Storytelling for hotels and guesthouses – Part One

Storytelling is a very exciting (and not so new) way of marketing. It has also become a great tool of keeping record in the hospitality industry – especially with hotels, guesthouses and restaurants in mind. Not to mention the opportunities available with this marketing tool.


Storytelling (Photo by: Renate de Villiers. Berlyn Wall. 2014.)

What is storytelling?

According to the National Storytelling Network, storytelling can be defined as an interactive art using words, actions and images of a story to encourage the listener’s imagination.

With that in mind, your hotel or guesthouse (the storyteller) needs to find a way to support your listener’s (your guest’s) imagination. The difficulty of this is that you need to encourage your guests to imagine the correct things about your products and services. Unfortunately this story needs to be true. In business no fiction is tolerated. Your story needs to show guests what you believe in, where you come from and what your passions are. Your story needs to tell your guests why they can trust you.

6 Things to remember when writing your story:

  • Stories are interactive. You are the storyteller and your guests are the listeners. The listener’s response has an influence on the way the story is told.
  • Storytelling directly connects the storyteller (your hotel or guesthouse) with the audience (your guests).
  • Storytelling uses words. Be sure to use the best language / lingo relevant to your target market.
  • Storytelling encourages the activation of the listener’s imagination. Be sure to encourage your guests to imagine realistically (or to make the correct conclusions about your product). Your story resembles your company’s true core, its values and its timeline. Your guests would want to relate to that.
  • Storytelling is a universal thing. It happens in many different cultures, languages and situations. From kitchen table conversations to traditional rituals. Every guest has his own story and somewhere his story will relate with yours.
  • If your hotel or guesthouse is one of those that does not really have much history, doesn’t have a unique feature like a super modern look or something similar, your best storytelling material will probably come from your everyday operational happenings.

Learn more about storytelling, content creation and social media sharing at Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops. Contact Renate for more information on 082 336 1562 /