Sofitel Hotel And Resort Sydney: A Luxurious Getaway

Objectives specific to a marketing plan could also include:

Sofitel Hotel and Resort Sydney, is one of the most exotic hotels in Darling Habour. The hotel was opened in 2017, thereby becoming making it the first international luxury hotel in Sydney’s Central Business District. The $ 500 million hotel plays a crucial role in the current revitalization of the Darling Habour precinct. It is also credited for heralding the renaissance of new development of hotels in Sydney with about 40 other hotels scheduled to the constructed and launched in the next decade in the quest to support the growth of tourism in the country. Richard Francis-Jones, who is Sydney’s renowned multi-award winning architect, designed the hotel. The structure of the hotel is characterized by an imposing glass exterior of 35 stories that feature triangular accents, which essentially represents sails. Their blue exterior and striking red ochre are a tribute to the various indigenous clans of the Eora ethnic nations that have for centuries lived at Tumbalong, which is now known as the Darling Harbour. (Sofitel Luxury Hotels, 2017)

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The Sofitel Hotel and Resort Sydney provides 590 stylish guestrooms that include about 35 luxurious suites, most of which provide the visitors with a panoramic view of the city. More importantly, all the guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that provide the view of the Darling Harbor. The suites have in-bath television sets, luxurious soaking tubs and double shower heads for the ethereal pampering experience. At the pinnacle of the hotel there is the Bellerive suites that have a butler pantry, living room and dining rooms. Furthermore, three signature restaurant and sophisticated pubs have anchored the hotel as the ideal place in Sydney to meet for a memorable dining experience or a drink. The hotel can also provide facilities for holding any kind of meeting considering its grand Magnifique Ballroom that can host up-to 450 people; the events could include gala dinners, haute couture fashion shows, conferences and large-scale meetings all supported with state-of-art audio-visual technology (Sofitel Luxury Hotels, 2017). These facilities makes Sofitel Hotel and Restaurant Sydney one of the most competitive in the Australian industry.

The Sofitel Hotel and Resort Sydney is situated near the new dynamic International Convention Center and a short drive from the nearby shopping center. Sofitel Hotel is also a five minutes’ walk from the Central Business District of Sydney, where the pre-historic Pryrmont Bridge is located. There are ferries from the Darling Habour that one can take and enjoy an ethereal sail under the iconic Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House and then to the Circular Quay. More importantly, for those visitors from abroad or across Australia, Sofitel Hotel is strategically located about a half an hour from the Sydeny Kingsford-Smith Airport, where there are rental vehicles, private transfers and limousines that shuttle to and from the airport to the hotel. (Sofitel Hotel & Resort, 2018)

The entrance into Sofitel Hotel and Resort Sydney is a stylish porte-cochere that leads the guests into the building. There are guestrooms and public spaces in the insider, which also pay tribute to the hotel’s maritime location and the industries that, were previously located at the site. The extensive use of timber in constructing these places, the use of sandstone motifs and ropes in the carpets all represent the robust wharf heritage of Sydney. However, whole appreciating the historical importance of the hotel’s location, its cutting-edge design invariably places the hotel at the center of the habour’s future (Sofitel Luxury Hotels, 2017).


Market Position  

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The Sofitel Hotel and Resort brand is recognized worldwide, with a presence in a total of five continents and in about 40 countries. The brand is reputable for providing contemporary hotel and resort services that are adapted to the modern demand of the hospitality industry, thereby catering to the needs of versatile customers that appreciate excellence, quality and beauty. Irrespective of its location the Sofitel brand provides its guests with a genuine experience of the arte de vivre from France.

The most common approaches of marketing in business include product and service promotion. According Boone & Kurtz, (2015) product and service promotion can be achieved through various means such as advertising where adverts are posted in the mainstream media such as television, radio, magazine and also online. Sofitel Hotel and Resort advertises its services through the mainstream Australian newspapers and magazines. The also has got a website where a catalogue of its services are displayed, with adequate information on the experiences expected in sampling them and how one may book to acquire them.

