Prof. K. G. Ramakrishna
Department of Commerce and Management,
Karnataka State Open University
Manasagangothri, Mysore
Dr. Padma Srinivasan
A disciple of Prof. K G Ramakrishna and currently the HR-Head and
Company Secretary of a logistics Company, Bangalore.

Key Words:

Rural Hotels, Relationship hotel services, Relationship Servicing.


A hotel is defined as a "Place where a traveler can receive food & shelter provided he can pay for it" . Hotels as a concept originated in the 6th century BC in the form of inns. These were run by couples and provided sleeping arrangements in big rooms similar to today's dormitories in youth hostels. Hotels as is known today emerged in Switzerland and were patronized by aristocracy, in England inns catered to mobility and taverns to common man.  Hotel industry is also known as the accommodation industry and the hospitality industry.

In India, history books have been detailing on the functional aspects of hospitality industry. There have been Dharamashalas and Choultries taking care of the needs for boarding and lodging prior to King Ashoka's period. The religious minded Buddhist monasteries have been accommodating homeless needy and ailing persons according Hiuen Tsang's write ups 1, when he visited India between 629 AD-645 AD. Also "India is in the limelight in every sense of the word," says Arjun Sharma, who runs the Heritage Village Club in Goa. "Confidence about everything Indian is pretty high. There are Indians at the top of their professions all over Europe and in the United States and the great Indian economic story is becoming known all over the world."

Hotels can be categorized into the following types based on their topology 2 viz. Residential hotel, Commercial hotel, Resort hotel, International hotel, Floating hotel etc., But based on the geographical situation, the hotels are again be sub divided into Urban hotel, Semi-urban hotel and Rural Hotels.

The concept 'rural hotel area':

Rural areas are sparsely settled places away from the influence of large cities and towns. Such areas are distinct from more intensively settled
urban and suburban areas, and also from unsettled lands such as outback or wilderness . People live in villages, on farms and in other isolated houses.   Rural areas can have an agricultural character, though many rural areas are characterized by an economy based on logging, mining, oil and gas exploration, or tourism. Lifestyles in rural areas are different than those in urban areas, mainly because limited services are available. Governmental services like law enforcement, schools, fire departments, and libraries may be distant, limited in scope, or unavailable. The hotels situated in these areas are labeled as rural hotels.

Rural Hotel Strategies:

Hotels grow through an increase either in sales, profit, size or diversification, or by number of customers or number of employees. One could say that only profit mattered, but there is pride and satisfaction in growth for the staff as well as the owners. In addition, size and the impetus of growth gives place for a better chance of survival in the market place.  To add to a healthy bottom line, it contributes to behaviorally based effects on a company, which are as follows: -

    * It enhances problem prevention capabilities of a firm.
    * It reflects the best available alternatives in case of difficult times hitting the hotel fortunes.
    * It aids innovative spread of service offerings
    * It improves productivity- reward relationships.
    * Gaps and overlaps in activities may promote better understanding of individual and group needs.
    * Reduction of resistance to change.
    * Inherent competencies to adopt to enhanced standards.


In a research study, it has been reported that more than 27% of the hotels in India are not approved by the DOT (Dept. of Tourism) and are existing in the unorganized sector. They have limited mandatory compliance and are not pent upon improving their working style and effectiveness.

The rural hotels of India have been plagued with the following difficulties:

    * Poor infrastructure and lack of funds
    * Lack of vision and mission of management / promoters
    * Lack of innovation, marketing and promotions
    * Reduced motivation among employees
    * Unenthusiastic support from financially poor rural masses especially agriculturists who have very less money to spend on hotels.
    * The rural hotels have wonderful scenic and wide spaces. They are hardly landscaped or fit with the latest gadgets. Several of them do not even possess even one adding machine or a computer. Many of them do not accept credit cards for settlement. They do not have email ids to solicit business online. The employees are usually school dropouts with limited educational background. Of course, many of them are multi linguistic to pick up conversion with the stray visitors. Their chief source of room filler will be the autowallah or the ticket collector at the railway or bus station.

But the rural hotels bring forth the following merits:

    * Local hospitality, warmth and artmenship
    * Non commercialization of business approach
    * Honest attempt to satisfy the customer's need
    * Helping the customer beyond the rules of role of employees.


The hotels thrive on the profitable relationship with the custom. Every hotel tries to establish a deliberate, planned and sustained relation with all the stakeholders especially customers and customer's customers. Word of publicity is the main and significant way of procuring business. All hotels maintain and update a RDBMS (Relational Data Base Management System) of all their customers. They take the Opinions of the guests for the betterment of services and keep in touch with them by sending mailers on the eve of the customers' birthday, wedding anniversary eve and so on.

India was among the top 10 countries in Conde Nast Traveller's British edition's annual Readers' Travel Awards 2003, published in October. The magazine's readers preferred India to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia in Asia and even Greece and Switzerland in the West.


  • Regional SWOT: Understand regional/ area specialties and the strengths emanating from them.
  • Functional Constraints: The difficulties, hotel and regional specific, must be studied in minute details to strengthen at the missing link
  • Business Model: The hotel based on the competitive advantages and individual competencies build up a business model to
  • * To focus on the local crowd
    * To promote the USP of the hotel
    * To fix tariffs of rooms for profitable uptake
    * To partner with a promoter who can provide more funds, technology and resources
    * To build unique sustainable brand
    * To maximize revenue bases and lasting value system


Incredible India campaign of the Indian tourism is to focus on domestic infrastructure at India's numerous heritage sites. They are also now working closely with tour operators and are partnering with them to provide brochures and other support. Of course, Indian diversity is a challenge, and with the focused campaign they will be able to highlight the Indian strengths. Well-managed RURAL hotels have a driving purpose and creed that every one in the hotel knows and is proud to practice. Each successful hotel exhibits a distinct and widely shared culture that fits its strategy.


    2. SM Jha, Hotel Marketing, Himalaya Publishing House, 1998 edition, Pages 25-27.

Authors profile:

Prof. K. G. Ramakrishna, Chairman, Dept. of Commerce and Management, Karnataka State Open University, Manasagangothri, Mysore.

 Dr.Padma Srinivasan, a disciple of Prof. K G Ramakrishna and currently the HR-Head and Company Secretary of a logistics Company, Bangalore.

Prof. K. G. Ramakrishna
Department of Commerce and Management,
Karnataka State Open University
Manasagangothri, Mysore
Dr. Padma Srinivasan
A disciple of Prof. K G Ramakrishna and currently the HR-Head and
Company Secretary of a logistics Company, Bangalore.

Source : E-mail November 10, 2004




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