Step 1 – Choose the right destination
How important is it to pick the right destination for your hotel? To what extent do the ratings of hotels depend on themselves and to what extent do they depend on the destination of the hotel? That is, if we were able to place a hotel at two different destinations, would both have the same rating or would they differ?
The answer is: yes. They would get a different rating!
So you can’t be the best hotel in the world, if you don’t choose a good destination for your hotel. But what is a good destination? Does it have to be a popular city? A coastal area? Or more a rural destination?
If you look at the 8 top hotels from my previous post (here) two of them are located in London, the best destination in the world according to Tripadvisor.com. But I never had heard of some of the other destinations before (Jodhpur, Sumba, La Fortuna de San Carlos or Puerto Natales. Shame on me!). Maybe it’s because I live in Europe? But still, they are not as famous as New York, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Dubai, etc.
So the answer to my question is: no. To become the best hotel in the world, you don’t have to be located in a very popular and famous city. It even could be the middle of nowhere…
But how do you recognize a good destination for your hotel if it doesn’t have to be famous and popular?
Recognize a good destination
I did some research and I found an article about destination branding. I can hear you thinking: What does this have to do with picking a good destination? The success of a destination greatly depends on its image, brand and trademark. So you have to find a destination with a good image, brand and trademark.
There are at least 5 constructs of building a destination brand: the destination image, the destination quality, the destination personality, the destination awareness and the destination culture.
Destination image is defined as an attitudinal concept that comprises the sum of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a tourist has of a destination. For example, they find that the destination has beautiful scenery, pleasant weather, interesting historical attractions, good nightlife and entertainment, etc.
Destination awareness refers to the knowledge tourists have of a destination. Have they ever heard of the destination? For a destination to be successful, tourist awareness must first be achieved, followed by a positive destination image. If people never have heard of your destination, how can they consider a trip to this destination. So you have to invest in the destination’s awareness.
Destination quality refers to tourists’ perception of destination’s ability to fulfill their expectations. Is there high quality infrastructure (transportation, public facilities), high-level safety of tourist environment, appealing local food, good shopping facilities, etc? The destination quality is a crucial variable in the influence of tourist satisfaction.
Destination personality refers to the human characteristics associated with the destination. Is the destination friendly, reliable, glamorous? A distinctive destination can create a set of unique and favorable associations in the mind of costumers.
Destination culture refers to the system of characteristics based on the cultural aspects of the people (traditions, gastronomy, events, etc.) and the country (historical and archaeological sites, monuments, churches, etc.). A strong relationship between tourism and culture can help destinations become more attractive and competitive.
Create a good destination
If you want to start a hotel in London, you don’t have be worried about destination image, awareness, quality, personality or culture. That’s obvious. (Although you can’t forget them either, but that’s for a later post…). But what if you’re hotel is located in a lesser known destination? You have to invest in creating a good destination!
For example, that is exactly what The Nihiwatu does. It’s located in Sumba, not the most famous part of Indonesia. Through investing in the destination quality and in a good cooperation between culture and tourism they make Sumba a better destination. And this is one of the reasons why they became the best hotel in the world according to Travel + Leisure. By becoming the best hotel in the world, they created awareness.