1.1 Background of the Research
The Queens Hotel is situated in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England’s City Square. It is typically a listed building of Art Deco II. The first hotel was built in 1863, and it was not until 1937 that the large and unique hotel was constructed (Hudson, 2013). The Art Deco style of the house, which is inspired by French architecture, has been defined by a re-invigoration of popular culture in recent years, guided by the image of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book, The Great Gatsby, released in 2013. The Queens Hotel is interestingly reported to be the first en-suite hotel. The cost of one night was 10 shillings and 6 pence, which contributed to about £18 in cash today. This is an illustration of how expensive the hotel will be in comparison with the average house price of £540.
The building is surrounded by white Portland stone, and one will be able to see fossil evidence when they look closely. The busy people who travel through Leeds are always overlooking this reality. After obtaining multibillion pounds of funding, Queens Hotel in the heart of Leeds city centre will be rejuvenated (manningstainton.co.uk, n.d.). In an attempt to meet changes in the manner in which customers use urban centre hotels, the QHotels Group has revealed its investment of £16m in the hotel which has been located in the region for 80 years. The ground floor of the Queens Hotel has been transformed as part of the rehabilitation into a social centre with several common areas, as well as a shop and personal check-in room. The switch was conceived to make the hotel the "right spot" for visiting friends and colleagues and offer a new place to operate for the workers from now on (Kaye, 2019). Therefore, the piece of the literature proposes the idea of analysis of the marketing strategies of Queens Hotel, Leeds that makes them demanding and successful among customers.
1.2 Aims and Objectives
The main aim of the research is to recognize the reasoning in a wider understanding of why Leisure Services or Package, Restaurant and Business, Stay influence the Queens Hotel customers to choose the Queens Hotel and not the other 4 star hotels in Leeds. The objectives of the research include:
- To recognize the factors that impact the decision of the customers to stay at the four-star Queens Hotel in Leeds
- To analyse the Leisure Services or Package, Restaurant and Business, Stay influence in the Queens Hotel customers to choose the Queens Hotel and not the other 4 star hotels in Leeds
1.3 Research Questions
The research questions of the following research are listed below:
- Why do the Queens Hotel customers prefer to stay in Queens Leeds over other Hotels based in Leeds?
- What are the main key factors the customers consider when deciding to stay at the Queens Hotel Leeds and not the others, Considering the Ps of Marketing?
2. Literature Review
As stated by Thornton and Wood (2020), The Queens is conveniently located in the heart of Leeds city centre, just a few steps from the wide assortment of stores, bars and restaurants rendering the city of Leeds such a wonderful place to stay. One will find the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and prepare for a short day in York, as well as the famous Royal Armories. The Quéens is a perfect base for exploring this city. This hotel offers valet parking in a secure hotel car park and is within easy reach of the motorway network (a nightly charge applies). The magnificent Art Deco Hotel was generally established in 1937 and provides premium four-star lodging. All 215 elegant rooms are fully equipped with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi connection (Giglio et al., 2020). The popular Yorkshire afternoon tea from the Queens, which would be proud of the use of local products is strongly praised. It is noted that dinner is eaten on Friday and Saturday at The Queens Grill and Sunday to Thursday at The Queens Bar. Both rooms and public areas are fitted with free Wi-Fi. In the Green Tourism Scheme, the queens earned a silver prize. A creative British menu of premium local products is served in Queens Bar. The rooms sell classic drinks which can be enjoyed throughout the afternoon and 24-hour service (manningstainton.co.uk, n.d.). The vibrant, sumptuously furnished rooms each include a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. Also, there is a new bathroom and a large work desk in the rooms. In every business, a strong marketing strategy is essential for the growth, attraction and loyalty of a brand. And there is no exception in the hospitality business.
