After poring over all the bad news in recent months, do you find yourself reaching for the warm embrace of a stiff drink?
It’s no surprise that when the going gets tough, the tough keep on drinking. The spirits industry is one of a few commercial sectors that has continued to outperform the rest of our bottom-of-the-barrel economy. And the hospitality industry has taken notice.
Hotels from New York to London are calling upon the savviest mixologists to craft signature cocktails and shore up the old-school classics in an attempt to lure discerning travelers, according to a recent article on msnbc.com. Such inebriating initiatives are usually taken on at the property level, but not always.
In Thailand, the country’s Tourism Authority just introduced a drink called the “Siam Sunray,” which the group hopes will soon enter the world’s cocktail lexicon and help attract tourists.
The cocktail consists of a shot of vodka, coconut liqueur, a dash of chili pepper and sugar, lime juice, a few slivers of lemongrass and ginger. Shaken not stirred, the concoction is then strained into a glass with ice and soda water.
Does it sound refreshing? Sure. Is it prompting visions of cocktail shakers dancing in my head? You betcha. But is it enough to make me want to shell out $2,000 for a transpacific flight to Thailand? Of course not.
And therein lies the problem with this unconvincing premise. When the going gets tough, what the tough traveler really wants is value. Drinks, slick nightclubs, superfluous amenities—they’re all just window dressing, or so says every major executive at every major industry conference I’ve attended in the last five months.
So before you spend any time worrying about your beverages, make sure your beds are comfortable and clean. Instead of concocting a new spirit, check to see that the spirits of your associates are as high as they can be.
Because unless you offer great value, ever-fickle travelers likely will be lodging with your competitor up the street. And they might just grab a nightcap on the way.