Hotel Operation Management

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Hospitality is an undeniable aspect of the civilized world as testified by various literatures from all over the world. A warm and friendly reception of guests is considered as mandatory by many cultures around the world. Albeit, the face of hospitality changed drastically according to changing times to become more financial oriented, the basic aspect of hospitality still remains the same. With the growth of travel the hospitality industry grew by leaps and bounds. This essay tries to look at the hospitality industry from its humble beginnings to the ultra modern hotels and mind boggling technologies of the future. At the same time it also tries to identify the growing problems that the industry managers are increasingly forced to handle on a daily basis. The contemporary trends to attract customers and the challenges while doing so are the other main aspects of the essay. Hospitality in its most basic form would mean providing service to others and the art of being hospitable. The hospitality industry has its roots right in the ancient times. Right since the ancient Greek and Roman times there have been instances of travelers and also guest rules and facilities. The middle ages gave birth to the idea of inns that provided safety, security, food and accommodation to the guests. But, these were typically in private homes. The concept of established and institutionalized hospitality can be traced back to the opening of the Savoy Hotel with Cesar Ritz as its General Manager. However, it was after the Second World War that travel boomed. The other main reason for the drastic increase in travelling was the emergence of globalization that necessitated the concept of frequent travelling. Along with this, the cross-continental travel, facilitated by the Trans-Atlantic flights, was another important reason for the boom in the international travel which resulted in the rapid growth of the hospitality industry. Hospitality would mean receiving and treating strangers as guests in a warm and a friendly way. This would entail welcoming the guest and providing consistent and quality service. The hospitality industry performs a similar function, albeit in an institutionalized manner. Although many a times, the economic aspect of the hospitality becomes the primary driving force of the industry; the first motive should ideally be providing excellent and affordable service (Hogan 2008). The business dictionary defines hospitality as, ‘hotels, motels, inns or such businesses that provides transitional or short-term lodging, with or without food (Business Dictionary 2013). This definition encompasses the two main aspects of the hospitality industry; lodging and boarding. However, the most important aspect of the hospitality industry is its inclination towards guest satisfaction; indeed, to provide a service of a ‘home away from home’. This can be only achieved by providing exemplary service that focuses on exceeding the expectations of the guests. The hospitality industry may be widely regarded as an institution providing food and beverage; but, the greatest profits for the hotels are from the sales of rooms which is a service and not a product as it is resold daily and if not sold is a perishable commodity. Service is an essential part of and industry. Providing quality service is of utmost importance especially in the context of the hospitality industry, which is primarily regarded as a service industry. Service can be defined as a type of economic activity that is intangible, is not stored and does not result in ownership. Service is consumed at the point of sale (Investorwords 2013). This means that service is not just a product that can be pre-packed and sold over the counter. It involves a human aspect that makes the delivery of consistent and efficient service such a difficult task. This aspect of intangibility along with inseparability is a practical problem for the managers. Because, different people respond to different situations...
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