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					                 HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT




        Hospitality refers to the relationship process between a guest and a host, and it also refers to
the act or practice of being hospitable, that is, the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or
strangers, with liberality and goodwill. Hospitality frequently refers to the hospitality industry jobs for
hotels, restaurants, casinos, catering, resorts, clubs and any other service position that deals with

Hospitality is also known as the act of generously providing care and kindness to whoever is in need.

Meaning of Hospitality

        For an in depth understanding of the term of hospitality, the starting point is the etymology of
the word itself. The word hospitality derives from the Latin hospes, which is formed from hostis, which
originally meant a 'stranger' and came to take on the meaning of the enemy or 'hostile stranger'
(hostilis) + pets (polis, poles, potentia) to have power. Furthermore, the word hostire means
equilize/compensate.If you combined the above etymological analysis with the story of Telemachus
and Nestor you can develop in your mind the Greek concept of sacred hospitality.

       First of all, Telemachus is a complete stranger for Nestor; however he was hosted and treated
more than warmly. In the Homeric ages, hospitality was under the protection of Zeus, the chief deity
of the Greek pantheon. For that reason Zeus was also attributed with the title 'Xenios Zeus' ('xenos'
means stranger). The semantic behind this was to highlight the fact that hospitality for Ancient Greeks
was of the utmost importance. A stranger passing outside a Greek house, could be invited inside the
house by the family. The host washed the stranger's feet, offered him/her food and wine, and only
after he/she was comfortable could be asked to tell his/her name.

        After having welcomed Telemachus, Nestor asks his unknown guest to introduce himself to
find out that he was the son of Odysseus. By that time, the man in front of him was a complete
stranger, a hostis as described in the etymological analysis of hospitality at the beginning.
Nonetheless, Telemachus was equalized with his host. Another meaning that is included in the
etymology of hospitality. Note also that one of the Nestor's sons slept on a bed close by Telemachus
to take care that he should not suffer any harm. This means that hospitality for Ancient Greeks
include also the idea of protection. Lastly, Nestor put a chariot and horses at Telemachus' disposal so
that he could travel the land route from Pylos to Sparta in two days, having as charioteer Nestor's son
Pisistratus. The last element of hospitality as can be realized is guidance.

Based on the story above and its current meaning, hospitality is about compensating/equalizing a
stranger to the host, making him feel protected and taken care of, and at the end of his hosting,
guiding him to his next destination.
Contemporary Usage

       Contemporary usage seems different from historical uses that lend it personal connotations.
Today's hospitality conjures images of throwing good parties, gracious hosts entertaining, etiquette,
Martha Stewart or even talk shows, or, the hospitality services industry as it relates to the
entertainment and tourism business. On the other hand, hospitality used to be, and still is, a serious
duty, responsibility, or ethic. Hospitality ethics is a discipline that studies this usage of hospitality.

      In the western context, with its dynamic tension between Athens and Jerusalem, two phases
can be distinguished with a very progressive transition: a hospitality based on an individually felt
sense of duty, and one based on "official" institutions for organized but anonymous social services:
special places for particular types of "strangers" such as the poor, orphan(s), ill, alien, criminal, etc.
Perhaps this progressive institutionalization can be aligned to the transition between Middle Ages and
Renaissance (Ivan Illich, The Rivers North of the Future).

Hospitality around the World

Biblical and Middle Eastern

       In Middle Eastern Culture, it was considered a cultural norm to take care of the strangers and
foreigners living among you. These norms are reflected in many Biblical commands and examples.

       Perhaps the most extreme example is provided in Genesis. Lot provides hospitality to a group
of angels (who he thinks are only men); when a mob tries to rape them, Lot goes so far as to offer his
own daughters as a substitute, saying "Don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the
protection of my roof." (Genesis 19:8, NIV).

       The obligations of both host and guest are stern. The bond is formed by eating salt under the
roof, and is so strict that an Arab story tells of a thief who tasted something to see if it was sugar, and
on realizing it was salt, put back all that he had taken and left.

Hospitality in Celtic Cultures

       Celtic societies also valued the concept of hospitality, especially in terms of protection. A host
who granted a person's request for refuge was expected not only to provide food and shelter to
his/her guest, but to make sure they did not come to harm while under their care.

       A real-life example of this is rooted in the history of the Scottish Clan MacGregor, from the
early seventeenth century. The chief of Clan Lamont arrived at the home of the MacGregor chief in
Glenstrae, told him that he was fleeing from foes and requested refuge. The MacGregor welcomed
his brother chief with no questions asked. Later that night, members of the MacGregor clan came
looking for the Lamont chief, informing their chief that the Lamont had in fact killed his son and heir in
a quarrel. Holding to the sacred law of hospitality, the MacGregor not only refused to hand over the
Lamont to his clansmen, but the next morning escorted him to his ancestral lands. This act would
later be repaid when, during the time that the MacGregors were outlawed, the Lamonts gave safe
haven to many of their number.
Hospitality in India

        India is one of the oldest civilizations on earth, and like every culture has its own favorite
stories including quite a few on hospitality. That of a simpleton readily sharing his meager morsels
with an uninvited guest, only to discover that the guest is a God in disguise, who rewards his
generosity with abundance. That of a woman who lovingly cooks up all the Khichdi she can afford, for
everyone who is hungry... till one day when she runs out of food for the last hungry person to whom
she offers her own share, and is rewarded by the god in disguise with a never ending pot of Khichdi.
Most Indian adults having grown up listening to these stories as children believe in the philosophy of
"Atithi Devo Bhava", meaning the guest is God. From this stems the Indian approach of graciousness
towards guests at home, and in all social situations. Now it is being a greatest business in India.


      In Christian Ecumenism, Eucharistic hospitality is the name given to the practice of allowing
open communion between Christian denominations. It is a sign of friendly relations between
otherwise separated churches. It is being first class industry in India.


       Hospitality as a cultural norm or value is an established sociological phenomenon that people
study and write papers about (see references, and Hospitality ethics). Some regions have become
stereotyped as exhibiting a particular style of hospitality. Examples include:

                Minnesota nice
                Southern hospitality

                                        HOSPITALITY ETHICS
The term "Hospitality Ethics" is used to refer to two different, yet related, areas of study:

             i. The philosophical study of the moral obligations that hold in hospitality relationships
                and practices
            ii. The branch of business ethics that focuses on ethics in commercial hospitality and
                tourism industries

       Whereas Ethics goes beyond describing what is done, in order to prescribe what should be
done; Hospitality Ethics prescribes what should be done in matters related to hospitality. Hospitality
theories and norms are derived through a critical analysis of hospitality practices, processes, and
relationships; in various cultures and traditions; and throughout history. Ultimately, hospitality theories
are applied, and put to practice in commercial and non-commercial settings.

        As a standard of conduct, hospitality has been variously considered throughout history as a
law, an ethic, a principle, a code, a duty, a virtue, etc. These prescriptions were created for
negotiating ambiguous relationships between guests, hosts, citizens, and strangers. Despite its
ancient origins and ubiquity amongst human cultures, the concept of hospitality has received
relatively little attention from moral philosophers, who have tended to focus their attention on other
ethical concepts, e.g. good, evil, right, and wrong.

       Yet hospitality as a moral imperative, or ethical perspective, preceded many other
prescriptions for ethical behavior: In ancient Middle Eastern, Greek and Roman cultures, the Ethic of
Hospitality was a code that demanded specific kinds of conduct from both guests and hosts. One
example: Chivalry required men of station to offer food and lodging to any men of station that
requested it.

