According to a recent New York Times article, many large hotel brands are embracing the concept of training their staff to have a more personalized touch with guests. This includes a switching their philosophy to realize that hotel workers are an integral part of the local “tourism landscape.”

While this concept seems highly intuitive, creating a more personalized guest experience – with the service level to match – may be a bit more challenging for larger hotel brands. Much of this comes down to training and a cultural shift within large organizations, which is no easy task.

However, for independent hotels, Inns and B&Bs, this article paints a different picture – the opportunity to further differentiate themselves by truly being part of the “tourism landscape.” Of course, for many small property owners, this is a day-to-day reality that they fully embrace.

Though, thanks to new innovations, it’s possible for independent hoteliers to be even more critical players in the local tourism arena. For example, new mobile applications allow Inns and B&Bs to offer truly customized recommendations for restaurants, events and other local attractions as no two guests are alike. This creates an opportunity to make the guests’ stays more memorable, and build long-term loyalty.

In addition, independent hotels can play a larger role in the local tourism economy by referring business to the area restaurants and attractions. This often results in a positive feedback loop where those businesses then recommend and promote the hotels themselves.

In the end, an independent property will become a trusted resource that is a pillar of the local “tourism landscape,” without training or a massive culture shift within a large organization.