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it is becoming clear that hotel companies are increasingly using the concept of 'home' as a way to design, develop, market and indeed deliver, the hospitality experience.

You have been employed as a consultant by a hotel or tourist company to prepare a report on the ways that commercial (and other types of) accommodation providers are making use of home to market their 'offering'.

You have also been tasked with suggesting ways your organisation might make use of these concepts and why.

The Home Concept: Analysis and Evaluation

The report will focus on a recent marketing concept of ‘home’ that is being used by businesses operating in the hotel or accommodation sector. The home concept focuses on the homely nature of the business offering. Hotel companies are increasingly focusing towards providing the travellers with the comfort of their homes through their accommodation services. The report will analyse the essential aspect of marketing considering the concept of home and the subsequent competitive advantage it can provide a business. Initially, the background of the business will be essentially discussed. The report aims to bring forward through extensive analysis and evaluation, the concept of creating a strong home value for the customers utilized by the hotel industry. The various factors that can affect customer preferences concerning the concept in the accommodation industry are presented through the study. The concept of home and its feasibility towards the effective marketing of accommodation services have to be essentially discussed.

The company in focus in the report is Best Western Hotel. The company is a significantly large hotel sector business predominantly operating in the US and North America (Heyes and Aluri 2017). In Australia, the subsidiary company of the Best Western Hotels is the Best Western International, which is moderately successful. It operates relatively large number of hotels in the country. The hotel company have recently opened its accommodation services in some of the popular tourist destination in Australia and wants to attract customers that are mainly international travelers. The company wants to strengthen its marketing functions in the southeastern region of Australia (Zervas, Proserpio and Byers 2017). The company is located primarily in New South Wales. As previously mentioned, the company wants to attract customers that are primarily visiting Australia from abroad but will stay in the country for relatively longer periods. As the customers are slightly different from tourists, the company will be using the marketing motive of home. It will focus on providing customers with a homely accommodation environment.

In the current era of globalization, the travel requirements of people across the world have greatly increased. Travels have become far more frequent than before and people are able to travel far more easily than ever before. This has fostered the concept of ‘home’ especially concerning the accommodation industry. People who travel across the world definitely miss many of the important tangible, non-tangible, emotional, physical or other essential aspects that they associate with their home (Baker, Davis and Weaver 2014). The word home also provides a sense of security in the traveler’s mind. It is something that the modern day tourists and travelers can easily relate to. Thus, the modern day travelers are very much inclined towards finding home away from home (Heyes and Aluri 2017).

The Feasibility of the Home Concept for the Hotel Industry

It is much essential that the non-tangible requirements of the customers concerning home are strongly considered when the concept of home is being used for marketing and promotion. In the modern times, the hotels have become transnational enterprises (Chatzigeorgiou and Simeli 2017). A single hotel enterprise can have a large number of operational hotels across the globe. This had created a gap in the recent past between the places that were visited and the accommodation facilities availed. This essential issue came to be identified shortly, leading to the rise of the usage of the home concept in accommodation industry. It can be seen that the new hotels are increasingly projecting home comfort through their product promotion and offerings. Hotels are now promoting home comfort rather than a projecting themselves as luxurious palatial entities. Larger room spaces are being promoted along with trendy interiors that can give customers a feeling of having their own personalized spaces. Travelers frequently complained about disconnections between the hotel and the destination. Thus, hotels are now trying hard to provide the customers with experiences that will be identical to their homes. For example- kitchen spaces are made available at hotel suits with all kinds of essential kitchen instruments. This is ensuring that the customers are able to do their own cooking if they require. This feature is almost instantly transferring the customers to the comfort of their homes (Kensbock et al. 2014). Additionally, the concept of home does not merely consider replication of the homely environment of the traveler. It also essentially considers the integration of the concept of home of the traveler with the new home that is the destination. The non-tangible aspects such as feelings, emotions, connections and experiences are more important considerations when the concept of home is being projected (Kim, Vogt and Knutson 2015). This is mainly because home is a concept that is bigger than the physical aspects that are connected with a home. The travelers are frequently affected by a longing for their homes. Home becomes both the locality where the traveler belongs, the city, the country and even the part of the world he/she comes from. Thus, home as a concept is more emotional, philosophical and feelings oriented. People more often than not refer to their living areas as their homes. Places where they have friends and acquaintances they have known throughout their lives. Emotionally, home is a place that gives a person emotional security and relative peace of mind (Mody, Suess and Lehto 2018). Home is a feeling one feels when one comes across a place, which he can relate to, a place that can contain all the essential aspects that govern his/her life and self-awareness.  Factors that essentially affect the emotional, psychological and aesthetic requirements of the travelling person are considerations that are more important. The customers will relate to the visited place through the similarities and differences it has in regards to his/her home (Baker, Davis and Weaver 2014). A bonding will only be created when the traveler can identify with some of the aspects that is offered by the new destination. This can happen if there are certain essential similarities of the home of the traveler with the visited place or if the destination provides the same comfort to the customer that he/she used to feel at home.

