to know that that customer will be well looked after elsewhere. Referrals are essential in any business and you’re better building a working relationship with competing businesses, rather than fuelling a negative relationship.

Police


This is usually more beneficial in a small regional town, but get to know the police station chief. You might need their help at some stage and they often have a strong standing in the community.


Building rapport with locals, other businesses and prominent members of the community is essential for a growing business.

Most importantly, don’t forget the locals. Unless you’re out to spend a little money on flyer drops, it’s hard to target an entire community in a short time and during your busy start up process. The key is to make yourself seen. Attend local functions, restaurants and charity events. Support local businesses and engage with owners and customers. Be chatty. Meet people and don’t be afraid to open up and let them know who you are and what you do. This is important in CBD areas, particularly in the immediate area, but it is absolutely critical in regional hubs. If you want community support, then support the community.


It might also be worthwhile investigating all the local tourist attractions. Attend each venue if possible and make current pricing available at your reception desk. It’s essential that you know the area and that you have the ability to pass on valuable information to customers – both your customers and local business owners will thank you for it.


If you take away only one thing from this article, it’s be active, be friendly and be seen. You run an accommodation business, so it’s essential to embrace your social side. If you respect your local community, get involved and run a good business, the people will come.


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