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Gwesty y Royal Victoria

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The Royal Victoria Hotel is a three-star hotel located in Snowdonia, North Wales. The 104 bedroom hotel has been established for over 40 years, providing accommodation and catering to visitors and wedding parties.

Learning points

  • Superfast connectivity forms a crucial part of the hotel’s five-year business growth strategy.
  • Greater investment in superfast bandwidths were needed to meet peak tourist season demands.
  • Broadband promotes incremental growth, as opposed to instant results.

Overview of the business

Logo for The Royal Victoria Hotel

The guests are predominately based in the United Kingdom, with 10% travelling from Europe. Over the last five years the hotel has implemented a series of changes to its business processes, promoting incremental growth, rather than big leaps.

A fundamental shift has been the adoption of superfast broadband as a unique selling point, differentiating the hotel from its local competitors.

Superfast broadband adoption

To retain the competitive speeds, Royal Victoria Hotel has invested in double the bandwidth, increasing its superfast broadband speeds to 100 for download and 60 for upload over the last 12-months. Despite previously attaining superfast speeds, 10% of customers remained unable to access high speeds during peak periods. These problems related to the high demand from consumers’ at these busy times. Combatting these problems was a key driver in the investment of greater bandwidth over the last 12-months.

The leased line is provided by BT and the corresponding maintenance package is managed by a local North Wales company, HB Digital. The hotel invests up to £1000 a month in its leased line subscription and business communications, including broadband enabled Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Royal Victoria Hotel information flow diagram

Highlighting the internal and external communication flows of the business.

IT skills capacity

The internal IT team regulate the storage of data, with an internal server and an external backup in Mid-Wales. At present, cloud-based storage (for example, Dropbox) is used predominately for sharing and storing large files.

Use of digital technologies

The hotel continues to use cloud-based services to undertake business processes, including accounting and finance, sales and customer relationship management. In addition, Microsoft 365 continues to be utilised for office-based productivity tools.

Additional changes involve automating and remotely monitoring business functions. Examples of these changes include monitoring and regulating the heating across the hotel, accessing and storing CCTV recordings through the cloud and switching to electronic wage slips.

The hotel is also exploring the possibility of digitalising the car parking facilities, whereby payments would be processed through mobile applications and income streams monitored remotely on PCs and laptops.

VoIP communications has replaced approximately 18 ISDN telephone lines. The previous outlay on calls and telephone subscription is redistributed to pay for the monthly fee and leased line connection.

Business performance

By installing a leased line and enhancing bandwidth the hotel is able to offer a greater provision of Wi-Fi to guests and staff. In addition to gaining access to guest Wi-Fi, the executive bedrooms have smart televisions where guests can access their Netflix membership.

The fast and reliable broadband speeds create a unique selling point for the hotel, differentiating itself from the local competitors. Small scale changes can make a big difference for tourism hotspots, especially given the high concentration of accommodation providers across the region:

That differentiation is quite difficult here, because as a tourist hotel, and anything of any significant size, it’s about tourism, so any edge is really valuable.

General Manager, The Royal Victoria Hotel

However, at present the outlay for the leased line forms a large monthly expense. To manage the revenue streams, the hotel is considering offering multi-level connectivity for guests, with a premium service being offered at a small charge.

The benefits also extend to external communication. It is easier to manage online orders, particularly when purchasing food supplies online. The sales and communication channels are also more reliable, allowing for sales to processed through an online booking system, Clarity, and be adjusted in real time.

Incremental changes to working practices were noted. The enhanced ability to access and monitor data remotely has enabled select staff, mainly senior management, to work remotely when required. The finance team also find flexible and remote working valuable, allowing tasks to be completed outside of the workplace.

In total, business growth is estimated at 6% for 2018, in part the greater broadband connectivity is attributed to the growth trajectories.