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04/16/2012

Marketing Audit Analysis - The Debarry Hotel


Market Audit

This report is cantered on the investigation of The Debarry Hotel, a four star hotel that was operating since 1930s. The hotel aimed to improve their marketing approach and become the global leader for accommodation and hospitality industry. It is now a widely held view that the world economy has entered a much more complex phase where individual national economies have become inextricably linked. In this new world economy, resources and markets have ceased to have the indelible national identity of the past. Restricted resources and markets that were once legally isolated have become much more accessible to enterprises that have acquired a global strategic vision. To the more visionary global enterprises, the world is but a borderless environment with homogeneous consumers who have developed an unforgiving taste for the most sophisticated and high-quality products and services. In response to the needs of these global consumers, the accommodation and hospitality industry in which The Debarry Hotel belongs need to develop global practices and strategies considering the plan to expand the business to other countries around the globe. How such homogenised consumers are served, however, is a question of the strategic orientation of the hotel business and their ability to exploit the ever-evolving global economic environment. In accordance to this, this paper will audit the market of The Debarry Hotel. Thus, the following presentation will be discussing Debarry’s Market Analysis, Industry Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Internal and Customer Analysis in which the “Hedonist” and Small and Medium Business Conferences must consider.

Market Analysis (PESTLEID - Macro environment and trends)

Table 1. PESTLEID of Debarry Hotel

Political

  • Significant investment made in infrastructure to develop the area of Languedoc-Roussillon

  • National and European Fund available

  • Government policy to attract increasing numbers of wealthy and high spending visitors and creative tourism (wine /gourmet)

Economic

  • Increasing income disposal in emerging markets. 26-35 y.o. group accounts for 80% of youth tourism revenue

  • “grey market” has higher disposable income

  • Growth rates: 3.4% on annual base

  • Increasing arrival rate from Americas and pan-Asian

Socio-cultural

  • Emerging social structures and single households

  • Emerging class of young travellers with high income but less time

  • Globalised mobility and multiethnic spread

  • Increasing interest for creative form of tourism, focus on health, gourmand trips etc.

  • High customer consciousness and service awareness due to easy of communications and the internet

Technological

  • Online booking is a breakthrough possibility for travellers making easy and quick to compare offers

  • A state of the art room equipment in terms of technological capabilities (WIFI, etc) is considered a basic “must-have” for a 4 star hotel

  • Significant technological gap to be able to attract conference business, to date.

  • Growth of new online- tourist operator business could drive destructive trends

Legal

 

Environmental

  • Increasing environmental commitment

  • Recycling, energy saving policies could be hindered by the hotel infrastructure

International

  • Hotel business is global by definition

  • The majority of arrivals is from Europe, though (88.8%)

  • Rise of India and China as potential tourism demand

  • France is preferred destination by UK and Northern Europe clients

Demographics

  • Aging population. Improved health conditions of senior people

 

Table 1 shows the microenvironment and trend in The Debarry Hotel identified by its PESTLEID.  With regards to the political factor of Debarry, it shows that the hotel made significant investment of infrastructure in the area of Languedoc-Roussillon.  This is an advantage for Debarry considering that Languedoc-Roussillon is a growing tourist’s destination in France.  Based on the report, the Collioure municipality estimates that cultural and nature-based tourism will bring between 1 million and 1.5 million more tourists to the Languedoc-Roussillon region next year.  Aside from this the availability of National and European fund creates significant impact to the financial stability of the Hotel.  Moreover, the government policy in accordance to the increasing numbers of wealthy and high spending visitors and creative tourism (wine/gourmet) also adds up to the political stability of The Debarry Hotel.

Apparently, the economic factor of Debarry Hotel also play significant role in their marketing approach.  As revealed, the annual growth rate of Debarry Hotel was 3.4% and possibly increases more if the hotel continuously considers the youth and “grey” market.  Aside from this, Debarry Hotel must also increase their efforts in capturing the tourism needs of Americans and Pan-Asian.  With regards to socio-cultural factor, the previous table shows that there was a high customer consciousness and service awareness due to easy of communications and the internet.  This also means that Debarry Hotel should start enhancing their technological efforts. Actually, the table revealed that there was a current significant technological gap to be able to attract conference business considering that most of the businesses today not only the hotel industry are moving to a high-tech type of services.  In international setting, The Debarry Hotel can still battle head-to-head with other hotel businesses despite of their lacking efforts towards technology.  In table 1, it was identified that Debarry Hotel has an edge because majority of arrivals are from Europe in which France as host country of The Debarry Hotel belongs. Apart from this, France was also preferred destination by UK and Northern Europe clients. There was also a good opportunity for The Debarry Hotel to have Asian tourists due to the increasing number of tourism demand from India and China.  With regards to demographics The Debarry Hotel should not only consider the aging population but also its youth markets.

