Program Web Address



In their article - Sales Promotion In Hotels: A British Perspective - by Francis Buttle, Lecturer, Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Administration, University of Massachusetts and Ini Akpabio, Property Manager, Trusthouse Forte, Britain, Buttle and Akpabio initially state: “Sales promotion in hotels is in its infancy. Other industries, particularly consumer goods manufacturing, have long recognized the contribution that sales promotion can make to the cost-effective achievement of marketing objectives. Sales promotion activities in hotels have remained largely uncharted. The authors define, identify and classify these hotel sales promotion activities to understand their function and form, and to highlight any scope for improvement.”

The authors begin their discussion by attempting to define what the phrase sales promotion [SP] actually means.

“The Institute of Sales Promotion regards sales promotions as “adding value, usually of a temporary nature, to a product or service in order to persuade the end user to purchase that particular brand as opposed to a competitive brand,” the authors offer. Williams, however, describes sales promotions more broadly as “short term tactical marketing tools which are used to achieve specific marketing objectives during a defined time period,” Buttle and Akpabio present with attribution. “The most significant difference between these two viewpoints is that

Williams does not limit his definition to activities which are targeted at the consumer,” is their educated view.

A lot of the discussion is centered on the differences in the collective marketing-promotional mix. “…it is not always easy to definitively categorize promotional activity,” Buttle and Akpabio say. “For example, in personal selling, a sales promotion such as a special bonus offer may be used to close the sale; an advertisement may be sales promotional in character in that it offers discounts.”

Are promotion and marketing distinguishable as two separate entities? “…not only may there be conceptual confusion between components of the promotional mix, but there is sometimes a blurring of the boundaries between the elements of the marketing mix,” the authors suggest.

“There are several reasons why SP is particularly suitable for use in hotels: seasonality, increasing competitiveness, asset characteristics, cost characteristics, increased use of channel intermediaries, new product launches, and deal proneness.” Buttle and Akpabio offer their insight on each of these segments. The authors also want you to know that SP customer applications are not the only game in town, SP trade applications are just as essential. Bonuses, enhanced commission rates, and vouchers are but a few examples of trade SP.

The research for the article was compiled from several sources including, mail surveys, telephone surveys, personal interviews, trade magazines and newspapers; essentially in the U.K.