The competitive environment for Sri Lankan tourism will continue to evolve and adapt. More than ever, hotels will face competition from companies they could only have imagined a few years ago. This explains the mad scramble to brand or rebrand! Unfortunately, the majority of businesses use branding as a “quick fix” to address upcoming difficulties without properly understanding the function of branding. Given the pandemic’s effects on economic activity and the lowered long-term expectations, a company’s ability to survive on intangible assets like brands may be more crucial than ever.
Build them, brand them, and they will come is the new catchphrase instead of “build them and they will come.” If only everything were that easy! It won’t make a bit of difference to spend money on remodeling the structure, installing a new signboard, repackaging the amenities in the rooms, etc.
A brand is created by the whole experience it provides. Hotels sell both goods and services, which has its drawbacks. Both must perfectly balance one another. Sadly, that is not how things work. The bulk of hotels (and restaurants) depend only on their products to uphold their brand promises, while their service is, at worst, substandard. Great cuisine that has been thoughtfully prepared and served by the chef does not make the whole dining experience brand-worthy when it is delivered to the table by a disinterested server.
Due to the island nation’s island status, bio variety, natural climatic conditions, history, design, style, value system, and culture, which all have global importance and appeal, Sri Lankan businesses have a number of levers at their disposal. This “country of origin” strategy has helped a new wave of globally focused companies stand out from the many other options customers have by establishing trust and authenticity.
The most significant influences on customers’ buying decisions are thought to be interpersonal influences and word of mouth. With the advancement of technology, people now choose and trust electronic word-of-mouth as a reliable form of communication. The majority of clients in the hospitality sector seek recommendations before making a purchase choice because of the intangible nature of hospitality services and the high level of risk associated with the transaction.
The worldwide hotel business is evolving into a service-and customer-oriented sector. The intense competition in this sector is a constant source of stress for those who work in the hotel business. Due to the intangible character of services in this sector, which makes it difficult to analyze them before purchasing, branding has an even greater influence.
The considerable risk associated with purchasing hospitality products further emphasizes the need for this communication. Consumer evaluations: Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda.com, and TripAdvisor, among other websites dedicated to the hospitality industry, provide consumer evaluations, understanding how important they are to purchasing decisions.
Understanding the impact on the brand image may be used tactically by enterprises to support their spending on increasing positive customer feedback. The findings of this research will assist practitioners to understand the significance of branding on consumer purchase intention and brand image.