As customer loyalty is essential, marketing managers and executives spend a lot of time and resources to raise awareness of the brand and to create interconnected ongoing strategies. These outreach efforts typically involve printed and multimedia collateral aimed at former customers and new customers (www.thequeensleeds.co.uk., n.d). The Queens has all the wow and wonders of Art Deco charm and unwavering commitment to premium quality and standards with a private entrance from Leeds. This was an impressive building from 1937. For a variety of factors, customers choose hotels and other accommodation facilities. From place to services and perks, companies have to be confident that those who deliver what buyers are looking for.
As stated by Bi et al., (2020) the role of marketers is to determine, which factors make customers want a specific hospitality service. After speaking to current and past clients, tracking client ratings on online pages, reviewing business information as well as other factors, marketers can know what stands out about a hospitality brand, and how it could be changed. Therefore, Queens have always taken customer feedback into account and have further incorporated innovation and changes in its hotels as per the consumer needs. The refurbishment will include a social centre on the ground floor of the Queens Hotel with a variety of societal spaces along with a shop and a private check-in room (Bazazo et al., 2017). The renovation was designed to make the hotel the "right place" to visit friends and colleagues and to give people who work from home a new place to work. A new cocktail and dining experience, such as a new wine bar and an outdoor terrace, also will occur at the hotel. There will also be new rooms for coffee in the hotel and the restaurant will be renovated so that afternoon tea and à la carte options are provided.
The hotel has several ways to boost the asset and performance. The F&B bid may be repositioned to create a destination bar using the railway station entry (Koo et al., 2020). Planning approvals for the installation of 48 new guestrooms to the hotel’s rear elevation have previously been issued (now lapse) and substantial capacity under-utilization will be made available to build more conference and spa facilities on both the ground and ground floor. In recent years, the Leeds hotel economy has witnessed substantial expansion. The high number of retail, commercial and infrastructure investments in the city combined with a small supply of newly-entry hotels has led RevPAR and ADR to surpass other UK’s biggest cities (Hultman et al., 2021). The building is filled with white Portland stone, and when people look closely, one can see fossil evidence. This fact is still ignored by busy people who drive through the city. The hotel industry in Leeds has gained from the rise in the number of tourist visitors from business or leisure in the past five years and is leading to growth in key events, including the annual Tour de Yorkshire and ITU World Triathlon (www.thequeensleeds.co.uk., n.d).
Since 2014, there is a substantial increase in the ADR industry with occupancy above 77%. The Queens Hotel is a historic hotel in the heart of Leeds and is recently reconfigured for £16m. One of the guiding drivers behind the renovation is to restore, preserve and create fresh memories for visitors to the hotel’s past glory (Hudson, 2013). The fully remodelled ground floor offers a wide variety of communal areas and exciting food & drink business will also be developed in a shop & personal check-in room. The colourful, sumptuous rooms are all decorated with a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. They feature a comfortable desk and a modern bathroom. An innovative menu of quality local food is offered in the Queens bar. The room services and classic drinks are provided at the bar and guests can enjoy classic afternoon tea.
According to Rather and Sharma (2017), Leeds has been trying to invent itself and shifting away from its industrial roots for a long time. It is now considered the second financial centre in the United Kingdom. The recent collapse of the UK economy has particularly hit the city with such solid economic pressure, and the leisure sector has not been resistant to it. Nonetheless, industry and development rising at their highest level since the start of the 2008 recession are again thriving in the region. Leeds has several established hotels in Leeds city centre, as a larger global and business centre (Martín and Román, 2017). The Queens Hotel, the Metropolis and the Cosmopolitan hotel, to mention a few are the popular hotels located in Leeds. Over time, the regular mix of popular brands has contributed to these services, like Malmaison, Novotel, Radisson, Express by Holiday Inn, Ibis and several more.
