In offering luxury resort and hotel sales and marketing representation services in the UK and Europe market, we regularly encounter two closely related challenges:
1. How can the resort or hotel be sure that we will produce return on investment (ROI) for them ?
2. As SmartOtels is relatively new, how can we establish trust ?
It’s a reflection of the fact that SmartOtels are hotel industry as well as travel industry insiders that we completely understand both concerns. We have managed the marketing budgets of a number of hotels over the years, balancing sales objectives against the cost of achieving them. We understand that, much as any luxury resort or hotel may way want to retain a sales representation company in the UK and Europe, there is not necessarily budget for that cost at the point when we make our approach.
However, it is also frustrating for us to see a luxury resort or hotel spending time and money on activities designed to be some substitute for sales representation in the UK and Europe but which simply don’t work for them.
One of our clients had spent a great deal of time building and developing a relationship with a local destination marketing company (DMC) over 3 years and had not got a single reservation from them. DMCs have a very valuable part to play in the process but there is a need to understand that it is a process and where DMC’s sit in it before spending time and money fruitlessly chasing business that could have been yours, had you committed instead to going to the source.
DMC’s are a ‘broad church’ – it is in the best interests of a DMC to gather a good collection of luxury resort and hotel options for the tour operators that work with them and, whilst making recommendations, to recommend first and foremost what they know and trust. A DMC counts as much on gaining and retaining a tour operator’s business as the resort or hotel, so why take a risk with that in recommending a resort or hotel they don’t really know well to tour operators based thousands of miles away ? In many cases, the DMC provides the resorts and hotels the tour operator asks for by name, which, again, will tend to be properties that are already in other programmes offered in the UK and Europe or others which have sales representation in the UK and Europe – in some cases as part of a major group.
The source of the business is the tour operator in the UK and Europe and it is by reaching out to that source that results will be achieved. The resort I mentioned earlier with no business from the DMC in 3 years has already seen more business and business opportunities from 3 months of luxury resort and hotel sales representation in the UK and Europe by SmartOtels. SmartOtels meet key decision makers here in the UK and Europe and position our clients strongly in front of them – introducing those decision makers to our resorts and hotels they have often not heard of.
The results of SmartOtels going to the source is that the tour operator, if too small to make a direct contract with the hotel, contacts the DMC and asks for our resorts and hotels by name and they do get the business. Where the tour operator is large enough to make a direct contract with the resort or hotel, they do that (often through SmartOtels) and our resorts and hotels get the business that way, with the DMC providing land services.
Assuming that you have already decided that you want to target the UK and Europe markets – and these are prime and developing markets for resorts and hotels in our focus region of South East Asia right now – consider the ROI gained from your resources and route to market now. It is only by doing that, that you can balance the ROI likely to be gained by luxury resort and hotel sales representation through SmartOtels going to the source of the business for you.
SmartOtels portfolio currently includes: