(Image courtesy of Holiday Inn Solihull)
As the politicians from various parties argue about just how much of any economic upturn is filtering down to ‘hard working families’ (single people, or those of us who are undeniably lazy, don’t seem to figure in this particular debate) one sector which genuinely and unarguably appears to be experiencing a resurgence is the hotel sector.
The British Chambers of Commerce is predicting that the service sector of the economy as a whole will grow by 2.9% during the course of 2015, and there’s no doubt that a large part of this growth will be fuelled by activity in the hotel and hospitality sector. The accountants Price Waterhouse Cooper produced a survey in September of last year which pointed to stronger than expected growth in the sector through 2014, and predicted that this would continue into 2015. The Rugby World Cup was singled out as a one-off event likely to drive up room occupancy rates, whilst overall rising levels in business confidence were predicted to boost the average daily rate by 4.3% in the regions and 3.6% in London.
What these predictions tend to deal with, however, is the simple question of people staying in rooms and the revenue which this pulls in. The bigger picture for hotels moving forward is the need to diversify and draw customers in to use the whole range of facilities on offer. A modern hotel needs to be more than simply a destination for those seeking a bed for the night, it needs to be a destination full stop. Outside of business people travelling from one large city to the other, and the same business people collected together for the annual staff Christmas party, most people tend to think of hotels as places which offer accommodation with bolted on extras. It’s these bolted on extras which need to be exploited, however, and the key to drawing in maximum revenue lies in promoting them in an imaginative and effective manner.
(Image courtesy of Crowne Plaza Glasgow)
The focus, perversely, lies in persuading large numbers of people to forget about the presence of the bedrooms. This isn’t a hotel bar, it’s a bar – the kind of place you’ll choose to visit for a night out because of the ambience, the price of the drinks, the pub quiz and the food on offer. The same is true of the restaurant in the hotel and the spa and health club facilities. The first trick, and the obvious point, is to make these facilities as first rate as possible. The people staying in the hotel will use them and then, particularly if the hotel is part of a chain, seek them out again in their own right, even if they’re actually based in a different city. The second key to maximising the draw of such facilities is to promote them as separate entities appealing to anyone looking for a place to pamper themselves on a spa day, treat the family to Sunday lunch or watch a sporting event over a few drinks.
For many years, the focus for hotels has been placed on individuals seeking a bed for the night, or groups staging events such as parties or conferences. The best way to take advantage of the current upswing in activity is to concentrate the same effort on drawing in individuals keen to visit despite, as much as because of, the fact that it’s a hotel. Put simply, making people forget the fact that they’re visiting a hotel may well be the best means of getting them to visit the hotel.
Cuckoo Design has over a decade of experience providing unique and captivating marketing solutions within the hotel sector, everything from refurbishments, to food and beverage promotions.
If you want to find out more about our experience click here, or simply give us a call on 0161 660 8352, we will be happy to help.