The Queens hotel offers a range of recreational and leisure activities to its guests that in turn provide additional benefits for the hotel in retaining customers. Perhaps, the hotel tends to be one of the most spectacular hotels in Leeds. This majestic hotel offers modern conveniences within a 1930s atmosphere, varying from excellent shopping to too many restaurants and bars of choice (Deraman et al., 2017). This Leeds hotel offers excellent conference and meeting facilities in a popular location for business trips. The hotel is perhaps one of the most stunning in Leeds from meeting rooms perfect for small parties to the beautiful ballroom for up to 500 guests.
As stated by Tiong et al., (2021), amid the pandemic, the Queens hotel has also taken all the preventive measures regarding best practices to ensure safety to its workers and guests. The everyday temperature of the workers is monitored as well as the hotel is constantly sanitized and social distancing is completely maintained among the workers, which in turn makes the hotel safer for accommodation and lodging. Furthermore, facilities such as card payments are available for contactless payment as well as the reception screens if the hotels are effectively protected to ensure safety to the guests (manningstainton.co.uk, n.d.). The hotel tends to offer seasonal and festive offers to its guests that further helps in the retention of customers in the hotel. The hotel also offers facilities with meeting rooms and a conference room that in turn helps large businesses to conduct meetings at the hotel. Besides, spacious and comfortable, luxurious rooms such as a Nespresso machine, a minibar with a selection of drinks and views of the City Square at the front of the building. Each of the Queens’s exquisite bedrooms flows with grace and magnificence (Giglio et al., 2020). The strategic planning and marketing management team of the hotel marketing agency uses their experience and a broad range of analytical tools to unveil a new viewpoint on market opportunities, focus operation, the media and target messages, maintaining a cross-cultural engagement with the marketing plan.
There is a restaurant in the hotel that feels nice, although the basement, the bright light and the easy-to-listen loops (Lionel Ritchie repeats both during the dinner and breakfast) flatten the mood somewhat (Le and Phi, 2021). There is a 24-hour car park on-site, where valet parking is available. The washroom is available for dry cleaning. Service can look rather impersonal and it can be challenging to get the attention of the staff at breakfast. The other facilities that the hotel provides with its room include outstanding rooms with bathrobes, mini-refrigerators and free mineral water that are bigger and Suites add different living areas and additional delicacies like fresh milk, red wine and snacks. Free minibars and the heated QClub Lounge with its heated terrace as well as complimentary wine and berry between 6 pm to 8 pm are accessible in all rooms at the top (eighth). There are several QClub rooms with a terrace of their own.
Steak and fine burgers but a range of innovative modern British cuisine are offered in the Grill’d Southern Restaurant at the Queens. A trio of crevices (lemon-scented crevasses, tempura cutlet, warm garlic crevasses, and Marie Rose sweet; £7.50) is a delightful contemporary and vintage salad. Sea bass with samphire olive oil sandwiches, new potatoes buttered, with tomato) are simple but well made, and although the colour is red and unknown. A regular menu is also accessible in the bar and there is also room service (Le and Phi, 2021). A supreme hot and cold buffet, featuring baked granola, porridge with optional cream and maple syrup, American pancakes, and English fried breakfast standards is provided. As stated by Thornton and Wood (2020), the hotel offers a wide range of menu as well as leisure facilities like swimming pools, gaming for children as well as it tends to be a pet-friendly hotel that in turn makes the hotel special and attractive for customers.
The only thing which stays constant with the modernisation of marketing techniques is the need for research in the marketing field. Such research is used by a company to identify and evaluate the business data using the best marketing techniques available, as per Babin and Zikmund (2015). Much as an individual must prepare for the vacation before sitting on the plane, thorough research and analysis are necessary to design marketing strategies. In formulating strong and reliable strategies and business plans, the marketing analysis method plays a structural role. Since many of the corporate stakeholders reduce their corporate strategy to reduce their budget. The lack of testing and unstable marketing tactics subsequently led to serious loss. In this process, methodology holds the same level of significance for conducting the research, with suitable philosophy, design, reasoning approach, sampling strategy, strategy and collection and analysis process.
