A survey of competitive strategies and performance of the five stars hotels in kenya
Competitive Strategies arise out of the need for an organization to position themselves and exploit opportunities and handle the threats in the environment. Five Star Hotels in Kenya are few in number due to the stringent requirement imposed by the ministry of Tourism and Wild life in their classifications. Indeed all the five star Hotels will therefore have similar qualities and hence it is difficult for them to outshine each other unless they go that extra mile and employ competitive strategies. Until recent period when the hotels in this category have seen a boom in the market due to the upsurge in the tourism market, they previously went through very lean times that led to some either closing shop or being placed under the statutory management due to serious financial problems. This was the period late eights and in the nineties when the top management in the Hotels had to think of ways of making them enjoy that competitive advantage over the others and be the preferred choice for their guests. It must be emphasized that the regular guest inn the five star Hotels is a less price sensitive, highly informed and traveled person who is quality and very sensitive to the service given. It is with this that competitive strategies were introduced in almost all the five star Hotels. We show the formation of think-tanks, strategy groups, planning committees and this lead to retreats and many team building workshops as different players tried very hard to compete for the same market. Some Hotels introduced lower rates only to realize later that the cost advantage was hurting their cash flows hence the need to reinvent the wheel. Early nineties show the five star hotels recruiting high caliber staff, improving their products and services to the guests as the market became more and more competitive. Outside the five stars were also other players who though not in this category, were able to get into the same market and compete for the same guests. The need for competitive strategies emanated due to the stiff competition and hence the purpose of this survey. One needed to observe the difference in patronage of guests to different Hotels. Some would be fully occupied while others would be empty given them all operating under similar environments. The difference in the performance of the Hotels is closely linked to the competitive strategies used. The survey will show why a particular Hotel is continuously busy while its neighbor is constantly empty. The five forces of competition, Porter M. E , will be used extensively to explain the competition that the five star hotels experience among themselves, threat of new entrants to this market, bargaining power of their suppliers, bargaining power of the customers and the availability of substitute's to the clients in the same market.