On the surface, the core purpose of hotels seems straightforward: to provide a place for travelers to sleep. And that was probably once true, but modern travelers are looking for far more, and hotels have had to rise to the occasion, becoming not simply homes away from home, but offices, gyms and spas for the busy traveler.
Several factors may attract first-time guests: a hotel's location, price, neighborhood, proximity to attractions, and its amenities. But one crucial element necessary to earn repeat business is service. Travelers need to feel welcome and, to a certain extent, pampered. Hotels that understand service excellence earns the loyalty and love of their guests, which translates to word-of-mouth advertising and repeat visits.
Travelers often shop for hotels by considering amenities. They may require a relaxing spa, a full business office, conference rooms or a gym. They may even pick a hotel by its restaurant or bar offerings. The core purpose of hotels should include a commitment to provide amenities that will appeal to their target demographic, which is usually determined by location---a seaside resort is more likely to appeal to families, while a location close to a major convention center will more likely attract business travelers.
No matter what the purpose of the trip or the cost of the room, every hotel should offer travelers a comfortable rest. In recent years, even discount hotel chains like Best Western have come to realize this and have upgraded their furnishings to compete. A renovated discount hotel today will often offer beds as comfortable as those you'd find at a typical luxury hotel.
Few considerations are as important as cleanliness. A clean and well-maintained hotel may earn no specific comments, but travelers will be quick to condemn dirty and poorly maintained hotels. With increasing consumer trust placed on personal reviews found online, neglecting proper maintenance can be costly.
It is a fairly new concept to hotels, but its increasing concern to travelers has made a commitment to sustainability a major selling point in today's market. Some hotels have embraced the concept wholeheartedly by incorporating eco-friendly efforts as part of their core purpose.
Every hotel faces the same economic dilemma: How much can we offer before it bites into our profits? Any statement of core purpose must include the other side of the coin: the point of view of the investors. Optimally, hotels can provide enough service, decor and amenities to earn repeat clientele and effective word-of-mouth reviews without sacrificing too big a chunk of their bottom line.