      In many ways, these standards of behavior have survived into the present day in the
commercial hospitality industry, where descendents of the ancient ideas continue to inform current
standards and practices

Hospitality Ethics in History

        As a standard of conduct, hospitality has been variously considered throughout history as a
law, an ethic, a principle, a code, a duty, a virtue, etc. These prescriptions were created for
negotiating ambiguous relationships between guests, hosts, citizens, and strangers. Despite its
ancient origins and ubiquity amongst human cultures, the concept of hospitality has received
relatively little attention from moral philosophers, who have tended to focus their attention on other
ethical concepts, e.g. good, evil, right, and wrong.

       Yet hospitality as a moral imperative, or ethical perspective, preceded many other
prescriptions for ethical behavior: In ancient Middle Eastern, Greek and Roman cultures, the Ethic of
Hospitality was a code that demanded specific kinds of conduct from both guests and hosts. One
example: Chivalry required men of station to offer food and lodging to any men of station that
requested it.
      In many ways, these standards of behavior have survived into the present day in the
commercial hospitality industry, where descendents of the ancient ideas continue to inform current
standards and practices.

Hospitality Ethics in theory

There are three main branches of ethics

             i. Meta ethics...investigates the source of ethical judgments.
            ii. Normative ethics...investigates and clarifies the content of our ethical theories.
           iii. Applied ethics...investigates the applications of our ethical theories.

       One particular hospitality ethics theory, called the Ethic of Hospitality, focuses on the guest-
host relationship as the source of hospitality norms. It claims that wherever there is a host, there is a
guest, and that actions and decisions originating from either has consequences for "both" agents. The
Ethic of Hospitality sees the respective duties of guests and hosts as different, yet complementary, in
both function and practice.

       The philosophical investigation of the concepts surrounding hospitality, and the relationships
between guests and hosts in various kinds of settings, is a potentially fruitful field of study for both
theoretical and applied ethics.

Hospitality Ethics in Practice

       Ethics in commercial hospitality settings. Applied ethics is the branch of Ethics which
investigates the application of our ethical theories and judgments. There are many branches of
Applied Ethics: Business ethics, professional ethics, medical ethics, educational ethics, environmental
ethics, and more.

      Hospitality Ethics is a branch of Applied Ethics. In practice, it combines concerns of other
branches of Applied Ethics, such as business ethics, environmental ethics, professional ethics, and
more. For instance, when a local hospitality industry flourishes, potential ethical dilemmas abound:
What effect do industry practices have on the environment? On the host community? On the local
economy? On citizens' attitudes about their local community; about outsiders, tourists, and guests?
These are the kinds of questions that Hospitality Ethics, as a version of Applied Ethics, might ask.

       Since Hospitality and tourism combine to create one of the largest service industries in the
world, there are many opportunities for both good and bad behavior, and right and wrong actions by
hospitality and tourism practitioners. Ethics in these industries can be guided by codes of conduct,
employee manuals, industry standards (whether implicit or explicit), and more.

      Though the World Tourism Organization has proposed an industry-wide code of ethics, there is
presently no universal code for the hospitality industry. Various textbooks regarding ethics in
commercial hospitality settings have been published recently, and are currently used in hospitality
education courses.

      Hospitality management is the academic study of the running of hotels, restaurants, and travel
and tourism-related business.

      Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) can be a business major in a Bachelors of
Science, Bachelors of Commerce or a Bachelors of Arts. Graduate students graduate with a Masters
of Business Administration, a Masters or Science, or a Doctorate of Philosophy in Hospitality and
Tourism Management. It is a focus that is studied by individuals that are intending to work in the
Hospitality Industry, examples of which are; Hotels, Resorts, Casinos, Restaurants, and Events.

Within the HTM concentration there is generally:

             i. Food Management and Operations (Examples: Food Science, Food Selection and
                Preparation, Food and Beverage Operations)
            ii. Lodging Operations (Examples: Hotel Operations, Resort Management, Lodging
                Management, Financial Management and Cost Control for Hospitality Organizations)
           iii. Global Tourism (Examples: Travel and Tourism Management, Tourism Analysis,
                Hospitality and Research Methods)
          iv. Sustainable Tourism (Examples: Natural Destination Management, Responsible
                Tourism, Green Tourism and Eco-Tourism, Alternative and more Environmentally
                friendly ways of working within the whole Tourism industry)
            v. Tourist Attractions Management (Examples: Heritage Attractions, Arts and Cultural
                Attractions, Industrial Attractions, City Based Attractions, Retail Attractions, Natural
          vi. Entertainment Management (Examples: Theme Park Management, Theatre
                Management, Cinema Management, Musicology, Live Music and Music Festival
          vii. Event Management (Examples: Hospitality Sales, Catering Management, Hospitality
                Marketing Management)

       Several large corporations such as Marriott, Hyatt, Wyndham and Hilton Hotels have summer
internships in training programs for students majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management, to
help students get valuable work experience.

Hospitality Services

       The concept of Hospitality Services, also known as “accommodation sharing”, “hospitality
exchange” (short “hospex”), and “home stay networks”, refers to centrally organized social networks
of individuals who trade accommodation without monetary exchange. While this concept could also
include house swapping or even time share plans, it has come to be associated mostly with travelers
and tourists staying with one another free of charge. Since the 1990s, these services have
increasingly moved away from using printed catalogs and the telephone, to connecting users via the
internet. As of March, 2008 over 1,000,000 people are registered users of these internet networks.

How they work
      In essence, these systems employ reciprocity – users gain access to other users‟ information
only by posting their own. Required fields normally include name and contact information, though
newer services encourage users to include more detailed personal material, including likes and
dislikes, hopes and dreams, and even photographs. Of course, more information included tends to
improve the chances that someone will find them trustworthy enough to host or stay with while
traveling. It is very much akin to social networking sites.


Monetary Savings

        Staying in private homes means that travelers can save lots of money on accommodation that
they would usually be spending on hotels or hostels. Used over a long period of time (2 to 4 weeks),
this strategy can cut overall travel budgets in half, or even more combined with hitchhiking. These
savings can then be passed on towards more generously patronizing local establishments or simply
staying abroad for longer periods of time.

Local economic Sustainability

         Many tourist vacations today are sold in package form, often including flights, hotels, rental
cars, sightseeing tours, and coupons for chain restaurants and bars. While this makes purchasing
more convenient, it also puts more money in the hands of large multinational corporations exploiting
the synergy strategy of marketing their products in the context of their subsidiary companies
operating in other markets. Many years ago, this might have been termed collusion; today, however,
it is the norm. This comes at the expense of locally owned independent businesses. Accommodation
sharing helps to break apart this monopoly and hopefully redirects some of the tourist revenue back
to the local or national economy.

Ecological Sustainability

       While this is especially important in more rural travel venues where hotels are often built in
very picturesque, though fragile environments, every night stayed at a local‟s home means that much
less demand for such hotel rooms. Also, if accommodation sharing does in fact increase the length of
average stays, it may reduce the amount of trips to and from different locations and back home again,
thus reducing the overall fuel expenditures in the process.

Local Contact

        Ostensibly, one of the primary reasons we travel is to experience what life is like for people
living in other countries. Making interpersonal connections and fostering understanding of different
cultures may in the long run also be important to international relations. However, even in our
increasingly globalize world, supposedly rife with diversity, in many popular travel destinations, we
find tourists milling around “tourist enclaves”, where the companies they patronize back home have
set up shop to cater to their desires while they are abroad. Sociologist George Ritzer has referred to
this phenomenon as the "McDonaldisation of society" and the more recently, the "globalization of
nothing". The location of hotels near these centers only fosters more convenient envelopment of the
tourist money. During hospitality exchanges, hosts want to show off their local knowledge and
exciting “off the map” venues. Not only may travelers get a distinctly different experience, but they will
also get a feel for the everyday lives of local residents.