3.2 Research Philosophy
It is important to identify the philosophical paradigm and the approach on which the study is centred before empirical analysis of the effect of such factors on the decision-making process of consumers is carried out. Analysis philosophy is a method of the researcher’s thinking, which provides the research object with unique and accurate insights and understanding (Žukauskas, Vveinhardt and Andriukaitien?, 2018). Among all the philosophical aspects of research, pragmatism is the most widely used and suitable philosophy for mixed methods, as it deals with the facts. This philosophy is determined by the problems stated for the research, and the practical outcomes are considered as significant factors under pragmatism. It provides freedom of choice to the researchers in terms of selecting the strategy and other approaches, relevant to the needs and aim of the research.
3.3 Research Design
The research on the recognition of factors impacting the consumers’ decision of staying in a particular hotel and understanding the significance of Leisure Services or Package, Restaurant and Business, Stay as influential factors for such decision primarily requires qualitative research on primary data, along with quantitative research on the same. Hence, based on the opinion of Scherman, Zimmerman and Smit (2018), the exploration of these factors for this research demands the implementation of exploratory research. The nature of the exploratory design in mixed methods is characterised by an initial qualitative step in the data collection and analysis and a stage in the compilation and analysis of the quantitative data and the incorporation or linkage of the information from these two individual data strands (Berman, 2017). With this research design, the primary data can be collected and analysed properly following both quantitative and qualitative approach of data analysis to gain anticipated and useful results, where the main focus would be on the qualitative data.
3.4 Research Approach
The research approach is mainly related to the reasoning method for the entire study conducted. The ability of logical thinking in a researcher for formulating reasonable judgement and justifying a position, and the identification, analysis and evaluation of arguments, are referred to by research reasoning. The researcher needs to make decisions, formulate judgements and persuade with skills to get the much-anticipated outcome for addressing the research questions. Among the two major research reasoning of deductive and inductive approach, the inductive approach will be the most suitable one for this research. As per Bradford (2017), deductive reasoning allows research to aim for examining an existing theory and for moving from broad generalisations to specific observations, while inductive does the other way round. The reason behind choosing the inductive reasoning approach for this research is that the objectives and the questions of the research demand the formation of a theoretical establishment on the identification of influential factors for consumers’ decision of choosing a certain hotel to stay.
3.5 Research Sampling
The sampling for research is a portion, segment or piece, which represents the entire community chosen for the research. It is a crucial step in a research process as it assists in informing the inference quality that the researcher has made. The Queens Hotel in Leeds area has been chosen for researching as the hotel is a four-star hotel, receiving a considerably good amount of visitors, and the city is prominent and the largest one in West Yorkshire. Leeds is also a thriving area of the country and experiences busy days with hotels, bars and restaurants filled with visitors. Based on the opinion of Sharma (2017), the probability sampling strategy would be suitable for the research due to the facilitation of choosing random consumers and staffs of the hotel and gain perspective from a wider base of individuals who are associated with the hotel. A questionnaire of 10 questions would be formed to conduct open-ended interview among 5 visitors and 5 hotel staffs for attaining target specific and appropriate data.
3.6 Research Strategy
The strategy of the research involves the steps taken to carry out the entire research process. From developing research questions to choosing the most accurate methodology for the research, which includes designing the research, determining the reasoning and philosophical approach, choosing the sample size and sampling strategy, understanding the data collection and analysis method, conducting the data collection process and evaluating the gathered data to achieve the anticipated outcome (Nayak and Singh, 2021). The interview for data collection would be conducted among both staffs and visitors of the Queens Hotel in Leeds through an open-ended questionnaire of 10 questions. The interview process can be carried out using the professional business contacts gained from the internet and other sources.
