The first step to developing a plan to promote your boutique hotel is to understand the current scenario. Answering the “where are we today” question forms the basis for developing a plan for the future. And understanding your online and offline marketplace involves identifying and analysing the following:
- Customers and potential customers: Which segment of customers are currently booking your hotel and where are they coming from. Look at the new markets emerging and new source markets
- Market: How is the economy doing? Is there a positive momentum at the destination and the overall tourism market? Is there adequate flight capacity to the destination if the majority are overseas travellers
- Competitors: How much competition do you have in your product space? Where are they getting their customers from and what do they differently that seems to help them fill their hotel
- Intermediaries: What type of intermediaries (including retail travel agencies, tour operators, destination management companies, online travel agencies, travel management companies) are active and effective in bringing travellers to your hotel and the wider destination. What percentage of bookings come online and how much of it is direct to your hotel?
- Micro and macroenvironment: Is the overall travel ecosystem healthy? Are there any global trends that are impacting travel to your destination?
- Current capabilities: In terms of offering the stated product to the market how is your hotel doing overall? Are there capacity restraints in any area? For example, if you have an in-house restaurant, are you able to deliver consistent output. Are there staffing challenges?
- SWOT summary: Based on the above, prepare a strength, weakness, opportunity, threat analysis to identify areas to develop further.