What matters most to guests when they’re traveling? That has been an important question for those in the hospitality industry for a long time. The answer has changed over the years but the idea has remained the same. Hotels and restaurants aim to provide the best experience for their guests. On today’s episode of the MarketScale Hospitality Podcast, we take a look at two of the most important factors for industry: affordability and sustainability.

The Traveling Family

The vast majority of family travel is simple, according to veteran travel expert Rainer Jenss, president and founder of Family Travel Association. Irregardless of income, families want value and affordability and the industry is responding with specific products and offerings to fill that need. Jenss sits down with MarketScale’s Maggie Shein to discuss what today’s traveling family looks like (hint: it’s not what you may think), as well as specific travel behaviors and desires of this niche.

Farm-to-Table Demand Evolves to Hotel-to-Table

In the pilot episode of Portlandia, an IFC show that mocks the hipster culture of Portland, Oregon, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein want to know precisely where their meal came from and travel to talk to the farmer who raised their chicken named Colin before they eat it. “The chicken you’ll be enjoying tonight. Here are his papers. The chicken is a heritage breed, a woodland-raised chicken that’s been fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy, and hazelnuts,” the waitress says.

Maybe it’s an exaggeration but in the past decade, the demand for hyperlocal, farm-to-table dining has grown from a trend to an expectation. Now farm-to-table has gone a step further: Hotel-to-table, you might call it. With gardens and a few steps from their kitchens, they infuse an authentic sense of place into their cuisine and eliminate “food miles” in an effort for sustainability.

“It’s more than a trend, it’s a market cycle and as a result there’s a maturation to the process,” says Loren Gray, founder of the Hospitality Digital Marketing show and former restaurant owner turned consultant. “They’ve invested in rooftops to offer a sustainable variety of unique things they can feature for their menu.”

Gray explores the way “hotel-to-table” is changing what the local farming industry grows and even where it’s grown.

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