UK: Citadines will take passengers “on a virtual journey through Europe” in its travel capsule at St Pancras station.
From 30 September to 2 October, Citadines will be inviting travellers at St
Pancras station to visit its travel capsule "for a chance to
experience what the inside of a Citadines apartment looks and feels
like". The capsule will "take visitors on a virtual journey to
London, Paris or Berlin, all from the comfort of a full-sized
studio apartment set up near the Eurostar".
There will also be the opportunity for visitors to win stays in Citadines aparthotel properties across Europe.
The capsule, which will also visit Gare du Nord in Paris, will show customers what they can expect to find when staying at a Citadines property.
Citadines says it will be using this opportunity to educate visitors on how best to immerse themselves in the city life of London, Paris or Berlin via a giant screen and headset within the capsule. This will include tips from local bloggers, giving advice on little known places to visit and the best places to eat off the tourist track. There will be a chance to play a virtual apart-hotel-themed game. One player will win a three-night stay at any European property and ten others will win a weekend stay. All visitors will also receive a London themed culinary treat after they have visited the studio.
Nancy Faure, vice president of marketing sales, Citadines Europe, said: "We want to spread the word to potential new customers about our concept, hospitality, personalised service and the contemporary design of our apartments. To achieve this, we decided to go directly to the two main thoroughfares in Europe, Gare du Nord in Paris and St Pancras in London to host our Travel Capsule and demonstrate our new generation of product. The Paris station is the busiest in Europe with 180 million passengers annually, 32 million heading towards the north of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain. In London, 45 million travellers use St Pancras station each year. With the Travel Capsule we are going to meet travellers and invite them to participate in a unique and memorable experience with many prizes including stays in Europe. It is a fun and original way to educate our future customers."
If I'm honest, the serviced apartment sector's efforts to market itself to leisure consumers generally leave quite a bit to be desired - especially when compared to other areas of the hospitality industry.
So hats off to Citadines for this innovative and fun marketing initiative. If they can educate Eurostar travellers about their product - broadening knowledge of the wider serviced apartment sector while doing so - in an entertaining and memorable manner, they will surely reap the rewards.