Thus, modern market resources in hotel industry include large conference and banquet rooms, which the Hilton has constructed, and indoor swimming pools or all-weather pools, spas, and steam rooms. Facilities for business travelers especially designed by the Marriott are desks, computers, and fax machines (Taylor, Smith & Lyon 112). The Hilton and Hyatt hotels are especially noted for maintaining several different types of restaurants that feature various food specialties (Michman & Greco 190). With the purpose to win tough competition in international hotel industry the brands make efforts to strengthen consumers’ loyalty to them.
Thus, the Hilton brand is known by its excellence at monitoring the bureaucracy so that guests can speak directly to management. The Hampton, with its guaranteed refund policy if dissatisfied, has made even housekeepers think of themselves as the customer by authorizing them to implement refund policies. The Four Seasons insists that executives stay in contact with customers. It has installed a computer bank that stores information about each guest, such as their choice of brand of tea or whether they prefer a nonallergenic pillow.
As a result, the Four Seasons Clift Hotel in San Francisco has repeat occupancy of almost 70% of their guests (Michman & Greco 196). In seek of gaining competitive advantage the hospitality industry firms create new brands with new features. For instance, Hilary Billings initiated a new hotel brand, W Hotels, combining the modern style of a ‘boutique’ hotel with the amenities and services of the business brand. The idea behind W was to address the same void in the hotel business that had existed in the home furnishing business in the early 1990s.
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The big brand hotels such as Westin and Sheraton were serving the business traveler well from a service perspective, but were way behind from a style perspective. Boutique hotels are addressing the customers’ needs from a style and comfort perspective, but, because they are small hotels, they can’t really service the business traveler well. W’s goal was to bring together a hotel really focused on business needs, but also address this new sophisticated audience of business travelers who are looking for a lot more fashion, style and excitement in their hotel stay.
The hotels had a very active lobby, wonderful down comforters, great showers, big desks and great restaurants. They were fashion-focused, but also focused on comfort for the traveler. W was launched with great success. Most of the W hotels run at 95% occupancy which is very high in the hotel business. W is currently the top profit center for the entire Starwood organization the owner of this brand (Billings 52). Another good example of brands’ cooperation is a deal between Marriott International Inc and Italian jeweler Bvlgari SpA to build a new luxury hotel brand called Bvlgari Hotel & Resorts.
The new brand occupies the niche of hospitality industry combining a ritzy boutique and the luxury hotel hoping to attract elite clientele. Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts joins a handful of brands under Marriott’s lodging umbrella that already includes such names as Renaissance, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn and Ramada International, to name a few. The Bvlgari chain is managed by Marriott’s Luxury Group division, which is also handling its Ritz-Carlton brand. The two chains, however, are not in competition because Ritz-Carlton serves a much broader upscale customer.
Top-management of Marriott International Inc reasonably believes that hotel investors will find the brand appealing and will seek to add it to their growth portfolio (De Marco 9). Besides, the hotel brands in developing countries are often the first places where the general public experiences new technology and modern architectural styles. For instance, the glass building of the Golden Flower Hotel in Xian, the Jinjiang Tower with the revolving restaurant in Shanghai, and the Great Wall Sheraton in Beijing have dearly illustrated the cultural diffusion of western architectural styles into the traditionally austere Chinese landscape.
Hotels, as a cultural landscape marker, vividly revealed the introduction of western lifestyle into a traditional society. Hotel brands also play an important role as an information disseminator in Chinese society, as in the past the Chinese government used to have tight information control over all national and international political and economic developments. The introduction of western hospitality management helped to improve service standards and enabled China’s hotel industry to compete at the international level (Yu 101).
Conclusion Summing up recent trends in international hospitality industry, we can point out that most major hotel chain brands now operate across a broad range of market segments and meet a diverse range of product, service, and price needs (Taylor, Smith & Lyon 114) which has made a critical factor of their success in this market segment. This fragmentation in demand and increasing competition has led to an increased emphasis being given to the practice of branding both macroproducts (hotels) and microproducts (services) within them.
The conducted study revealed that the mass providers of hotel accommodation are increasingly recognizing the individual needs of their guests. Also this study proved that the franchised hotel brand chain has been very successful over the last two decades or so. For many of us, the experience of an overnight stay, away from the comforts of home, induces a feeling of insecurity resulting from the lack of control we have over the alien environment of a strange hotel.
Regular travelers frequently attempt to reduce their anxiety and regain some control by electing to stay in the familiar surroundings having a good reputation such as a Holiday Inn or similar. To suggest that these standardized accommodations dehumanize us is to ignore the reality of the human condition – our basic need for warmth, shelter, food, and security. It is the ability of the brand lodging chains to reliably deliver on these critical dimensions that has led to their rise as well as to the decline of the alternatives.
In uncertain economic periods, brand hotels, which are usually upscale ones, can reduce price rates in an effort to maintain occupancy, whereas the low-price hotels cannot counter this strategy by adding more upscale facilities or by lowering rates. The main problem of the hotel industry has been oversupply. In order to counter adverse conditions, hotels that are a part of chains with well-known, distinct brands seem to profit.
Thus, it is evident that the brand name became the critical source of competitive advantage for many players in international hospitality market.
Works Cited Billings, Hilary. “Web Brands”. Branding @ the Digital Age. Eds. Richard Gerstman and Herbert M. Meyers. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 48–61. Brown, Jr. , Cs Dev, and Z. Zhou. “Broadening the Foreign Market Entry Mode Decision: Separating Ownership and Control. ” Journal of International Business Studies 34. 5 (2003): 473–94.