On 04/21/17 we participated as speakers in the Rural Tourism Marketing Conference organized by FEXTUR (Extremadura Rural Tourism Federation) in Cáceres. Extremadura 365 Platform was presented at the event, a tool for promotion and marketing that aims to impulse the digitization of the rural sector and the quality of service. In the incomparable setting offered by the San Francisco Cultural Complex, we had the opportunity to listen to the leading stakeholders of Rural Tourism in Extremadura.
Victoria Bazaga, President of FEXTUR and a tourism businesswoman with extensive experience, opened the Conference with a presentation of the main challenges facing the sector. She highlighted the competition that the illegal offer supposes for the rural sector (also often drowned by an excess of regulation) and the digital challenges. At the same time, she pointed out the enormous potential for sustainable development that inland tourism represents, being a segment oriented towards quality, culture and nature. This enhances the diversification of the economy too. For these reasons, Extremadura is enormously attractive for tourism and must make an effort to make it known and reach its target audience. For this purpose, the Extremadura 365 project arose.
Next, Mr. Guillermo Fernández Vara (President of the regional govenrment at Junta de Extremadura) offered the support of the public sector to support the digitization of the rural tourism, regardless of the scale of the business.
Plataform 365 for Rural Tourism
The Conference continued with an interactive tutorial on the Extremadura 365 Platform, presented by the developers (Availroom.com), where the attending businessmen were able to clarify their doubts. FEXTUR encouraged any entrepreneur to join the platform, whether or not they belong to their federation, since the union of all will create a critical mass that will benefit the entire sector.
At the same time, it was clarified that the objective is not to compete with leading OTAs such as Booking, since the scale of both platforms is not comparable and the approach is different. It was clarified, however, that reservations made through this channel are more similar to the concept of an own channel (which would have an excessive cost if each one developed it on their own). In addition to the beneficial effect of promoting the tourist destination.
Hotel business and design
To conclude the event, The Innova Room presented “Good design, better business”:
The presentation focuses on establishing a balance between the design and operation of hotel businesses, at any scale and segment. Starting from these two initially antagonistic universes, we establish a conceptual framework with 6 keys to achieve a successful design:
- Effectiveness. The ability of the design to fulfill the mission for which it was created. First of all related to the location, but also to the size of the hotel.
- Efficiency. Ability to be effective, with the least possible effort. Related to the scalability of the business and the optimal point of the operation in each of its areas. Obtained through the management of information in an objective, measurable and traceable manner.
- Sustainability. Related to long-term business survival (not just environmental responsibility). Create designs that favor flexibility in all areas.
- Beauty. No design, no matter how effective, efficient and sustainable it may be, can be considered successful if it is not beautiful. But beauty is a subjective, multisensory and mutable concept over time. The creator’s criteria is what can provide the key to generating beautiful environments that are memorable for users.
- Coherence. This concept is related to sincerity, adequacy between form and function, integration of pre-existing and cultural context. In short, you have the correspondence between what is declared and what is executed. Speaking of marketing, with the fulfillment of the promise of value. And it is increasingly relevant, in an environment in which the user’s opinion has more and more weight.
- Innovation. Is innovation just technology? Not necessarily. Innovation is defined as creativity applied to business. Think of new solutions, design them, and be able to execute them in a profitable and attractive way.
In conclusion, every design decision affects the hotel business, in the short or long term. However, it is not possible to build successful designs based solely on parameters of economic profitability; in hospitality it is essential to generate an emotion in the guest and design spaces that favor the meeting between people.