Friends are taking more trips together—a 2018 survey by Booking.com found that a quarter of travelers planned to vacation with friends in 2018, up from a little over a fifth the year before.
Last year, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts created a brand initiative to cater to these traveling friends—particularly female friends seeking an escape together. Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, says the #RosewoodGirlfriends campaign is very much a product of its time. “Experiences and friendships are taking increasing priority in individuals’ daily lives, especially among women. This campaign pays homage to the concept of celebrating lifelong friendships and explores how travel can enrich friendships and play an important role in strengthening these relationships.”
For instance, Rosewood’s “Ultimate Girlfriends Getaway Package” comes with accommodations in multi-bedroom suites and villas, a welcome bottle of champagne, a spa credit, and exclusive perks and services from fashion and lifestyle platform, Farfetch.
Hotels have long created perks and packages to attract and accommodate girlfriend getaways, and are now moving beyond traditional ad campaigns to connect with consumers across the travel planning and booking journey—whether through an influencer’s Instagram story about their stay at a property or a list of trending destinations for planning a holiday.
Arora adds that what makes campaigns like #RosewoodGirlfriends unique and relevant is a multifaceted approach that’s based on a brand’s deep understanding of guests. “We know that traditional ad campaigns alone do not resonate with the insatiably curious luxury traveler, which is why we created such a rich, layered campaign for this initiative,” Arora explains. “From consumer packages at Rosewood’s hotels and resorts around the globe to dedicated social hashtags and curated girlfriends getaway destination guides on the brand’s digital content hub, Rosewood Conversations, we are engaging with our guests in a number of exciting ways through this campaign.”
Since its launch, Arora says that the #RosewoodGirlfriends has shown how travelers look to social media to plan getaways that meet their high expectations. “A major takeaway from this campaign has been the role that social media plays in travel, especially peer recommendations through user-generated content,” Arora explains. “Guests are also encouraged to share their favorite photos, videos, and memories of their girlfriend getaways on social media with the hashtags #RosewoodGirlfriends and #RosewoodCelebrations, which can then be shared on both the brand and individual properties’ social channels.”
To make guest experiences unique, individual Rosewood properties are creating their own activations of the campaign that are specific to their locale—from a private meeting and studio tour with the creative directors of Veronica Beard at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, to an Asaya wellness journey at Rosewood Phuket.
Brands today must engage with travelers long before potential guests are searching for a location for hotel accommodations. Whether catering to female friends planning a get-together or another close-knit group choosing their next destination, hotels will best reach guests where those travelers find inspiration.