Competition is for losers

This is my story, or one of them.

Like most of the current traditional businesses, the accommodation industry is facing an unknown fierce competition due to an excessive offer, new business models like short-term rental platforms and novel travelling styles for families and friends. This situation will aggravate in time.

A traditional hotel business has been focusing its strategy on its uniqueness, as all businesses should have. This mountain hotel sitting at 2400m (8000 feet) high has been attractive merely to skiers since it sits on top of the biggest ski resort in the Pyrenees and has been run only during the winter seasons for the last 30 years. It’s isolation from the rest of population has created the location a paradise for young skiers, however usually on tight travelling budgets. However, was this enough by attracting low budget tourists during scant months and running on heavy operational costs sharing part of the meagre margins with travel agencies? Certainly not.

By widening the owner’s perspective, they reached to forget about their current customers and focused on all available non-customers. At this altitude only three other guesthouses exist in Europe and none of them has all year long direct road access. But what is the advantage with that? High flying athletes from different specialties are desperately looking for altitude accommodation to improve their hypoxia physical condition and get better results when competing in similar or lower altitudes. It gives them an extra performance pace and makes a difference between winning a gold, silver or bronze, or any medal at all. What would you do in their place?

Furthermore, sports is attracting more and more people, whether professionals, amateurs or wannabees in a “be fit” attitude that was unbelievable 20 years ago. Sports is currently a flourishing industry that easily moves fans and excels in capitalising funds. This new market allows the hotel to open all year round, attracts high-income enthusiasts and turns it into a brand-new highly profitable business. The hotel becomes a hub for sports fans. And competitors? Which competitors?!?

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