In recent years, the tourism and hospitality has developed a nasty and frankly pointless habit of introducing – or attempting to introduce – new words into the English language.
“Staycation” is the prime example. Rather than go abroad, we “stay” in the UK for a “vacation”. Company travellers who tag a few days’ sightseeing onto the end of a business trip are said to be taking a “bleisure” break.
A third example, beloved by international hotel chains, is “glocal”. They may have “global reach” (the posh term for “lots of hotels around the world”) but they incorporate “local” touches by serving enchiladas in Acapulco, pasta in Pisa, and bratwurst in Berlin.
The first is totally unnecessary – there’s nothing wrong with “domestic holiday”. The second, mercifully, has signally failed to catch on. The third, however, does bear closer examination – but only if you turn it on its head.
Most multinational companies feel the need to stress their affinity with their locality. Conversely, “local” companies need to emphasise their universal appeal. Dorset, I believe, is missing a trick.
On a recent visit to London, I discovered by pure chance a delightful little pub within casual strolling distance of Waterloo station. The selection of beers and wines was excellent, and the lunch menu was more than a cut above the usual mass-catered, micro-waved mundane mush. The service was outstanding.
The hostelry is run by a well-known and well-respected Dorset brewery, but nowhere did I see any reference to the company’s roots. Nice pub, nice food, nice people, but nowhere did it shout “Dorset”.
I suppose I should stress that this is not a criticism, merely an observation. The pub in question was packed with overseas tourists, all of whom appeared to be enjoying themselves.
Had they known that there are dozens of similarly wonderful watering-holes, just a couple of hours away, at least some of them might have been tempted south for more of the same.
“Glocal” is all about global companies striving to enhance their appeal by incorporating some quirky element into their otherwise ubiquitous, standardised, humdrum one-size-fits-all offering.
The reverse needs to be true. Dorset companies, whether they are breweries, or butchers, or bakers, or candlestick-makers, need to trumpet their geographic origins. It’s worked for Dorset Cereals, in the same way that it has worked for Worcester sauce, Dundee cake and Stilton cheese.
The term “glocal” is used by companies whose products and services are so bland that their marketing people desperately need to inject an element of originality, of differentiation.
Local companies – whether they’re in the tourism and hospitality sector or not – already have those elements, and need to capitalise upon them.
“Made in Dorset” needs to be a kitemark of quality.
Editor’s note: For further information, please contact Simon Scarborough on 07801 571357 or at email@example.com.