Diversification can help to keep your investments protected during financial hardships. If one market takes a turn for the worst, you don’t have all your money tied up in one spot. You can weather the storm and keep on moving. Does this also apply to your hotel guests? Should you be attracting as many types of guests as possible, or focus on a single segment? Diversifying your guests can offer the same type of protection for your hotel as it does your other investments, but what does it do to guest satisfaction? Are your guests always compatible?
If your hotel doesn’t sit next door to a high demand generator like an amusement park or other tourist attraction, your guests may come from a number of places. Diversity is good, in the sense that if one of those reasons goes away, there are others to rely on. The problem is that too much diversity can make it difficult to meet the needs of all of your guests. Complimentary Wifi and Breakfast are consistently listed as the the sought after amenities by every travel segment. Even though there is this demand overlap, the usage and expectations from those amenities is not the same.
Picture a business traveler watching the news over their breakfast, next to a family with young energetic children preparing for vacation. The noise or behavior from one group might negatively affect the others and lead to dissatisfied or angry guests. Parents may not want their children exposed to the stories on the news, and the excitement of the children might disrupt the business travelers morning. Neither guest is getting the experience they paid for, and ultimately that will fall back on the hotel. Poor reviews or even requests for discounts and refunds are not far behind when these interactions occur.
Its not to say that you shouldn’t welcome all business, you just might yield better results if you focus on a single segment. Look into your recent guest demographics. If a large portion of your business is coming from traveling families you can tailor your property to better suit their needs and provide a better experience. Look into offering more kid friendly items in your breakfast or stock complimentary coloring books and crayons at the front desk. These little touches often make the biggest impact on guests and can really set your hotel out from the competition.
Many hotels take the Jack-of-All-Trades approach, but this is a quick way to create a very bland and generic environment. Focusing on one segment and catering to their specific needs can make your property a highlight of the travel experience and more than just a shower and sheets.