3.7 Data Collection
The data collection process will follow an open-ended interview of collecting the data required for the research. The major demand for the research on identifying influential factors of consumer decisions to stay at Queens Hotel in Leeds demands the data collected from primary sources. The reason behind choosing interview as the research process is that it supports getting both qualitative and quantitative data (Rahman, 2020). The research requires the analysis of qualitative data with foremost significance. The collection of qualitative primary data would lead to attaining sufficient conceptual information on the factors that influences the decision and preference of customers in terms of choosing a four-star hotel to stay in (Dos Santos et al., 2017). Quantitative data will also be important for the understanding of the level of significance of those factors. This way, the collected data can be measured, counted and presented with a number, while qualitative data will provide conceptual and descriptive data to be analysed.
3.8 Data Analysis
This is one of the most crucial points of the research, as the findings of the study are reliant on what is derived from the evaluation of the collected data. As this research will follow the mixed method of research, both the qualitative and quantitative processes must be implemented in the context of data analysis. As per Erlingsson and Brysiewicz (2017), the qualitative data can be evaluated with the help of the content analysis process from the transcription of the interview texts. A systematic transformation of a huge amount of text into an extremely organised and concise summary of major outcomes is the objective of the content analysis of qualitative data (Umanailo et al., 2019). Alongside, the numerical data through quantitative analysis would provide the measurement and representation of the degree to which the consumers and staffs of Queens Hotel in Leeds consider the factors to be important in the decision process regarding the stay at the hotel.
4. Ethical Approval
Approval of ethical Considerations can be specified as one of the most important parts of the research. Dissertations may even be doomed to failure if this part is missing. Any research process can face failure if the ethics of the research is not obeyed (McDaniel Jr and Gates, 2018). Ethical considerations are about the honesty and transparency in communicating with the data sources, along with maintenance of privacy, anonymity and confidentiality of their information. The researcher needs permission from the Queens Hotel, a four-star hotel in the city of Leeds. The research process is also liable to ensure that the rules regarding research ethics are kept integral throughout the whole procedure of research. The privacy of consumers and the confidential and sensitive information will not be intruded upon, following the ethical consideration for research.
Each data obtained from the survey, analysis and outcome that have been included in this proposal and every other information yet to be derived for the report of the ultimate research will only be obtained from the authentic primary sources. The research ethics also directs the researcher of having no plagiarism and copyright issues and maintain the priority of this direction for the sake of the quality of the research (Reid et al, 2018). Besides, the names of the personnel associated with the organisational operation of Queens Hotel, as well as the visitors must be kept anonymous.
On the other hand, the participants would be provided with detailed knowledge and information about the nature of the interview, along with the entire research, its aim and objectives and what purpose does it serve. There should be transparency in providing such details to the participants. In terms of the viability of the questionnaire, the questions will be formulated focusing on the condition that they will bring an answer that can illustrate the decision taken by the consumers and highlight their choices for staying at the Queens Hotel of Leeds city, based on the opinion of McDaniel Jr and Gates (2018). The research, furthermore, must be useful to obtain an outcome and overall information, which will be derived from the primary sources, affecting presenting the findings and analytical data of the research.
5. Anticipated Outcomes
As mentioned in the introductory section, the research is aimed at identifying the specific factors that are useful for impacting the decision-making process of the consumers. To be precise, the topic revolves around the analysis of the influential factors in the determination of the visitors of four-star hotels to choose the Queens Hotel in Leeds. For more specification, another objective has focused on Leisure Services or Package, Restaurant and Business, Stay influence in the hotel which are causing the consumer preference for choosing Queens Hotel more than other four-star hotels in the area. Thus, the research anticipates the outcome to be the complete evaluation of identifying and detailing the success factors of the hotel in the competitive hospitality market of Leeds city in the UK. The primary data would provide proper insight on the perception of the hotel staffs and visitors, with a planned interview with open-ended questions. Using the business and professional contacts would help to ignore issues to approach the participants. However, limitations in the study process can emerge in the form of obstacles due to lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of in-person meetings with participants.
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