In the last number of years due to the abundance of hotels and guest houses in the market and with the impact of NAMA run hotels driving down prices to fulfil their remit of keep the doors open, we have reached a situation where prices have bottomed out for many operators. For many any further pressure on prices will mean offering room rate as lost leaders to get people into their premises. As the industry continues to sort itself out and as state owned hotels revert back to privately run business the situation should improve and an emphasis on value for money will return over the lowest market prices.
There has and will continue to be a divide in hotel occupancy between the popular tourist areas and the rural local hotels. Depending on where you are in the country you will need to adopt more of a "pull approach" to your hotels marketing activities to ensure that potential customers are reaching your shores. Specific areas that you can promote your hotel around include growth areas like: weddings, cultural tourism, festivals and events, food tourism, eco tourism, adventure tourism, short breaks, sports tourism, leisure pursuits, spa and wellness breaks, english language learning, developing markets (China), e tourism, business/corporate activity and the retirees market. Pick the targets that your hotel can cater the best for and be aggressive. Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it!
In our experience there are a number of areas a hotel owner or manager must be competent at in order to run a successful business. These include:
• Building & Leading a great team
• Always be prepared to learn and improve
• Greet your guests in person wherever possible
• Be prepared for emergencies and learn to problem solve
• Build strategic relations with other industry companies
• Be good at Internet Marketing
• Ensure the hotel is properly equipped and to modern standards
• Set standards for all staff to follow
• Accept if not always agreeing with the adage "the customer is always right"
• Keep the hotel clean and tidy
Hotel managers have the task of ensuring customers are satisfied and overseeing all of the different activities and departments of a hotel: banquet hall, restaurant, conference center, tourist attraction, fitness center, spa/wellness center, and more. Here are the Top 10 Tips for Managing a Hotel
AIB Business Sector Head for Hotels outlines the importance of the hotel sector to the Irish economy, the issues facing hoteliers, and AIB's role in helping the sector.
Future of hotel industry in Ireland - key economic and customer trends affecting the hotels industry.