SETTING UP A HOTEL? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Here is a look at the important aspects and elements one will have to focus on when acquiring or building a hospitality property.

India is home to a variety of landscapes and cultures, which ensures that the interest of people visiting the country never diminishes. To add to that, the government has of late been making concerned efforts towards ensuring the tourism industry performs at its optimum potential. Hospitality is a key aspect in the overall tourism infrastructure of a country. Here’s a look at the important aspects one needs to focus on when acquiring or constructing a hospitality property.

Location: Any property that is strategically located will have the cushion of automatic acceptance, so connectivity should always be a major aspect. Location advantages are hugely boosted by any supporting infrastructure as well, say for example, all guests staying in your property may not have a personal vehicle or cab and may look for options to commute through public transport, which means you need to have public transport in close proximity to your project. A lot of foreign countries have an efficient public transport infrastructure and hence their nationals visiting here are also more inclined towards using the public transport here. In addition to all this, the accessibility of the property from railway station and airports also holds the key in boosting the prospects as these are the two common ways used by tourists to commute in a vast country like India.

Demographics: This is another important aspect that cannot be undermined while evaluating a hospitality property because at the end it is the population that would define how well the venture turns out to be. This way, you need to be well aware of factors such as age, race, sex, economic status, level of education, income level and employment among others. In India, tourism defines hospitality in a big way and keeping track of the above will ensure that your property does a decent business even in the off seasons as well. Segmenting a population into demographics allows you to assess the size of the potential catchment area and see whether the services on offer are reaching your most important customers. Moreover, you should be inclined towards setting up the brand as a corporate destination because season or no season, business travel is prevalent throughout the year. You can also look at tie up options with big corporate houses and MNCs which will enable maintain minimum occupancy levels throughout the year.

Themes: Themes play a vital role in maintaining the uniqueness of a property. A classy theme goes a long way in creating a recall value for the brand, hence encouraging people to visit you again. Also, a decent theme would give you the interest of prospective visitors in future because there would be two marketing techniques working for you — first the retainer of the existing customer base, and second, word of mouth publicity which these customers will create. However, themes can sometimes be a barrier in the entry to a particular market as there might be competitors already operational on the same theme and doing well. In that case, the way out is to either change your theme or go for options in the existing theme which might be missing in your competitors’ concept. This way, even with the same theme, you would be putting out something new for customers to enjoy and appreciate.

Prices: Pricing is one of the most tricky parts of the hospitality business. If you are very low-priced, you will not be able to survive in the market and if you are highly priced, your competitors are bound to eat up your business. This way, you need to be very updated as to what pricing strategies are being worked upon in the market and plan accordingly. Even if you are slightly on the higher side than the overall market, you need to compensate through the overall experience you provide to a customer, be it through fitness services or complimentary drinks. One must not forget that even though the structures and the deliverables are all tangible, the final charges are being made for the services offered. So, as you can see, unlike other industries and sectors, hospitality is service-driven. Also, with the fluctuating economy, you need to be sure about the charges you fix for people paying directly from abroad or else carry on with dynamic pricing in order to keep space for ever fluctuating money. Also, if you get into tie-ups with corporate houses and MNCs, you will need to give them rates that the business does not suffer. In this model, you might earn a little less on all occupancies but the eventual return would be more in all aspects.

Product mix: The product mix on offer in any hospitality property is the most important aspect. Accommodation and food are two basic aspects but there’s more to it than just these. To highlight a few, you need to have classy bars, exotic nightclubs and pubs. In addition to that, you should also have convention centers and banquets for people looking at business meets and events. The more varied product mix you offer, more are the chances of you becoming a one-stop destination.

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