Niche Marketing is the Buzzword for Hotels !

When employees at the Residence Inn Chicago Deerfield started noticing an increase in clients from India, they decided they needed to do something to accommodate them.

They put together welcome kits with calling cards so guests could check in with family back home. They organized an Indian breakfast, shuttle buses to Indian grocery stores, private dinners to Indian restaurants, and Indian Night events with screenings of Bollywood movies.

The result: a $304,000 annual profit, and about a 10% increase in revenue per available room, a key benchmark for hotels.

Hotels across the country are stepping up efforts to cater to niche markets— specific minority groups or the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Executives at Marriott International, which owns Residence Inn, looked at the numbers and realized that they couldn't afford to ignore these groups.

For instance, in 2010, there was a 24% and 19% increase in visitors from Asia and South America, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. And according to the U.S. Travel Association, the LGBT community accounted for 15.5% of the U.S. population in 2010, but spent a whopping $63 million on domestic travel.