Lessons From the Bali Hotel Industry

Jul 20, 2021
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Bali is a dream vacation destination for many reasons. First, the small Indonesian island is home to iconic scenery from the crystal clear waters of its beaches to the low-lying fog shrouding its volcanoes. The primarily Hindu island is also known for its warm and welcoming natives. Finally, Bali is a paradise for those who want to experience a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. From the U.S. West Coast, flights can run as low as $1,000 and everything from food and entertainment to hotel stays are amazingly inexpensive. 

If you work in the hotel industry, looking at how hotels in Bali are run provides many lessons. Here are four things their hotels can teach the industry as a whole.


1. In a Highly Competitive Market, Find Your Niche

Tourism to Bali continues to grow and the hotels are growing as well. Until the pandemic, Bali's tourism grew steadily from 2 million visitors in 2010 to nearly 6 million in 2019, and up to 80% of Bali's economy relies on tourism. So how did these new hotels find their customers? Their teams relied on sales management to align their strategy and manage their leads by focusing on their niche market.



2. Play To Your Environment

Compare the hotels of Las Vegas to the hotels of Bali. While Vegas certainly has themes, and some rooms may be luxurious, the hotel portion of the casino is simply a place for guests to leave their things while they go gamble and spend money. In Bali, guests expect the hotel to be part of the whole island adventure. Aurora House Bali is an extensive treehouse out of your childhood dreams. Villa Seminyak is built over a lagoon and there are multiple hotels built out onto the beaches. The latest unique iterations are bubble rooms and bubble hotels. These clear rooms keep you close to nature but keep out the rain and bugs. 


3. Consider Additions

Bali hotels are learning that while they don't each need to be a megaresort when they offer more, they keep guests on property, spending money. New hotels are incorporating pools even when a beach is available. They are adding authentic Balinese restaurants. Increasingly, they are also adding the types of things tourists would go out to find: shops and entertainment experiences. When customers don't have to leave your property, their dollars stay with them. 


4. Find Ways To Maximize Profit

Right now, Bali is such a popular destination and hotels are opening so rapidly that it's a dream market for guests. Staying in a resort that would cost $700 a night or more in the U.S. is under $150 on the island. Hotel management is discovering that if they want to keep prices low, they have to find other ways to save. Architecture that decreases costs is one way and planning services that allow for fewer employees to maintain the same productivity levels is another. Hotels that promote "glamping" are huge on Bali, yet they require little upkeep. 

Not every location is going to be amenable to a treehouse hotel or individual bubble dome rooms, but every environment has unique natural features. Every location is known for a sport or art. Even if your location seems to have a dearth of the things that make Bali unique, create your own niche. Bali has proven if you build it and you market it correctly, they will come.




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