Boone & Kurtz, (2015) notes that personal selling is another promotional method where products are sold through customer service, which relies on sound communication and interpersonal skills of the sales persons. The personal selling at Sofitel Hotel and Resort Sydney is largely through the service that customers are provided while at the hotel, where courteous and helpful hotel stewards are available for the guests to provide them with any form of assistance that they may require whether in terms of information or service.

The other form of promotional activity of publicity which is characterised by word-of-mouth and giving interviews to the mainstream media (Boone & Kurtz, (2015). Sofitel hotel is available for the media to provide them with any information that they may require. The hotel also makes arrangement with local media to give interviews on upcoming events that are hosted at the hotel. There is also direct marketing through which brochures, emails and pamphlets are sent to the target clients (Singh & Gupta, 2016). Visitors at the hotel are encouraged to leave or rather give their contacts such as emails; the hotels send to them brochures and pamphlets on mails regarding the new services and promotions that the hotel is providing at a particular season.


-The Australian government supports the tourism industry through policy formulation such as the Tourism 2020 Industry Potential that was developed by the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy . The Tourism 2020 is the Australian government’s initiative that is aimed at improving the productivity capacity of the industry, through providing the players with the tools that they need to effectively compete at the global scale and also cash on the advantages presented by the growing Asian economies. (Australian Government, 2018)


-The levels of income distribution in Sydney are rather uneven; this makes it impossible for the lower income groups of the population not to afford the facilities that Sofitel Hotel and Resort provides. However, the employment and literacy levels are considerably high, the city’s economy growth rate is also high, which provides a significant portion of the population with a high purchasing power for the services that Sofitel hotel provides. (Hooper & Zyl, 2011)


Social- Cultural Factor:

-The people in Sydney city are quite conscious of their social status and lifestyle. The residents are also well knowledgeable about the happenings in the other parts of the globe. (Dobson & Hooper, 2015)


– There is a lot of investments that is being channeled in technology in Australia both by the private and public sector. The wide reception of technologically enhanced communication has made online marketing the mode of choice for marketing for most companies. Besides, the wide adoption of mobile applications has seen to faster exchange of information as most Australians can access the Internet. (Australian Government, 2018)

Competitive analysis involves taking into consideration the current competitors that a business encounters in its respective industry. Fleisher & Bensoussan, (2015) note that competitive analysis also entails taking an inventory of the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors in a market. Ferrell & Hartline, (2013) further note that through taking into account the analysis of the competitors a company is able to assess its future opportunities and threats.

The only other five-star hotel that is located in Sydney CBD is, the Westin Sydney. The hotel is located near the busy Martin Place and includes a bar, fitness center and an a la carte restaurant. The other five-star hotels in Sydney are not located at the CBD. They include the Meriton Suite North Sydney that is near the North Sydney Train Station and provides spacious suites, a spa and sauna, fitness center and unlimited free wi-fi for its guests. The other five-star hotels in Sydney with similar services and guest capacities include the Meriton Suite Church Street, Premius Hotel Sydney, Pullman Sydney Airport, Meriton Suite Chatswood and Meriton Suite North Ryde. (Turner & Friermuth, 2018)

Review of Products and Services

As Turner & Friermuth, (2018) observes, the Australian government is in full support of the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia. Through the Ministry of Tourism, the Australian government has come up with the Tourism 2020 Industry Potential strategy that seeks to promote high quality services in the industry, inclusive of indigenous tourism; limit taxation, eliminate red tape and other regulatory hindrances to the hospitality industry. Through this strategy the Australian government also endevours to undertake effective and coordinated marketing campaigns that are aimed at driving demand for the tourism and hospitality services.

The tourism and hospitality industry also partners with more than 20 airlines across major international markets in the transportation of visitors and in some market specific campaigns. These airlines include Etihad Airways, China Eastern Airways, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Qantas Airways and China Southern Airlines. (Tourism Australia, 2018)

According to International Visitors Survey (2016) report, there were about 23 million from across the world who visited the Darling Habour in Sydney in 2016. About 61 percent of these international visitors to the Darling Habour spent their night as the New South Wales. Whereas 66 percent of these international visitors had come for holiday at Darling Habour, 23 percent were visiting their friends and/or relatives, whereas 8 percent were visiting the habour for business purposes.