       These systems foster richer and more convenient travel experiences not so much on the
premise of altruism, but on the basis of social exchange theory. Implicit in the agreement to host
travelers is the ability to ask to be hosted by them in the future. If one enjoys having interesting
guests in their home, this works out well for both parties. It works comparatively better if you are
visited by travelers from a locale you find particularly attractive. Thus, hosting someone from New
York City in Gainesville, Florida seems to be an unbelievable opportunity. Moreover, if you are a
Westerner visiting someone in a developing country, your stay might be the only way that this
individual or family could afford a trip to a rich nation. This may mean more than just a relaxing
vacation for such disadvantaged parties.

Authenticity and Adventure

       Tourism has always searched for these two qualities, but much like Midas and his golden
touch, the reach of tourism has to a large extent destroyed the opportunity to encounter them in most
places. Unluckily, the experience has been thoroughly commoditized by everyone who wanted to
secure their opportunity to make a profit in the process. Accommodation sharing offers a way out of
this bind and a viable alternative to having one‟s desires manipulated by corporate conglomerates
who never had the best interests of the place or the people foremost in their minds.


Lack of Guarantee

        There is no contractual agreement between users in these systems. Reservations are made,
but if they are for some reason broken, there is no higher authority to which one could plead for a
refund or other compensation. The only repercussion will be the poor rating you give that user and
your only consolation will be that your warning will deter others from visiting or hosting them. For
those who feel insecure unless their travel arrangements are written in stone before departure, this
system will not be comforting.

Potential Interpersonal Conflict or Awkwardness

       There is a chance that guest and host will not get along. Perhaps there will be scheduling or
ideological conflicts. Maybe you will find that hosts or visitors have misrepresented themselves.
Perhaps the experience will not live up to your expectations. Intense interpersonal communications in
advance and a flexibility once you have arrived is your best bet. These experiences require additional
planning and courtesy towards the demands of your host. Thus, your living conditions, length of stay,
and overall experience will be circumscribed by the living conditions you enter into.

Digital divide and demographic segregation

        The average user is a young white person who speaks English and lives in a developed
nation. While there are many users who do not fit this description, the more different they are, the less
likely they will be involved. This is especially true for persons living in the developing world who likely
do not have easy access to the fundamental prerequisite for using these services: computers and the
Internet. Thus, the sample population found in searches of these databases are really much less
diverse than a geographical representation of worldwide users might suggest.

        There is a distinct possibility that someone will abuse the system and that innocent users
(especially women) will get hurt. All services include disclaimers that require users to waive their
rights to hold anyone but themselves responsible for any harm that may come to them in using the
system. They advise that the best defense mechanism is to only involve oneself with users that have
extensive personal information and interpersonal networks within the system that have been verified
by others. It does seem entirely plausible that someone clever and patient enough might be able to
invent an entire group of complex user identities and build histories convincing enough to fool even
more cautious patrons. Still, the difference between these systems and the other social networking
platforms popular nowadays on the web (such as Face book, My Space, Tribe, Or cut and Live
Journal) is that any agreement reached through the accommodation sharing medium is contingent on
actually meeting other people face-to-face. Other web scams are easier because interpersonal
interactions rely so much on putative identities that are never actually verified in the real world.
However, this does not diminish the greater risk to physical well being that this kind of traveling by
definition must entertain. The best advice is to meet unknown persons in public spaces first, and try to
meet some of their acquaintances in person before agreeing to a hospitality exchange.
                                      HOTEL MANAGEMENT

       A hotel manager or hotelier is a person who handles the everyday function and management
of a hotel. Larger hotels often have management teams, instead of individual managers, where each
member of the group begins to specialize on a certain area of interest.

Some of the responsibilities of a hotel manager include:

      organizing and directing the hotel's services
          o concierge
          o reception
          o reservations
          o catering
          o housekeeping


       A concierge is an employee who lives on the premises of apartment buildings and serves as a
general property caretaker; while the phenomenon and the term are most common in France, they
can be seen elsewhere, for example in the French-influenced neighborhood of Heliopolis in Cairo,
Egypt. A similar position, known as the portera, exists in Spanish-speaking regions. In medieval
times, the concierge was an officer of the King who was charged with executing justice, with the help
of his bailiffs. The term concierge evolved from the French Comte Des Cierges, The Keeper of the
Candles, who tended to visiting nobles in castles of the medieval era.

       In 19th century and early 20th century apartment buildings, particularly in Paris, the concierge
often had a small apartment on the ground floor and was able to monitor all comings and goings.
However, such settings are now extremely rare; most concierges in small or middle-sized buildings
have been replaced by the part-time services of door-staff. These are less costly and less intrusive.
Some larger apartment buildings or groups of buildings retain the use of a concierge. The concierge
may, for instance, keep the mail of absented dwellers; be entrusted with the keys of apartments in
cases of emergencies in the absence of the inhabitant; and perform other tasks.

       In hotels, a concierge assists guests with various tasks like making restaurant reservations,
arranging for spa services, recommending nightclubs, finding escorts, procurement of tickets to
special events and assisting with various travel arrangements and tours of interesting places to visit.
In upscale establishments, a concierge is often expected to "achieve the impossible", dealing with
any request a guest may have, no matter how strange, relying on an extensive list of personal
contacts with various local merchants and service providers.

      Hotel concierge staff has their own professional association, called Les Clefs d'Or ("The
Golden Keys"). It was formed in France in October 1929. It now reaches over 3000 members in over
50 countries. Members can be distinguished by the gold keys they display on their lapels.

       In hospitals, concierge services are becoming more and more available. A concierge in
hospital will provide similar services to those of a concierge in a hotel, however rather than just
serving a guest, they are serving patients and employees as well. This adds a huge benefit to the
employees of hospitals who work long shifts, and helps to provide work-life balance. Personal
services are also available that allow clients to “buy back” their precious time. A personal concierge
works on the most basic of premise: people want things done and just don't have the time to do them.

       Today there are numerous independently owned and operated concierge companies. Many of
these companies provide errand services, as well as informational services for their members.
Services include informational requests, setting dinner reservations, making telephone calls,
researching travel arrangements and more. Typically, concierge companies will bill on an hourly rate,
and depending upon the type of task at hand fees can fluctuate drastically. Other companies bill a flat
monthly fee based upon the number of requests a member is allowed to place each month. This
service offering is also known as lifestyle management. The number of independently owned
concierge companies has skyrocketed as the start up costs and barriers of entry are quite feasible for
many entrepreneurs. Concierges also entertain their clients.

       The owners and operators of concierge and errand service businesses are supported and
advocated by the non-profit International Concierge and Errand Association and the National
Concierge Association. These associations serve their members through essential resources,
continuing education, networking opportunities and other professional endeavors.


         A receptionist is a person in an office/administrative support position. The work is usually
performed in a waiting area such as a lobby or front office desk of an organization or business. The
title "receptionist" is attributed to the person who is specifically employed by an organization to greet
any visitors, patients, or clients.

       A receptionist is usually expected to have a high school diploma or the equivalent, but a
receptionist may also possess a vocational certificate/diploma in business and office administration.
Although a post secondary degree is not normally required for this position, some receptionists may
hold four year university degrees in a variety of majors. Some receptionists may even hold advanced

         The business duties of a receptionist may include: answering visitor inquiries about a company
and its products or services, directing visitors to their destinations, sorting mail, answering incoming
calls on multi-line telephones or, earlier in the 20th century, a switchboard, setting appointments,
filing, records keeping, keyboarding/data entry and performing a variety of other office tasks, such as
faxing or emailing. Some receptionists may also perform bookkeeping or cashiering duties. Some, but
not all, offices may expect the receptionist to serve coffee or tea to guests, and to keep the lobby area

       A receptionist may also assume some security guard access control functions for an
organization by verifying employee identification, issuing visitor passes, and by observing and
reporting any unusual or suspicious persons or activities.

