The Importance Of Religious Groups In The Hospitality Industry

1464 Words 6 Pages
In the Hospitality Industry today, the motives for travel varies amongst many and may include but is not limited to education, war and peace, spirituality as well as bonding and socializing. (Abacus International, 2006). The groups that participate in these activities are referred to as the SMERFs. The term SMERF can be defined as an acronym that comprises of the Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal groups, otherwise known as the stabilizing segment of the Hospitality Industry’s group travel market. Even though these groups are all very different, they are all categorized as one unit as they all play a vital role in satisfying group business on dates that are usually not booked by large associations or corporations. To capture …show more content…
Do you belong to a spiritual group? Our communities consist of many varying religious groups often seeking a peaceful setting which allows them to practice their faith in neutral environs. According to Dean Jones, the director of conferences and events for Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), he said that attendance to religious meetings has been steadily increasing over the past two years. It has been noted that this particular “faith-based” group are known for their loyalty to a particular destination or property. Package deals can definitely win over the loyalty of these planners. In more recent times, religious groups are indeed keeping up with technology and often require the meeting spaces that accommodate electronic devices. Wheel chair accessibility is also a plus when targeting this group! (Evadmin, …show more content…
Firstly, you want to determine who the SMERF groups are in your local community. Even though it may sound simple enough, targeting the SMERFs can also pose a challenge for some as finding SMERF planners is not as easy as finding Association and Corporation planners. Nevertheless, “seeking local contacts with these types of groups is critical.” Resources on these groups could be found at your local convention and visitors’ bureau, chamber of commerce and realtor as they usually have “lists and contact information for school, colleges, churches and clubs.” Social media can also aid in identifying these groups. After you choose the groups you are interested in targeting you may want to do some background research on what they are about (purpose), what they need and how to you can contact them. By understanding what these groups need, packages that best suits the needs and perks the interests of each group can then be created. SMERFS are often in search of saving money saving offers both rooms and food and beverage. It is important to remember that more meetings and higher hotels can limit options for SMERFs. “It is advised that focus should be place on one group at a time for targeted effectiveness. Despite the recent growth of a SMERF planner 's expertise in the industry, most SMERF

Related Documents

Related Topics