Industry Analysis (Needs)

In accordance to industry analysis, the hotel industry of France identified that the youth market or the so-called “Hedonist” market is a must for hotel business.  Meaning hotel businesses like Debarry must cater not only the ‘gray’ market but also the youth market.  Actually, over 30% of global tourism belongs to the youth market. A good percentage if efforts are done effectively.  Based on the report of the rising incomes among the young, especially in the emerging non-European markets, the growth of single-person households, and new social structures that favour extended social as well as professional networks, are all leading to more travel among the youths.

Then again, the higher disposable income of the older profile known as the ‘grey market’ that are mostly related to the improvements in health and life expectancy and the reduced cost of travel and communication, means that time-rich retired people are also travelling more.  This trend in the hotel industry of France was an advantage for the Debarry considering that their hotel was inclined in catering old profile. As revealed in Datamonitor, an ageing population and increasing concern with health are likely to drive a growth in demand for health tourism products. Together with health tourism, nature-based holidays to unspoilt destinations, as well as ecotourism, are on the rise. Today the 51–65 year age group represents almost 30 per cent of global tourism and this is expected to reach 35% in 2011.

This identifies that the wide range and quality of accommodation, its multi-product nature and seasonal variations in demand, introduce an additional dimension into the operation of the market.  This also indicates that Debarry must now consider their efforts toward Small and Medium businesses conferences. Accordingly, in France, there were also different forms of structure when it comes to the market of Hotel business such as perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and even monopoly might, as argued below, reflect the conditions of different elements of the sector, ranging from the serviced to the un-serviced self-catering segments. Notwithstanding its complicated structure, some fundamental economic factors characterise the accommodation sector. It is subject to fixed capacity with all its attendant problems in the face of periodicity, perish ability and seasonality. Allied to this, particularly in larger units offering a wide range of services, high fixed costs drive operators to attain high occupancy rates through such devices as product differentiation and market segmentation. These characteristics tend to involve elements of both natural monopoly and oligopoly. For example, Debarry concentrates on the ‘gray market’ segment while others serve most of the youth travellers. Many seek flexibility by targeting the business market during the working week and the leisure sector at weekends.

Actually, the personal travel and tourism market around the globe is anticipated to grow from $US 2,844.7 billion in 2006 to $US 4,916.3 billion in 2016, with an annualised growth of 3.4%.   As revealed, the tourism industry in France is also guesstimated to follow this global growth trend in the next five years (see Table 2).  

Table 2. French hotels & motels industry value forecast

Source: Datamonitor

This trend in the hotel industry of France shows great opportunity for Debarry to enhance their services.  Meaning, the company should enhance their current practices to enjoy the full potential of tourism market.

Competitor Analysis

As identified in the previous section, France is one of the top choices as tourist destinations. Thus, this also calls that the tourism competition in this region was also high. Basically, there are over 17,500 hotels in France, most of which are owned and managed independently.  In France, there are three major international hotel chains that are dominating in the market i.e. Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group plc and Societe du Louvre SA. As revealed, Accor operates 1,344 hotels in France with recorded revenues of $9.5 billion during the fiscal year ended December 2005, an expressive boost of 7.9% over 2004. On the other hand the, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is slotted in the ownership, management and franchising of hotels and resorts international. The company recorded revenues was $1.5 billion during the fiscal year ended December 2005, a decrease of 17.3% from 2004. Moreover, The Societe du Louvre’s business involves primarily luxury and economy hotels. However, the group is also involved in luxury products such as crystalware and perfumes as well as real estate and finance. In the fiscal year ended December 2004, the sales of The Societe du Louvre increased 19.2% to $1,008 million. Net income rose 152.7% to $90.7 million.

Actually, these top 3 hotels in France was not the main competitor of Debarry since Debarry was currently part of Premier Leisure plc.  Debarry’s main competitor was the 3-star hotel L’Arapede, a hotel which has recently been bought by a famous restaurateur from Paris and has been closed for extensive refurbishments and is due to be reopened in a couple of months. This company was a threat for Debarry considering that L’Arapede is recruiting Debarry’s old staff. Aside from this, L’Arapede is going to be awarded a fourth star in the next review by the French ministry of tourism which can battle head on with Debarry as 4-star hotel in Languedoc-Roussillon, France. Although L’Arapede is smaller than the Debarry – with only 45 rooms – they are planning to be an ultra-chic establishment with only executive suites, catering for a very exclusive clientele.

