Travel and tourism is one of the major businesses in countries of Asia. Countries such as Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Vietnam and Singapore each have their own natural resources, man-made structures, historical monuments etc. to name a few. Most of these countries have a business support structure where even an individual with a capital can build a travel agency or carry on a hotel for tourists.
What to expect?
It should be kept in mind that people who visit these countries come from various places in the world. They could be from Asia itself, in which case they will understand why something is not available, but as opposed to that Europeans might fail to empathize with you. Catering to the mass is the best strategy; Western countries bring in more money as exchange rates are higher and they are, generally, willing to pay more than the Easterners. If you have a facility to suit the westerners it will also be more than enough for the others as quality of life is unarguably higher in the developed countries. This can vary for countries such as Japan or Singapore but mostly it rings true with other countries. So if you have a small hotel or a boutique villa make sure all basic facilities are provided for. There are many options now; people choose to read reviews online, post questions in forums enquiring about others’ experiences, pre-book and use services such as air bnb rather than just booking a hotel.
How can you differentiate?
This is a question faced by many. As competition is high you need to find truly value-added areas to make your product stand out. It is not sufficient anymore to provide the basics such as lodging and food. If, for example, you are in Singapore, you need to have a centralized place for the accommodation; understand their geography, there are trains to literally everywhere so a centralized place means where you can access a train station which is not difficult. You can then provide a map to all guests; it is not difficult to comprehend the transport structure via trains. Keep good communication. Space is limited there and everyone is aware of it, so it won’t matter if you don’t provide a walk-in closet or a balcony to every room. But you can arrange good food with several options, a parting token of appreciation such as customised gifts Singapore, and a discount if they recommend more guests or visits one more time.
Marketing and promotions
Big hotel chains can afford to hire billboards and advertise in newspapers. But as a small hotel owner you should not spend so much money. It is best to choose the right pathways for promotions such as online advertising and one-to-one relationships with travel agencies. You can register the hotel in all major online booking sites and advertise in common web pages where tourists tend to look for most visited places etc. Getting your visitors to write good reviews about you can also give good mileage.
It is easy to ignore basic things and forget about how to improve a business when things move fast around you. But the key is to focus on getting what is most needed, right. Fringes can be added later and if the basics are not there, added advantages will ring hollow.