This assessment will cover the following questions:
- Explain the external factors which impact on business strategy of the Marriott Hotel.
- Define and discuss the Strategic Planning process implemented in the Marriott Hotel.
- Elaborate the PEST Factors and their impact on a tourism business.
- Create and present a Strategic Plan for a Tourism Business.
Tourism comprises of activities where people travel and stay at locations other than their place of dwelling for various purposes like business, leisure, educational tours, recreation etc. which helps in enhancing their experience and can also help in expanding their businesses. This industry has been ever increasing and also contributions towards generating economy for the country by attracting travellers from various locations (Abrate and Viglia, 2016). This also helps in generating employment opportunities which increases the standard of living of people of that country. This includes various other sub-sectors like accommodation, transportation, food and beverages etc. In this report accommodation which is one of the fastest growing sub-sector of tourism is being discussed by taking Marriott International hotels which is the world's largest hotel chains and renowned for providing luxurious hospitality services to its customers. Under this report the strategic management of accommodation sub-sector will be discussed which will help in managing the hotel services so that it can grow sustainably in the competitive market and can continue to enhance customer experience through managing its strategies.
Introduction to sub-sector and company
Tourism is related to travelling to places out of the residence place of a person which can be either for the purpose of pleasure, business, educational trip, recreation etc. Tourism industry is divided into eight different sub-sectors which help in enhancing the experience of people travelling to different places and includes accommodation, adventure tourism and recreation, attractions, transportation, food and beverages etc. Accommodation is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of tourism industry which helps the travellers to acquire a lodging facility for a short period of time so that they can stay in a safe and secure place and can enjoy the basic facilities of being at home. Marriott International is an American multinational company which deals in providing hospitality facility to the travellers and is the third largest hotel chains in the world (Elbanna, 2016). The hotel chain has about 1,332,826 rooms all across its branches in the world which provides luxurious facilities of hotel rooms and other ancillary services like spa, gym, swimming pools etc. which enhances the experience of travellers and increase their comfort and leisure. Marriott hotel uses advanced technology so that the customer experience can be enhanced like use of online application so that bookings can be made by customers, use of AI so that their database can be stored which will help in making customers loyal, providing a lavish, clean, aromatic environment so that their stay can be made more comfortable and enjoyable.
As the disposable income of people in UK are increasing they are ready to pay high amount in order to gain luxurious experiences irrespective of the prices so they are more attracted toward the accommodation services which can help in creating high value for them. Marriott is well-known for its high value creation for customers by providing them with luxurious services that can help in increasing their comfort so that they can enjoy their holidays (Evans, 2015). However as travel and tourism are increasing in UK competition in this sector is also increasing and Marriott is facing competition from other hotel giants in UK like Hyatt, Hilton Hotel etc.
Strategic analysis that affects the functions and operations of company
Strategic analysis refers to the process of conducting research for a company so that the internal and external environmental factors that affect the operations of the company can be analysed which will help in forming accurate strategy so that the competitiveness of the company can be maintained in the market. Strategic analysis also helps in identifying the possible threats and potential opportunities prevailing in the market so that strategic decisions can be made which will help the company in achieving a competitive advantage in the market (Evans, 2016). SWOT analysis is a strategic management tool which can be used by Marriott hotel in order to identify its internal and external environment which will help it in analysing its core strengths and weaknesses and also hoe can it gain a competitive advantage in the market which is discussed below :
- Strengths : The company strictly follows its operational norms which helps it in customizing its services for the customers so that their experience can be enhanced. Also the hotel chain is present in 122 countries with about 1.2 million rooms available for customers. Also the company focuses on innovating its services so that it can remain competitive in the market.
- Weaknesses : As the company mainly focus on expanding its hotel branches the uniformity of standards of the hotel become hard to be followed. The company also overemphasize on service standardisation which weakens the morale of the staff as they have to work under strict working structure.
