Everyone seems to be making art during this unique time in history, when home confinement is breeding a new brand of creativity. This has been evident mainly online, where institutions like LA’s Getty Museum are engaging with visitors virtually by asking them to ‘recreate iconic works of art at home.’ Like other companies in hospitality — including those in the hotel, resort, restaurant, and tourist industries — the vacation ownership trade has been hit hard by COVID-19, with the majority of resorts currently remaining closed as part of global confinement measures. It is important for these resorts, however, to maintain strong bonds with clients, and one of the best ways to do so is through artistic means. Now more than ever, it is important for world travelers to keep dreaming, to continue making bucket lists of must-visit resorts, and to plan their next adventure in the world. How can vacation ownership resorts use art to keep the vital bond with timeshare owners intact?
Art has a powerful ability to lower levels of stress and instill a more calming, mindful state. Moreover, the level or skill of the artists is irrelevant, as found in a 2016 study, which noted that even absolute beginners felt calmer after creating something. As a vacation ownership resort, you specialize in stress reduction and giving your clients somewhere to escape to on holiday. During times in which a physical escape is impossible, you can provide a mental one through art.
Getting Clients Involved
The key to keeping clients engaged in times when travel may be low is to create excellent content they consume for informative or entertainment purposes. You might ask expert travelers to review the resort, or upload short videos of your chef creating mouthwatering recipes. Create an incentive for clients by asking them to make a little art of their own. They can either submit beautiful photographs of their stay at your resort, or create artworks inspired on their vacation. The winner can receive points that can be applied to hotel stays at other resorts owned by your resort brand.
Safety and Escape
Vacation ownership resorts and indeed any company in the hospitality trade need to strike the right balance between realism and vision. Social media pages and websites should ideally contain information on safety measures being taken. This information should be immediately visible when visiting a website or social media page. General tips for healthy travel should be provided as well, though the most pertinent ones should be pinned. Information on vaccines, current risks, and protection is key. However, in other areas of a site or on posts uploaded throughout the day, marketing staff should also upload artistic imagery that motivates future travel plans. Social media content can include creative Instagram stories, blog posts, and Facebook posts reminding clients of past summers and events, and of the most relaxing spots in a resort. This is indeed the most simple form of art engagement – observation.
A Virtual Art Show
Many resorts with timeshare options have made art an important part of their interiors. From the Hyatt Residence Club to The Hilton Grand Vacations Club or The Ritz Carlton Club, luxury resorts have always made an effort to fill common spaces with stunning works of art. If your resort has invested in a sizable collection, why not offer clients a virtual tour? You can present your pieces of work via streaming, giving viewers unique insight into each of the paintings and their creators.
Even during the most challenging times in history, travel and art have always been sources of escape. One is physical, the other more mental, but both can coincide even when physical travel is impossible. Savvy vacation ownership clubs can keep clients interested in their services by posting both informative and arts based material online. They can hold compositions, stream art exhibitions, and invite clients to share their art. The idea is to inspire clients to continue dreaming of travel and to motivate them to plan their next great escape.
Katlyn Eriksen is a freelance writer and a mom of two.