Hotel De Glace opened in 2001 and is located in Quebec Canada (Hotel De Glace, n.d.). Since its launch, it has served over a million visitors making it one of the largest ice hotels in Canada. The hotel stands out as one of the World’s most unique attractions. It is composed of spectacular architecture and interior décor which has wowed visitors who troop in from across the world for an experience of a life time. The ice curved artwork gives it a breathtaking appearance making it an important tourist attraction.
People and their behavior
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Consumers anywhere are involved in both physical consumption and conceptual consumption of ideas (Spring, n.d.). They are in constant search for new information, concepts and unique emerging ideas to add to their basket of needs. People are intrigued by strange experiences rather than the desire to derive fun from the actual events. In a behavioral study carried out by Keinan & Kivetz (2008), where the subjects were told to choose between free treats at either Marriott hotel and Hotel De Glace, majority of the respondents were found to opt for the Ice hotel.
In another study about food preferences, where participants were to choose between normal flavors consisting of ice-cream and a bowl of bacon ice cream, the majority preferred the bacon flavor. This was a radical shift from the expected norm since the later two are less pleasurable. These rather strange behaviors are explained by the theory of conceptual consumption which attempts to explain why people are intrigued by funny experience in making consumption choices (Spring, n.d.). According to Keinan & Kivetz (2008) consumers are attracted to indulgence in luxuries if they perceived that other options will bring long term regrets. Andrade & Cohen (2008) observes that people will voluntarily chose scary experiences because there is an associated kind of pleasure that is mixed with fear.
The motivation for a person to choose an ice hotel
Hotel De Glace Hotel’s architectural features are the major source of attraction to the many customers who visit it. The fascinating features are very unique hence creating a unique brand that gives it a higher leverage over its competitors. Many of the customers who visit the ice hotel do it for adventure. The sight of curved artwork ice made utensils, decorated fire places, and the interior décor are the main attraction to ice hotels. The hotels are made in a way to attract the adventurous side of the tourists who visit them. Some of the Hotel De Glace visitors go there to experience a fairly tale wedding at its chapel because of the hotels unique appearance.
Factors influencing consumer behavior
The cultural orientation of a people exerts significant influence on their consumption patterns. The different cultural backgrounds come with unique cultural preferences. Since culture is learned rather than inherited, those communities who are inclined to tourism have a higher probability of visiting the ice hotels than those that are less inclined to tourist activities. Social class also affects consumer behavior as those people originating from the same class tend to exude the similar behavior patterns (management –hub, 2009). Many of the hotel visitors are found to come from high social classes. Those in high classes are likely to indulge in conceptual consumerism. Many would want to hold their fairly tale weddings in the ice hotel chapel so as to feel the unique experience.
Trends that may contribute to the success of Ice Hotel properties
The growing tendency of couples to tie their knots in ice knots in ice hotels is a trend that can be relied upon to bring steady business into the industry. The seasonal nature of the ice hotels which melt away during spring has been in increasing demand as people long for the peak seasons. This longing has a tendency to build demand of the hotels. The consumers perceive these experiences as once in lifetime experiences a trend that has an effect of increasing demand. The market craze towards the unique artwork and spectacular artistic architecture threat has been characteristic of the hotels which will continue attracting drones of tourist from across the world. Many of the hotels have been experimenting with unique designs hence eliciting a loft of interest from curious consumers.
Ever since the first ice hotel was opened in Sweden in early 1990s, the demand for the hotels has been rising consistently leading to the opening of several others around the world. This has prompted the opening of many other branches across the world ranging from Siberia, Canada, and Europe. This is a clear sign that the market is still steadfast making it a worthy investment. The high rating of these hotels means that the market is still ripe for more investments.
Existing and potential markets
By the close of 2005, Hotel De Glace was expecting to host more weddings than ever before making wedding couples a potential market for the industry. The traditional market consists of adventurous tourists who troop in every year to the hotel to experience the unique breathtaking experience. The Nordic market is not yet exhausted and still presents a huge potential for the ice hotel. The demand is still high in this market which is good news for the market. The North American and the Russian market are still not fully tapped creating an opportunity for the expansion of the market. Yet another market that can not be wished away is the emerging markets that have a very high potential that is expected to push demand for this industry in the coming years.
The major competitor for Hotel De Glace is ICEHOTEL in Sweden which is the largest and the oldest ice hotel in the world. Its major leverage over the De Glace is the long experience and its strong brand presence in the industry. Its location on a river bank gives it a spectacular view of the surrounding environment which has continued to attract thousands of visitors. However, when it comes to architectural designs and décor, Hotel De Glace has a higher leverage in the market over ICEHOTEL. De Glace has also a better diversified product proposition than ICEHOTEL which gives it an opportunity to increase and expand its market share.
Role of marketing research in the ice hotel industry
Market research would be important in studying market trends in this industry which will help the ice hotels players to structure their industry along their marketing approach. Using this research they can be able to identify their target market accurately in order to know how to tap them. It is also important in assessing the customer satisfaction in their services which will enable the industrial players to structure their services in a way that will enable them to retain their core customers as well as attracting news. The emerging market needs are also captured in the process. This is evident in the growing craze for couples to wed in the Hotel De Glace chapel.
The tourism product
The ice hotel industry has contributed largely to the growth of the tourism industry acting as a source of important revenue. The growing craze for adventure and indulgence among people around the world will continue to ensure that the hotels remain an important tourist attraction. The seasonal for the hotels has an effective service making sure that the demand for these hotels by tourists remains high especially during winter. The tourism authorities in these countries ought to market these facilities along the products which will increase the volume of tourists.
Satisfaction of needs and wants by ice hotels
Ice hotels employ various means to satisfy the need and wants of their customer. These include diversification of their services to include a wide proposition of products. This helps to provide solutions to various needs of the customers by establishing themselves as a one stop shop for their customers. This is to mean that customers can get all their needs solved in one place without having to switch between hotels. For example couples wishing to marry can find a chapel at the ice hotel, accommodation, bars, and other entertainment facilities.
Product life cycle of ice hotels
The ice hotel concept is still relatively new in the market and so could be said to lie at the growth stage. At this stage the hotels are building their brand preference and fighting hard to expand their market share. The firms are struggling to safeguard their market share while at the same time adding supporting features and services in order to attract more customers to their fold.
To position themselves in the competitive market, hotels are seeking to create niche markets for themselves. This is aimed at creating a distinct brand around their establishments so as to form a firm place in the minds of the consumers. In doing this the greatest task for the firms is to identify their target market so as to segment it properly according to the needs and wants of the market. This has helped companies like Hotel De Glace to have a competitive edge over their competitors. This reflects their ability to effectively demarcate their market which has enabled them to respond to their needs better.
Hotel De Glace has emerged as a force to reckon with in the market. This emanates from its market strategies and their ability to diversify their products to the needs and wants of their market. Many of these strategies have emerged out successfully to give the hotel a higher leverage in the market.