Berjaya Hotels & Resorts: Marketing Analysis

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Executive Summary

This marketing plan is based on the idea to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the idea to expand Berjaya Hotels & Resorts to Dubai, which is one of the leading cities in the world in terms of economy. This report outlines a strong marketing strategy for opening a hotel that can become a considerable competitor to existing hotels in the city. Finally, the target market, the value proposition of the brand, and promotion ideas are identified. Consequently, the report covers all the appropriate points regarding the idea to open a new hotel in the capital of the United Emirates.

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Considering that Berjaya Hotels & Resorts has been existing since 1992, this holding has a deep understanding of the way a hotel should function. However, Dubai is considered one of the global destinations of the hotel industry. Therefore, it is essential to take appropriate measures to build a successful hotel. In addition to corresponding to the requirements provided by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the hotel should utilize promotion strategies to engage with customers.

For instance, social media marketing, as well as seasonal, website, and event-based promotions, should be included in the strategic marketing initiative. Accordingly, if the suggested marketing plan is followed in the context of setting goals and understanding the target audience, the hotel can increase revenue, improve company reputation, and develop new business relationships in a short time.

Introduction

Berjaya Hotels & Resorts can be considered one of the most popular hotel chains in the entire world. As a part of the Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, this chain includes a variety of properties, including exotic island resorts throughout Langkawi and Tioman, as well as luxury urban hotels in the territory of Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. Currently, this hotel chain serves clients with well-equipped guest rooms, restaurants, lobby lounges, conference rooms, and a wedding hall.

This marketing plan is based on the idea to expand Berjaya Hotels & Resorts to Dubai, which is the capital of the United Emirates and its seaside town. In order to achieve this goal, it is essential to take into consideration specific features of the city, market analysis, pricing strategy, SWOT analysis, launch plan, and promotional plans. In light of the fact that this hotel chain is widely known for its high level of personal service and extensive range of hotel facilities, its hotel in Dubai is expected to assist in building the positive brand as a whole. Moreover, both business tourists and admirers of recreational tourists would be able to enjoy their stay in the capital of the United Emirates to the fullest extent.

Situation Audit

To assess potential challenges associated with the expansion of the hotel chain to Dubai, it is important to develop a top-level local market analysis. In this case, it would be beneficial to take into account the 5 C’s of marketing, which stands for company, customers, competitors, collaborators, and climate. As a result, the working environment of the hotel will be explored and an analysis of external factors will be provided.

Company

Berjaya Hotels & Resorts (BHR) is a 4-star hotel chain that serves clients across the globe. Whether people prefer an exciting city adventure or a relaxing island getaway, they can always stay in one of 3,000 rooms across the Asia Pacific and the UK. With its headquarter in Kuala Lumpur, the hotel chain currently serves clients from both international and domestic markets. Founded in 1992, BHR has an estimated annual revenue of over $123 million (Dhal). Also, BHR is a part of Berjaya Corporation, which is one of Malaysia’s largest organizations in the context of consumer marketing.

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Customers

From the perspective of customers, the hotel is focused on business and leisure tourists. At the same time, in spite of the fact that the majority of its customers used to be foreign clients, this trend has changed considerably in the past year. Due to the global pandemic, numerous countries closed their borders for tourists. As a result, to encourage domestic tourism, the “Let’s Travel Again Pass” program was introduced in March 2021 (Tan & Chin, 2021). According to this program, customers can use a mix of various discounts and stay vouchers with an open date of arrival. Therefore, it is predicted that domestic tourists will account for the main part of hotels’ revenue in the next several years.

Competitors

In Dubai, the main competitors of BHR are expected to be Hyatt Regency Galleria, Wyndham Dubai Marina, and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai. In fact, all these hotels belong to the group of 4-star properties that are tremendously popular in the city. The main advantages of these hotels are a high level of services, close proximity to the city center, and proven security.

Collaborators

Presently, BHR collaborates with Travel Prologue in order to improve its wholesale distribution service on Trip Affiliates Network. Initially, the agreement was signed in March 2019. Furthermore, there is an agreement between this hotel chain and SiteMinder (Cricchiola, 2019). This partnership is beneficial for growing the BHR’s online presence.