        A receptionist is often the first business contact a person will meet at any organization. It is an
expectation of most organizations that the receptionist maintain a calm, courteous and professional
demeanor at all times regardless of the visitor's behavior. Some personal qualities that a receptionist
is expected to have in order to do the job successfully include: attentiveness, a well groomed
appearance, initiative, loyalty, maturity, respect for confidentiality and discretion, a positive attitude
and dependability. At times, the job may be stressful due to interaction with many different people
with different types of personalities, and being expected to perform multiple tasks quickly.
       Depending upon the industry, a receptionist position can be considered a low-ranking, dead
end or servile position, or it could be perceived as having a certain veneer of glamour with
opportunities for networking in order to advance to other positions within a specific field. Some people
may use this type of job as a way to familiarize oneself with office work, or to learn of other functions
or positions within a corporation. Some people use receptionist work as a way to earn money while
pursuing further educational opportunities or other career interests such as in the performing arts or
as writers.

       While many persons working as receptionists continue in that position throughout their careers,
some receptionists may advance to other administrative jobs such as customer service
representative, dispatcher, interviewers, secretary, production assistant, personal assistant,
Marketing and executive assistant. In smaller businesses, such as doctor's or lawyer's office, a
receptionist may also be the office manager who is charged with a diversity of middle management
level business operations. When receptionists leave the job, they often enter other career fields such
as sales and marketing, public relations or other media occupations.

        A few famous people were receptionists in the beginning, such as Betty Williams, a co-
recipient of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize. A number of celebrities had worked as receptionists before
they became famous, such as singer/songwriter Naomi Judd and the late entrepreneur/Beatle wife
Linda McCartney[1]. Other famous people who began their careers as receptionists or worked in the
field include civil rights activist Rosa Parks and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

       The advancement of office automation has eliminated some receptionists' jobs. For example, a
telephone call could be answered by an Automated attendant. However, a receptionist who
possesses strong office/technical skills and who is also adept in courtesy, tact and diplomacy is still
considered an asset to a company's business image, and is still very much in demand in the business


Catering is the business of providing foodservice at a remote site.

Mobile Catering

      A mobile caterer serves food directly from a vehicle or cart that is designed for the purpose.
Mobile catering is common at outdoor events (such as concerts), workplaces, and downtown
business districts.

Event Catering

        Event ranges from box-lunch drop-off to full-service catering. Caterers and their staff are part
of the food service industry.

      When most people refer to a "caterer", they are referring to an event caterer who serves food
with waiting staff at dining tables or sets up a self-serve buffet. The food may be prepared on site, i.e.,
made completely at the event, or the caterer may choose to bring prepared food and put the finishing
touches on once it arrives.

       The event caterer staff are not responsible for preparing the food but often help set up the
dining area. This service is typically provided at banquets, conventions, and weddings. Any event
where all who attend are provided with food and drinks or sometimes only hors d'oeuvres is often
called a catered event.
       Many events require working with an entire theme or color scheme. A catering company or
specialist is expected to know how to prepare food and to make it attractive. As such, certain catering
companies have moved toward a full-service business model commonly associated with event
planners. They take charge of not only food preparation but also decorations, such as table settings
and lighting.

       The trend is towards satisfying all the clients senses with food as a focal point. With the correct
atmosphere, professional event caterers with experience can make an event special and memorable.
Beautifully prepared food alone can appeal to the senses of taste, smell, and sight - perhaps even
touch, but the decorations and ambiance can play a significant part in a successfully catered event.

       Catering is often sold on a per-person basis, meaning that there is a flat price for each
additional person. However, things like lighting and fire permits are not scaled with the guest count,
so per-person pricing is not always appropriate. It is necessary to keep the cost of the food and
supplies below a price margin in order to make a profit on the catering.

       As many others in the food service industry, caterers and their staff work long hours. It is not
uncommon for them to work on holidays or 7 days a week during holiday event seasons. A
comprehensive, formal full-service catering proposal is likely to include the following elements:
Time-line matters: rental arrival time, staff arrival time, bar open time, meal serve time, bar close time,
rental pickup, out-of-venue time. Each of these factors affects the catering price.

For example, a rental quote for an "anytime" weekday delivery is usually much more economical than
an "exact-time" delivery.

      i. General menu considerations: Clients may have specific dietary or religious needs to
         consider. these include Halal, Kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan and food allergy requests.
         Increasingly, clients are interested in food sustainability and food safety.
     ii. Hors d'oeuvres: it should be clear if these are passed or stationary. Most caterers agree that
         three or four passed items are appropriate for the one-hour period prior to a meal.
    iii. Meal Rentals: May include tables, chairs, dance floor, plants, tabletop (china, flatware,
         glassware, linens, chargers), bar glassware, serving equipment, salt/peppers, etc. It should
         be clear whether table and chair setup and take-down is included. Most rental companies do
         not automatically include setup and take-down in the rental charges.
    iv. Labor: Verbiage varies from caterer to caterer, but generally speaking, an event will have a
         Lead/Captain/Event Manager, a Chef, perhaps a Sous Chef or Kitchen Assistant, Wait staff
         and Bartenders. The labor on a plated dinner is generally much higher than the labor on a
         buffet, because a plated dinner involves double the china, and usually a minimum of three
         served courses, plus served coffee. Simply put, there's a lot more to do. To do it properly
         requires roughly 10 to 50% more staff. On a large event, this can be substantial, especially if
         overtime or double-time applies.
     v. Service Charge: Sales TaxSome quotes will include lighting, fire permits, draping, florals,
         valet and coat check. Many venues discreetly get a "cut" of the catering bill. Caterers are
         contractually committed to not disclose this fee specifically in their contracts with the clients.
         Therefore, catering will sometimes cost substantially more at one venue versus another.
         Also, caterers must compete with illegal operators. A legitimate caterer will have a business
         license and a health permit both showing the address of the place from which they do
Catering Officers on Ships

        Merchant ships often carry Catering Officers - especially ferries, cruise liners and large cargo
ships. In fact, the term "catering" was in use in the world of the merchant marine long before it
became established as a land-bound business. The "Careers Scotland" website gives the following
definition of a Catering Officer's duties:

       Merchant Navy catering officers oversee the purchase, preparation and serving of food and
drink to crew members and passengers. They are also responsible for accommodation services,
including the provision of linen, bedding and laundry. They may be in overall charge of administration,
organizing record keeping, wage payment, and the interpretation of customs and immigration records
that apply while the ship is in port.

      On larger ships, responsibilities may be shared with the purser, who looks after passengers'
comfort and facilities such as banking and shopping, while the catering officer concentrates on
organizing stores, overseeing the preparation of menus and meals and generally managing dining
rooms and services. On a cruise liner, catering officers may be known as 'hotel services managers'
.Merchant Navy officers sometimes work in difficult and uncomfortable conditions. They spend long
periods of time away from family and friends.


      Housekeeping is preparing meals for oneself and family and the managing of other domestic
concerns. It is also the care and control of property, ensuring its maintenance and proper use and
appearance. A caretaker or janitor does housekeeping. In a private home a woman might be
employed to the housekeeping. In a hotel housekeeping is the cleaning personnel.

