Global Trends in Hospitality

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Hospitality Management 18 (1999) 427}442

Operational issues and trends in the hospitality industry
Peter Jones
School of Management Studies for the Service Sector, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK

Abstract This article makes some predictions about the future by considering operational issues in the "rst part of the next century. Hospitality operations management is considered at two levels * the "rm level at which strategic operations management takes place; and the unit level. It is proposed, using a model developed by Jones (1999, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality management), there are seven strategic concerns: location, integration, a$liation, con"guration, organisation, implementation and adaptation. For unit operations management the framework of analysis is based on Lockwood and Jones (1989, The Management of Hotel Operations). This identi"es seven key result areas: assets, employees, capacity (or customers), productivity, service, income (or control), and quality. Using these frameworks an assessment is made of current issues and trends in hospitality operations management, leading to a prioritisation of possible future outcomes. 1999 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Operations management; Assets; Employees; Capacity; Productivity; Service; Quality

1. Introduction Have you ever looked at an impressionist painting? From a distance one is able to see the picture, appreciate its composition and enjoy its subtle realism. Move closer and it becomes apparent that it is made up of thousands of tiny dots, each of which is di!erent. And really close up, there is no clear picture * just a chaotic jumble of colour. The global hospitality industry is like that. It is easy to assume that the industry is homogeneous and there are clear worldwide trends of relevance to hospitality operators everywhere. In reality, the industry is incredibly diverse and complex, which makes identifying common issues and future trends extremely di$cult. For instance, there is the development of global brands such as McDonalds. But this chain's 18,000 restaurants needs to be placed in the context of the 8 million 0278-4319/99/$ - see front matter 1999 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 2 7 8 - 4 3 1 9 ( 9 9 ) 0 0 0 4 7 - X


P. Jones / Hospitality Management 18 (1999) 427}442

restaurants world-wide (IH&RA, 1999), of which 206 thousand are in one country * China. There is also the world-wide growth of international hotels chains, but this is varies widely from region to region, and even within regions. For instance, `some 70% of new hotel development (approximately 27,000 new rooms) in Latin America over the next few years is concentrated in two countries * Mexico and Brazila and `the number of hotels in Dubai (a tiny Gulf state) has grown from 48 in 1988 to 255 by mid-1998. This is estimated to represent around 40% of the total hotel supply of the Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman)a (BDO Hospitality Consulting, 1998).

2. Analytical framework In order to cope with such diversity and complexity, this article is structured around two analytical frameworks developed by Jones and Lockwood (1996) illustrated in Fig. 1. This comprises two systems, the management system and the technological system, con"gured as a hierarchy of three levels. The discipline of management is well established, but continues to evolve; whilst the technological system is in continuous adaptation as it responds to changes in consumer taste and

Fig. 1. Model of Operations Managem (Jones and Lockwood, 1996).

P. Jones / Hospitality Management 18 (1999) 427}442


demand, new product development, direct and indirect competition, advances in technology, and the many other factors which in#uence the growth and sustainability of any business concept. This review of issues and trends is concerned with two levels * the strategic (or...
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