- Opportunities : People around the world are ready to pay huge amounts so that they can enjoy luxurious services which gives the company an opportunity to expand in different parts of the world. Also the company focuses on customizing its services to its customers which enhance their experience and helps it in capturing the attention of large number of customers.
- Threats : The company is facing a lot of competition from other hotel chains like Hilton, Novotel etc. which affects its strategies and policies. Also the global recession has strongly hit the hospitality business making the growth of this sector slow which is a threat for the company.
From the above SWOT analysis it can be determined that the company can formulate strategies which will help it in using its strengths and opportunities in the market so that it can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace (KiráÄ¾ová and PavlíÄeka, 2015). Also the company needs to work on its weaknesses and form strategies to prevent itself from negative impact of threats so that it can continue to grow and develop in the market.
Critically analyse of mega trends, operational and management challenges and opportunities
The accommodating sub sector of tourism industry is continuously growing which in turn brining up several opportunities as well as challenges in front of the players that are already operating in the sector which brings up a cut throat competition among the players. As a result of these activities has increased the demand and expectation of customers toward the services offered by hotels, which daily introduce a new trend that support the accommodation providers to provide their customers a best experience and keep them bind with the services offered by them (Koseoglu, 2016). The Marriott internation must focuses toward keeping its operations align with the services offered by them so that it can remain positioned with sustainable competitiveness. Following are the mega trend that are present in market:
- Mobile integration:- The mobile integration within the services offered by a hotel is one of the trend which get viral these days from the introduction of smart phones. Now people from anywhere can book their accommodation related services can enjoy them. This is one of the greatest opportunity for Marriott hotel as with the use of mobile integration practices it become easier for them to promote its services and approach larger number of customers throughout the world. On other side this also brings up challenges like increasing competition and a medium of comparison where customers can compare the services offered by Marriott with other brand which may result into brand switch. Hence it require proper maintainable of their online services while getting integrated with the mobile as a medium to offer services to keep its customer base maintained.
- AI and Chatbots:- With the increasing trend of artificial intelligences each activities performed in hotel get switched from manual work to digitalisation. Now the customers can access the information using e-concierge, can access voice activated chat bots to shut the curtains, set alarm, order meal etc. on quick basis (Madera, Dawson, Guchait and Belarmino, 2017). Marriott using AI powered chat bots in around 5000 hotel which is a greater growth opportunity as people are appreciating it and willing to avail such services. But the major challenge is that the installation as well as maintenance of such technology costs higher which in turn also increases the cost of services as well.
- Virtual reality:- Many of the hotels has started to offer additional services ion order to entertain their customers with the use of virtual reality which provide customer a view to virtual world without even visiting place. This trend get introduced as majority of people visit a place just to enjoy their vacation instead of roaming to site scene. Marriott also started providing virtual reality headset to its customers which enable guest to have a virtual trip to several location whiling sitting in their room. This bring a growth opportunity for Marriott as technological innovation is always appreciated by the customers. But major challenge is that majority of people do not prefer such services as they are expensive which may increase the cost of Marriott.
These are the mega challenges that are prevailing in the industry that bring several opportunity or threat to Marriott in term of maintenance, effective operation, management, competition etc. These challenges and opportunities are mainly related with the operations and management that are mentioned below:
The major opportunities that Marriott internation hotel will get with the help of these mega trends are mentioned below:
- The mobile integration within the operations performed by the staff members it become easier to enhance the level of performance and be able to offer high quality services on quicker basis (Moutinho and Vargas-Sanchez, 2018). This is so because the digitalisation of transaction will reduce the work load and also pre specify the operations to be perform so that it can be schedule by the management effectively which ensures operational efficiency.
- Another opportunity is that mobile integration allows the Marriott to determine the customer demand on quick basis that allows effective strategic formation which is a greatest opportunity for management as it reduces the chances of error.
- The chatbot practise performed by Marriott also brings up several opportunities to the management by keeping its customers demand align with the less possible time by handing it over at the end of customers.
