Strategic Planning: Positioning Hotels in a Competitive Landscape
By Kim Hehir VP of Strategic Planning, The Leading Hotels of the World | April 15, 2010
For any hotel or resort to maintain its position as a leader, it must analyze its current and future operating environment, economic and market conditions, consumer and travel trends, as well as its ever-evolving competitive landscape.
Those hotels and resorts which will continue to achieve success are those which take a long term view, by establishing a clear, five-year strategic plan which should be reviewed and updated each year. Additionally, companies should produce annual operating and marketing plans which address more tactical initiatives.
Creating an effective strategic plan, and using it as a decision-making tool, will help ensure a hotel's future financial health and profitability. Elements of the Strategic Plan should include:
The Vision outlines what the Company strives to be. It is an emotional and visual call to arms that drives the behavior of our employees and organizational structures. Employees need to be able to understand and identify with the vision in order to provide a focus for future development and strategy. "Is what we are doing today consistent with our long term vision? If not - why are we doing it?" The vision should be used to support your hotel or resort and any of its sales and marketing efforts.
The Strategic Intents are broad based but clearly defined goals that guide the strategic direction of the company. These goals are based on a common understanding of success, culture, etc. and provide the framework for the Company to develop and measure actions against. For example "to grow market share and profitability."
Strategic Objectives relate to outcomes that strengthen an organization's overall business position and competitive vitality. "To grow market share by penetrating new markets such as the entertainment and pharmaceutical markets." "To grow profitability by controlling marketing expenses based on specific Return on Investment thresholds.