The following paper is about discussing the international expansion strategies for a well-reputed hotel in the United Kingdom. The selected hotel for this paper is the Red Carnation Hotels in United Kingdom. It is important to note that every successful organization wants to expand their business market overseas so that they can gain more consumers from the different countries. The more the effort they can put in their working area, the more successful they can become in future. In this context, the aspect of Red Carnation Hotels can be discussed with a brief overview of the company.
The Red Carnation Hotels is a very successful hotel in the hotel industry of United Kingdom (Redcarnationhotels.com 2017). The founder of this hotel was Bea Tollman, now 83 years old with lots of enthusiasm still left in him. The journey of this hotel to gain the supremacy over its contenders began in 1950 at South Africa and this hotel expanded in the UK in the year 1975. This hotel is a family owned and run business that is fantastically run by the motivating leadership team and the supportive staffs. The hotel has offered a luxury and boutique-hotels in countries like Channel Islands, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and USA. The motto they focus on while serving their guests is ‘No request too large, no detail too small’ (Redcarnationhotels.com 2017). In this paper, the expansion of Red Carnation Hotel in Thailand will be discussed here as Thailand is one of the most exquisite and beautiful places in the world. Millions of people from all over the world travel to Thailand for its natural beauty and exquisite sea beaches. It will be very effective for Red Carnation if they expand their business in this country at its country capital, Bangkok.
2.0. Situation Analysis
2.1. Macro analysis (PESTLE)
In this part, the macro analysis of the global hotel industry has to be discussed with the help of the PESTLE framework (Yüksel 2012). This framework includes the political, economical, social, technological, legal and environmental issues that are included in the growth of the global hotel industry sector.
In terms of the global hotel industry, the influence of the political factors is huge (Yüksel 2012). This is because the government generally charges a big amount of taxes from the five star and luxury hotels. The policies taken up by the government are very important in shaping up the financial planning of the hotels (Penner, Adams and Rutes 2013). Whatever steps the government takes in relating to the hotel industry, it makes a huge difference in their budget allocations and staff employment (Daudigeos 2013).
The economic factors that are important in the hotel industry are the economic growth of the certain countries, the taxation charges, the inflation rates, interest rates and the foreign exchange rates (Frenkel and Johnson 2013). The per capita income of the people of a country is also a determining factor in this context (Yüksel 2012).
The social trends in the environment in which the hotels operate have a huge influence in the hotel industry (Yüksel 2012) The tourists and their psychology impact on the reputation of the hotels. Various types of people from across the countries board these luxury hotels and their taste varies obviously. Thus the social context of the global hotel market sector can be judged.
The technological factors here include the facts that the luxury hotels need to maintain their employees and conduct a smooth communication between them so that their motto of servicing the guests works perfectly well (Yüksel 2012). The employees of the various departments should have a sound communication between each other so the use of various technological devices like laptops, tablets, smart phones are essential (Welch 2012).
The environmental factors that are important in the global hotel industry are the price of the oil in the international market as well as the fuel prices (Basher, Haug and Sadorsky 2012). The electricity costs have to be assessed by the international hotels very frequently.
The guest and security both are very serious concerns for the hotel industry leaders. The complex regulatory environment is also a common concern for the leaders (Yüksel 2012). The hotels have to abide by the legislative frameworks of the target country so they can be assured of the security problems.
2.2. Micro analysis (Porter’s Five Forces)
The global hotel market sector concerns over a lot of things as a whole. The micro analysis of the this comprises of the five factors according to the Porter’s five forces (Dobbs 2014).
The supplier power of the international hotels must be strong because they are the ones who provide goods or services to the hotels (Terpend and Ashenbaum 2012). The hotel chains have to be supported by the best class supplier power to maintain their reputation.
The amount of investment that is done in the hotel industry is huge. So, the hotels would try to recover that amount through their customers (Lacoste and Johnsen 2015). The level of monetary pressure that is imposed on the customers and their subsequent affordability to board the hotels has to be assessed in this context.
Threat of new entrants
The global hotel sector is a vast business industry and the various organizations in the recent times have targeted this sector to prove their supremacy (Wilkinson 2013). The threat of the new entrants in the hotel business always looms large on the leading organizations.
Threat of substitutes
A big number of new hotel business organizations are providing fantastic services to their guests in terms of luxury and other matters (Lee, Kim and Park 2012). It is of utmost concern for the leading hotels to maintain their reputation and get rid of the substitute competitors to gain the competitive advantage (Wagner and Hollenbeck 2014).