Climate

Dubai has specific laws that regulate the licensing and classification of hotel establishments in the city. The local government adopted a multi-tiered framework of ratings, categories, and designators. According to the updated model, all hotels should be licensed by the Dubai Department of Tourism. Additionally, the outbreak of COVID-19 has encouraged the local government to implement additional restrictions on hotels. Currently, all hotel establishments should operate at a 70% occupancy level (Dhal, 2021). Also, hotels are required to provide up-to-date information to their clients about the impact of COVID-19 and the main measures to prevent its spread. Physical distancing measures, hand cleaning, and respiratory hygiene should be integral elements of the daily routine of the guests. In turn, hotel representatives should take responsibility for ventilation and air conditioning throughout the entire facility.

Vision and Mission Statements

Vision and mission statements play an essential role in terms of marketing promotion and the overall success of the hotel. When it comes to Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, its vision is based on the idea to become a leading sustainable hospitality group in the whole world. In turn, its mission consists of several significant elements. In fact, leaders of this hotel chain aim to maintain a collaborative working environment, improve standards of services, drive innovation, as well as endorse guests and partners.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

BHR is known in the entire world due to a combination of several considerable strengths. First, this hotel chain is an integral part of Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, which is a large holding company operating in Malaysia. In other words, BHR has a strong brand-name recognition, which is essential in terms of attracting tourists from different parts of the world. Second, this hotel is popular for a variety of offered services. In addition to spending time in the hotel as usual tourists, people have the opportunity to make a dream wedding celebration or multinational business meeting there. Moreover, all hotels of this chain have an excellent location, experienced staff, established differentiation strategy, and well-represented brand values. Finally, the hotels of this chain vary from comfortable boutique hotels to the luxury of award-winning resorts, which is why people of different financial status and national backgrounds can afford to book a room there.

Weaknesses

In spite of the fact that this hotel chain has many strengths and advantages over similar properties, there are some weaknesses that should be acknowledged. For instance, based on the information from guest reviews, certain rooms require renovation and upgrade. Also, it is essential to pay attention to high-speed Internet access and laptop links in order to satisfy the needs of all clients. Additionally, this hotel chain requires growth from the perspective of its online presence and rate parity. In the 21st century, this aspect plays an important role in the promotion and overall success, which is why it should be taken into consideration. Lastly, to provide the highest quality services, leaders of BHR should take appropriate measures to improve interdepartmental communications.

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Opportunities

Currently, there are two main areas for opportunities in the field of the hotel industry. In this case, market trends and guest feedback are usually analyzed. To improve loyalty and communicate better with the guests, the hotel should be focused on catering to millennials, tech explosion, the influx of international visitors, as well as increased emphasis on health and well-being. For instance, considering that numerous tourists tend to take care of their overall health, the hotel should offer services of fitness centers, pools, and spas. Furthermore, there are multiple innovative trends that can help hotels engage new customers. For example, with the growing digital channels, the hotel can develop a chatbot to assist clients 24/7.

Threats

Even though opening a new hotel in the capital of the United Emirates is a tremendously beneficial idea for the entire hotel chain, there are some threats that should be taken into account. First, the spread of COVID-19 has a considerable impact on the development of the hotel industry in the entire world, including Dubai. Despite the fact that Dubai is open to tourists from the majority of countries, there are multiple epidemiological restrictions that should be followed. Therefore, the number of people booking rooms in local hotels has rapidly decreased lately. Another significant threat to opening a new hotel in this city is based on new hotel openings. In fact, it is predicted that 79 hotels will be launched in Dubai in 2021 (“More than 150 new hotels”, 2021). Accordingly, this trend should be considered before opening new hotel in this city.

Target Market Strategy

Presently, the target market strategy of the new hotel is intended to ensure that people with various financial statuses and ethnic backgrounds are served in the best manner. Moreover, the goals of this strategy include the development of close working relationships with suppliers and the identification of guests’ needs in an effective manner. In turn, highly skilled and well-trained staff is expected to play the main role in this strategy.

