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Hospitality Leadership through learning

Strategic Marketing Plan Year 2013-2014

Maracas Royal Road St Joseph, Trinidad, WI

Onika Blandin

Table of Contents
Introduction o Aim of Study o Restrictions Situational Analysis o Market Trends o Opportunity Marketing Plan o Vision o Mission o Business Overview o Customer Overview o Market Segments o Objectives o SWOT Analysis o Competitor Information o Marketing Objectives o Product o Pricing o Promotions o Budgets o Supportive findings

Introduction Marketing of any kind of services can be challenging but at the same time interesting. How to market a product in a way that it awakens peoples interest and make them think, I want to have that? Especially since people are more and more aware of their needs and wants and will not settle for less.

Aim of the study The aim of the research is to assess the current accommodation market situation what possible needs and gaps it might have and create a strategic marketing plan with realistic and applicable marketing theory.

Restrictions Marketing can be a very broad concept and it has numerous different aspects to it. For the purpose of this exercise the research was limited to the perspective Hospitality and Tourism, with regards to data access accommodation providers unwillingness to share information and schedule deadline posed some challenges.

Situatiaionla Analysis The current diversification initiatives of Trinidad and Tobago economy and the recognition of Tourism as a viable industry has been the catalyst of many government funded tourism development programs. Best Practices in Linkages with Intermediaries has lead to certificate and tertiary level expansion as a vital part of the countrys hospitality and tourism industry thrust. Strategic partnerships with other CARICOM member states to develop and promote intra-Caribbean tourism by the two main regional organizations, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in the key areas of: Marketing, branding and promoting the region Training and human resource development Market research and statistics

Environmental conservation and sustainable development (Tewarie)

The extent to which education is incorporated at the tourism policy and planning stage could be crucial in achieving sustainable development outcomes, as well as improving the overall human development. (Edwards) The University of the Southern Caribbean is ideally positioned to gain opportunity and create value within this context, because of its established School of Business Hospitality and Tourism management program and Business Management, partnerships with Government Ministries national, regional an d international SDA community. These programs, policies and shifted demand for training and the provision of accommodation for education, business and leisure travelers are relevant to USC continued growth, better serviced its students and by extension society.

Market Trends Market Trends can be categorized as follows: Global Travel Trends, Local Business Trends, and Social Trends. Student and educational travel is becoming increasingly more important within global tourism. According to youth travel consulting and development company Student Marketing in collaboration with United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) The educational travel is set to double by 2020. The trend will be driven mostly by educational and experiential travel and offers a huge opportunity to providers. Educational travelers stay longer (on average over 50 days) and higher spend (on average US$1,000 to US$6,000 per trip compared to US$1,450 for average tourist) delivering a significant business opportunity. (World Tourism Organization) Higher Education continues as a high revenue generator Language Travel presents a 4.9% market increase

Emerging countries are the markets that look interesting for development and expansion and will define the industry. They are recovering and rising faster than developed countries - gaining an increasingly more global market share.

Internet is used more for reference, social content (reviews, rankings, sharing, and recommendations) and travel planning (destination research) (World Tourism Organization) see figure 1 Local Business Trends: There is an increase period of low activity in the area of conferencing and business catering with local companies electing to conduct meetings and seminars on their own premises in order to cut cost. This is changing however as group bookings, incoming visitors and day use of conference facilities is on the increase. Social Trends: SDA statistics have shown that there has been steady increase in the number of people converting their lives to Christianity thus increasing the need for accommodations that caters for the need of this growing market. See Figure 2Because more people are becoming more health conscience the demand for nutritious meals is also increasing. Finally the use of technology and social media is commonplace and has become an effective and convenient way to accesses, communicate, review and purchase goods and services.