The visitors were majorly coming from the Americas, Europe and Asia. The International Visitors Survey, (2016) report indicate that most of the visitors were from China, who accounted for 18 percent. About 11 percent of the visitors were from the United States, 10 percent were from the United Kingdom, 6 percent were from Korea and another 6 percent were also from New Zealand. The strongest growth rates in the number of visitors were from Japan and Thailand, who accounted for 33 percent and 32 percent respectively.

The international visitors engaged in various activities in their stay at Darling Harbour. The report showed that most of these international visitors engaged in activities such as eating out, which entailed about 95 percent of the visitors; 86 percent were engaged in sightseeing whereas 85 percent went shopping. Most of these traveler travelled without company accounting for 48 percent most of whom were young people in their 20s; about 22 percent travelled as couples and a majority of them were aged over 55 years, whereas 14 percent traveled with their family. (International Visitors Survey, 2016)

A significant portion of the international travelers was the young who consisted of 37 percent of the total international visits to Darling Harbour. The other age group worth of consideration was of people aged from 55 years, above who accounted for 22 percent of the total international visit, and those were aged between 30 – 40 years who accounted for 20 percent. Interestingly, about 55 percent of the international visitors to the habour were first-time visitors to Australia whereas about 45 percent has come to the country before. (International Visitors Survey, 2016)

According to International Visitors Survey, (2016) report, Darling Harbour hosted about 1.9 million domestic overnight visitors in 2016. Out of all the domestic overnight visitors to the New South Wales during the same period, only six percent visited the Darling Habour. Most these domestic overnight visitors came to Darling Habour for a holiday vacation, accounting for 47 percent of the total visits under this category. Those who came to th harbour for business purposes were 26 percent while those who visited family and friends were 25 percent. Furthermore, most of the domestic overnight vistors ate out at the restuarants accounting for 91 percent; 52 percent engaged in sightseeing; 48 percent went shopingg while 32 percent went to the beach. Notably, the domestic overnight visitors to the harbour were in most cases were interstate visitors, accounting for 66 percent of the total visits.


–  A reputable global brand

– Strategic physical location of the hotel, making preferable to visitors to Sydney

– An extensive, highly qualified human resource

– High quality of services provided to the target markets


– Limited investment and thus access to technology

– Poor investment in technologically enhanced marketing strategies

– Poor online presence

– Poor inventory management


-The growth in Asian economic powerhouses such as India and China that are driving new wealth that may translate to the increase in the demand for visitors’ experiences

– The roll out of the National Broadband Network in Australia, which will fast track the digital revolution in the country providing the hospitality operators with better opportunities for engaging with customers and creating new business opportunities.

– The achievement of the 2020 Tourism Industry potential is set to boost the sectors GDP by about 50 percent thereby translating into about $ 51 billion annual turnovers.  

– Investment in new products and the uptake of new technologies to enhance innovation of services provided. (Australian Government, 2018)


-The increase in competition in the Australian hospitality and tourism industry

-The rise of the value of the Australian dollar

-The reduction in the international market share of Australia

-The reduction in the domestic expenditure on tourism since 2000. (Australian Government, 2018)


Kaufmann & Panni, (2014) notes that internal market research is helpful in indicating the sales trends of a business and the changes that take place in the marketing mix elements such as advertisement, prices and placement. The internal research is largely based on marketing information system, which is made up of four distinct components. According to Lussier, Corman, & Kimball, (2014) the first component of marketing information system is internal records, which in this case reflects the costs, sales, cash flows, inventories and the account payables and receivables.