The primary targets of this hotel are expected to be admirers of recreational, cultural, religious, and business tourism. Therefore, to make the right message is sent to the right prospect, it would be essential to split the audiences into several separate campaigns. While one group of tourists is offered rooms on the more extravagant side, the other group will be served with the help of rooms that are often sold at discount prices. When the target audience is successfully divided into several customer groups, targeting options should be applied. In this case, the use of Google Analytics and social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, should be considered.

Launch Plan

To introduce a new hotel to customers, it is important to implement a launch plan. This plan consists of several considerable phases that must be followed in a chronological manner. If all steps are followed according to this plan, hotel representatives will be able to increase revenue, improve company reputation, and develop new business relationships.

  1. Engage with clients with the help of incentive sites, partnerships, business outreach, as well as traditional or social media.
  2. Determine the target audience on the basis of geographic, psychological, behavioral, and demographic factors.
  3. Improve customer satisfaction through direct communication with clients and analysis of the main booking platforms.
  4. Engage with influencers, such as celebrities and influential journalists, in order to increase brand value.
  5. Develop partnerships that can contribute to the overall success of the hotel in Dubai.

Financial Summary

Description 2020 US$’000 2020 RM’000 2019 RM’000 2018 RM’000 2017 RM’000 2016 RM’000
Revenue 1,204,695 5,160,309 7,307,221 6,390,405 6,371,366 6,283,997
Profit Before Tax 43,278 185,382 546,397 99,981 576,321 8,961
Profit/(Loss) for the Financial Year/Period 10,163 43,535 352,472 (93,230) 411,221 (165,024)
(Loss)/Profit Attributable To Owners of the Parent (15,191) (65,072) 154,083 (167,466) 294,738 (270,637)
Share Capital 583,674 2,500,168 2,500,168 2,500,168 2,500,168 2,500,168
Reserves 376,429 1,612,434 1,697,945 1,660,858 2,042,717 1,852,320
Equity Funds 960,103 4,112,602 4,198,113 4,161,026 4,542,885 4,352,488
Treasury Shares (7,854) (33,643) (20,699) (20,699) (20,699) (20,699)
Net Equity Funds 952,249 4,078,959 4,177,414 4,140,327 4,522,186 4,331,789
Non-controlling Interests 498,221 2,134,130 2,080,907 2,279,015 2,338,819 2,630,205
Total Equity 1,450,470 6,213,089 6,258,321 6,419,342 6,861,005 6,961,994
Long Term Loans 545,888 2,338,311 1,742,770 1,888,367 1,782,336 2,859,025
Deferred Tax Liabilities 234,864 1,006,042 959,611 1,069,925 1,061,021 1,218,603
Lease Liabilities 221,099 947,078
Other Non-Current Liabilities 66,036 282,865 274,818 317,120 121,316 138,775
Current Liabilities 683,571 2,928,075 2,817,539 3,227,762 3,290,047 3,252,369
Liabilities Directly Associated To Disposal Group Classified As Held For Sale 24,170 103,533 12,093 2,959 2,775
Total Equity and Liabilities 3,226,098 13,818,993 12,065,152 12,925,475 13,118,500 14,430,766
Property, Plant And Equipment 399,027 1,709,233 1,571,650 1,584,508 1,709,547 1,732,398
Right-Of-Use Assets 305,361 1,308,012
Intangible Assets 843,438 3,612,867 3,592,282 4,071,572 4,020,046 4,712,683
Other Non-Current Assets 655,586 2,808,204 3,771,918 3,860,033 3,805,340 3,402,592
Current Assets 841,046 3,602,621 2,899,218 3,186,482 3,540,651 3,603,311
Assets of Disposal Group/ Non-Current Assets Classified As Held for Sale 181,640 778,056 230,084 222,880 42,916 979,782
Total Assets 3,226,098 13,818,993 12,065,152 12,925,475 13,118,500 14,430,766
Net Assets Per Share (US$/RM)* 0.19 0.83 0.84 0.83 0.91 0.87
Net (Loss)/Earnings Per Share (US$/RM)* (0.00) (0.01) 0.03 (0.03) 0.06 (0.05)
Dividend (cents/sen)
Dividend Amount (US$’000/RM’000)

Promotional Plans

Simply opening a hotel in one of the most populous cities of the United Emirates is not enough in order to boost bookings and increase revenue flow at the hotel. In the present circumstances, it is important to establish appropriate promotional initiatives to ensure that the hotel is kept up to the highest level. In this case, the best promotional ideas include:

Seasonal Promotions

The hotel industry operates under the impact of both high and low seasons. Therefore, an accurate approach to providing services during these seasons is required. Even though peak season is characterized by adequate bookings and business, it is still crucial to implement effective pricing strategies, including the yield management technique, during this period. In turn, the goal of increasing low-season occupancy can be reached with the help of various celebrations, workshops, seminars.