In France, being part of the hotel chains became the common practice among hotel businesses. With the said region, hotels have used hotel chain membership to satisfy the retailing of services to meet the challenges of intangibility, perish ability, inseparability, and variability. Labor intensity and quality control are other challenges has successfully addressed in this effort. Fluctuating demand caused by seasonal variations is another facet of the market structure of the hotel industry. Moreover, hotels have offered weekend rates and discounts to special groups during the off-season. In general, hotel and motel organisations tend to be small, with more than half accounting for no more than three units. Nonetheless, like the rest of the retail industry, large organisations are steadily increasing their market share. This concentration of large organisations has developed partly because of inter organisational communication systems, franchised networks, and corporate vertical systems.

 A strong and clear hotel image can increase consumer confidence in its lodging and service accommodations. Because the way in which consumers perceive a hotel can influence their reaction to its offerings, management is very concerned with the development of hotel image. Perception of a hotel image is derived not only from functional attributes of price and convenience but also from the influence of architecture, interior design, colours, and advertising. The competition on the hotel industry is based on the desire of each hotel owners and managers to provide the best service to clients.

Internal Analysis (SWOT and Product Offering)

The Debarry Hotel is an industry leader in terms of leisure and hotel businesses.   The strengths of The Debarry Hotel are its location, solid and loyal customer basis, and its business reputation.  The Debarry Hotel has been around so long; although the name Debarry was not that famous or known but instead the name of its owner, “Jules” is recognised and respected both internationally and domestically.  The Debarry Hotel has effectively marketed their services and in addition understands the importance of a quality product especially in restaurant products/food.   Strength of The Debarry Hotel is the loyalty of their “historical” customers; The Debarry Hotel has consistently produced quality services/products that appeal to its clients. The leadership of Manot in the field of The Debarry Hotel is one of the hotel strength, which has the ability to keep the company’s pipeline full in innovative marketing efforts such as consideration of Hedonist and Small and Medium Business Conferences. 

The Debarry Hotel has their couple of weaknesses as describe by the declining trend in business. The Debarry Hotel efforts toward global expansion have become a weakness in the company’s reputation. Lack of knowledge in technology driven age is another factor that really weakens the hotel, the hotel is behind on their ability to use systems and the hotel is just developing their system on on-line services.  The Debarry Hotel has new opportunities and markets that they must penetrate and take advantage of to continue to be a world leader and sustain profits and growths.  The ability of The Debarry Hotel to build up strength in all service lines in accommodation and hospitality is an opportunity to The Debarry Hotel with a flexible in the market shifts.  The Debarry Hotel advertisements/promotion efforts make impact in the hotel marketing efforts.  People wait for new and innovative advertisements that bring opportunity to reach the public through promotion and advertisement endeavour.

The wider competition in the market is always a threat to a competitive company both domestically and internationally.  The Debarry Hotel currently dominates the 4-star hotel market in France, but The Debarry Hotel competitors pose a potential threat to the hotel’s reputation. There are certain possible situation might affect the company, if The Debarry Hotel cannot stay one step ahead of their competitors in terms of services and customer satisfaction the hotel could flounder. 

 

Customer Analysis

For customer analysis, it was identified that the existing and potential segments are Small and Medium Business Conferences and “Hedonist”. Basically, the Small Medium Business segment is expected to grow 3.7% over the next 5 years. These travellers have a tendency to peak in low seasons, as opposite to the other segment chosen. They make their bookings online, often using dedicated channels but in a rather independent fashion. They see the destination also as a rewarding component for the managers and executives involved in the business trip. They have a slight preference in travelling by air and are increasingly interested in extending and complementing their business trip with excellent food and leisure activities. The possibility to extend the trip by bringing also their families or partners is of secure appeal among these travellers. Their most important requirement is to have an impeccable quality of service on site and state of the art conference facilities. This comes altogether with a moderate concern about budget.

On the other hand the “hedonist” segment is the segment derived by consumers not necessarily very young, although the increasing income disposal and changing social structure is contributing to lowering the average age of these consumers. The resulting age structure within this group reaches from the rather time poor but money rich younger segment up until the retired people from the traditional “grey” segment. All of them are interested in experiencing the fine taste of the beautiful things in life and are aware that their resources (e.g. time) are limited so they’re eager to use them at their best, for instance travelling more often but for shorter trip durations. They have a higher than average education level and, even if they don’t have a specific art expertise, they enjoy cultural events and arts and see the chance of learning new things as an opportunity of personal enrichment. Most of all, they can be seen as Gourmet types. They like tasting high end cuisine, with rather low concern on price. They prefer quality to quantity and truly enjoy activities like wine-tasting tours. The clear focus of this segment is on the high-end cuisine, but in addition this type of customer also enjoys the possibility of leisure activities as well as culture and nature. France is an elective destination for this segment, for its atmosphere, its culture, the first class reputation of its cuisine and the beauty of its locations. They have a tendency to book, mostly online, as independent or even as walk in customers.

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