Cleveland Concierge: Designing for International Travelers
For many decades, Cleveland has faced challenges with population decline and economic stagnation. Traditionally, the local government and businesses have not focused on international travelers. A significant amount of international travelers come to Cleveland for a variety of reasons. Local organizations are starting to make efforts to reach out to travelers in order to reap the cultural and economic benefits that these individuals bring to the region.
International travelers face a variety of issues while traveling to Cleveland. These issues occur before the traveler arrives in Cleveland, while traveling and staying in Cleveland, and after the traveler departs Cleveland. The most important issues include access to information, access to services, cultural barriers, and navigating the city. It is important for international travelers to: (1) experience Cleveland in a limited amount of time; (2) have a comprehensive experience of Cleveland within a five mile radius; and (3) experience Cleveland before their arrival and after their departure. The main problem for international travelers is that Cleveland does not maximize their practical, aesthetic, and intellectual experience before, during, and after their visit.
Positively Cleveland and Global Cleveland are two organizations that have made significant achievements by reaching out to international and domestic travelers and improving their experiences in Cleveland. But there is a pressing need to improve the experiences of a certain demographic of traveler – the international business traveler. Our group proposes a solution that will drastically improve the international business traveler's experience in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Concierge and Cleveland Passport will engage the international business traveler before arriving in Cleveland and provide customized, preferential during their stay in Cleveland. The Cleveland Concierge and Cleveland Passport program features human interaction with someone that is culturally sensitive to the traveler's needs and familiar with the resources in Cleveland that can best serve the traveler's needs. At any moment throughout the international business traveler's experience, he or she can have a one-on-one conversation with a person to ensure that Cleveland feels more like home. The idea of the Cleveland Concierge is to create a customizable, rich experience for international travelers. A local company can sponsor a traveler through the Cleveland Passport card and concierge service. The concierge service is available for travelers to give them way to navigate the city and provide personalized, culturally sensitive recommendations for their stay in Cleveland. The service gives the traveler human-to-human interaction that helps them enjoy a customized, rich Cleveland experience in the short amount of time they are here. The Cleveland Passport program is akin to an airline rewards card; however, it is a loyalty card for the entire city of Cleveland. The Cleveland Passport program directs members to participating hotels, restaurants, transportation, and attractions that have met a level of training and service set forth by the Cleveland Passport program. This will ensure that the people who interact most with travelers have the ability to provide the best possible service and impression of the city. Successful implementation of these programs will create a positive international reputation among the frequent travelers within the international business community, which is vital for the cities future outlook.