Promoting the Business

          o   marketing
          o   advertising

Four Ps

   In the early 1960s, Professor Neil Borden at Harvard Business School identified a number of
company performance actions that can influence the consumer decision to purchase goods or
services. Borden suggested that all those actions of the company represented a “Marketing Mix”.
Professor E. Jerome McCarthy, also at the Harvard Business School in the early 1960s, suggested
that the Marketing Mix contained 4 elements: product, price, place and promotion.

      Product: the product aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of the actual goods or
       services, and how it relates to the end-user's needs and wants. The scope of a product
       generally includes supporting elements such as warranties, guarantees, and support.
      Pricing: This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, including discounts. The
       price need not be monetary; it can simply be what is exchanged for the product or services,
       e.g. time, energy, or attention. Methods of setting prices optimally are in the domain of pricing
      Placement (or distribution): refers to how the product gets to the customer; for example, point-
       of-sale placement or retailing. This third P has also sometimes been called Place, referring to
       the channel by which a product or service is sold (e.g. online vs. retail), which geographic
       region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people), etc. also
       referring to how the environment in which the product is sold in can affect sales.
      Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and personal selling, branding
       and refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand, or company.

   These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix, which a marketer can use to craft
a marketing plan. The four Ps model is most useful when marketing low value consumer products.
Industrial products, services, high value consumer products require adjustments to this model.
Services marketing must account for the unique nature of services.

    Industrial or B2B marketing must account for the long term contractual agreements that are typical
in supply chain transactions. Relationship marketing attempts to do this by looking at marketing from
a long term relationship perspective rather than individual transactions.

   As a counter to this, Morgan, in Riding the Waves of Change (Jossey-Bass, 1988), suggests that
one of the greatest limitations of the 4 Ps approach "is that it unconsciously emphasizes the inside–
out view (looking from the company outwards), whereas the essence of marketing should be the
outside–in approach".

Hospitality in Today’s India

       While there is indeed opportunity in the sector, not all stories are those of success. More often
than not, mismanaged businesses that are not well thought through and thus poorly aligned with the
market, are quickly disappearing. The industry itself has a reputation for creating and destroying
fortunes. Many enter the business for the glamour but leave disillusioned. The few that stay focused
and manage to withstand the onslaught of challenges the business throws at them, succeed.

        Some of the current trends in the sector are: Hotels and restaurants are being coupled with
malls, multiplexes and other forms of retail to create multi-use integrated development spaces. Some
players previously looking at entering the hotel business have decided to stay away. Entrepreneurial
gaze has shifted from tier I to tier II and III cities for a while now. High real estate costs have resulted
in the creation of real estate light formats such as kiosks amongst other things. Single product
eateries such as cookies and corn for instance have gone down well with consumers. High energy
and water consumption has led to the need for green hotels. Personnel earlier used to working
without a break every single day, are now looking at a five-day week for a more balanced lifestyle.
Consumers seem to be going back to multi-cuisine restaurants while simultaneously looking for niche

       An entire industry of casinos is simmering and ready to explode soon within the sector.
Customer focus and experience are the way to go. Online connect with consumers and vendors will
grow in importance and gradually become a habit. An establishment that wishes to attract a truly
"global consumer" will be forced to revisit their openness towards people of diverse belief systems in
race, values, sexual preferences, pets etc. The list is endless…

       Consumer preferences and demands invariably keep changing. The only way to stay relevant
in the market is by innovatively addressing this and tweaking the business concept to keep pace. The
threat of competitors following a proven business model has always existed, and the only way to
survive this is differentiating oneself distinctively through one's brand. Customers' habits and
preferences are becoming increasingly important in indicating which 'yes' buttons you can press to
persuade customers to choose your brand over others.
Home Hospitality

       Good vendor associations are based on seeing vendors as people, who like us are
entrepreneurs endeavoring to deliver to their customers. Treating them as associates who help us
deliver our offer to our consumers in a true spirit of partnering is the best approach. This helps us not
just with a smooth operational flow but goes a long way to making the work space enjoyable to
interact with other human beings.

        The fact is that before hospitality as we know it today was rolled out as a commercial industry,
it was first something in the private domain - the welcome and warmth extended to a guest that
visited us at home. Replicating a genuine home hospitality experience in a commercial setting is
obviously not easy. 'Atithi Devo Bhava' meaning a guest is the reflection of God, has always been the
mantra most practiced by successful hospitality businesses. The effective practice of this vision of
hospitality and the creation of a positive and memorable experience for our guests can only be
effectively executed by people - our employees who are key to delivering our brand promise.

       The entire industry is focused towards people - our guests, our vendors, our employees and
everyone around us. Our efforts towards building collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships are
the reason the hospitality industry is known as the people industry.

       Another typicality of this business is that of the perish ability of food, which makes inventory
management important. Project delays escalate costs at a rapid pace. The need to stay alert to
timelines and work towards compressing them is thus the challenge over which we have the least

Staying Relevant

       The external environment offers our businesses a whole lot of challenges and threats, for
example: having to keep pace with ever-changing customer demands, the onslaught of innovative
competitors, delays on the part of suppliers and keeping abreast with new technology. A large part of
our daily work-life includes wrestling with these pressures.

       While some of our hotel and restaurant associations have been lobbying on behalf of
entrepreneurs to resolve government related issues, we ourselves have little or no control over this
particular section of challenges.

       Considering such a scenario holistically, it becomes necessary to create a new brand or
market offer based on an understanding of consumer needs and habits. Thereafter, staying relevant
involves constantly innovating and building on the offer. This means not just ideas by a few people at
the top, but creating a work environment that encourages the generation and application of thought
by front-line employees. It is they who are our eyes and ears in the market and deal with the guest on
a day to day basis. Listening to them will certainly help us develop not just good guest responses but
also good employee responses. After all, retention of both guests and employees has always been a
huge challenge this sector has faced.

        While all of this is happening it also becomes necessary for us to look at the inconveniences
that the presence of our business may be causing to our neighborhood and environment at large. An
effort to be socially responsible is thus inevitably the order of the day. Over the past few decades the
hospitality industry in India has gone through some wonderful times and some rather challenging
ones. We are presently going through a rather interesting phase which holds great opportunity for
both capitalism as well as contribution towards our economy. Let's make the best of it.
Challenges Facing Indian Hospitality

       The tourism industry is cyclical in nature and highly susceptible to macro-environmental
changes. Aviation and hospitality are amongst the first to get impacted by an adverse environment
and also the last to recuperate. HVS predicts the financial year 2008/09 as a year that started off with
great potential but ended up with huge fiscal deficits at the stakeholder level. The year 2009/10 is
also poised for a major downturn in the tourism economy and calls for objective measures to arrest
the level of damage.

       This white paper attempts to estimate the loss of profit or revenue to aviation and hospitality
sectors and also highlight the long and short-term issues/challenges that have been impeding the
growth of these two major constituents of the tourism industry. Comparisons are drawn from the best
global practices to offer a larger perspective to the reader. The paper also lists down
recommendations and measures that it perceives as vital for the growth of the tourism industry in

Losses to the Aviation Sector

        Global aviation currently faces what is probably its most challenging environment ever. In
India, the decline in demand has been driven by a combination of the slowing economy and higher
airfares resulting from the dramatic increases in fuel prices in the middle of 2008.

    According to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), the Indian aviation sector is expected to lose
around Rs 8,930 crore for the financial year 2008/09. The consolidated loss estimated for this sector
between 2005 and 2009 is expected to be in the range of Rs 15,000 crore. CAPA highlights the
following issues as barriers to growth in aviation:

      Absence of a civil aviation policy
      Tough norms for granting international flight licenses
      Funding issues hampering the operations and growth of most airlines
      High cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF)
      High cost of operation due to inefficient airport infrastructure
      Insufficient air-traffic management
      Poor infrastructure support in the form of hangars, hotels, cargo set-ups.

