Not just for kids anymore, keeping the children entertained is a huge revenue opportunity as well as a bulletproof way to get parents on-side.
Children are far more than an after-thought in 2015, they are a vital part of any guest list and the key to securing repeat visits.
If your accommodation facility can entertain families instead of just adults, it could give you a huge edge over the competition. Australian holidays are often extremely active and families are attracted to the variety it offers. From beaches and water sports to amusement parks and wildlife sanctuaries, there is a vast array of leisurely options open to parents visiting with their children.
The difficulty arises when it’s time to head back to the accommodation property in which they’re staying. Particularly after a long day out, it will not usually be enough to rely on a swimming pool or even a TV set to keep children occupied. Parents will inevitably have to find a way to entertain their kids inside the hotel. What options would they have available at your property? If this is something you’ve never asked before it might be time to consider it now. If an iPad has more to offer a child than your services, you’re not impressing family guests.
Captivated children mean happy parents and happy parents will be eager to book a return visit. There are countless ways for an accommodation provider to offer children’s entertainment, some grander than others but all effective.
A decent home entertainment system is a fantastic starting point. Kiosks that offer movie rentals are now a frequent sight in shopping centres, local amenity stores and hotels around the country. Games consoles, a movie library, cable television, and even free wifi for older children, are all valid options and an easy-to install way for you to help parents keep kids quiet during a relaxing stay.
Babysitting services are also a good option, particularly if they come equipped with craft items, books, toys and games. A paid-for service like this will help give parents piece of mind and potentially allow them to make more use of your in-house restaurant or bar. Apps are also available to help connect the babysitter with parents so they can check in on them whenever they like, worry-free.
A games room is a more retro choice, but something that is often popular with older children or teenagers. With an arcade-like vibe, these rooms offer teens the chance to escape their parents for a few hours and make friends with other young people staying in the same property.
While a pool only stays open for a certain period of time, usually during the day, all these options offer ways to entertain children at night or during the off-peak season when the pool is closed.
Libraries are an inexpensive way to create a community feel inside your property, encourage guest interaction and entertain families. Whether it’s a movie, book, toy, console or game library you’d be sure to attract some eager borrowers. It’s not often that guests are able to pack books or DVDs into their carry-on luggage so something like this could be a life-saver. Another opportunity might be child-friendly room service: toys, books or games a mere phone call away.
Rather than order up a plate of snacks to keep everybody busy for a few moments, parents could request an iPad, which they would then rent for a few hours or the night. On the iPad, children can watch their favourite shows, download games and activities, draw pictures and play music.
Another way to entertain young guests, particularly if you know you will be housing a lot of them at one time, might be to put on a small event or competition. Children love to draw so a colouring-in competition asking them to colour in a line drawing of wherever you are located, or write a poem about their holiday for a prize is one way to engage kids. If you have an in-house restaurant you might also like to advertise a kid-friendly night of the week where a children’s performer makes an appearance or there is a sing-a-long.
A simpler but equally effective idea could be a soft play area. This would also do wonders for young families with small children and these areas are very easy-to-clean and maintain. They also provide that much needed ‘something to do’ for a frustrated parent with a restless, jet-lagged young child. How many times have you had noise complaints because a couple could not get their toddler to settle down?
This would provide an easy solution: one parent can nip down to the soft play with their young child while another gets their other children ready for the day. A games room would have a similar affect on bored teenagers. Families can avoid fighting over the television by sending their kids down to the games room for a few hours.
All-in-all, children’s entertainment is an area that not many properties look into but is something that could drastically improve your business. The key thing to consider is your guests and how they would benefit most, before contemplating your options.