Digital Detoxers: Is Your Small Hotel Equipped to Attract Guests Who Switch Off?

We often talk about how technology is becoming the most dominant force in the industry, and report on the willingness of travelers to adopt the latest innovative technologies.

And while small hotels should definitely be responding to this, there are still people in the world who want to take a break from today’s information overload: the digital detoxers.

Who are the ‘digital detoxers’?

It’s almost impossible not to have your eyes glued to a screen for much of the day, so much so that people develop addictions and anxiety related to technology.

People have become stressed because they’re trying to keep up with all of their notifications, to the point that some travelers – the ‘digital detoxers’ – are recognizing the healthy need to take a break every so often and ‘switch off’.

This year, the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, reported that:

  • 15 million UK internet users have taken a digital detox to seek a more sustainable balance between life online and life beyond the screen.
  • 1 in 3 adult internet users have sought up to a month offline.

Certain companies are already taking advantage of this, planning technology-free tours for travelers who want to escape the information grind.

So what can small hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and guesthouses do to attract these potential guests?

Encourage a real ‘connection’

Social media may be able to connect millions of people, allowing instant communication between them – but it’s an impersonal medium that does not enable a true emotional or sociable interaction.

Think about how your small hotel can attract like-minded individuals and the way you use your space, amenities, and activities to foster true conversation and collaboration.

Digital detoxers will be in an extroverted frame of mind, enthusiastic about meeting other people, and eager to experience adventure.

Simplify their options

The online world often bombards us with countless choices.

Whether it’s food, clothes, accessories, essentials, or experiences, there’s always an overload of variety that puts even more pressure on us to select the ‘correct’ one.

Digital detoxers will want less responsibility and easier decisions during all aspects of their trip. This can go a long way to refreshing your guests because less choice means less deliberation, and less stress.

Consider cutting down your luggage to the bare minimum. The same goes for in-room extras and daily services!

Provide exciting tech-free activities

The only way to truly satisfy the digital detoxers’ need to escape technology and appreciate their time away is to provide enjoyable alternatives.

Consider offering:

  • Yoga, dance, and pilates classes;
  • Relaxing massages and meditation;
  • Hobby classes such as cooking and crafting;
  • Mini-libraries and even writing nooks; and,
  • Partnering with tour operators to offer more adventurous pursuits like hiking and horse-riding tours.

Lean on mother nature

One of the first things people think of when they choose to depart on a digital detox is to go somewhere secluded – a forest, an island, outback terrain, or some other isolated yet beautiful location.

If your hotel is in a position to spruik any of these features, make sure you do so because it will likely be the most powerful selling point for tech-addicts looking for a break.

Even though guests will be very active in these locations, they will feel physically and mentally recharged.

Remember that exercise releases ‘feel-good’ endorphins that boost mood and energy levels and guests want to feel-good on a vacation.

Make sure you can highlight your packages through your small hotel’s website, and upsell extras through your online booking engine. If you have no way to do that yet, download our eBook to learn how you can start.

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