As promised – here’s the Nisbet Plantation Case Study that Jamie Holmes and I presented at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association meeting in St. Thomas last month.

It’s good news that proves you can market your way around a recession.

Here’s what Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, an intimate luxury resort in the Caribbean, did to outperform other hotels in the region. As a result of following best practices and adhering to customer relationship marketing, Nisbet is also well positioned to flourish as the recession subsides.

You can download the complete article here.  Here’s a top-line summary.

  • Focus on Marketing Basics – A recession is not the time to experiment – especially if you have a very limited marketing budget. Make sure your 4-P’s of Marketing – Product, Place, Price and Promotion – are performing perfectly. Experiment only if there are any opportunistic funds left in your budget.
  • Don’t Deep Discount – Study after study show deep discounting is easily copied, doesn’t stimulate demand and hurts RevPAR over the short term.Long term revenue also suffers. STR estimates it will take between five to ten years for hotels to return to pre-recession pricing once inflation is factored in. Used to cheap rates, the trade and consumers will resist your attempts to raise them.
  • Deliver a Great Guest Experience/Provide Value – Hotels need to cut expenses, but caution needs to be taken to cut those that will least impact the overall guest experience.Cutting staff to skeleton crews, draining the pool, closing the spa and shuttering restaurants are not what a guest expects. And most likely their displeasure will be shared with others on TripAdvisor.
  • Maintain Marketing Spending – Hospitality marketing budgets are always easy targets for budget reductions in recessionary times. It is the tool that will help convince potential guests that your hotel is better than competition, provides good value and is certainly worth a few more dollars a night than the other hotels that are using Price as their primary marketing tool.McGraw-Hill did a study of companies during the last Great Recession of 1981-82 and found that those who maintained or increased advertising spending outperformed competition during the recession and recovered more quickly than those who cut spending.

Click here for the complete Nisbet Plantation Hotel Case Study.

Safe Travels – Madigan Pratt

AUTHOR: Madigan Pratt

Madigan Pratt is President of MP&A Digital & Advertising, an award-winning agency helping luxury hotels attract and retain profitable customers. Principals with over 60 years of collective experience at some of the world's largest advertising and direct marketing companies lead the agency's team of marketing, creative, public relations, Internet and social media professionals.

  • Claudia

    I like this article very much!

    Gracias, Claudia

    November 23, 2009

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