Over the last few years, Protea Hotels have focused on building their brand and ensuring expansion, both within the borders of South Africa, as well as Southern Africa. The group has, however, recognised changes and trends which were previously identified internationally but are now starting to affect our domestic markets in the hospitality industry.
Today’s market sees the discretionary Rand under unprecedented pressure from new categories such as technology, lotteries and casinos. And while technology once promised to give people more available free time, it is having the opposite effect. For many, working hours are increasing, whilst holidays have become a series of shorter, more frequent breaks - usually over weekends.
“The typical family holiday was taken over the December/January festive season, with the average break lasting between 10 and 14 days. We are already seeing a significant change in this pattern, with the average family holiday away from home dropping to between 5 and 7 days at a time or more frequent weekend getaways,” comments Allan Duke, Marketing Services Director for Protea Hotels. “Besides the strain on disposable income, we have identified various other significant factors such as, time, security and the increased costs of domestic air-travel. People are reluctant to leave their homes empty for extended periods, which is a factor that we never foresaw. In line with these identified trends, we are introducing the concept of ‘Power-Breaks’ - consisting of a series of short intense holidays, ” continues Duke.
Because of these changes, Protea have needed to further segment their market and develop products and marketing strategies to cater for the needs of these emerging sectors. One of these identified sectors, is a market which recognises time as a commodity. “These markets are time-poor and money-rich,” adds Duke.
Echoing current trends towards power-snacking, power-napping, and the likes, ‘Power-Breaks’ will consider aspects like a driving time of one and a half hours or even a close as a suburb away, simple/easy check-in, different, adventurous, exhausting and stress relieving activities OR chill-out, SPA, body massage, picnics and seclusion’s (some may even prefer “leave me alone”).
As a medium to introduce Power-breaks to the marketplace, Protea has taken a closer look at its’ most popular domestic marketing tool - Protea Hotel PriceBreakers. PriceBreakers is able to market additional components, which will target these changing markets, and are focused on domestic leisure products. With more families taking their holidays in a series of weekends, this has been identified as the perfect medium.