This assignment will take a radical approach to evaluate two interesting issues: contemporary issues facing resort managers, and the trends of resort management.
If hoteliers maintain the conventional staff training, customer satisfaction workshop, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) etc, they could confine to five-star service level. To rise beyond this level, resort managers need to go further miles.
Whilst superior services together with efficient SOPs could offer a five-star guest experience, the key to rise beyond the five-star level is to serve with extraordinary loving care that would touch the heart of every guest (McAlpine, 2008).
McAlpine (2008) argues resort managers can help their staff to create a loving guest experience. There are times that staff arrive at work with negative emotions like stressed, worried or burdened. In such situation, they cannot create a love and compassion experience for guests.
Resort managers should first learn meditation and then teach their staff. Medication with the right kinds of music and story can soften ones’ hearts and feelings; release the negative emotions so that staff could create a loving guest experience (McAlpine, 2008). The meditation also helps staff to overcome low self-esteem and fears, such as fear of talking to guests, selling to guests or offering service to guests. Managers should facilitate staff to exercise simple five-minute medications that will touch their heart and develop the feeling of love. Consequently they will disseminate the spirit of love, care, warmth, empathy and compassion that most resort guests can feel. After a busy period of service, staff should have a simple five-minute meditation to calm themselves down, increase their energy, or to re-energise themselves.
Resort managers could gain competitive edge, to encourage their staff do simple five-minute meditations daily. Consequently the happy staff could offer guests a desirable heart-warming, loving, caring spirit experiences and memories. Such competitive edge could not be clone by competitors easily, because they are developed over time.
Trends of Resort Management
Hoteliers also need to face the challenge of occupancy rates and revenue, particularly in low seasons.
Hotel Indoor Waterparks Attract More Visitors
According to an extensive survey from 1993 to 2001 about ‘Wisconsin Dells Hotels Performance’, many hotels with indoor waterparks recorded occupancy rates considerably higher than those without indoor waterparks (Haralson and Coy, 2001).
Most hoteliers package the waterpark admission charges into the room rate (Haralson and Coy, 2001). Once resort guests unpacked their suitcase, they are free to enjoy all the recreation and entertainment. When guests stay on-site of resort hotels for longer periods, they tend to spend money on other areas, such as restaurants, bar/grille, arcade game room and gift shop. Therefore the key to success is to be aware of the resort trend and be a pioneer in resort management, staying ahead of competitors.
Predictable Hotel Resort Trends
After examining various articles written on the trends of resort, I recommend resort hoteliers should make reference to the following analysis of Coy (2008) in their new projects and resort management.
The lodging, recreation and entertainment are merging.
In the urban areas of many countries, there are hotels, recreation, entertainment, sporting activities, shopping, convention centers and large-scale attractions are merging to become mixed-use resort destination developments.
Whereas in rural areas of some countries, there are hotels and indoor and outdoor waterparks merging with golf courses, ski hills, conference centers, medical centers, casinos and residential projects as well as second home, vacation home and resort retirement communities.
Long weekends are replacing long vacations.
More and more working couples find it difficult to coordinate vacation due to work demands. So they prefer longer weekends breaks than long vacations.
High gas prices, dissatisfaction with airlines and longer weekends all contribute to the trends of driving to regional resorts and the rapid growth of resort hotels with indoor waterparks.
Multi-generational family gatherings become popular.
In nations, which families often live in separate states, sharing a vacation is a way for grandparents, parents and children to expend quality time and make happy memories. Several waterpark resorts with large villas (sleeping 12 to 20 people) reported that these popular units sell out first. Thus create greater demands for indoor resorts suitable for all ages.
Mixed-use resort destinations are growing.
Almost every new hotel project includes a variety of components that create a destination for meeting, shopping, recreation and entertainment. Resort management increasingly try to eliminate the seasonality and weather factors.
To capture year round revenues, hoteliers tend to build recreational facilities for summer, fall, winter and spring; and convert more outdoor spaces into flexible indoor-outdoor components.
The growth of waterpark resorts is accelerating.
Hotels with waterparks fill empty rooms at higher room rates than hotels without waterparks. Moreover the positive hotel occupancy, room rates, room revenues and total guest spending accelerate the growth of waterpark resorts.
Indoor waterpark projects are getting bigger and bigger.
More and more hotel waterparks are adding meeting space to attract different types of customers during low periods of the year. Smart resort hoteliers will develop ‘high entertainment value’ to attract families with young children to spend more for resort vacations that create family quality times and happy memories.
Every outdoor sport will have an indoor version.
Many sport activities such as golfing, skiing, boarding, kayaking, rafting and surfing require natural settings like, mountains, rivers, oceans etc. It is difficult and expensive to travel to the coast when the perfect ocean wave is breaking or reach the backwoods when the whitewater river is cresting. So smart resort developers are building artificial facilities to simulate natural settings to bring outdoor sport ventures indoor.
The above trends of resort management are happening with pioneer resort developers, who are innovative to meet the resort guests’ desires. Smart hoteliers can have a combination of lodging, resorts, recreation, entertainment, conference center, restaurants, nightclubs, retail shopping, offices and residential components to create winning mixed-use regional destinations.
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