Lacobucci (2014) notes that the other important component of management information system is marketing intelligence. This includes the information about the environment in which a business is operating and the prevailing changes in the market conditions. Thirdly, as a third component of marketing information system, marketing research is normally undertaken to understand and solve the particular marketing challenges that a company faces. The resultant data is then analysed, tabulated and from it the marketers draws some insights. The fourth component of marketing information system according to Kimura, (2015) is marketing decision support system are tools that marketers use in analysing data and making marking constructive marketing decisions.  

The component of management information system that will be invaluable for this marketing plan is the internal records from which we can understand the occupancy levels of the corporate travelers, their average length of stay at the hotel, their frequency or seasonality, their countries of origin, the preferred services, preferred payment method and satisfaction levels.

Koester, Birkin, & Rosenberg, (2012) considers market segmentation as the process through which marketers divide the total market into distinct segments or rather target market that cater for the needs of specific customers based on their distinct characteristics and using particular marketing mix. Some of the market segments that Sofitel Hotel and Resort Sydney has targeted before include both international visitors and the domestic overnight visitors, who fall in the categories of business visitors, group visitors who come for conferences and workshops and leisure visitors who are mostly domestic and international tourists.

Corporate Travelers

According to Camilleri, (2018) business traveler consists of those people whose main goal of traveling is to transact business. In most cases, the business travelers are a significant source of the demand for accommodation that exists all around the year, except during public holidays but tends to increase during summer holidays. Given that business travelers request for accommodation on short notice, they therefore prefer to establish close ties with specific hotels so that they can use their accommodation of a regular basis and avoid getting inconvenienced by long reservation procedures. Business travelers can travel alone or as corporate groups. (Enelow, 2017 )

The objectives of this marketing plan include the following:

  1. Increase the numbers of bookings by corporate travellers by 15 percent in the next financial year.
  2. Launch new products that specifically cater to the needs of the corporate travellers.
  • Device new ways of communication with the corporate travellers leveraging on technology

  The 4P marketing mix will be employed in achieving this marketing plan. It will include elements such as Product, Pricing, Place and Promotion.

The action plan outlines the strategies and tactics that will be used in attaining the objectives of the marketing plan.

Market Position

According to Dogra & Ghuman, (2010) a product or service that a business provide should be able to meet the specific needs or wants of the target market. In this regard, Gummesson, (2012) suggests that the development of a product or service should therefore be based on the particular problem that it is aimed to solve. In seeking to attract the corporate travelers Sofitel Hotel and Resorts will seek to improve its current products and services through providing airport pick up and drop offs to save the business travelers from meandering through Sydney on their ways to and from the hotel. The hotel will also invest in high-speed wireless Internet services to help the corporate travelers to keep in touch with their business partners, friends and family. Furthermore, the hotel will provide a fully equipped business center that will provide the corporate travelers with services regarding typing, photocopying, faxing and scanning. These services will be additional to the existing conferences and recreational facilities that the hotel already provides.

According to Hill, (2012) pricing affects the way in which a product performs in the market. Hastings, Angus, & Bryant, (2011) concurs that in most instances pricing rather indicates the perceived value that customers hold towards a certain product. Reic (2015) further notes that factors that determine the price of a product include markups, chain costs, competitor pricing and the distribution plans. The pricing of the product that Sofitel Hotel and Resorts will provide to the corporate travellers will be determined by factors such as demand, competition and seasonality. The other pertinent factor that will be taken into account is the cost of the distribution network and the operational costs.

According to Goyal, (2014) the place component on the marketing mix entails the way in which the product or service is delivered to the customer. Jefkins, (2012) suggests that a sound placement strategy is instrumental in assessing the most effective channel to use in delivering the product or service. Sofitel Hotel and Resorts will deliver full amenities to the corporate traveler, which will include conference and business space, restaurant and room service, gyms and spa. They will be booked straight without involving travel agents (Ting, 2016). The services will be consistently provided taking into account their high quality irrespective of their country of origin.

