Are you wondering how to create a complete and suitable hotel competitive analysis for your property (what we call in marketing terms, hotel benchmarking)?
Knowing who your hotel competitors are is an essential element of your hotel marketing strategy.
Below you will find a few key points to help you boost and enhance your property’s competitive analysis.
Your Hotel ‘Comp Set’ is unique
New travelers will not compare your hotel to the same hotels than that of previous travelers,
as this usually depends on the specific needs and wants of each traveler. A ‘Comp Set’ is a selection of other,
competing hotels that you group together when creating your competitive study, based on relevant,
specific selection criteria compared to your property.
Therefore, the main idea is to identify the major selection criteria for each segment,
and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis your competitors for each of these points.
Some examples of selection criteria for different comp sets are:
- By service scale / quality
- By geographical location and accessibility
- By event organizing capacity
- By total number of rooms to welcome large groups
- By leisure facilities (swimming pool, spa, gym, etc.)
Put yourself in a potential guest’s skin
How to define your competitors for each segment? It’s easy!
You could either use your own knowledge about these competitors, or simply pay them a physical visit.
Meanwhile, also consider those guests who do not know a destination at all. How do they reserve or find your hotel?
Today, the internet (Google) and OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies) like Booking.com, Expedia.com, TripAdvisor.com, etc. are
the main tools used by potential guests to decide upon and book a property.
That said, the best way to create your Competitive Analysis is to:
- Do some research on Google, using the different Google portals for all your main geographical markets, and searching with different keywords in their native languages.
For example, you could use: hotel booking + "destination name"
- Go to TripAdvisor and other OTA websites, and check the rates or offers available for a given date (also try a few less demanding dates such as Sunday nights in two months, for example, to get the most of all hotel availabilities).
When doing this type of research, it is important to always keep your main objective in mind:
How can I
optimize the classification of my hotel on these lists and websites?
Furthermore, do not hesitate to ask your business partners such as tour operators, travel agencies, events agencies, corporate executive assistants, etc. which hotels they usually do business with, and why.
Their responses might surprise you, as we are all rather prone to making assumptions first, without being aware of factual information.
Your Comparative Analysis
It is also very important to create a clear, well structured competitive analysis.
It allows you to easily list your hotel’s strengths and weaknesses, in relation to those of your competitors.
This will help you to sharpen your positioning by taking into account the facts surrounding the current market situations.
It might even lead to the discovery of new, untapped business opportunities!
Do any of your competitors offer an "eco-friendly" concept?
Do they offer bundled packages, like "Room + Museum Pass + Golf" for leisure customers?
Do any of your competitors highlight special segments (e.g. Japanese tourists who prefer twin beds and a bath), etc.
These are but a few examples of hidden opportunities you might find!
Create a Competitor Matrix: Rates versus Client Satisfaction
You can use the table and chart below to create your very own Competitor Matrix!
It will allow you to visually place your property among your competitor's and get a better understanding of your market.
Prepare a Comparative Table
Using the following information (for example):
- Hotel Name, Number of Stars, Total Rooms, Location
- Note / Ranking on TripAdvisor
- Rates : the lowest rate offered at the same date
- Do they have an
attractive hotel website?
- How many languages are available?
- Which OTAs are they selling via? (booking.com, expedia, etc.)?
- Other useful criteria for you: swimming pool, restaurant, conference/meeting room, etc.
Is your hotel’s competitive analysis ready? Good!
You can now starting thinking about your property’s competitive advantages and how to use them to build
your hotel marketing mix.