Transforming a quaint hotel into a prime getaway
Despite being surrounded by a tropical rainforest, a pristine lake, and a plant and wildlife preserve, lagging room reservations threatened to cause Hotel Gringo Perdido to close its doors. The quaint Guatemalan hotel was clearly a victim of being rich in amenities but poor in awareness.
To maintain this important community business and save jobs, the Valdosta State University Enactus team taught this business to take advantage of free advertising through social media, blogging and the Web. This led to a complete redesign of the Hotel Gringo Perdido’s website to prominently call out bragging points such as lakefront rooms, food cooked in front of guests and the open-air dining room. To better capture guest needs, comments and perceptions of the hotel, the team created brochures and comment cards in Spanish and English. To enhance the hotel offerings, bicycles and small boats were made available for rent to make travel to town easier. Lastly, special packages were developed for returning customers and promotional opportunities are now offered to student groups that return to the area.
Thanks to the application of these business promotion and marketing strategies, hotel occupancy rates have increased from 23 to 78 percent. Traffic to the website is up 56 percent. Hotel Gringo Perdido is now a more widely known hotel destination and prime getaway. The biggest benefit is the hotel is no longer in danger of going out of business. Seven hotel staff members have secure jobs and an additional chef has even been hired.