March 21, 2014
Do the test: pick your favourite location, do a search on TripAdvisor and you will find that most of the top rated hotels and resorts are not part of an international hotel management company.
For instance, according to TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards, 4 out of the top 5 Indonesia hotels and resorts are boutique-styled and independently owned. While in the past hotel and resort owners have largely relied on attaining a brand and available management models to differentiate their properties and build reputation, now owners recognise the change in guests’ preferences and the opportunities it creates.
Hotel and resort owners all over the world are now investing in their own brand to attract well-travelled and digitally savvy consumers who are seeking more individuality and local flavour. Private hoteliers should acknowledge that location, not brand, is what guests are looking for nowadays. They wish to interact with the passionate people who drive hotel and resorts and provide great service, not a company or an international brand, and this has been the trend in recent years.
However, underestimating the task of running a hotel or resort business or not doing the homework can come at a high risk and cost. Often the fundamentals of a thorough market research and financial feasibility and sensitivity analysisare omitted either due to negligence or cost containment. Not knowing the market, its dynamics, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats can lead to disaster.