Companies in the hotel and tourism industry are increasingly utilizing the concept of home to enhance marketing and hospitality experiences. Managers adopt home attributes to design, market, and deliver augmented services to customers. This practice is influenced by increased awareness of diversity around the globe and the need to create a unique positioning that can earn competitive advantages. The contemporary market environment is turbulent, and firms can counter competition from global rivals through differentiation strategies such as embracing national heritage. Hotels all over the world use home attributes to create a strong attachment with locals in host countries as well as attract foreigners to enjoy new experiences. Global hotel firms such as Shangri-La group need to incorporate more home elements like other accommodation providers to cope with trends and competition levels. Information about the use of home concepts can give insights for improving the Shangri-La hotel commercial practices. Therefore, exploring how other hotel players integrate home ideas would help to formulate appropriate recommendations for adoption and implementation in the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney is one of the hotels operated by the Shangri-La Group. The group manages five-star hotels and resorts all over the world. The Shangri-La brand was born in Singapore before expanding to other Asian countries and parts of the world including Europe, North America, and Middle East (Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd. 2016). Shangri-La hotels are situated in prime cities and offer luxury services to their customers. The Sydney hotel is among the leading hospitality firms in the city. Its location gives visitors a clear view of the glowing Opera House and the majestic Harbor Bridge. Customers can also enjoy the spectacle look of the city’s exuberant colors from the hotel. The hotel offers a variety of world-class services and facilities. Facilities include hospitality lounge, business center, and conferences rooms among others. Services offered include laundry, postal, shoe-shine, and check-in facilities, among others. The hotel also has children care facilities, travel and transport services to airports, and shopping places (Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd. 2016). Shangri-La Hotel provides a range of food and beverages in service rooms, all-time restaurants, a bar, and a lounge. Cuisines and drinks from local and international places are available. Check-in rooms and meeting suites are fitted with contemporary furnishings and signature materials. The hotel attains world-class services and is a preferred choice for many locals as well as foreigners visiting Sydney. However, it does not apply home concepts extensively to promote marketing activities like in other hotels.
Hotels employ various features of home heritage to support their business operations and attract more customers. One way of achieving these activities is through the provision of local cuisines (Enz 2011). The local food dishes and beverages differ from those in other countries due to cultural diversity and environmental conditions. Culture influences the food preferences as well as methods of preparation. Since Australian culture is different from that of foreigners, local dishes and drinks are also different. Although globalization is transforming Australian cultures, providing traditional foods in hotels attract locals and foreigners to enjoy. People visiting Australia would want to enjoy local dishes and beverages that are not available in their home countries. Visitors are also excited to learn methods of cooking as a way of understanding Australian food cultures (Wyshak 2014). The ingredients used differ or are not available in other communities, and offering local dishes enables visitors to enjoy new food substances. Hotels seeking to attract more customers incorporate the local foods in their menu (Lehr 2015). Additionally, their commercials include these local cuisines as part of what they offer. Potential customers access this information and make plans to visit. By doing this, the hotels create awareness to the global community and reap improved revenues from new clients.
Another way of utilizing home advantages includes supporting local and cultural functions. Hotel industry plays important role in facilitating social activities such as cultural celebrations, beauty contests, or music festivals, among others (Chu 2014). Hotels host the events or individuals participating in such activities. During these periods, the hotels utilize the opportunities to pass information about their services. For instance, hotels carry out commercials in conjunction with event organizers. Hotels that facilitate major occasions benefit by reaching many people. Some local events attract foreigners or people from far regions in the country who check-in hotels near the venues. As a result, hotels that work together with the event organizers stand a better chance of hosting visitors and boost revenues (Rao 2014). The visitors would refer friends to these hotels hence promoting marketing campaigns. Hospitality firms also sponsor events through monetary contributions or provision of other equipment such as kits. Hotels that engage in local activities create rapport with the people who support its continued operations. Thus, participating in local events enables hotels to market their services to the populations in host countries and increase the likelihood of success.
Some hotels exploit the power of corporate social responsibility practices that involve home attributes. CSR is becoming a common practice for companies in the hotel industry. These programs are instrumental in marketing a firm to the locals (Bunda 2014). The public can identify with a hotel that adopts plans to give back to the society and support its continued operations. The CSR events create a long-lasting positive perception about an organization. This positive image is desirable to help the hotel enjoy support of the locals. Some hotels operate in a global environment and lack strong local attachment. As a result, domestic customers can opt to seek services in local firms. CSR activities help the public to view a global company as one of their own (Scott 2009). There are many forms of CSR practices adopted by different hotels. Examples include giving donations to benevolent centers, providing material support during disasters, and sponsoring sport events. Many people can resonate with these practices and in turn, visit the hotels and take items or services offered.
