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Road Map Of Going Overseas For a Hotel Chain Here we discuss the crucial things for a hotel chain planning to become global

By Sarbendra Sarkar

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Like any other dream, it's the dream of a hotel industry to step outside its homeland. The world is experiencing an unprecedented era of globalization. Companies in all sort of industry are rushing to increase their global footprint and so is the hotel industry. Diversifying customer base is, certainly an exciting yet often overwhelming challenge.

But, a lot of time it has been identified that things don't usually take the turn one expects. Before going overseas, there are several factors an enterprise should consider. Consider these important factors before breaking into new markets for a smooth entry -

1) Technology

Technology has become critical in every industry. Technology can help a hotel company in customer acquisition and retention if utilized correctly. A hotel company can utilize technology in terms of data analysis and integration, booking, search engine optimization and more. A company should consider the country's take on technology before setting sail. Like airlines, the number of guest using mobile check-in is increasing. Guests are looking for the compatibility of their smart devices with in room gadgets. Creating a perfect blend of technology and personal service is the key for hospitality industry today.

2) Market & Risk Analysis

An exhaustive study of the market condition is required before penetrating new territories. Every market is unique in its own makeup. Understanding your Feeder market will help in determining where the hotel should be spending their dollars. Being a hotel company it is important to take into consideration the demographics, location before finding the right site for a property. It's is always a better option to identify the competition the company will be facing beforehand. It is also suggested to monitor economic, political, social and cultural factors. The hotel company should conduct a thorough study of the new market taxation and labor laws. Every market has a different audience. It is important to identify the needs and demands of the people in the new market as well.

3) Strong Home Market Presence

It is recommended to increase the domestic footprint. Having a strong homeland presence supports the company by making sure that business will continue even if for some reason the expansion plan fails. Being mature and strong in the home market will keep the company stable from external turbulence. A hotel company should try building a strong reputation with a steady client base within one border.

4) Optimizing Marketing strategy

Your current content strategy may not translate properly and achieve the same result. Selecting the right channel to communicate is the key. For instance – research shows that the consumers in China prefer to communicate via text, while people in Japan favor mail. The content should be personalized and should be delivered seamlessly to the target audience. Very few hoteliers adopt a good content strategy, such as posting a blog regularly. This strategy gives travelers an organic result about local sightseeing places, local cuisines and more. Social media is important to create a dialogue especially to attract the younger audience. Good social media presence is crucial for creating interaction with past, current & future visitors.

5) Polish Your Business Model

There is no shortcut to success. Even though you do your complete research and study, quick success cannot be assured. Have realistic goals, just as it took time to strengthen the brand in the home market, you must give sufficient time to grow your business overseas as well. Hotel industry should be flexible in terms of their business model. The business model has to be amended according to the local needs of the new market. It is suggested to clearly frame out all the pros and cons of your current business model and tweak it according to the research you did for the new market.

In conclusion, going overseas could be fruitful only if the roadmap is derived clearly. These were some on the points a hotel company should consider. But what holds the utmost importance is a constant development of the business model, drafting new development and marketing strategies while keeping the brand ethos intact.

Sarbendra Sarkar

MD & Founder, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts

Sarbendra Sarkar is the MD & Founder of Cygnett Hotels & Resorts. With an aim to provide a Cygnetture service experience to all its guests, the Cygnett Hotels & Resorts was established in 2012. And after two years of R&D, in April 2014 it started operating in India.

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