When the world comes knocking

Lanai has traditionally looked to the United States for most of its guests and visitors, but that is starting to change. We are seeing more visitors from a variety of Asian markets such as Japan, Korea and even China. Many of the brands are introducing services and amenities for these travelers, which is wonderful. It personalizes their stays and provides some comforts representative of their lifestyle and expectations.  We have translated menus, welcome letters, our website, and launched a presence on a variety of social media channels, including Naver and Youku. We also offer local Asian dishes in our restaurant, a specific selection at breakfast, and special room amenities. All are very well received. 

But how does that translate into service? We strive to provide the very highest in service excellence – is that more challenging when there are language and cultural barriers? To begin to address that and provide our colleagues with the knowledge to better serve our guests, we recently held a number of Japanese language and culture classes designed to teach our team basic communications skills that are culturally appropriate in Japan.  

Lanai is a small community of just over 3,000 residents and many local businesses are very involved in the tourism and visitor industries. We decided to work with some of our local marketing partners and team up with the Lanai Chamber of Commerce to inform our fellow businesses on the island about these new travelers, together providing resources that will benefit our Asian guests wherever they go on the island. While not a large investment, by being creative and leveraging various partners, we all benefit from shared learning.  

In this very fast-paced, globalized world, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are indeed different expectations from guests visiting from many different locations around the world. For all our similarities, reaching for a bit of understanding and awareness can go a long way to offering exceptional hospitality, no matter what language you speak.