Boutique Hotel Survival Strategies: Maintaining Boutique Chic
(2013) Boutique Hotel Survival Strategies: Maintaining Boutique Chic, no. 96.
Whilst there is a substantial amount of literature about the definition of boutique hotels, there is considerably less about the everyday operations. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore whether it is possible for boutique hotels to effectively survive and develop without sacrificing the high standards which make them unique. The key aim is to identify what trends boutique hotels could capitalise on to continue attracting guests, and the accompanying strategies to ensure their success. A qualitative research methodology was adopted, through conducting a series of in-depth, semi structured interviews with five industry professionals. A theoretical framework was developed based on literature covering areas such as the definition, the operational and strategic issues facing boutique hotels and any future strategies or trends for the boutique sector. This framework was used to inform the whole project, assisting the transcription, coding and categorisation of the recorded interviews. Thematic analysis was grounded in the data collected and utilised to identify any connections between theory and practice. Consideration was given to the ethical and bias issues in the project, with thorough efforts to obtain authenticity and trustworthiness. The research revealed several important issues and external factors affecting the operation of boutique hotels including recession, globalisation, recruiting the 'right people,' and the continuing changes in consumer behaviour. The guest experience, brand loyalty and the increase in technology were important themes identified in the research. To link theory and practice, strategies that boutique hotels could employ to capitalise on these trends were recommended, such as social media marketing, personalisation of the guest experience and niche marketing strategies. The research findings satisfy the objectives outlined, resulting in the aim and research question being met. However, recommendations for future research have been provided, which would further explore the operations of the boutique hotel sector.