Opportunity Their is no organisation in Trinidad and Tobago catering to these changeing demands patterns in a sigular loaction. It is the recomendation of these Hospitality Marketing Students, that the Univeristy of the Southern Caribben base on their perlimeray research findings and the University visoion for provieding qulity servic, that the offerings of a fully intergated business curiculum of a Teaching hotle would continue to keep USC as the leading provider of holistic devolometal experiences while maintaitng its compettive edge. For the purpose of this exersie the following marketing plan is proposed on the assumption that all devlopmental criteira has been completed and The Vision Teaching Hotle is in its introductry phase.

The Vision Hotel

Hospitality Leadership through learning

Change the face of Service one Student at a time. To be the leading teaching hospitality institution in the county, provide hands on training for future hospitality professional.

Long term goals :

To recruit more competitive and professional staff, train the current ones and develop them so that they are able to offer better services.

Business Overview The Vision Hotel & USC School of Business The Vision Hotel is the platform for The University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) School of Business Administration, and, for many visitors. The University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) a private university owned and operated by the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The main campus is located on 384 acres (1.55 km2 ) of land in the Maracas Valley St Joseph. This 153-room full-service property includes a conference canter, three restaurants, and more than 14,000 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities. The Vision Hotel hosts campus visitors, visiting scholars, prospective and current students and their families, and alumni. With its elegant banquet rooms and state-of-the-art conference facilities, the hotel serves as the venue for many important campus events and meetings. As a Teaching Hotel, it integrates several courses into hotel operations and provides career-related job experience for students. It serves not only the school's undergraduate and graduate students, but also industry professionals from around the world who use The Vision Hotel while taking advanced hospitality service and management courses through the school's Office of Executive Education.

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Customer overview The Vision Hotel is located 20miles from the Piarco International airport in the lush valley of Maracas St. Joseph. It is centrally located between the city of Portof Spain and the borough of Arima. Maracas-Saint Joseph is one of the largest valleys on the southern side of the Northern Range; Lying north of the old capital of Spanish Trinidad, the valley was one of the first areas to be settled in Trinidad. The Maracas Royal Road, which runs up the valley, is one of the oldest roads in the country. It is drained by the Maracas River a major tributary of the Caroni River. The lower parts of the valley are rapidly being developed for upscale housing. The Former Presentiment, George Maxwell Richards, is among the residents of the valley. The major attractions located in the valley are known as the maracas waterfall; the historical saint Michael Roman Catholic Church, La solidad the old supers estate. The Vision Hotel is also in close proximity of the medical association for those that are seeking medical assistance or coming to visit loved ones.

Market Segment The Vision Hotel focus is that of four interest base markets; education business leisure travelers Christen interest groups

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STRENGTHS Positive elements detected. - Diversity of natural and cultural resources centrally located offers good accessibility and opportunities for practical training - Beautiful and clean environment - Geographic proximity to community attritions - New contemporary design - Image of a safe destination -Supportive leadership from the user departments, Faculties and the school Council at large. -Committed employees. -Enough space expansion. and land available for

WEAKNESSES Negative or weak detected. Singular transportation access into the valley. - Insufficient infrastructure inside the country (roads, public transport) - An initial stage for the development of product place promotion (PPP) - Insufficient information in Internet about the property offerings as a tourist destination; - Not quite attractive museums, galleries, attractions that exhibit the Bulgarian cultural and historic heritage;

-Strategic Direction. -Innovative and creative staff -Professional and experienced staff

OPPORTUNITIES Growing market with a significant SDA percentage (awareness of USC.) - Increase conference and seminars from university-related events.

THREATS - Economic and financial crises - Market followers -Weather conditions that sometime cause major floods and landslides.

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- Development of specialized types of tourism training. E.g. hospitality management students at the university. An integrated business curriculum - Increase demand for educational training services. - Domestic tourism and tourism from the neighbouring countries for weekend holidays;

The University of the West Indies hospitality and Tourism management program. - Competitors from established neighbouring market leaders in the hospitality industry; - Negative impact of social ills major circumstances such as crime. Inferior environmental

- Improvement of the qualification and skills infrastructure.(drainage and resulting of staff; - Attract investment into tourism linkages programmes public sector service training flooding

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Competitor Information

Competitor name 1Pax Guest House





Mount St Benedict Tunapuna, Trinidad

A Budget House Catering to Christians

Twin with washbasin 69 Twin with private facilities 79 Single with washbasin 85 Single with private facilities 103

12 superb bedrooms either with spectacular views of the bay or of our tiered flower garden .

