The Dom Pedro Group, one of the world’s most renowned hospitality brands, has introduced a newly formed division, the Dom Pedro Golf. All this happened after the acquisition of Vilamoura’s five best-loved courses (Oceânico Group was the previous owner as I wrote it in a previous post.) in the late summer of 2016: The Victoria Golf Course, The Old Course Golf Club, Pinhal Golf Course, Laguna Golf Course and Millennium Golf Course. They even changed their name to Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection.
Early this year, chairman Stefano Saviotti talked about new hotel projects, the most advanced being a unit on the grounds of the Old Course golf course. It is an investment of around 25 million euros. The new hotel will have about 150 rooms and the fourth or five-star rating. They plan to open this hotel in 2021. The Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection is still under negotiation for a plot of land near Vilamoura for the construction of a 200-room hotel.
Dom Pedro Golf, the new owner of the 5 golf courses can be optimistic since tourism is on the rise in Portugal since 2015. The 2016 number of overnight stays in hotels, holiday villages and holiday apartments in the Algarve reached 18.1 million, 9% percent more than in the previous year.
How is technology driving consumer engagement in hotels and golf clubs?
Consumer technology evolution has fuelled an increase in the ways that customers can reach and interact with a hotel. In a previous post about Hotel Camiral (PGA Catalunya Resort), I have already mentioned Hilton’s Digital Keys, James Hotels’ James Pocket Assistant, Marriott’s FleshPerks as great examples of added value hotel services. Mobile applications, mobile ordering, mobile check-in and out, loyalty, social media and mobile payments have all transformed the traditional hotel & customer and golf club & customer relationships.
Let’s not neglect the need for enduring unique experiences and memorable moments. Tourists are also looking for engaging with the locals and ways to make emotional connections. This is totally in line with what my interviewee Carlos Ferreira (CEO of Tee Times Golf Holidays Agency) told me yesterday. The emotional aspect is particularly important.
Taking these into account, I am missing at Dom Pedro Golf:
- Seamless online direct booking. This is one of the first experiences of your customers with you. I am sure that you don’t want to motivate people to book their golf holidays via OTAs (OTA bookings accounted for 69% in Europe. Source: Skift). So don’t let them down! Hotels should also incentivize clients to book with them directly the next time they come. It is good for the hotel to build loyal customers.
- Digitally personalized services. The currently provided services are the minimum of the minimum that we can expect from 4-star hotels. The smartest thing they can do first is to figure out their customers’ biggest pain points. In the second step, they could use the most relevant digital technology solution(s) to mitigate them. I think these mobile solutions are welcomed by most of us: mobile holiday booking, check-in, checkout, food and drink order etc.
- How could the tourists engage with the locals and create memorable experiences?
- Be prepared to personalized marketing! As part of the preparation, check if your customer database is up-to-date if yes, then find out what kind of essential customer information is missing. You should find solutions to personalize your services as well. For this beacon technology can be interesting.
- Social media communication is NOT equal to self-promotion!!! To generate interest and dialogues you should find out what topics and issues are important to your customers and prospects + what content format they prefer. The healthy share of self-promotion should not exceed 20% or only if it is justifiable. Just like in other industries, social proofs can help you to gain trust and improve conversions. While you create content for your website, don’t forget to enable visitors to share them by using social sharing apps. One of the biggest challenges for marketers in 2017 and in the future is to find solutions to effective content distribution.
What do you think of my recommendations? If I missed anything then feel free to add it in the comment box. Thank you.