Hotels Rethink Concierge: From Selfies to Sustainability | Ap

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Looking to boost your vacation selfie game? Don’t worry, Eduardo Vallin is here for you.

As an “Instagram Concierge” at the W Punta de Mita hotel in Mexico, Vallin helps guests locate and snap the best social media-worthy photos while they bask in that vacation glow.

“One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing the images come to life,” Vallin said. “I like getting to know the person through their aesthetic and Instagram interests, then creating a personalized tour, then finally seeing the finished product on their Instagram.”

This is just one of the many creative concierge jobs that hotels and resorts have introduced in recent years.

In Aruba, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort recently introduced a “carbon offset concierge”; Jareth Vermeulen helps customers offset the environmental impact of their flights to the carbon neutral hotel by purchasing carbon offsets. Customers can do this themselves or get help from Vermeulen. Although the position is new, Vermeulen offered tours of the property as a sustainability manager.

“It was really nice to mingle with the guests and understand why they choose Bucuti & Tara Beach and also their passion for sustainability,” he said.

Why this trend towards specialized concierge services?

For hotels, it’s a way to stand out and convey a vision by focusing on topics such as climate change, said Emanuel Schreiner, founder of RVS Hotel Consulting.

As for customers, “personalization is not just a travel trend; hotel guests want to experience unique moments, tailor-made for their vacation, ”added Schreiner. “Having highly specialized staff able to cater for the more extravagant aspects of their trip will certainly create added value for customers. We will see in the long run whether the demand really meets all of these particular offers. “

Ewald Biemans, owner and CEO of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, said he created the carbon offset concierge because some travelers feel guilty about the emissions from air travel. Compensation can help guests enjoy a guilt-free vacation, he said.

“Global warming and climate change appear in almost every review” on the hotel, Biemans said. “Three years ago, most people didn’t even know what climate change or global warming was. Today is a household word.

Another new take on the concierge job: The Hyatt Regency Portland, Oregon plans to have a “strange concierge” starting in November, to help guests find unique, low-profile tours and experiences.

“What makes Portland so great is that it’s the little ones, some call them weird, off-the-beaten-path destinations and characters that make the city so beloved,” said Jamie McKinney, the new concierge. “We both wanted a way to showcase these quirky entities, which don’t always rise to the top of Yelp, yet are so crucial to the liveliness and efficiency of tourism in our city.

McKinney said the post was created in response to comments from travelers wanting to explore the “real” Portland.

“The places people actually go,” she said.

For example, guests may want to learn more about the elusive Bigfoot, so she’ll send them to the North American Bigfoot Center, where exhibits feature an array of bigfoot information and artifacts.

“In researching these tours, I relied on my local expertise and my natural inclination to explore and dig deeper, allowing me to experience the best of the weird side of Portland,” she said.

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Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at Twitter.com/KristiEaton.

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