2Hosanna Hotel

Santa Margarita Circular Rd | St. Augustine, Tel: 1 868 662 5449. Fax: 1 868 662 5451. Email:

A budget hotel catering to Christian patrons. Smoking and alcohol are prohibited in keeping with traditional Christian values.

18 Units - 15 guest rooms and 3 suites

3La Soledad

EP 192 Royal Road, Maracas, Saint Joseph

outdoor and indoor multipurpose event venue and resort with several facility

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and guest capacity options

4The Oasis Inn

#19 Lennox Phillips Drive, Maracas Gardens St. Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago Phone+1-868-6810237

Large studio apartments or a fully self contained apartment. Rooms are outfitted with airconditioning, cable TV, Wi-Fi, washer/dryer and kitchen facilities. The Oasis Inn is located in a secure gated community.

Single Occupancy $ 70.00 US Double occupancy $90 US Triple occupancy $110 US

5University of the West Indies University on site accommodation and Milner Hall is a co-ed Hall of Residence at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies. Milner Hall is very accessible both from campus internally and externally. The Hall borders the campus on the north-east and is within five minutes walking to all campus' facilities. Facilities: Buildings comprise five blocks. Present configuration provides for 2 blocks (60 spaces) for males only. 1 blocks (32 spaces) females only and 1 block (32 spaces) for both males and females. There are also accommodations for Postgraduate students (male and female) in the Postgraduate block (20 spaces). The Hall is fully equipped with kitchen facilities, Common Rooms and both private and shared bathrooms and toilet facilities. Other facilities include a central laundry area and one large Common Room, which

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is used as a recreation area, a meeting hall and for storage of trophies, and equipped with cable TV, VCR, and sports equipment. Spacious grounds and close proximity to the various playing fields on campus and the Student Activity Centre. Pay Phones. Tuck shop. Cleaning services of Kitchenette and Common areas. Porter Services. Maintenance services through Works Department and an in-house Maintenance Assistant. Hall houses computer room with internet access that is free of charge to resident 6The Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute . Is located in Chaguaramas, in the north-western peninsula of Trinidad Female Accommodation Only

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Competitor Analysis

Analysis Outside presentation Interior and facilities Meeting rooms Restaurants Pool Distance to Air Port Location Service:
Range, presentation

1 * **
* ** 0 *** ***

3 ** ***
** * **

4 **

5 **

6 **

* ** **

** *** **





Friendliness, dress, name badges Product Knowledge, speed. Do They Approach you

*** *** *** ***

* * * *

** *** *** **

* ** * **

** *** ** **

Visibility of pricing






Marketing and * ** promotion: Website, brochure, advertising Key Comment:

*** Strong ** Average * Poor O Not offered

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Marketing Objectives

Maintain positive, steady growth each quarter. Experience a growth in new customers who are turned into long-term customers.

To continue to communicate our strategic objectives to our target markets effectively.

To provide a positive hotel experience to all our guests. To accomplish our growth targets within the given time and budget. Expand our markets and identify new markets for our product and services.


Building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationship with our stakeholders.

Being customer centered in our continuous product and service improvements.

