Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Give the man music

September 26, 2010

This blog has been silent of late due to my travels to, first, a conference in Rome, and then, a couple of weeks of R&R around Puglia.  As such, my ponderings have been banking up while I waited for decent internet access.

All this travel and stays in hotels of various quality and other accommodation has got me thinking about lost competitive opportunities for hoteliers.  The one that is really starting to aggravate is the failure to provide facilities for listening to music.

In a world were huge numbers of travellers are carrying Apple music players of various descriptions, I am stunned that it has not become de rigeur to provide an iPod dock in hotel rooms.  I would love the chance to move beyond headphones or the tinny speaker on my iPhone.

The cost to a hotelier would be low (decent units go for less than $100), and the payoff in terms of satisfaction would be high.  As travellers become more and more linked, and more vocal, through feedback sites such as Tripadvisor, hotels should be looking for simple but effective ways to make the stay more enjoyable and to differentiate themselves from others.  This would be one of them.

I can only recall one hotel that I’ve stayed in which provided a dock. It rocked and was well-named!


A new Tune for Aussie accommodation market?

December 18, 2009

Low-cost expert Tony Fernandes (the man behind Air Asia) is launching his Tune discount hotel marque in Australia.

This is no-frills, low-cost at a pretty spectacular level. All you get is a clean room with a comfy bed (according to the firm) and shower. Every single extra (i.e. breakfast, a towel, hairdryer, toiletries, air-con, wi-fi) have a price, none of which seem exorbitant.

The company saves big expenses by not wasting space on gyms, lounges, restaurants, pool, or varied fitouts (i.e. suites etc), and on excessive and unwarranted laundry and other services, and the consumers shares in some of those cost savings.

As the article argues, other firms (such as Accor) are in this domain (e.g. Formule 1) but it strikes me that this slight tweaking of the model might work better. If the price point is a little lower (say $40-50 a night) and the locations satisfactory (i.e. very central), this offering may well bridge the gap between:

(i) the hostel market (which is highly idiosyncratic and uncertain for the customer),

(ii) the motel market (ditto, plus with very car-dependent locations), and

(ii) the low-end hotel chains (which often seem poor quality for the price)

You’d also think that South East Asian brand awareness might also assist in attracting customers in Australia (both from Malaysian, Indonesia and around plus other international travellers continuing on in their journeys).

In a business strategy sense, you could argue that the challenge for Tune is to capture as much of the tightar$e traveller niche (i.e. Focused Low Cost dominance), or alternatively shift the Willingness to Pay algorithm for a big chunk of the broad market (i.e. a Broad Low Cost play).

Blue Ocean proponents will no doubt view this as a creating new market space, on the ground of the bridging above, although the existence of the three current competitor groups should call that into doubt.

As an aside, I’m curious as to whether Aussie councils will allow such a garish paint job… and what Coke thinks of the logo…