The competitive rivalry in the hotel sector is so high that every hotel is trying to provide best services to their competitors (Bodie 2013). This helps to benefit the guests to get best luxury and services from the hotel authorities.
3.0. Analyzing the Internal and External Business environment
3.1. Analysis of internal environment Red Carnation Hotel by Porter’s Value chain framework
As Red Carnation hotel is a very important organization in the hotel business sector, it is of utmost importance to discuss the internal environment of the hotel so that the main influences that work behind their grand success can be assessed. It has to be assessed by using the value chain framework of Michael Porter (Feame, Garcia Martinez and Dent 2012). This value chain framework consists of the various primary and secondary activities. They use various processes to convert their inputs into outputs. The various resources of money, labor, materials, equipment, buildings, land, administration and management have to be put into the question (Nieves, Quintana and Osorio 2014). The primary activities of the Red Carnation Hotel’s internal environment are:-
The relationship with the suppliers of Red Carnation like the people who decorate the hotel, the curtain suppliers, fuel and oil suppliers have to be kept amiable by the management so that the quality of the raw materials can be retained (Crocker, Jessop and Morrison 2012).
The operations department and the concerned managers of the hotel should be able to handle the matters swiftly and resolve all the disputes so that the work process can continue (Zurich 2017).
The output or the decoration of the hotel, making the best cuisine available to the guests, collect the important information about the matters regarding the complaints by the customers must be assessed properly to resolve it (Bharwani and Butt 2012).
Marketing and Sales
The Marketing and Sales team of the Red Carnation must work according to the guidelines of the management (Brenner and Dörfler 2017). They should use various means to attract the guests to board their hotel and thus making their hotel the first priority to the guests. This will improve their brand image (Johnson and ZInkhan 2015).
Red Carnation hotel must assure the fact that the choice of boarding their hotel must be the best on this should be complemented by the best facilities and services to the guests (Dabholkar 2015).
The second activities are:-
Red Carnation hotel must make an acquisition of their resources or make a list of the inputs in providing the best services to their guests so that the guests can enjoy a memorable experience.
Human Resource Management
The human resource management should take the proper steps to recruit and hire new people who are energetic and dedicated (Hendry 2012). This would be beneficial for the hotel as they will get the best services from them.
As there are almost 2500 people working in Red Carnation hotel must provide them with proper technical devices or tools so that they can keep contact with one another in harmony. This high communication level between the two would help the hotel to progress towards a more successful future (Hakansson 2015).
Red carnation hotel must assess their internal environment properly to find out if there are any misunderstandings between any employees or if there are needs to develop the infrastructure (Bowie, Buttle and Brookes 2016). As nothing can be perfectly all right, some of the guests must have launched complaints against some of the services. This would provoke them to improve on those parts for a better service.
3.2. SWOT analysis
When the external business environment of an organization is assessed, it is very important to conduct a SWOT analysis on the same (Hollensen 2015). Likewise, a SWOT analysis on Red Carnation and global hotel market sector has to be conducted.
The strengths of Red Carnation hotel are-
- Their service is admirable and the guests are always satisfied with it.
- They listen and communicate with the guests at regular intervals (Gustafsson, Kristensson and Witell 2012).
- The industry reputation of this organization is much higher than the rest (Melo and Garrido?Morgado 2012).
- Their heavily themed and highly theatrical rooms attract the guests all time.
The weaknesses are-
- The rates of the rooms are much higher than the normal standards.
- Though they have good hospitality, very limited percentage of people can afford to board it (Mensah and Dei Mensah 2013).
- Red Carnation Hotel is not properly present in big numbers in other continents other than Europe.
The opportunities of the Global Hotel Market Sector are:-
- The global hotel market sector can be operated in the fields of casino management (Lucas and Kilby 2012).
- It can also improve the food and beverage quality that will help to provide them with the best quality food to the tourists and guests.
- The demand for the domestic tourism and a luxurious lifestyle in the Western countries can develop the condition of the global hotel market sector (Nicolau and Santa-Maria 2013).
The global hotel market sector can face many serious threats at this time.
- The fierce competitive rivalry among the biggest four star and five star hotels is growing radically.
- The influence of the inflation and recession can be felt highly and this could have a large impact on the tourists’ choice of opting for luxurious hotels (Barro 2013).
4.0. Market Attractiveness
The 12c framework is a very important tool to assess the market attractiveness of any organization (Juarez Acosta 2014).
