Marketing Techniques for Small Properties

Amidst the alarming concerns about stay-over visitor arrival to Saint Lucia and against the back lash of low occupancy rates for small  hotels, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) has collaborated with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Technological   Consultancy Services (CTCS) to host an  informative and enlightening workshop for Small Hotel members.

This workshop, named “Marketing Techniques for Small Hotels” was hosted from Monday, October 14 – Friday, October 18, 2013, at the Bay Gardens Hotel. A total of 20 dedicated small hoteliers were in       attendance at this workshop with the expectations that the vital knowledge gained will strengthen their ability to attract higher occupancies.

The objective of the national workshop was to improve the marketing knowledge and skills of small hotel operators/ managers through the five (5) days of training, inclusive of in-plant assistance to provide   guidance to participating hotels on possible approaches for implementing actions to improve their   marketing initiatives.

CTCS’ interaction with small hotel operators in the region reveals that small hotels have been operating without creative marketing or public relations strategies and, as such they have not put into practice, various fundamental actions required to adequately and effectively promote and market their products and services to maximize sales. These deficiencies, especially the lack of Social Media marketing, will  adversely impact on the ability of these tourism businesses to stay competitive in the highly diverse and constantly changing tourism industry.

CDB and SLHTA recognize the importance of small hotels within the tourism industry, which makes a    significant contribution to the social and economic development of Caribbean economies. Despite the challenges associated with leakages, the tourism sector remains imperative given its important role in job creation. Small hotels, which constitute approximately 55% of all hotels in the Caribbean, also reduce the level of leakages associated with large resorts and offer a more traditional tourism model and therefore lead to more benefits for local economies.

Resultantly, the CTCS is committed to building the capacity of small hotels to more effectively promote and market their products and services and improve business performance. The conduct of these    workshops is in keeping with CDB’s strategic objective of promoting broad-based economic growth and inclusive social development and its corporate priority of support to private sector development leading to enhanced viability of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

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