The paper " Overview of the Hospitality Industry" is an excellent example of an assignment on tourism. Illustrating why hospitality is providing an experience rather than a service In academia and especially in the last decade, there has been controversy about whether the hospitality industry can be categorized as a service industry, art, retailing, entertainment, or simply as a form of business (Hemmington 2007, p. 2). Away from academia, hospitality appears to be an experience that involves exchange among humans, and some of the authors who have recognized this aspect in hospitality are Brotherton and Wood (2002, cited in Wood & Brotherton 2008, p. 103), who defines hospitality as ‘ a contemporaneous human exchange, which is voluntarily entered into, and designed to enhance the mutual wellbeing of both parties concerned through the provision of accommodation, and/or food, and/or drink’ .
The recognition that human exchange takes place in hospitality means that guests often want to experience differences (in the environment, cuisine, culture among other things) from what they consider the norm. While service providers are addressed by the hospitable behavior that the host has towards the guest, the definition above as cited by Wood and Brotherton (2008, p.
103) differentiates between hospitality as an experience and hospitality’ s hospitable behavior as portrayed in service provision. It is also arguable that service provision is part of the overall experience that the guest is exposed to through accommodation, food, and drinks that are offered by the host. Arguably, it is not just the food, drinks, or accommodation that makes up the hospitality experience, but how and when the different services are offered. For example, two hospitality establishments may be offering the same type of accommodation, foods, and drinks and charging comparable prices for the same.
Yet, one may attract more guests than the other depending on the desirability or lack thereof of the dining, accommodation, or drinking experience that guests are exposed to. Another hospitality establishment may have some shortcomings in its service provision, but be courteous enough to attune the guest expectations to the shortcomings; in such a case, the hospitality experience may be judged based on what the guests had expected, and what the host actually provided.
When compared to a hospitality establishment that creates high expectations among guests but fails to meet them, the former would most likely produce a more satisfying guest experience than the latter. As Laws (2005, p. 14) notes, guests to hospitality establishments do not conduct a ‘ measurement of absolute service performance’ ; rather, they compare their experiences with expectations to determine their satisfaction levels. In other words, hospitality is all about the experience. The extent to which modern hospitality has common attributes with the hospitality from the past Writing about hospitality from a historical-cultural perspective, Zeldin (1994, p.
437 cited by Wood and Brotherton 2008, p. 41) states that once upon a time, hospitality ‘ meant opening one’ s house to total strangers, giving a meal to anyone who chose to come, allowing them to stay the night, indeed imploring them to stay, although one knew nothing about them’ . Although Zeldin (1994 cited by Wood and Brotherton 2008, p. 41) was elaborating on historical aspects of domestic hospitality, there are similarities between that sort of hospitality and modern-day hospitality whether domestic or commercial-based. For starters, modern-day hospitality, just like in the past, ‘ opens doors’ for total strangers, and even implores them to stay some more.
Additionally, food and drinks are offered as a sign of the host’ s hospitable attitude towards the stranger, and although historical and modern hospitality is different in that the former was highly personal and done on a domestic scale while the latter is more rational, institutionalized and monetary-based, the similarities remain to date.
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