Going Global: Tips for Taking your Hotel into New Markets

Over the past years, your hotel business has been growing steadily. You have a solid brand recognition in your domestic market and have decided to explore and reach out to other markets but the task at hand seems overwhelming. Cultural differences, language barriers, no brand recognition, all seem like arduous challenges.

Keep calm. Getting to the point where you are ready to penetrate a foreign market is not as difficult as you think.

If you want to adventure yourself into new markets, you need to take some actions. Some of the most crucial fields in which you will be taking action are:

  1. Building relationships with travel partners
  2. Adapting to cultivate opportunities

If you start by drawing a plan that addresses these initiatives, then you’ll be taking the necessary actions to gain a strong foothold in any new market you set your eyes into.

1. Building Relationships with Travel Partners

Your hotel will be new in this market, so you can expect to have a frail client reach. To be successful and to position yourself competitively, you want to partner with those who will give you exposure like:

  • Travel wholesalers
  • Online traveling agencies (or)
  • Other travel sellers of this nature

These businesses will present your hotel with greater opportunities, so you are able to increase your customer reach. Any hotel attempting to take their business abroad should think about the different advantages that exist about extending relationships with businesses of this kind, not only to expand globally, but also to attract new customers.

2. Adapting to Cultivate Opportunities

Promotions. Promotions. Promotions… Taking initiatives to stablish a strong image in this new market will be crucial for your hotel’s success. Start thinking about:

  1. What your social media strategy will be
  2. What promoting initiatives are effective in this market
  3. How would you talk about your hotel

Catering to your audience will be crucial. Make sure you communicate effectively and you are sensitive to the culture of the market you are planning to penetrate. For instance, big hotel chains like Hilton Worldwide send representatives to China to plan and execute a program that caters Chinese guests. The company offers Chinese meals and displays items of good fortune in 63 of its hotels, and in Saudi Arabia, the Makkah Hilton Hotel offers a selection of halal dishes, features on-site prayer rooms, and prayer mats.

When it comes to going abroad, your hotel will have to make necessary changes that addresses not only culture, but also language. Taking the time and initiative to translate your marketing materials, websites, social media, and anything you think is being used to reach out to customers will be extremely important. When doing so, think about their slang and the way they communicate, you want your words to appeal the local audience.

What Next?

Once you have planned your penetration strategy, know the businesses you want to connect to and your promotion initiatives. The next step is simple, get on a plane and start meeting your prospective travel partners. No good relationship starts merely on emails and phone calls to get to know your future partners.

In this new market, you will have to trust the relationship that you build with your partners. This would be an unexplored territory for you, and for that reason, your hotel will need a good partner that can represent it. If you are able to find a partner that is interested in mutual growth, you will be set up for success, and you will foster a new horizon of opportunities.

Sources: HotelExecutive.com, Chron, Time, Entrepreneur, Hilton, American Express

Posted by Alicia Orta Stanford