The chosen country for Red Carnation Hotel is Thailand. Thailand is located in the continent of Asia on the south-eastern side. It is bordered by countries like Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. The political condition of the country is run by constitutional monarchy (Fung 2013). The economic condition is aided by the travel and tourism department mostly as it is considered as one of the best tourist spots.
Thailand is divided into 76 provinces and the capital of the country is Bangkok. It has a population over 67 million people. There are 877 districts in the country (Fung 2013).
Culture/ Consumer behavior
The ethnic group of this country is mainly comprised of the Thai. The official language is Thai as well. The chief religion of this country is Buddhism with almost 93% followers (Kataoka 2012). The literacy rate is almost over 90%. The Thai government provides free education up to age of 17.
The competition in the hotel market sector is quite competitive in the Thai market and tourists from many countries come here every month. The direct competitors of Red Carnation hotel in Thailand can be The Peninsula Bangkok, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Chanalai Garden Resort and some others. The visitors have to make the smart choices from these options (Assenov and Khurana 2012).
The main economical benefits of Thailand are raised from the tourism (Berger 2014). So the hotels almost remain full all through the year. There is a tough battle between the biggest hotels to accommodate the special tourists. There are threats from the other hotels that provide best services to their guests as well. So, it will be challenging for red Carnation to compete in this competitive business environment (Juarez Acosta 2014).
There are no as such legal obligations in Thailand related to business. It is free to foreign investment. Thailand has free trade agreements with countries like China, Australia, India and United States. The competition in the hotel sector is immense (Juarez Acosta 2014).
The trade system of Thailand does not include any quantitative restrictions to the import of goods from other countries. Thailand imports goods from countries like China, Japan, United States, Malaysia and Singapore while they export their goods to countries like United States, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Different taxation systems like Consumption tax, professional tax and individual tax are available in the country (Juarez Acosta 2014).
Thailand has no discriminations in offering trade options to other countries in Asia. This channel is very useful in accessing the cash flow in the country and its development. Thailand is well equipped with the airlines, railways and bus service (Juarez Acosta 2014). There are several ways to communicate with the other countries and they have very good relations with the bigger and more developed countries like China and India. The communication channel mostly depends on the trade relations with the other countries. The supermarkets and the hotel business sector is very much influential on the country.
The media, newspapers and other optional communication mediums have presented a good opportunity to the Red Carnation Hotel to develop their business (Juarez Acosta 2014).
Capacity to pay
The currency of Thailand is Thai baht and the inflation rate of the country is around 4.24 on an average.
The caveats in the Thai hotel market are very strong competition to attract the guests’ attractions but the development of the country needs to be aggravated in all sections of the society (Juarez Acosta 2014).
5.0. Strategic options of the Red Carnation Hotel
The Ansoff matrix framework is exceptionally helpful in sorting out the main strategic processes that Red Carnation hotel should follow in trying to expand globally and mainly in Thailand (Hussain et al. 2013).
The four steps in the Ansoff matrix are the market penetration, market development, product development and diversification.
This strategy is regarding the existing markets. As they are successful enough in the current market, they can currently ignore this strategy (Hussain et al. 2013).
This strategy also concerns on the current markets so this strategy will not be helpful enough for Red Carnation hotel to expand their markets.
Red Carnation Hotel may opt to use this strategy because their strengths lie in the satisfaction of their gusts that will earn them a better reputation (Gmelin and Seuring 2014). They can try to open their new branch in Thailand and thus gain new customers by launching some special offers to the guests and focus on the betterment of their service quality.
This strategy will be the best strategy for them to enter into the market of Thailand as there is a huge opportunity in the hotel market sector in that country. It has to build a proper network so that they can catch the attraction of the guests. Thus they can obtain a new country market as well as new potential customers.
Competitive strategies/ segmentation
The diversification strategy will be the most appropriate expansion strategy for the Red Carnation Hotel. They can get more customers but they have to make proper market segmentation for their customers (Wedel and Kamakura 2012). They have to choose the elite class guests who can avail their luxurious suites. They can try another thing i.e. they can tie up with the biggest companies all over the world and must ask them to recommend their employees to avail the Red Carnation hotel for their own satisfaction.
Red Carnation hotels must look to build their in the most popular locations in Thailand like the capital city or near the sea beaches or in Phuket City, Mekong, Ko Pha Ngan or Ao Nang.
Red carnation should look to target the middle and senior-aged professionals who have a very high income and belongs to the upper social class. People who look to pursue luxurious lifestyle should be the prior targets of the hotel (Wedel and Kamakura 2012).
