An article by Sandy Heydt of
Panetiere Marketing Advisors, spring 2003.
Concerns: Marketing, Resort, Attractor for Canadian Market, Adaptable resort marketing, Canadian market for US resort, Resort Marketing
Creative Resort Marketing :
You are a remote resort with two golf courses, five food outlets, and one marina in the upper west end of the United States, two hours from the closest U.S. city, but located right on the Canadian border, which is just 100 yards away. You are or should be focused on your resort marketing to Canada - canadian resort sales .
It is challenging for this resort to get leisure business from the states. There are plenty of lovely resorts closer to your U. S. customers and while you have much to offer, your location is always an objection to weekend guests.
Your greatest potential is the Canadian customer; with a major Canadian city under one hour drive away. The current thinking is that the Canadians won't come to your resort. It is too expensive for them with the depressed value of their dollar. The border crossing takes too long. It is too expensive to market to Canadians. They are loyal to Canada and will not spend their money in the U.S. Even if you give them a reduced room rate, they can't afford your food and beverage, or your spa and golf prices. Where do you start?
Time to think outside the marketing box, be creative, use your brain. Don't think negative. Can't, can't, can't will not get you anywhere! You've got the beasts of golf courses, spa, marina, food outlets, 200 rooms, meeting space, and staff to feed with business.
Fast-forward six months. "At Par" advertising programs have been rolled out to the Canadian market. "At par" means that if you charge $200 for a guest room in U. S. dollars, you will accept $200 Canadian dollars for that room as well. So, perhaps you'll get $130 in U. S. dollar value instead of the $200 you are aiming for. But what is your occupancy without the Canadian customer, and what effect does that have on your valuable RevPar index?
After careful research, affordable advertising has been obtained in a major Canadian feeder market. Your ads are creative and inviting.
Good marketing at a great price. Your message is simple. Your phone rings.
The Canadians are thrilled with your openness and understanding of their plight. You offer "at par" rates when you need the business. And what do you know? They like the discounted room rates, but they are not shy about dining in your restaurants, booking spa treatments, golfing and paying full rate for these amenities.
You gain revenue in otherwise lean times. You create loyal and repeat customers. Your word of mouth advertising is unprecedented. Your phone rings. The customers closest to your front door are happy. Your rate might be a bit lower than you wish, but your RevPar has increased, your occupancy beats past records, and your incremental revenue has skyrocketed. And, you have kept your staff employed, while also reducing the need for re-training the laid-off staff when high season arrives.
This is just one example of creative marketing, solving problems and generating revenue.
What can you do to create business for your hotel, resort, spa, golf course, in fact, - the whole property and prove the pundits wrong?
- from Sandy Heydt, 2003; Sandy is a resort marketing consultant based in Denver and working around the world.
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