Decline in Hospitality Sector

       The hospitality industry is projected to witness a severe decline in its revenue in 2008/09 and
2009/10, when compared with 2007/08 figures. The adverse impact on hotel economy has been
assessed on the total nationwide room count of 1,20,000 rooms. Separate set of assumptions have
been utilised to project the occupancy and rates for the financial years 2008/09 and 2009/10 for the
branded and unbranded hotels. The resultant annual revenues have been compared against the
revenue in 2007/08 to understand the level of decline in business. HVS estimates the Indian hotel
industry to face a consolidated revenue decline of around Rs 9,731 crore between 2008/09 and
2009/10, from its base year (2007/08) revenues. There is lack of enough fiscal incentives for
entrepreneurs to invest in this capital-intensive industry. The hospitality sector in India continues to
face the following challenges:

      Tourism ministry not equipped with executive powers to bring about sweeping changes in the
      Absence of an updated master plan for tourism to take into account a changing global scenario
      Tourism considered a state subject, which leads to fragmented and piecemeal approach to
       address the needs of the sector
      Absence of 'Infrastructure' status to hotel sector
      'Industry' status to tourism not granted by all states
      Tough lending norms by Indian banks
      Multiplicity of taxes; local governments unaware of the potential
      Luxury tax computed on published rates in many states
      Opaque licensing process a major reason for delay in project execution
      Archaic laws governing the operations of hotels
      Hotel classification/rating system outdated
      Acute lack of value-for-money propositions
      Poor tourist infrastructure and on-ground support

HVS Recommendations

In order to address multiple pain points of the hotel industry HVS recommends the following:

      Include tourism as a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution of India
      Grant hotels infrastructure status under Sec 80-IA of IT Act
      Grant hotels industry status across India
      Impose a single uniform luxury tax, based on the actual room tariff only, across all Indian
      Impose uniform tax rates on rooms, food and beverages, and liquor across the country
      Give incentives, in the form of tax breaks, to reinvested capital in hotel industry
      Extend the benefits of Sec 80-ID to other parts of India
      Rationalise and increase transparency for the entire license/approval process, with minimum
      Develop a more scientific rating system to truly benchmark hotel quality
      Grant special incentives for budget hotels across the country to alleviate funding issues
      Ease restrictions on franchisors operating in India
      Envision a national tourism master plan with a broad outlook
      Augment infrastructure at all touch points for tourists
      Advocate the potential of MICE to state governments (by Ministry of Tourism) to rationalize
       local taxation guidelines in favor of the sector

Improving the Hotel Rating Process

       HVS discusses the current star rating process in India and then compares it to that in Egypt.
The current methodology or at least the output for ratings of hotels leaves a lot to be desired.
Therefore, we study the deficiency of the present method of classification/categorization of hotels in
India. Further, highlights of better rating systems used in other foreign countries are discussed as a
suggestive mechanism.

       The London office of HVS has had the opportunity to formulate the hotel rating system for the
Government of Jordan and is presently involved with a similar exercise in another country. Our
experience from these assignments has allowed us to critically examine various approaches to
classifying a country's hotel stock. These are the following:

      Registration: Basic level of listing of properties that meet agreed basic minimum standards.
       These would assist tourists in quickly finding the different types of accommodation available,
       what particular types have to offer and at what price.
      Classification: Accommodation is listed into a number of categories, which gives consumer
       information concerning the different services and amenities expected at each level. This
       approach is the general international standard, with most countries using a five-tier method to
       indicate these different amenity levels. All establishments would still have to fulfill a basic list of
      Grading: Accommodation is graded more subjectively by the quality of product and service
       delivery. When this element is assessed, it is usually applied as supplementary information to
       a classification scheme. Assessment of this nature is more complex, subjective and time
       consuming. Hotel services need to be assessed more closely and this involves periodical (at
       least annual) anonymous inspections.

       India has been utilizing the 'Classification' system with mixed results for over four decades.
However, the hospitality market is maturing and numerous products at varying qualitative levels are
available for the consumer. The present system in India needs to be upgraded to the 'Grading'
system, to enable it to employ a more discretionary approach to the process. However, the grading
process will attract additional cost implications.

Rating System in India

       The Ministry of Tourism of Government of India has instituted a body referred to as Hotel and
Restaurant Approval and Classification Committee (HRACC) to inspect and categories hotels,
serviced apartments, motels, guesthouses and other lodging products according to their product and
services. The body comprises tourism ministry officials and industry experts, who check on the actual
products based upon a pre-defined checklist. However, the checklist has four serious shortcomings:

      It is aimed at penalizing hotels (by offering a lower star rating) for not adhering to its minimum
       standards. It does not offer benefits to hotels that are developed even above the prescribed
      The minimum standards are too weak and lenient. For instance, minimum room size for a five-
       star hotel including bathroom is 200 square feet, however most luxury hotels in India are being
       developed with an area in excess of 400 square feet! Again, both three and four-star hotels
       need to have an identical 140 square feet, which is even smaller than that in quality budget
      It is focused on the physical infrastructure alone and is ineffective in assessing the quality of
      It has an inconsistent approach, differing between states, for example, the exact replica of a
       four-star hotel in Mumbai may get five-star status in Chandigarh.

       It is confusing for the traveler to find a mid market hotel abroad (like Holiday Inn, Courtyard by
Marriott) having the highest classification (five-star) in India, along with significantly better hotels from
the same parent companies like Crowne Plaza and Marriott Hotel.

        One and two-star ratings should ideally be provided to limited service/ budget hotels, which
may offer lesser quantum of services without compromising on quality. However, one and two-star
rating in India represents poorly run hotels that cannot be accommodated in the three, four and five-
star levels. This automatically makes the latter category replete with brand clutter and defeats the
purpose of the rating process to guide the consumer in his selection of a hotel.

       As most of the other aspects of classification are basically commercial or market driven, safety
and hygiene could be a first consideration guiding the classification debate. The government concern,
therefore, should focus more on ensuring hygiene and personal safety than on the commercial
aspects of classification. At present, the rating system unsuccessfully tries to combine both these
aspects together and the result is there for all to see. When standards are laid down by governments
they tend to remain in force for years at a time, are infrequently checked and rarely updated to meet
changes in consumer taste or take account of changes in destinations and markets. The present
system needs a complete make-over in order to remain relevant in the changing market scenario.
This would allow the HRACC classification in upgrading from a rubber stamp status to one which is
seen as a hallmark of a hotel's level of product and services.

Egyptian Rating System

        In 2006, Egypt adopted a new rating system for its hotels. This was the first time a new
classification system was introduced in the Middle East and Africa, which carried out assessment in
two phases. The first dealt with the physical infrastructure, equipment, appliances, etc available within
the hotel while the second phase specifically addressed the quality of service, which was carried out
through an evaluation system using 'Mystery shoppers', an internationally recognized practice where
reviewers, whose identity is hidden, make undeclared visits to the hotel within six months from the
date of the first exercise.

        Seventy per cent of the marks are allocated for the infrastructure of the hotel and equipment,
while 30 per cent are reserved for the service levels. A hotel must receive 80 per cent (as a minimum)
of the total marks allocated to the category star rating.

       In case of physical infrastructure and equipment, the evaluation examines specific items, such
as the building, guestrooms, restaurants and the public areas (amongst others). Within each of these
main items, a comprehensive examination of secondary items is also conducted. For example, in a
restaurant, secondary items might include seating, kitchen equipment etc.