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Promotion The Vision Hotel presently uses mainly the internet as a major promotion tool. This is done thr ough the use of the Universitys website where accommodation at the Vision Hotel is advertised extensively. However, in an effort to expand our market and to foster growth and development, we do intend to work in a collaborative effort with the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago to aid in advertising our product to a wider community and we also intend to undertake our own advertising initiatives through the use of the students who currently occupy the Vision Hotel by creating an atmosphere of loyalty through fulfilling our promise and commitment to providing excellent and consistent service so as to encourage brand advocating through the students themselves. This is the most cost effective method of promotion as it does not require heavy financial investment and is a very personable form of promotion as it involves personal interaction which is much more effective than actual advertisements. In addition to this we intend to form strategic alliances with tour guiding bodies so as to cater to the needs of leisure travellers. For the business traveller, we intend to construct a new website separate from the universitys website that would allow one to make reservations online and to experience virtual tours of the facilities. As a teaching hotel, we hope to integrate and foster the extensive student exposure to the operations of the hotel and get them involved in the functioning of the hotel so as to further encourage and establish brand identity as the students would then gain pride in the schools hotel and would be motivated to further promote it. With regards to our competitors, according to research, most of them are not well recognized, in terms of persons not having much knowledge on them as their advertising is at a minimal. As

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most of our competitors stem from religious bodies, most of the advertising is done through the church and TDC to an extent in terms of its hotel listing. Therefore, in our undertaking, we decided to focus on using a people approach in terms of using personal selling as our major marketing tool in an effort to establish and maintain fruitful relationships rather than to just educate the public about The Vision Hotel.


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Action Plan

Supportive findings

Market value (selected sectors):

Figure 1 Source (World Tourism Organization)

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Figure 2 (Adventis)

Analysis This research studied the current trends in marketing. The aim was to form a new strategic marketing plan for a hotel emphasizing on how the hotel could improve their marketing and what marketing efforts are needed. The aim was to give a framework on how the hotel should proceed with its marketing; what aspects of the current marketing actions could be improved and what kind of new marketing actions could be added. As the research was conducted, insights to competitors wakens and new opening was realised. The results of the research formed the strategic marketing plan with situational analyses, marketing objectives and strategy and a pending action plan /budget from the finance department.

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The outcome of the research can serve as a framework on how to proceed with differentiation of a new hotel through market research and planning. It might offer new ideas and point out the areas that need improvement. The research could be continued for example with a more detailed time line and the division of areas of responsibilities between the Administration and staff members. The results of the research shows that there is new market expansion potential as well as taking steps forward to gaining new customer groups as well as taking a new approach on how to keep the regular customers satisfied and keep them coming back. The promise of the Vision hotel has many advantages and potential for its resources to be innovative, and to keeping a marketing image of excellence.

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Reference Adventis, Seventh Day. Annual Statistical Report . 12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring, Maryland 20904-6600: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 203. March 2013. <http://docs.adventistarchives.org//docs/ASR/ASR2013.pdf#view=fit>. Edwards, Larry Dwyer and Deborah. Understanding the Sustainable Development of Tourism. Sustainable Tourism Planning (2010): 24. 28 March 2013. <http://www.goodfellowpublishers.com/free_files/Chapter%20294f3c9b02ae3e7ed801ad5d548e2b66a.pdf>. Hotel, Hossana. Hosana Hotel . n.d. 20 March 2013. <http://www.hosannahoteltt.com/>. http://www.paxguesthouse.com/ . n.d. 20 March 2013. <http://www.paxguesthouse.com/>. Tewarie, Dr. Bhoendradatt. Building Competit iveAdvantage Six Strategic Business Clusters and Enablers. n .d. <http://www.planning.gov.tt/sites/default/files/content/mediacentre/docu ments/Building-Competitive-Advantage.pdf>. The department of Natioan heritage Scotish. The Guide to the Safety at Sports Grounds (The Green Guide) . n.d. 20 April 2013. <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_dat a/file/117677/event-safety-guide.pdf>. World Tourism Organization. Youth Travel Matters Understanding the Global Phenomenon of Youth Travel . Madrid, Spain: the World Tourism Organization,, 2008. 12 March 2013. <http://pub.unwto.org/WebRoot/Store/Shops/Infoshop/482C/09E7/89D4/2 506/AA82/C0A8/0164/F5B4/080514_youth_travel_matters_excerpt.pdf>.

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