Trade Show/Exhibition

According to Neves, (2012) trade shows or exhibitions are very effective ways of advertising to the target market and creating the awareness about a brand. Gillespie & Hennessey, (2011) notes that trade fairs are normally open to diverse and large audiences and are essential for market testing in a bid to gain the general opinion or industry about the product that a company is providing. Sofitel Hotel will target business trade shows in Asia and Europe, which are attended by business persons through which they will showcase the products targeting this particular market segment.

Sales Promotion

Paliwoda, Andrews, & Chen, (2013) notes that sales promotions strategy employs the trade promotion activities and sales force to generate consumer demand for a product or service. Sales promotion essentially entails collaborating with the intermediary channels to push the product or service to the customers through personal selling and promotions. Rajagopal, (2014) notes that in using sales promotion a business promotes their products through the reseller who is expected to in turn promote it to another reseller. Sofitel Hotel will provide sales promotions to the corporate travelers, which will entail the lowering of costs for accommodation during particular season and provision of free rides for returning visitors after the third visit.

Promotional Activities


According to Shimp, (2010) advertising provides a business with a rather direct communication line to the existing and prospective customers about the product and service that is being offered. McCabe, (2010) notes that advertising makes the customer aware about the product; creates in them a desire to buy the product and convinces them it will address their respective needs. Adverting is mainly done through mainstream media channels such as newspaper, radio and television. Sofitel Hotel and Resort will advertise its new and existing products for the corporate travelers through trade magazines and newspapers.

The Internet

Internet communication is another strategy that will be used to reach the target customers. Kaser, (2012) notes that Internet communication in marketing include the use of emails and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Sofitel Hotel will use emails to send promotional material such as brochures to the customers to inform them about upcoming offers and new products offerings. The hotel will also use Facebook Page and Twitter to communicate with the target group and generate feedback about the products being offered.

Public Relations / Publicity

Hoffman & Bateson, (2016) notes that public relations is essential for evaluating public attitudes, identify the areas of the organization that may be of interest to the public and undertake corporate social responsibility programs that will earn the company the understanding and acceptance of the public. Sofitel Hotel will engage in corporate social responsibility activities around Sydney that will seek to promote environmental conservation, hence sustain the historical importance of Darling Harbour.

OBJECTIVE: Increase the numbers of bookings by corporate travellers by 50 percent in the next financial year.







Reward Strategy

Reward the Corporate Travellers who visit frequently with free computer services and rides to and from the airport


5000 AUD

1 Year

Revenue Management

Drop the Prices of Rooms for Corporate Travellers


2000 AUD

6 Months

Destination Marketing

Market the hotel as the most preferred destination for corporate travellers in Sydney.


8000 AUD

1 Year

Travel Agency  

Link the corporate travellers to the hotel both locally and abroad.


1000 AUD

1 Year

Key Performance Indicator: A marked increase in corporate travellers by 50 percent in the next one year.


OBJECTIVE: Launch new products that specifically cater to the needs of the corporate travellers.







Avail the products to influencers

Make the products available to friendly customers and renowned travel bloggers


3000 AUD

1 Year

Send briefs to industry analysts

Schedule meetings and calls to inform industry analysts about the new products


2000 AUD

1 Year

Target upcoming business events in Australia

Provide event organizers with pamphlets of the new services that Sofitel provides; for instance the 2018 Tourism Australia Advance Conference.


1500 AUD

6 Months

Key Performance Indicator: More corporate visitors coming to the hotel specifically to buy the new offering.

OBJECTIVE: Device new ways of communication with the corporate travellers leveraging on technology







Mobile responsive website

Upgrade website to mobile responsiveness so that corporate travellers can do bookings on their mobile devices


4000 AUD

3 Months

Social Media

Increase interactivity on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


2000 AUD

1 Year

User-friendly website

Upgrade the website to be more user friendly where information can be easily accessed and improve on its interactivity


3 Months


Advertise in magazines including Qantas Inflight Magazine, Budget Travel Online, Cruise Travel and GetUp& Go.


3000 AUD

6 Months

Key Performance Indicator: New customers received who have indicated that they have known the hotel’s offerings from new communication channels.


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