Creative Strategist, Eat + Drink
As a lifelong travel enthusiast, experiencing and learning everything I can about the city I’m visiting is my favorite part of any trip. Similarly, as a Hospitality Consultant conducting Market Surveys is one of my favorite parts of the job.
A Market Survey, where we conduct an in-depth study on an area, looks into everything from resident demographics including industries worked and specific neighborhood characteristics to visitor profiles including where from, when and why they are traveling. Usually commissioned in order to make informed decisions regarding hotels, bars and restaurants, naturally we get to take a close look at those outlets as well. Looking at dining trends, cuisine saturation, price points, menu composition, overall design, look and feel, occupancy rates and more to upwards of several dozen venues, we analyze the food and beverage landscape both holistically and independently to provide takeaways and recommendations as to what our clients may want to add to the community. Before creating this comprehensive document we do quite a bit of “armchair research” including utilizing Google maps, scouring travel bureau reports, combing social media accounts, building tracking spreadsheets, and producing charts …all before we physically visit the market. Once our “boots hit the streets” we visit as many locations as we can, scribbling notes, taking pictures and speaking to guests. While this makes for a bit of a whirlwind of a trip, we truly cover a lot in a small period of time, partly because we’ve “gotten smart” before even landing in the market and can then fill in the blanks in person.
Deep into my research a few Market Surveys ago, I had the lightbulb moment to apply this same level of detailed diligence to my next personal trip. That trip being one of my favorites of all time, I now approach all of my travel for leisure much how I approach my business travel. While I don’t necessarily keep up as rigorous a schedule as I may on a business trip, I do apply the same thorough research and keen eye on the details before I depart, then execute a laid-out itinerary based on locations and logistics – which truly allows me to gain an intimate understanding of what makes the city unique. With “bleisure” travel numbers higher than ever before (think the combining of business and leisure travel, with guests extending their stays and even bringing their families along on business trips) and knowing how Gen Z travels, this researched and organized approach could benefit almost any type of traveler. Those who want to maximize their time, ensure they experience specific highlights, and feel comfortable with the lay of the land even as first-time visitors, should certainly apply the “Market Survey mentality” to their travels.
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