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Event-based Promotions

Events have always been used as one of the most effective methods to attract the attention of customers to a specific hotel. Whether it is a concert, exhibition, or food fair, it is vital to use these celebrations to engage with clients. When it comes to the capital of the United Emirates, Dubai Shopping Festival, Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and Dubai Jazz Festival should be taken into consideration. For instance, the hotel can become a sponsor of a certain event, thereby getting advertisements on hoardings and TV ads.

Facebook and Instagram Marketing

To keep the engagement consistent, hotel representatives should communicate with customers through social media channels. It can be done by simply sharing user-generated content with the help of regular posts and stories. Also, by following and engaging with social media influencers, there is an opportunity to reach numerous potential customers.

Website Promotion

The website of the hotel can be considered its face, which is why it is tremendously important to make it accessible and engaging. For example, adding interesting written content, as well as high-resolution images and videos of the hotel, should be a priority marketing technique in this case. Also, the hotel’s amenities, services, offers, and contact details should be relevant and easy to find.

Partnership Promotion

Currently, Dubai is one of the most populous cities not only in Asia but in the whole Europe. As a result, different types of businesses are located in the same area. This feature of the city can also be used for promotion. In fact, it is a widely known practice when hotels sign partnership agreements with cafes, restaurants, and museums to attract customers. On the one hand, tourists have the opportunity to enjoy combined tours. On the other hand, businesses benefit from the promotion. Hence, partnership promotion is an extremely popular way to increase brand value, as it is a cost-effective and effective intervention.

Direct Booking Promotion

Most frequently, tourists book rooms in hotels with the help of online travel agencies, thereby paying for the room more than its actual price is due to commission fees. In turn, if exclusive promotions are placed on the hotel website, tourists would be able to pay less. Currently, this promotion initiative is effective for increasing the number of customers. At the same time, the hotel website can offer the opportunity to use gift cards in case clients pay the full price that is offered by online travel agencies.

Recommendations

In 2021, hotel guest experience significantly depends on the spread of COVID-19 and the measures taken by staff to reduce its impact on clients. Therefore, the new hotel in Dubai should prepare the housekeeping team for disinfecting and eliminating the virus. This goal can be achieved by adapting the checklist of housekeeping tasks and encouraging staff to wear personal protective equipment. In addition, it would be essential to minimize employee-to-guest contamination. Finally, if the hotel has a guest with suspected infection by COVID-19, this person should be placed with natural ventilation and no carpets, rugs, or curtains. in case sanitary norms are not maintained during the pandemic, the hotel will be fined.

Conclusion

Thus, opening a new hotel during a pandemic is a tremendously difficult task, although this goal can be achieved if appropriate marketing measures are taken. BHR is a global hotel chain that has been successfully operating since 1992. When it comes to Dubai, it can be considered a rising giant of the hotel industry. As a result, local hotels follow top standards of products and services. The marketing analysis demonstrates that the new facility of BHR in Dubai will have a variety of advantages over its competitors. For example, relatively small price per room, strong brand-name recognition, experienced staff, and well-represented brand values. However, the external environment can significantly impact the success of the hotel, which is why it is tremendously crucial to provide regular analysis of its factors.

References

Cricchiola, M. (2019). Berjaya Hotels & Resorts engages SiteMinder to get rate disparity under control. SiteMinder. Web.

Dhal, S. (2021). COVID-19: Dubai Tourism clarifies new rules for Dubai tourists, hotels. Gulf News. Web.

More than 150 new hotels in Dubai construction pipeline.Arabian Business. (2021). Web.

Tan, W., & Chin, K. (2021). Berjaya Hotels & Resorts introduces the “Let’s Travel Again Pass” program. Tourism Malaysia. Web.

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