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The Tasting Panel Magazine:
Rising to the Challenge

Hotels Are Adapting to the Times with New Programming Aimed at Visitors and Locals Alike

While the past year has shaken our world in dramatic ways, one of the most important things it has shown us is that we all must learn to adapt—perhaps one more so than those in the hospitality and tourism industries. With the onset of lockdowns and travel restrictions, many hotels found themselves with reduced occupancy, furloughed staff, and no guarantee if or when things might return to normal. Despite these unprecedented circumstances, hotel professionals have persevered, finding new and innovative ways to connect with guests and engage with the communities around them. Here are three examples from California.

In Sonoma, early travel restrictions led MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa to develop its “Sip Now, Stay Later” promotion in partnership with ten local wineries—among them B. Wise Vineyards, Donum Estate, and Beltane Ranch—which offered a complimentary one-night stay at the property with the purchase of one or more cases of wine. “The program was designed to feed people’s love of wine and lust for travel while supporting local Sonoma businesses in the wake of then-recent COVID closures,” says creative marketing manager Liddy Parlato. “Our strengthened partnerships have resulted in some creative and compelling programs and are a lasting and welcome legacy of last year’s challenges.”

While the pandemic has greatly affected tourism, the ability to adapt, evolve, and reimagine how hospitality can be experienced and shared has helped the hotel industry to move forward. This renewed approach to delivering memorable experiences will no doubt continue to be a positive outcome of such a challenging time.

– by Hana-Lee Sedgwick, The Tasting Panel Magazine, June 2021 (print only)

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