The psychographic segmentation that Red Carnation hotels must follow and target the people who are fond of setting a high social status for them and are highly ambitious as well. They can avail the five star rooms for comfort very easily (Wedel and Kamakura 2012).
According to the main topic of the benefits segmentation, the benefits that Red Carnation Hotel can offer to its guests are a high social class identity and supreme luxury (Wedel and Kamakura 2012).
Red carnation hotel is a full service luxurious boutique chain hotel in the hotel industry according to its brand positioning.
6.0. Market selection and Market entry mode
Global Hotel Market sector is a vast option for Red Carnation Hotels to operate in. They can choose the luxury section of the hotel industry to offer to their guests (Gubik and Karajz 2014). If they aim to build their hotel nearby the beach area, they can opt for focusing on bar and restaurants.
There are generally four types of market entry modes which are-
- Foreign direct investment.
In the case of Red Carnation Hotels, the best possible market entry mode option will be definitely foreign direct investment or FDI (Moran 2012). Red carnation hotels have to be the direct owner of the facilities in the hotel services in the target country Thailand. The various resources like the capital, employees and technology should be transferred to the target country or under certain circumstances. Direct foreign investment can be made by the acquisition of an existing organization to establish a new enterprise (Moran 2012). Thus, Red Carnation Hotel can make acquisition of any hotel in Thailand and merge it into their enterprise.
7.0. Marketing Mix for Red Carnation Hotel
The marketing mix for the Red Carnation Hotel can be made by using the 4 P’s. The four P’s of marketing mix are Product, price, promotion and place (Gordon 2012).
The product offered by Red carnation Hotel is the luxurious hotel boutique chain for the guests. They offer their guests the best luxurious suites and this satisfies them. The guests in Thailand should also be satisfied like that (Gordon 2012).
The price of the hotel rooms should be fixed at a rate that the upper social class people can avail it so easily. At first, the price should be fixed at a moderate rate and sometime after, the rate can be increased (Gordon 2012).
The fact that Red Carnation hotel is coming to Thailand must be spread throughout the country through all the media channels, print and electronic. Social media sites can also be used to do this (Gordon 2012).
The chosen market is Thailand and the product i.e. the luxury hotel should be located at a place so that most of the international tourists can avail this place at an affordable rate (Gordon 2012).
8.0. Evaluation and Risk factors
There are some major risk factors that can be identified in terms of hotel industry and Red Carnation hotel’s operations (Wang, Chen and Chen 2012).
Red Carnation hotel will collect important data from their guests and so that they can be insured against any damage in the future. Thus, they can be serious targets of cyber criminals and their website can be hacked. They have to make proper arrangements so that these data can remain unharmed (Kshetri 2014).
The main influence of a hotel rests on their guests. Thus,, the behavior of the guests is a major factor in determining the reputation of Red Carnation Hotel. If any guest has been harmed somehow or been injured in the rooms, they can pull up lawsuits against the hotel and this can prove to be fatal (Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara Suárez-Acosta and Aguiar-Quintana 2014).
As an immediate effect of recession, many people had lost their jobs so it can be difficult to retain the skillful employees in Red carnation hotel. Their competitors will surely keep a strict eye on the situation.
Some ways in which Red Carnation Hotels can make cost effectiveness in the hotel are-
- a) It has to be made sure that the schedules for the employees should reflect in the day-to-day variations in their business volume (Hoque 2013).
- b) The staffs should be trained properly so that they can help other departments in time of need.
- c) A proper labor management system should be implemented so that the labor costs can be controlled (Hoque 2013).
- d) Hotels should use LED lights to light up their corridors and rooms. This saves a lot of money and saves energy as well (Hoque 2013).
9.0. Conclusion and recommendations
This paper can be concluded by saying that a reputed brand like Red Carnation Hotel needs a lot of things to improve their service and expand their markets in an international level. The country chosen here is Thailand because Thailand presents a great opportunity for the hotel and tourism sector in that country. The political conditions of the country will favor the organization to expand there and the connections it have with other bigger countries must be utilized by them so that they can capture the Asian market. Some recommendations can be made like they should always put the first priority on customer satisfaction and provide the best service to the guests that they can offer. Red Carnation hotel is indeed one organization who can utilize their international brand reputation to make a successful expansion. They should also evaluate the challenges and threats of the target country and assess the business environment of Thailand as well. This way they can make proper strategies and implement them properly. They have to utilize their strengths and improve on their weaknessess.
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