Marketing Functions of Best Western Hotel

Accommodation oriented businesses across the world are paying more attention towards optimizing their product offerings using the ‘home’ concept. The hotel companies are taking the promotion and marketing process even further through market segmentation (Mody, Suess and Lehto 2018). The customers are being segmented according to their age and preferences considering essentially the impact of the same on their conceptions of home. Millennials are being approached according to their specific requirements. This group is focused more as it has been projected that half of the travelers will be millennials by 2020 (Ferguson, Giuseppi and Australia 2017). The companies are increasingly focusing towards giving the travelers a story to tell about the destinations they visit. One important aspect that has been identified is the technology dependence of millennials. Most millennials want to stay connected wherever they visit or roam. Thus, hotels are paying much more attention towards giving the millennials all the required facilities such as wifi, internet calling and other thing that can help them stay connected. Staying connected with closed ones are also an essential aspect connected with a homely environment.

Whether millennials or customers from other age groups, the attitude of travelers in regard to their expectations have changed. Travelers now want to engage more with the local environment that the travel destination provides (Andriotis and Agiomirgianakis 2014). Thus, companies are focusing more on the cultural experiences of the customers. The marketing and promotional activities are often focused towards enhancing the cultural experiences of the customers. Moreover, many companies are focusing towards providing interactive cultural experiences of the customers. The promotion and marketing is simultaneously focusing on the concept of discovering a new home for the traveler. The concept of home is being rediscovered by not only the hotel sector but also the travel-oriented business sectors in general. As an example, Qantas projects Australia as its home. Another example can be given of Jo and Joe, who are trying to increase the homely experiences of customers through the wide ranges of accommodation offerings. The accommodation company is providing customers with completely rentable portions of houses where facilities of home cooking, living spaces and other homely aspects are available (Accorhotels.group 2018). This is increasing their essential value for the customers that are increasingly inclined towards alternative modes of accommodation services.

Indigo hotels are striving towards providing the customers with local flavors, cultures and surroundings. Indigo have designed a product offering that can help the customer to connect well with the traditional culture of the destination. Hotels previously used to be highly continental with most hotels offering universally popular food and facilities (Ren et al. 2016). The focus towards upholding the traditional attributes of tourist destinations are helping the company to garner more acceptability among the new age travelers.  It is important to understand that the new age traveler is much more informed about the socio-cultural and traditional aspects of the destinations they visit (Kandampully, Zhang and Bilgihan 2015).

