October 12, 2012
Thompson Hotels is giving consumers a taste of New York cuisine through its new Food Truck Concierge that allows visitors to navigate and locate their favorite mobile food sources with insider knowledge.
Each Thompson hotel in New York is offering a different package coupled with its favorite food truck. This is one way that hotels are creating property-specific efforts to give consumers an exclusive experience.
“The value of this campaign arises from the brands strong association with New York’s character,” said Taylor Rains, account coordinator at Rawle Murdy Associates, Charleston, SC. “It is a solid way for the property to distinguish itself from the rest.
“Each property is unique, and marketing them similarly has the advantage of cultivating a strong global brand, but should also be supplemented with property-specific strategies,” he said. “Consumers are not just looking for a hotel when they make travel plans, they are looking to experience a destination.
“In order to capture that desire, individual properties have to show that they are a part of their surroundings.”
Mr. Rains is not affiliated with Thompson, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Thompson could not comment directly on this story.
New York eats
The Thompson Food Concierge is advising on the exact locations and cooking times as trucks across the city.
Each New York hotel also has its own Food Truck Lover promotion tied with a specific truck.
For example, 60 Thompson’s favorite food truck is Calexico. The promotion includes a complimentary welcome amenity and late check-out.
Meanwhile, consumers can check out Wafels & Dinges food truck when they stay at Gild Hall. These visitors get a Food Truck Lover weekend package with rates starting at $299, a welcome Champagne cocktail and complimentary Internet.
Thompson Lower East Side offers welcome Champagne on arrival and special discounts and offers at local Lower East Side restaurants. This hotel’s food trucks include Kimchi Taco and Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.
Finally, Smyth Tribeca is offering the best available rate guarantee, a "fat witch" brownie welcome amenity, a complimentary Thompson iPhone case and download of a local food truck application and complimentary WiFi. This hotel's food truck is the Tribeca Taco Truck.
Consumers can book through http://www.thompsonhotels.com using the promo “foodtruck.”
Thompson is promoting the new packages through its social media pages including Facebook and Twitter.
“Guests want to be in the know of the local scene when traveling and the Food Truck Concierge is a creative idea that will make guests feel they are in tune to what is hot in New York,” said Tiffany Dowd, a Boston-based luxury hotel inspector and president of Luxe Social Media.
“Food trucks are trendy and appeal to urbanites with a sense of adventure,” she said. “This unique effort can build buzz and reinforce the hotel brand’s cool image while attracting this demographic.”
Thompson is getting in touch with consumers through a uniquely New York venture.
“While nationally popular, the food truck industry has an undeniable association with New York,” Rawle Murdy’s Mr. Rains said. “The city is all about the authenticity of the experience.
“With this food truck campaign, Thompson is both leveraging a national trend and helping guests experience the city in a uniquely authentic way,” he said.
Other hotel brands are pushing property-specific packages.
For example, in a move to hopefully entice artsy visitors, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is providing an opera lover’s package offered exclusively at this property.
The package is likely an attempt to attract consumers through a partnership with the Santa Fe Opera. Four Seasons is promoting this through its Web site and customer reach (see story).
Also, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Georgetown property in Washington is targeting affluent families with a new hotel package that incorporates its partnership with the local Smithsonian museums and galleries and is giving a portion of the proceeds to the institution’s educational mission.
The Smithsonian Experience package caters to families visiting the United States capital by encouraging visits to the nearby museums along with on-property benefits (see story).
Hotel-specific packages bolster the individual services of a property and are tailored for a destination. These packages would not work anywhere else but the single property.
“Offers like this allow a global brand to provide a unique travel experience to guests in each location,” Luxe Social Media’s Ms. Dowd said. “Travel is about experiencing the local scene and, through this effort, Thompson Hotels is providing travelers with the feeling of being a real New Yorker.”
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York