Hotels also utilize concepts of home by linking services provided to physical features and unique attributes in their surroundings. Hotels located in strategic places or near important structures take advantage of associating with them to market their services (Oh, & Pizam 2008). Fascinating and spectacle scenery is desirable to customers, and hotels that have a beautiful environment attract more visitors. Hotels are recognizing the beautiful elements near their premises and use them to promote marketing performances. For instance, hospitality firms near elegant buildings or seas link these features to service experiences for their clients. Potential customers learn about these structures through marketing activities of the hotel company and plan visits to go and enjoy. As the customers view the scenery around these hotels, they stay and consume meals or other services offered. Managers implement changes such as modifying layouts and facilities to enable customers experience the attractiveness of nearby features that promote satisfaction (Enz 2009). Moreover, hotels capture natural features of their home countries such as landscape, mountains, and wild animals to market their services. Images of these features accompany advertisements or are used to beautify the hotel structures. People interested in these features visit the hotels, enjoy attractiveness, and consume substances offered.
Moreover, some hotels partner with tourist agencies to direct interested customers to explore local heritage. Hotels complement the tourist agencies by providing accommodation for the visitors (Dahlstrom et al. 2009). Similarly, the people touring different places in a country provide market for hotel services and facilities. The two sectors sub-sectors are interdependent. Hotels take advantage of the tourism services to enhance their marketing campaigns. Hospitality firms partner with the tourism agencies to enable tourists travel to sites with ease (Tanford, Raab, & Kim 2012). Partnerships with other businesses allow hotels to incorporate travel features in their marketing commercials. The tourism communities access the information and plan to seek accommodation services from these hotels. Firms that exploit opportunities of partnering with travel firms embrace the diversity of local heritage through the marketing practices. Consequently, they can attract more customers including foreign tourists. Even though the hotels do not manage the tourism sites, they benefit from associations with these agencies by receiving more clients who improve the revenue levels. Without the partnerships, some tourists seek accommodation services elsewhere, and hence hotels realize reduced revenues for the hotel.
Other hotels incorporate home concepts in their marketing operations to attract more visitors and realize sustainable profits. Shangri-La Hotel does not apply these aspects extensively and therefore has untapped opportunities to grow its customer base. The hotel would implement home ideas that fit with its operations (Rao 2014). Despite this, many practices are applicable in the Shangri-La hotel. However, this report recommends for implementation of most promising attributes. Firstly, the hotel needs to introduce more local dishes and drinks in the menu. Shangri-La Hotel Sydney has a variety of food and beverage products from Australia and international markets. Adopting more Australian cuisines would help many people perceive the hotel like other local companies. Shangri-La can take advantage of its global presence to reach and inspire people to visit the Australian branch and enjoy a broad range of domestic foods. People from other countries can plan to visit the hotel to enjoy Australian delicacies. Moreover, customers from other regions in the country can visit the hotel to gain experiences and consume local dishes (Wyshak 2014). Providing more Australian cuisines is desirable to earn favorable perceptions from the people. Although Shangri-La is a world-class hotel, many people can view it as similar to other firms based on the range of local foods offered.
Another strategy to ensure the Shangri-La hotel applies more home practices is through the formation of partnerships with local tourist firms. Through the partnerships, Shangri-La hotel would use features of Australian heritage such as tourism sites, wild animals, and natural landscapes to attract many people (Crossley 2011). The hotel is based in Sydney city that receives many foreign and local visitors. By utilizing association with locals, many people would adopt the brand like the domestic firms. Working together with locals and using home features portrays the hotel company as supportive to the domestic environment. Local groups of people can approach the hotel as if it has Australian roots that enhance chances of realizing increased sales (Enz, 2009). Through the partnerships, the hotel would also provide easy access to the tourist sites and fast transport means. The existing activities provide access to the airports and limit the number of tourists who can locate the hotel. Partnerships would thus help increase number of visitors that ultimately lead to improved sales.
The firms in the global hotel industry utilize home concepts to promote their activities and deliver augmented experiences to the customers. Common attributes include the introduction of local foods and beverages, supporting local and cultural events, running corporate social responsibility programs, and partnerships with domestic players. These practices create a perception that the hotel values home features in a country, and in turn offer continued support by visiting the businesses to consume services or spa products provided. Shangri-La hotel needs to improve its home aspects to increase chances of receiving more visitors that raise the revenue levels. More appropriate practices for the Shangri-La hotel include widening the variety of local cuisines and partnering with domestic companies such as the tourist firms to directs visitors to the hotel. Adopting these capabilities encourages more people from the local as well as the international places to visit the hotel and experience fulfilling moments that heighten satisfaction levels. Therefore, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney has opportunities to utilize home concepts to improve marketing performances.
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