We are fully entrenched in summer – the season of vacation, family time, and adventure. More than half of Americans plan to take a summer vacation in 2019, spending an average of nearly $2,000 on their travels, according to a March 2019 study by Bankrate.
That’s a significant amount of spending to be captured by industries that profit from vacationers: transportation, dining, activities, and of course, accommodation. With competition in the hospitality industry at an all-time high, hotels, resorts, and other lodging properties need to find ways to stand out to win those travel dollars.
Enter ambient scenting.
Our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses as humans. It is innately tied to experiences and memory. Most of us have probably experienced this connection for ourselves. For example, the smell of funnel cakes reminds us of a trip to the beach or the county fair. Similarly, the scent of pine may make us think of family gatherings around a Christmas tree.
Today’s travelers are no longer looking for a simple place to lay their head between activities. They are looking for immersive experiences, accommodations that enhance their trips and provide them with an atmosphere that matches their travel style or traveler persona. That may be a quiet rest-and-recharge or an “explore the city” style adventure. It may just be a get-away that allows them to connect with family, friends, and even other travelers.
When ambient scenting is used as part of a hotel’s overall sensory design, it can significantly amplify the experience that a traveler has with a brand. That happens from the moment the traveler steps through the door. In a groundbreaking 2018 virtual reality study on the effects of scenting, Premium Scenting and independent research firm Walnut Unlimited found that there is an initial impact of scent in the first five seconds of an experience.
That same study found that scent can increase consumer involvement in an experience by 38 percent. For the hospitality industry, this has incredible implications for return-on-investment. By leveraging scent to increase the sensory aspects of a guest’s experience, brands can subliminally link themselves to the positive memories a traveler has of a trip.
Many brands, such as The Hotel BLOOM! in Brussels, Belgium, are also leveraging scent to create a unique brand experience. From luxury, high-end properties to budget-friendly hotels, signature scents are being utilized to create a strong link between experience and the brand itself. That can ultimately stoke return trips and brand loyalty.
The impact of reviews
Creating these travel experiences can pay off in other ways, too. In our experience-centric economy, travel review sites have come to the forefront. These sites are a primary means for travelers to develop opinions about a property before they even book their travel. In the 2018 Travel Trends report, produced by Mastercard and WEX, 73% of the more than 1,500 travelers surveyed reported using a review site before booking their trip. Immersive travel experiences that create pleasant memories for travelers could be an impetus for driving positive reviews. These positive reviews may, in turn, contribute to increased bookings for a property.
While summer may be winding down, it’s not too late to capitalize on scenting. Create an unrivaled summer travel experience for your guests. Talk to your local Ambius representative about Premium Scenting or give us a call today at (888) 997-6522.
With such an emphasis on the guest experience, the hospitality industry is primed for ambient scenting. If you want to learn more about ambient scenting or scent marketing in the hospitality industry we can’t recommend this interview with Andy Myers of sensory marketing consultancy, Walnut Unlimited, enough.