Meeting the Customers' Needs Using the Home Concept

Best Western is focusing more on the customers they want to attract towards their products. The hotels of Best Western are being renovated in trendier fashions. People normally like to decorate their personal spaces in trendy designs. This gives them a feeling of personalization. Hotels are focusing towards using colors that can enhance the home factor for customers. Lighter shades like orange and green are being used as these are popular colors people use at their homes (Dzhandzhugazova et al. 2016). The target is to make the customers comfortable enough in the hotel rooms that they can easily associate it with their new homes at the new destination. The hotels rooms are being decorated in different ways in order to ensure that each customer gets a unique home environment. Moreover, mini kitchens are being installed in more rooms to provide customers with better home experiences. Mini kitchens are important for the home factor. Customers can associate this with aspects of life at home, such as getting up in the morning and making coffee or cooking snacks for oneself. This will give a new meaning to hotel accommodation as customers can get almost the same things that they get at home (Dzhandzhugazova et al. 2016).  Market segmentation is the first step towards implementing an optimally effective business plan that will definitely integrate the home concept. Best Western are a company that essentially locates its operations in the southwestern regions of Australia. It is important that in order to project its offerings as an integral part of the home concept, it concentrate on the local aspects of this part of Australia (Bowie et al. 2016). The first thing Best Western Australia need to consider is the accommodation offerings. Most people associate home with the ambience it provides. Thus, is it important that the hotel rooms are designed, decorated and managed in ways that will quickly remind the tourists of their home. It is important to apply the concept of comfort when designing and decorating the hotel rooms. This is because home is usually associated with comfort by people across the globe (Guttentag 2015).

The target customers of the hotel will be visitors from abroad that will be staying for relatively longer periods in the country than the general tourists. It is important that the concept of home is more importantly applied in the product offerings of the company (Heyes and Aluri 2017). The aspects such as furnishing, bedding, home decoration and other intricate aspects of rooms have to be enhanced. Anything that can be perceived as claustrophobic by the customers has to be changed. Food and beverage offerings should be in line with the environment of comfort. The hotel should try to effectively integrate the home of the customers with the local home. Food and beverage offerings should be at par with the home comfort that the customers would be promised. The food offered should reflect the local cuisine. Since the customers will be staying for longer periods, effective focus should be given towards introducing the customers to the local cuisines, traditions and environment of the destinations (Heyes and Aluri 2017). The customers should be made aware of the local traditions in a way in which they can relate to. An essential aspect will be to make the customers identify their homes with the home of the people they have visited. Interactive sessions and recreational activities will be much important in this context. Best Western will have to provide a channel for social interactions. This will help the customers to know the fellow travelers and customers with whom they will be spending a long time during their stay (Dzhandzhugazova et al. 2016).

The Importance of Customer Segmentation

Best Western should focus towards providing gourmet kitchens to the premium customers as well. This will be beneficial for some of the customers that may stay for a month or longer. The main thing will be to make the customer feel at home both inside and outside the room (Bowie et al. 2016). The hotel ambience will need to be enhanced through comfort enhancing room freshening agents. The hotel should definitely consider providing open-air kitchens and once in a week camping events if possible. The customer interactions of staffs should be formal and friendly at the same time (Leung, Bai and Stahura 2015).

It is important to understand that a home is much more than just a comfort zone for the customer. It is a feeling of security and happiness at the same time. Home gives the customer a feeling of belonging, it is a privilege for some people to belong to a place and have friends and acquaintances in that particular area. The hotel should essentially understand the implications of a customer identifying with the concept of a home by providing ample scope for socializing, recreation and self-realization (Bowie et al. 2016). At the same time, it is also essential for the new age traveler to establish a connection with the home of the people of the visited destination. Thus, more opportunities should be provided to the traveler to understand the destination of travel and discover a new home throughout their stay. The hotel should focus more on providing the customer with effective opportunities to realize the aspects connected with a destination. Effectively merging the destination tourism value, the home factor and the customer experience within a wholesome customer experience will ensure both long-term profitability and goodwill for the hotel enterprise. The hotel should take smart steps towards ensuring this and become one with the experience of the customer.

Conclusion

The modern traveler has grown with regards to his/her travel requirements. Visiting places are no longer just being acquainted with famous places. The implications of the study point towards the fact that with the change in preferences of the customers, the hotel industry is also witnessing major changes especially in regards to its offerings. Hotels are trying hard to help the traveler discover a new home through the destination that is visited. Best Western can implement the specific changes that will make sure that they cater to the most important travel needs of the customer. The major implications of the study further point towards the fact that the new age traveler wants to find a corner of home in all the travel destinations he visits. The concept of home is thus, becoming an established norm concerning the accommodation industry.

