Friday, 5 October 2012
Quite a few people have been looking at some of my blogs on hotels. Whilst feeling pleased I also asked myself whether I had made myself as clear as possible. In case I haven’t here are some comments that may assist you: Q. What is the point of being part of a recognised hotel brand? A. Best description would be economy of scale and also a statement on standards. No major group is going to accept a substandard hotel into their family and most have a clearly defined ‘vision’ on how they wish to be perceived. This covers everything from furnishings to amenities and marketing to performance standards. Having been accepted in a group the primary benefit is that you become part of a much bigger sales and marketing opportunity. There are central promotional funds (mainly consolidated from members) and greater exposure globally. The TMC world are far more interested in this type of grouping as it reduces the number of people they have to negotiate with. There are different types of hotel groups. Some private owners are willing to have their hotel name changed to the brand and hand over the management of the property to them too. Others go only part way by becoming part of a consortium of like-minded properties. They retain their brand name but market as part of this group. They obviously have to maintain certain standards and contribute financially to the consortium management. There are different levels of consortium with differing standards and requirements. Those that decide to ‘go it alone’ have a very different set of challenges. They may fill a particular niche in their own local market but outside that they are unknown. It all depends how much you value being ‘independent’ and how essential (or otherwise) it is to have a broader reach. If you are unique in that there is a big enough local market where you are a major player now and into the future the good for you. Otherwise you may need to think again. Like most business issues it is all about reputation, supply and demand, and resource.