       Each of the primary and secondary items will be awarded a maximum of six points, though the
lack of secondary items could lead an item to register negative points. The level of service will be
assessed through undeclared visits by international specialized companies under the auspices of the
Egyptian Hotel Association and the Ministry of Tourism.

       The level of service will evaluate the reservation service, service outside the hotel and car
parks, rooms, room service, restaurants, public areas and departure /checkout.The Egyptian Hotel
Association is involved in the evaluation committee for both phases of the exercise and all
evaluations are approved by the Minister of Tourism, Head of Hotel Control and Chairman of
Egyptian Hotel Association.

       There are a number of hotels throughout India, which historically have not been considered
suitable for classification for reasons of size, lack of parking spaces or overall quality. These hotels
should be allowed an opportunity to be improving their product and applying for classification.
Although an improvement in the quality of the current hotel stock is desirable, it is unlikely that hotel
owners will invest money in the refurbishment of the country's hotels merely for the sake of attaining a
particular star rating. Fiscal incentives to invest in the improvement of hotel facilities are likely to allow
a large number of such hotels to join the mainstream hotel industry and partially reduce the huge gap
in value for money accommodation in the country.
                               TECHNOLOGY FOR HOSPITALITY

Using Technology to Survive Tough Times

        We are in the midst of a global financial crisis, and while most of the media has centred on
financial bailouts, manufacturer closures and retail store liquidations, the hospitality industry is
especially sensitive to this current economic situation. As companies worldwide look for ways to
survive these tough times, corporate initiatives - such as reduced headcount, shrinking budgets and
restricted travel - are becoming the norm. At the consumer level, people are cutting back on vacations
and looking for alternative accommodations when they do travel.

      Each of these cost-saving measures has a direct impact on hotels, casinos, resorts or for that
matter other hospitality companies. So, how can the hospitality industry continue to thrive when the
economy is turning downhill?

        By using collaborative technologies such as video conferencing and wireless telephony,
hospitality companies have applications and tools to do more with less. As a result, companies
become more responsive to customer needs, more efficient in their operations and more successful
in the long run - even in an economic downturn.

       Fewer travelers can translate into declining revenues for those in the hospitality industry. And
so, the challenge faced by hoteliers today is: if occupancy rates are down, how can hotels continue to
maintain or increase revenues?

An Alternative to Travel: Immersive Tele-presence Rooms

       Several hotel chains are evaluating the use of video conferencing systems or state-of-the-art
telepresence rooms that can be rented in lieu of travel. Immersive telepresence rooms provide the
most realistic video conferencing experience possible - true-to-size dimensions, life-like image quality
and exceptional high-definition audio and video - which, all combined, create the illusion of being in
the same room.

       To demonstrate this in real dollars, imagine a company headquartered in San Francisco.
Instead of flying a group of executives from headquarters to a customer location in Delhi, for example,
the company can host a virtual meeting using telepresence services at a local hotel in each city. The
hotel, which may have lost revenue due to cancelled travel, now has a new source of revenue - video
conferencing room rentals. A hotel chain that rents a video conferencing room for US$ 500 per hour
could potentially realize revenues of US$ 500,000 over the course of a year (assuming four hours per
business day and 250 business days per year).

        A company that chooses to host its board meetings or customer briefings using video also
sees financial benefits. Renting a room for two hours would cost, on average, only US$ 1,000. This is
a fraction of a single executive's roundtrip airfare from San Francisco to Delhi (average US$ 6,000 for
a business class ticket). Over the course of a year, this can translate into hundreds of thousands of
Leveraging Wi-Fi Networks with Telephony

       The proliferation and adoption of Wi-Fi wireless networks in the hotel industry for guest internet
access has spurred the use of wireless premises-based telephones. By leveraging the existing
wireless network infrastructure found in most hotels today, the addition of voice-over-Wi-Fi is highly
cost-effective and keeps hotel employees in touch from anywhere within the property. Easy
integration with current PBX and phone systems streamlines implementation and simplifies adoption.
Additionally, by using Wi-Fi instead of cellular technology used today, the monthly airtime charges
associated with traditional mobile phones or push-to-talk services can be eliminated to greatly reduce
operating expenses.

        Through an open application interface, wireless phone can also streamline operations. In
addition to real-time voice communications, employees have easy access to key resources and
information. For example, housekeeping can send wireless messages to CRM solutions when rooms
are clean, engineering staff can receive alerts when services are interrupted or when equipment is
failing, and security personnel are notified immediately in emergency situations. Finally, management
has access to information in real time resulting in rapid and more thorough decision-making.

      The end result of property-wide wireless communication is a significant improvement in
productivity, faster decision-making and reduced customer response times.

Video Concierge Kiosks

       In all customer service-oriented industries, the customer, or guest, is king. Hotels strive to
provide guests with high-touch service levels to improve customer satisfaction and to encourage
repeat business. Many hotel general managers, in fact, receive bonuses based on high guest
satisfaction scores.

        Service levels are what truly create competitive differentiation. Even a small, boutique hotel
with limited service offerings but exceptional service levels can capture guest loyalty over a larger
hotel property. However, providing the highest levels of customer service given hotel staff reductions
in this economy is no easy task.

      A new implementation of video conferencing that is helping to maintain service levels is the
video conferencing-enabled customer service kiosk. This video concierge application provides hotel
guests with information through face-to-face, interactive communications with remote personnel.

       In the event that a hotel concierge or front desk clerk is unavailable, or in lieu of having
dedicated personnel at every hotel, guests can have live video conversations with a remote concierge
regarding dinner reservations, entertainment options or room-related items. Experts who speak
multiple languages can also be reached to provide further personalized services.

       A similar concept is surfacing in guest rooms as well. Video conferencing equipment is
available for direct visual communication between the guest room and the front desk or concierge.
The Hotel of the Future

       As the need for broadband access and bandwidth-intensive applications increases, the hotel of
the future - whether in London, Buenos Aires, New York or Mumbai - will include far more network-
related technologies than ever before.

      The hotel industry has traditionally not been known as technologically-advanced, but as guests
and employees become more technology-savvy, and as bandwidth become more readily available in
developing countries such as India, this mindset will change. Hotels will continue implementing
technologies such as video conferencing for both guest and internal usage. As these technologies
become more pervasive, number of internal collaboration applications becomes apparent:

      Staff communications: To improve internal operations, video conferencing can offer regular,
       face-to-face communications between property staff and corporate headquarters or between
       various departmental staff members. With wireless telephony, critical information such as
       housekeeping data, maintenance requests and concierge services is shared in real time while
       personnel roam the property. The difference in response times can be in seconds instead of
       minutes or longer resulting in improved customer satisfaction levels and more efficient
      Distance Learning: With high turnover (as much as 40 per cent in some instances) and
       widespread, often global, operations, training is a major challenge in the hospitality industry.
       Companies often have a dedicated training team responsible for regularly visiting individual
       properties and conducting training sessions. With video conferencing solutions and recording
       functionality, employees in multiple properties can receive distance-learning training on the
       latest hotel processes, policies or procedures either simultaneously or on demand.
      Interviews: Critical human resource processes such as interviewing are shortened
       significantly through the use of video conferencing, which is especially important in an industry
       experiencing high turnover rates. Conducting remote visual interviews enhances the interview
       process and saves on the costs and scheduling challenges associated with flying candidates
       to various locations for in-person interviews.
      Mobile Video: With Wi-Fi installed in nearly 90 per cent of hotels worldwide, video is an
       emerging mobile application. A technician equipped with a wireless video conferencing system
       can transmit video images of a defective air conditioner or other equipment to remote product
       support personnel. These product experts can assist in the repair process by identifying the
       problem, making recommendations and, if needed, walking the technician through the entire
       repair process - all remotely over video.