There are number of challenges that management and operations are facing with the changing demand as well as trend in the marketplace some of them are mentioned below:
- Changes within the advertising and marketing trend brings up several challenges to the management of the Marriott hotel, as by getting digitalise services the promotional and marketing practices changes frequently within the industry (Sotiriadis, 2015). This affect the operational practices as well, because now the staff members have to remain active all the time and getting engaged with the customers. As delay in such practices results into customer dissatisfaction.
- Another management challenge is that customers discuss their issues as well as feedback now over social sites which increase the working burden of staff members as if these issues are not management on timely manner than it may affect the goodwill of Marriott.
- The operation challenges which remain in front of Marriott is regular maintenance of their digital network as it may hacked or damages by intruder which may result into hacking of customers confidential information and then misusing it which influence itrs brand image.
Also Read:- Foreign Direct Investment In Tourism Sector
Addressing of mega trend
There are number of trends that are now prevailing in the industry which is required to be effectively implicate by the Marriott hotel in order to remain competitive within the market place. The basic trend in industry is making use mobile integration, virtual reality, AI and chatbots. Some of them are being adopted by Marriott international hotels but in order to effectively manage and get maximum output following steps must be taken into consideration:
- In order to effectively make the use of mobile integration in effective manner without any sort of issues it must focuses toward launching its own mobile application where customers can download and get a well managed structure of options they want to visit (Štefko, KiráÄ¾ová and Mudrík, 2015). This ensure quicker actions to be perform as customers get a option to book their services or be able to perform transaction with the hotel without physically visiting the location or getting affected due to traffic over internet which slow down the procession at web pages. But for that it is required to hire technical staff who can manage the operations or practices in efficient manner. In addition to this the staff members must be provided with the proper training programs so that they learn to manage the mobile application properly. This will help in achieving the competitive edge.
- For effective application of chatbot and AI, Marriott hotel must focuses toward keeping its staff members capable of handling the process as well as operations it involves which require for smooth flow of operations performed by chatbots. Despite of this regular maintenance as well as system check required to perform before the visit of a customers so that they can enjoy their accommodation services without getting affected due to technical issue.
- Virtual reality:- In order to attract larger number of customers toward availing the services offered by Marriott hotel, it must focuses toward adding a feature of virtual reality to its marketing practices over social media sites or pages through which it promote the services. This will allow the users in experiencing the virtual recreation of a room to which they are planning to book (Taks, Chalip and Green, 2015). This will help in assuring that they get a room as per their choice and providing a statement of try then buy. Such application of virtual reality within the operations will allow the Marriott hotel to attract more and more customers to visit their hotels and avail the services as it promises to provide a better experience to their trip. Apart from that their must be regular maintenance to be performed which ensures that the customers will not find any sort of issues while visiting or going through marketing practices.
These are the practices used to address the mega trends in more effective manner that are prevailing in industry. Despite of this for addressing the operational and management related issues, Marriott international hotels will organise a regular training and development session for keeping its employees aware about the trend and changes to be adopted along with manner in which operations must be performed (Wood, 2018). This will support in bringing higher competencies as well as developing capabilities among them which ensure higher performance level so that competitive advantage can be get within such competitive sector.
As the competition is rising within the hospitality sector due to increasing income status of customers and up-gradation of technology which make it crucial for the Marriott to remain align with such challenges so that competitive advantage can be achieved. It is recommended that Marriott hotel must perform market and trend analysis on regular basis in order to keep on updating its practices and keeping align with the demand of customers to make them satisfied with services. In addition to this it must also regularly offer training program to its staff members for keeping them flexible in term of accepting changes.
From the above report it can be concluded that companies that businesses have to continuously develop strategies which will help them in gaining a competitive advantage in the market and they can continue to grow and develop through strategic analysis of the market in which they operate. The use of technology such as virtual reality, chatbots, mobile integration etc. can help the companies involved in hospitality industry can enhance the experience of customers. These services also help in making the company compete efficiently in the market and also achieve its goals and objectives on time.
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