External environment analysis | Bed and breakfast business plan
Page 8 of 41
2.1.3 SOCIAL CHANGES
The following social driving forces have an influence on the demand for products and services in the hospitality industry:
- Group travel
The increase in numbers of group travel for social and business purposes has contributed to the demand for conference facilities, seminars/ workshop venues, and budget accommodation catering for large groups of tourists as opposed to singles and couples. The group travelers, community groups, Government institutions, the private sector, as well as foreign tourists demand different services and facilities compared to individual travelers.
- Cultural expeditions
The advent of the internet has resulted in exposing members of the public to different cultures and traditions. This has in turn contributed to the increase in the number of trips taken for cultural expeditions, especially amongst foreign tourists and travelers from other provinces.
- Rate of crime
The incidence of crime (especially involving foreign tourists) affects the popularity of any town or city as a tourist destination. The muggings/ attacks on tourists send a negative image to the market, especially the foreign tourists market. This might be a threat to the Bed & Breakfast. The business shall respond to this threat by ensuring that its premises are safe and secure. It will ensure that all visitors get the peace of mind they deserve.
- Level of unemployment
The level of unemployment is fairly high in Gauteng especially amongst the youth. The low levels of skills as well as the lack of diversification in terms of the economic sectors, contributes to the problem of unemployment. Promotion of the Hospitality Industry in the area is one way of contributing towards reducing unemployment.
2.1.4 TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES
Technology has changed the way business is done in the hospitality Industry. Technology has resulted in the transformation and enhancement of communication channels between the players in the Hospitality Industry and the target markets. To identify accommodation facilities and make bookings online, guests simply utilize internet facilities. This has resulted in fierce competition and rivalry amongst the players in the Hospitality Industry in terms of pricing, promotion and advertising. Technology has been employed by a number of players in the Hospitality Industry to enhance customer satisfaction and experience. In addition, technology has created an opportunity for businesses in the Hospitality Industry to enhance their front office as well as the back office operations. The safety and security of guests at hospitality facilities can also be enhanced through the employment of technology such as CCTV and other surveillance technologies. Technology can also be employed through data mining in order to get a better understanding of the needs and preferences of guests. The business will take advantage of the technology changes taking place – it will use technology to enhance its front office and back office operations as well as add value to its marketing and distribution efforts.