Currently, in Australia there are two eco-friendly hotels that are successful – Bubble Tent Australia in New South Wales and Mile End Glamping in Western Australia. As these two hotels are highly profitable already, it is clear that although the current market size is not tremendous, the growth potential is huge. Because this is a specific niche, the conversion rate should be higher.
Eco-friendly travel is the new trend.
Since more and more people are becoming health-conscious, seeking a healthy lifestyle is the current industry trend (Manson 2020). Similar hotels in Japan and Thailand have already attracted a large number of tourists from western countries, including Australians.
The wooden building, the recreational vehicle campground and glamping are all very suitable for family gatherings. Health and wellbeing or spiritual retreats may prefer glamping or the wooden building. Students probably would prefer glamping or the wooden building for holiday trips, particularly in the summer. Thus, there should be sufficient customers to make this project viable financially.
In terms of market penetration, Vaynerchuk (2013) argues that the best way to reach the customer is online marketing in this day and age. First of all, when students and families are looking for a place for their vacations, they usually visit Google first. Thus, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of this hotel’s official website is key.
In the second place, nearly each personal development teacher has followers on social media platforms; therefore, customers who are joining health and wellbeing or spiritual retreats could be reached on Instagram and Facebook. Godin (2018) argues that content marketing is the single most important marketing tactic in modern-day society. Obviously, content marketing on social media platforms is of vital importance. Inn the Forest needs an Instagram page as well as a Facebook page on which value-adding posts are published regularly and frequently. Social media posts must look native on each social media platform and are supposed to be published when most target customers have time to sit on the couch and look at social media, e.g., 8:30pm on Sunday. More specifically, the audience on Facebook are more mature; hence, while targeting families and health & wellbeing or spiritual retreats, content marketing on Facebook is more relevant. In contrast, the audience on Instagram are younger; as a result, while targeting students, content marketing on Instagram should be a focus.
Using modern technologies for eco-friendly travel:
As Inn the Forest has an Internet booking system on its official website, customers will be able to conveniently book their hotel rooms on the Internet. Social media platforms are supposed to send traffic to Inn the Forest’s official website.
The main problem is the current pandemic which has significantly affected the tourism and hospitality industries that used to thrive in Australia. Unfortunately, COVID-19 may keep happening for several years unless a vaccine is found.
However, due to the advanced science and technology these days, a vaccine will be found. Therefore, Inn the Forest is a viable business in the long term. In a way, the stress caused by COVID-19 will make people even more interested in taking care of their health and wellbeing, thereby reducing their stress (Manson 2020). That is why Inn the Forest actually satisfies the customers’ needs and expectations in the right ways. Burns (2000) points out that health / wellbeing is a major theme in the 21st century. Thus, a hotel like Inn the Forest definitely provides the target market with the right services.
“Inn the Forest is an eco-friendly hotel which is best characterized by a wooden building, glamping and a recreational vehicle campground in Kangaroo Island, South Australia. As this hotel does not have a competitor in South Australia and there is a gap in the market, it is a viable business which will be profitable in the long run. Indeed, more and more people are becoming health-conscious in this day and age; thus, Inn the Forest can give the target market good value, a unique experience and a joyful lifestyle in nature that they cannot find elsewhere in South Australia.”