Traditionally, companies with the best customer service levels have been the most successful. But in
these times of economic chaos, achieving high service levels is more of a challenge than ever before.
The good news is that technological advancements can help hoteliers do more with less. Visual
communication combined with wireless telephony - both on-property and between properties - will
play a major role in achieving the operational efficiencies and guest satisfaction levels that will
determine short-term and long-term success in the hospitality industry.
                                        HOSPITALITY LIFE

Taking Hyatt Higher

       While Ratnesh Verma's association with Hyatt happened by chance, it eventually turned out to
be a successful proposition for both. After completing schooling from Delhi Public School, RK Puram
(New Delhi), Verma pursued graduation in commerce from Delhi University, where he was a rank

       With an ambition to establish a name for him self in the finance domain, Verma completed
chartered accountancy and combined it with a company secretariat degree. "While I was trained to be
a finance guy and had no formal training of hotels, I got an offer from Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, to
be their assistant director of finance," recalls Verma. He accepted the offer which ultimately led to not
only Hyatt's growth but also bring out the best in Verma.

       Verma's strong financial acumen served the company well. Owing to his consistent
performances, he was promoted as the director (Finance) of Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, within a
couple of years. After serving the property for approximately three more years, Verma moved to Hong
Kong for a bigger challenge. He joined the internal audit team for the Asia Pacific division and played
a key part in handling the financial affairs of Hyatt's properties across the Asia Pacific region.

       He was subsequently relocated to Japan and handled the director (Finance) assignment at
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka. He then came back to India and was responsible for setting up the company's
back office in the country. Verma soon became the head of operations for the company and played
an integral part in expanding the Hyatt brand of hotels in India.

Quality growth

      Verma's efforts have given an impetus to the growth of Hyatt in India. The company is set to
open as many as 20 new properties here within the next four years under its four brands - Park Hyatt,
Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Place and Hyatt Regency.

       "In a joint venture with real estate company Emaar MGF, we will open seven Hyatt Place
branded properties in Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mysore, Lucknow, Indore and Mangalore," informs
Verma. According to him, these six properties will comprise 950 rooms in total. All these upcoming
hotels are expected to be operational by 2011.

       After 2011, the company will open Park Hyatt branded properties in Kolkata (228 keys),
Hyderabad (310 keys), Chennai (201 keys) and Mumbai (290 keys), Grand Hyatt in Hyderabad (400
keys), Goa (306 keys) and Pune (325 keys) and Hyatt Regency branded properties in Chennai (333
keys), Pune (295 keys), Navi Mumbai (320 keys), Hyderabad (490 keys), Vizag (255 keys),
Ahmedabad (270 keys) and Goa (250 keys). All these properties will be operational by 2013.

       With this kind of growth, Verma is taking no chances. "We will continue to expand in the
country only through the management and joint venture routes. We are not looking at franchising any
of our brands in the country," he informs.
Beyond Profession

       While work consumes majority of his time, Verma feels that he is lucky to have an "extremely
supportive family". He mentions, "I have a lovely caring wife and two children, who are not only
understanding but also supportive. When I look back, I feel that the fact I got married at a very young
age (at 24) was a blessing in disguise for me."

      Verma feels that his defining trait is his „ability to state facts as they are without mincing words‟
and considers Lord Krishna as his ideal. "I am a true believer of Lord Krishna. I try to focus on work
and not worry about the results. I try to only be true to myself," he says.

      Of all the famous people that Verma has met, Sachin Tendulkar and Ratan Tata are the ones
who have stood out. "I respect them for their humility," he mentions. Ask him about what he enjoys
most besides work, he is quick to reply, "Golf, golf and more golf!"

       As far as the future plans are concerned, "I have always believed that if one puts in his or her
best, there are no limits and boundaries to success. I hope to continue putting in my best efforts and
being the way I am," he concludes.

The Industry Will Bounce Back

        This is a worldwide phenomenon Britain has started offering free food and major discounts to
attract customers. The offer of free food is premised on the belief that customers except students
would be too embarrassed not to leave behind money after a meal.

       As a promotional campaign, international budget hotel brand Ibis in Singapore is offering
guests the chance to pay what they deem right. Guests can log onto to
put up a price they want to pay for a limited time each day.

        In short, financial, retail, IT, airlines, travel and tourism including hotels have been badly hit.
There have been layoffs. Hotels are cutting down on outsourced staff. The employees directly
employed by the hotel on contracts remain untouched. Further, most of the five-star hotels are hiring
(if they are hiring) operation staff on direct contract, which may also reduce the union issue to an

        Most hotels have frozen recruitments and increments, and are trying to curb overhead
expenses. To attract business, they are lowering room rates and throwing in attractive offers to boost
F&B sales. Yet, hospitality professionals may be relieved to know the expansion plans of some

      The Hilton family of hotels will have 50 hotels in India by 2015. Of these, 20 are in various
       stages of development, with three (in Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru) slated to open in 2009.
       These will be business and mid-market hotels and will flash brand names like Hilton, Hilton
       Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton.
      US-based US$ 30 billion Carlson Group, which has four different hotel brands - Country Inns &
       Suites, Park Inn and Park Plaza, Radisson and Regent - is looking at the Indian market
       aggressively. The group plans to open 52 new hotels across the country with more than 6,000
      US major, Marriott International plans to triple its portfolio in India by 2012 to cash in on the
       growing business and leisure travel in the country. The company will open seven hotels across
       the country in 2009.
      Starwood website lists its new openings:
      Hotel Leela Venture is to set up three new hotels in India, Udaipur, Chennai and New Delhi.

       Cruise line executives present a surprisingly rosy outlook. They cite the product's tremendous
value at a low price as the main reason for optimism. People will be looking for more value for their
money - on an average cruises are about 20 to 50 per cent cheaper than comparable land-based

      With cruise ships now positioned around the globe, cruise lines have further insulated
themselves from the US economic woes. Executives also hinted at Asia as the next big destination.
Singapore, Taiwan and Korea have announced new cruise terminals anticipating the growth.
Wherever there is population and water, there is a chance to set sail.

Opportunities Galore

       For any job opportunity assessing your skills, education and previous job experience will help
you narrow down what positions you as an individual are uniquely qualified for. Tailor-make a resume
that highlights your unique personal and professional qualities. Also it is important that you highlight
how you personally would enhance the guest/passenger experience.

        You can consult a recruitment agent to work on your behalf or apply directly to the organization
of your choice. Consulting a recruitment agency is typically a better method. The recruitment agency
will pre-screen you, decide what position you are most qualified for, prepare you for your interview
and then present you as a qualified candidate to an interested hotel or cruise line that is hiring.
Applying for positions on your own can be complex. If you don't know who is responsible for hiring,
your resume may get lost and never even be reviewed by the correct individual.

        Hotel management institutes usually approach hotels for campus recruitment or one may
directly apply. For middle and senior management positions in hotels, reference plays an important
role. Usually management gets in touch with people whom they have earlier interacted and for niche
profiles recruitment consultants are the ones that are trusted.

       Landing a job within the cruise industry can be difficult, but it is by no standards impossible.
The industry has expanded rapidly and new ships are setting sail every year. Though getting hired
with a cruise line entails more leg work and the process can be more lengthy than that of an average
job. Going abroad this time may not be ideal as employees are getting lesser amount per hour.
Midlevel managers who are looking for jobs abroad have to come with an immigration visa for
suitable opportunity.

      The industry being cyclical in nature will surely bounce back. This will also augur well for the
wine industry which depends heavily on room occupancies and footfalls in restaurants. Hotel
expansion plans would therefore be welcome to wine producers and importers alike.

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