The hotel business has, of course, become a true entrepreneurial system that can no longer suffer from amateurism given the cost of a hotel and the challenges involved. As in any profession, there are good hoteliers and not so good ones. But for a hotel to succeed and become profitable, more and more conditions must be met. These are linked to the action of the operator himself, but also to the environment and the market surrounding the hotel.
1) – A buoyant local market:
A hotel has every chance of filling up and even at the right prices if it benefits from a local market based on a business clientele complemented by a leisure clientele. This type of market characteristic is found in most major cities and in the vicinity of international airports. If there is essentially only a business clientele (with empty or almost empty hotels on weekends), this can still work. On the other hand, with only the presence of a leisure clientele, especially when it is generally seasonal, profitability will be complicated to find, if not impossible. A market study can verify the potentialities of a tourism-hospitality market.
2) – A good location:
Being located in an attractive district (historic or old town, for example), on the waterfront, in the middle of a mountain resort, etc. will not be surprised by the assets that business (if any) and leisure customers will appreciate. But, an attractive hotel for commercial and business people will be close to their meeting or work place. Finally, the right location requires a visible building and sign and an easily accessible site.
3) – A parking lot:
It is essential to have or benefit from a car park (belonging to the hotel or nearby). It may be less if a large proportion of the clientele travels there by train or plane (hotel in the city centre, for example). If the parking lot is closed and guarded, of course it’s better. Making him pay again is subject to this condition. A coach space is valuable if necessary, and the law (fortunately) requires places for people with disabilities.
4) – A restaurant:
The presence of a restaurant is useful if the hotel is isolated (in a rural or outlying area at the entrance to the city). If it is surrounded by restaurants, provided they correspond to the style of clientele that the hotel will receive, one can do without in the establishment (hotel-office). While catering is a separate profession and generally not very profitable, the absence of an on-site restaurant (in or near the hotel) can severely limit the hotel’s occupancy rate. A restaurant also brings life to a hotel. We can always outsource the management of the restaurant to a third party as is increasingly being done: to each his own skills. It should be noted that it is clear that a restaurateur is rarely a good hotelier. The opposite is also true. Finally, the restaurant will have to have its own identity and a street entrance to reach local customers (and make it more profitable).
5) – The affiliation to a channel:
There are differences between being affiliated with an integrated hotel chain and a voluntary chain. In the first case, and on the condition that the chain enjoys a strong reputation – this is the case of only about fifteen brands present in France – and a good image, the hotel can expect on average between 8 and 15 points of better occupancy rate and almost 20% additional revenue per room. This will be less true for other networks and voluntary chains, few of which are known and recognized by hotel customers. In any case, membership of a chain does not exempt you from having to actively market your hotel. In the end, it is just – and more and more – a complement.