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Competitors are always difficult to identify, as there are more complex factors that make an organisation a competitor than price and location. This is quite interesting, also with regards to a recent article published by hotelmarketing.com that showed that hotels might only know about 25% of the actual competitors. Getting to the bottom of identifying different competitors is essential also with regards to making sure that the real competitors are being considered as competitors. When developing a digital strategy, it is absolutely crucial for a hotel, destination or tourism business to know about their competitors and use the insights from comparing competitors to improve the overall strategy.

IDENTIFYING COMPETITORS

Currently, most hotels, destinations and tourism businesses are mostly identifying their competitors based on price and location. However, this is a rather basic approach and more sophisticated ways of identifying competitors are needed. A competitor benchmark is a good way to evaluate and measure performance of a tourism business, hotel or destination. Data needs to be collected that enables the organisation to evaluate its performance based on a number of key evaluation factors which can differ depending on the nature of the organisation itself.

PUTTING THE CUSTOMER FIRST

Besides looking at most obvious criteria when evaluating performance, it is also essential to measure and see what criteria consumers are seeing as most important when selecting products and services and what factors might actually impact on the decision making process and make consumers decide to go for a different company.

REALITY OF COMPETITOR BENCHMARKING

Although a lot of research has been carried out about the way in which organisations in tourism should measure their performance, the reality does look different, as many organisations are still struggling with their daily business, let alone starting to think about measuring performance and comparing it with key competitors based on a number of metrics.

For tourism businesses starting to consider performance benchmarking, it is absolutely crucial to ensure that competitors are being identified and own performance is being measured in a realistic way in order to ensure that useful and accurate recommendations can be drawn fro performance benchmarking. These recommendations should then be used in view of ensuring that performance gaps are being identified and niche opportunities are being found where the tourism business can tap in and ensure its long term success due to having a USP and responding to a demand that no other tourism business can meet.

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