The concept of Experiential Hospitality is proving its effectiveness as a marker of differentiation and positioning of the Hotels who apply it in the International Market; however, it is noteworthy to emphasize that the design of positive experiences is bringing about a new differentiating factor defined by Pine & Gilmore in their masterpiece The Experience Economy as the last link in the progression of economic value: we are talking about transformations.
Positive experiences that a guest lives through during his stay in a Hotel are precisely the driving force to impulse these modifications, making the experience design to acquire a new character: the transformational one.
There are two key determinants in the guest concept on which, I think, transformations can be achieved:
1 - Emotional levels
2 - The conduct or behavior
The Hotel Business of Experience is by its own definition, the Hotel Business of Relations, which enable us to establish levels of bonds such as to allow us to emotionally know the guest we are assisting. Hence we can tailor the attributes of the services offered, so as to generate stimuli, whose perception is conceived as positive emotions, lived as unique, own and remembered experiences, thus satisfying the desire to reach the emotional state that the guest sees as a great value for him. The guest who leaves the hotel having achieved an unexpected and emotional level higher than the one he had before, becomes then an emotionally transformed guest.
Take for example the design of transforming experiences that will make a guest who comes with his spouse to celebrate their wedding anniversary, to leave the Hotel having strengthened their relationship, or a guest whose target has been just to rest, to depart feeling totally renewed.
The use of elements adjusted to his life patterns and this most unexpected, novel and new offering (surprise factor) will also cause changes on the guest behavior. When departing from the place where his yearnings were finally achieved, he would have become more dependent on relations, conditions and circumstances experienced. Therefore, he will look forward to his returning to this place in order to experience them again, as he has become a behaviorally transformed guest.
These two transformations will make us reach the relationship Hotel-Guest to acquire a new character: affective, establishing a balance between giving and receiving, where we offer the guest the opportunity to accomplish his spiritual aspirations and in return we receive the most precious legacy: his/her loyalty.