Maximizing the Potential of Your Hotel
By Sanjay Nijhawan COO, Guoman Hotels (UK) | June 06, 2010
There are two ways of dealing with a severe economic downturn. One is to withdraw - pull back and wait it out. That's the "let's hope and pray" approach. The other is to view the circumstances as opportunity - not to simply forge ahead doing what we've done in the past but the chance to find creative solutions to new realities while remaining realistic about the bottom line.
Around the world, the coming months will represent one of the most challenging sales environments in decades, not only for hotels and resorts but for all industries. According to HTrends.com, Smith Travel Research predicts that the hospitality industry has a 99.9 percent likelihood of falling into a recession. We are already seeing some of the consequences. Media organizations are lamenting steep declines in advertising. Government figures show consumer spending at record lows.
As individuals, businesses and nations seek ways to regroup and revive economically, we as hoteliers will need, more than ever, to develop innovative, cost-effective ideas and methods to retain customers and find new ones. With travelers increasingly concerned about spending, we will need to convince them that we offer outstanding value for money spent. To succeed, we must maximize the potential of our brand and our hotels. At Guoman Hotels we rely on five essential practices to do so.
1) Know Yourself and Your Audience
We are an industry in which everyone sells a similar thing: a place to sleep where varying levels of luxury, comfort, service and, usually, food and drink, are provided, at prices appropriate to the levels offered. Within any single price category, why would travelers care which hotel they stay in? Because of what we offer, and how we offer it, that is above and beyond the actual product and services we provide. In short, who we are - our identity, our brand essence.
In the current economic climate, it is all the more important for us to know who we are. Not in such vague terms as "a luxury hotel with fine dining," but specifically - the vision, history, personality, operating principles, even philosophy of life that make us unique. This is the essence of the brand and it works on many different price levels.