References

Accorhotels.group. 2018. Join Jo&Joe hotels through a management contract. [online] Available at: https://www.accorhotels.group/hotel-development/brands/jo-and-joe.

Andriotis, K. and Agiomirgianakis, G., 2014. Market escape through exchange: Home swap as a form of non-commercial hospitality. Current Issues in Tourism, 17(7), pp.576-591.

Baker, M.A., Davis, E.A. and Weaver, P.A., 2014. Eco-friendly attitudes, barriers to participation, and differences in behavior at green hotels. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 55(1), pp.89-99.

Bowie, D., Buttle, F., Brookes, M. and Mariussen, A., 2016. Hospitality marketing. Routledge. Leung, X.Y., Bai, B. and Stahura, K.A., 2015. The marketing effectiveness of social media in the hotel industry: A comparison of Facebook and Twitter. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 39(2), pp.147-169.

Chatzigeorgiou, C. and Simeli, I., 2017. Perception of service quality in agrotourism accommodations: Impact on guest loyalty and re-visit intentions. Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing, 3(1), pp.33-41.

Dzhandzhugazova, E.A., Blinova, E.A., Orlova, L.N. and Romanova, M.M., 2016. Innovations in hospitality industry. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 11(17), pp.10387-10400.

Ferguson, S., Giuseppi, C. and Australia, T.A., 2017. Submission to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection.

Guttentag, D., 2015. Airbnb: disruptive innovation and the rise of an informal tourism accommodation sector. Current issues in Tourism, 18(12), pp.1192-1217.

Heyes, A. and Aluri, A., 2017. How millennials perceive leisure luxury hotels in a sharing economy?. Research in Hospitality Management, 7(2), pp.75-79.

Kandampully, J., Zhang, T. and Bilgihan, A., 2015. Customer loyalty: a review and future directions with a special focus on the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.379-414.

Kensbock, S., Jennings, G., Bailey, J. and Patiar, A., 2014. Distinction work and its consequences for women working as room attendants within five star hotels on the Gold Coast, Australia. Hospitality & Society, 4(1), pp.55-73.

Kim, M., Vogt, C.A. and Knutson, B.J., 2015. Relationships among customer satisfaction, delight, and loyalty in the hospitality industry. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 39(2), pp.170-197.

Mody, M., Suess, C. and Lehto, X., 2018. Creating Memorable Experiences in the Accommodations Industry: A Core-Periphery Framework of Experiential Consumption.

Ren, L., Qiu, H., Wang, P. and Lin, P.M., 2016. Exploring customer experience with budget hotels: Dimensionality and satisfaction. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 52, pp.13-23.

Zervas, G., Proserpio, D. and Byers, J.W., 2017. The rise of the sharing economy: Estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry. Journal of Marketing Research, 54(5), pp.687-705.

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My Assignment Help. (2020). The Concept Of Home In The Hotel Industry: A Study Of Best Western Hotel. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mng10723-hospitality-history-politics-and-culture/concept-of-home-in-hotel-marketing.html.

"The Concept Of Home In The Hotel Industry: A Study Of Best Western Hotel." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mng10723-hospitality-history-politics-and-culture/concept-of-home-in-hotel-marketing.html.

My Assignment Help (2020) The Concept Of Home In The Hotel Industry: A Study Of Best Western Hotel [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mng10723-hospitality-history-politics-and-culture/concept-of-home-in-hotel-marketing.html
[Accessed 15 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'The Concept Of Home In The Hotel Industry: A Study Of Best Western Hotel' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mng10723-hospitality-history-politics-and-culture/concept-of-home-in-hotel-marketing.html> accessed 15 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. The Concept Of Home In The Hotel Industry: A Study Of Best Western Hotel [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 15 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mng10723-hospitality-history-politics-and-culture/concept-of-home-in-hotel-marketing.html.

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