When it comes to the multitudes of hotels in the hospitality industry, providing excellent service and amazing accommodations is not enough. Among the important keys to success in the hotel business is good demand management. It impacts not only the hotel’s overall vision and operation, but also trickles down to the finer details that go into every room in an establishment.
Demand management takes into account several things. First and foremost among these is the hotel’s target market. That is one of the first things to be determined right from when the hotel is still in the planning stages. Target market means the segment of the market with which the hotel seeks to get the most business. The furnishings in each room most likely reflects the target market-for example, luxurious furniture and grand tapestries for high-end establishments and simpler furnishings and plainer decorations for mass-market properties.
Segmentation is not the only concern in demand management. There is also the matter of tracking which channels clients use in order to obtain the end product-that is, the question of where or to whom the guests go to in order to ultimately book a room. This helps hotels identify effective channels and they can use this to put focus on the more profitable channels, thereby potentially increasing booking rates and profitability. Ultimately, shifting business strategies often hinge on effective demand management.
Managing relationships with previous clientele is also part of demand management. This involves initiating marketing strategies that specifically catering to potential return customers. Another way hotels can benefit from managing relationships with this particular client base is by word of mouth-either by relaying positive experiences to friends and acquaintances or by generating content through individual blogs or user reviews. Some companies employ whole management teams to reach out to previous clients, offering loyal customers the benefit of special promotions and personalized services.
These past few years, the Internet has also started to take on a more prominent role in demand management. The prominence of online travel agents have made the business more accessible for travelers booking via the world wide web. Some experts are seeing the adverse effects of the growing popularity of these booking sites, as they can corner a significant portion of demand away from offline (traditional) travel suppliers. On the other hand, online booking makes demand management easier for many businesses as well by providing instant access to figures and data that may be relevant metrics to identify effective booking channels.
In conclusion, demand management is one of the most important processes for every establishment in the hotel industry. It is a process that starts in planning and continues even when a hotel is already hundreds of years old. The effort exerted in making proper work on demand management can considerably impact whether a property succeeds or fails. This just goes to show travelers that there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes, and demand management is one of the keys to a hotel’s success-even if it is not as visible as the quality of a room’s furnishings or the quality of service of hotel staff.