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Defining Hospitality

Discuss about the Analysis Of Factors Influence Travellers.

Hospitality is an ancient concept and it is associated with the gracious and munificent greeting of guests at home or any other place. The connotation of hospitality however, has modified with time, if not changed. In addition, its application has also expanded and it is no longer limited within the confinement of home. In fact, a simple gesture of warmth and graciousness has now transformed into a multibillion-dollar industry.

The essay discusses commercial hospitality on details and tries to justify the statement that it is merely an extension of hospitality at home.  The essay follows a chronological order beginning with a detailed definition of hospitality. It is then followed by an overview of hospitality at home. This hospitality extended to give birth to commercial hospitality that people witness in various sectors, accommodation in particular. The essay focuses primarily on the hospitality business concerning accommodation and customer preferences when it comes to this aspect.

Hospitality as defined earlier is the simple gesture of welcoming and treating guests in a gracious manner. Kirillova, Gilmetdinova and Lehto (2014) have provided a different perspective of hospitality. According to them, hospitality is interpreted as per the beliefs upheld in one’s own community. They state that hospitality depends on the ideals and beliefs propagated by a certain community or religion. A gesture of kindness for one might be an insulting gesture for the other. Nonetheless, the basic criteria remain the same across all communities and religions- satisfying the guests.

This age-old tradition has given rise to an industry that is ever growing. The hospitality industry provides broad range of services to the customers and focuses solely on their satisfaction. The hospitality industry is primarily categorized into three broad areas that are accommodations comprising hotels and other similar businesses, food and beverage comprising restaurants, clubs and such businesses and travel and tourism including trains, cruise ships airlines. (Kandampully et al. 2014) is of the view that the services that encompass the hospitality industry although not a necessity but do comprise an important part of people’s lives. The author further augments the view by pointing out the exceptional rise of demand in this industry. This can also be identified from the evidence that an entire subject of study has been dedicated to this industry. Hospitality management is pursued by millions of people around the globe that proves the growing demand of the industry.

Hospitality In The Home

The very concept of hospitality as already mentioned, began from home and does even today. People always try to welcome their guests, either relatives or friends or any acquaintance with warmth and in a generous manner. Likewise, those who visit other’s homes expect to be treated nicely. Being warm, generous and well behaved to guests involves asking them for food or drinks, enquiring whether they had any trouble reaching and so on. Every person visiting expects these common gestures from the host and vice versa. The main and common goal, thus for the people providing hospitality is the visitor’s satisfaction. When people visit any relative’s or friend’s home, the first thought that comes to their mind is the similarity the home has to their own. They try to feel the vibe they get at their own homes. To a host, it is an achievement when visitors get the similar feeling as their own home (Kwok and Yu 2013).

It is however, crucial to state that welcoming guests with warm gestures and offering them beverages and foods do not entirely count as being hospitable. Hospitality involves both tangible and intangible gestures. Making someone comfortable and allowing them, the space to open up and share their experiences is as important as offering tangible things. These little things learnt at home led to the beginning of commercial hospitality. 

Kowalski (2013) argues that commercial hospitality has its origins in the earliest eras of human life and thus it is one of the oldest businesses in the world. Commercial hospitality involves any business that is concerned with providing accommodation or selling food and beverages in exchange of money. Commercial hospitality is something that people chooses as an option to spend money and leisure time. Therefore, it is something that is not a necessity for people but a luxury. Those associated with the commercial hospitality industry are well aware of this fact and they try their best to attract and satisfy customers.

When people decide to go on a tour to some places alien to their home, they mostly expect to have as comfortable journey and stay as possible. By home, it does not mean only the apartment or building people live in, it may also mean their country or their locality. Home generally refers to the place where people feel comfortable and satiated. Thus, while planning to tour or visit some other place, people look for the same comfort, treatment and satisfaction they get in their home. Various factors play a role in the decision that includes the place, the climate, the language and the culture of the chosen for spending time (Filieri and McLeay 2014). In addition, people look forward to be acquainted with the culture, tradition, and cuisine of other places while being in the comfort of the chosen accommodation. They desire authenticity as well as safety while choosing an accommodation.

Commercial Hospitality- An Extension of Hospitality in the Home

Modern trends in hospitality demonstrate a visible transformation from the conventional ways. The supreme leaders of commercial hospitality providing luxury accommodations to tourists are facing a threat from the emerging trend. This emerging trend is the sharing economy provided mostly online (Wosskow 2014). Airbnb is the company that revolutionized the hospitality industry in the contemporary world. It took the commercial hospitality industry comprising hotels, motels and other similar businesses by storm. The online platform offers innumerable options for travelers and tourists from accommodation to restaurants and many more (Airbnb.co.in 2018). The uniqueness of Airbnb is that the hosts too can earn by giving their homes, apartments, castles or any space as short-term accommodation to tourists. Zervas, Proserpio and Byers (2014) assess the rise of this sharing economy by pointing out the economic impact it had on the traditional hospitality businesses. They put forth the case of Airbnb and its impact on low-priced hotels based mostly in Texas, United States. Other platforms like Airbnb also emerged during the last decade that further expanded the hospitality industry. Some of these firms include HomeAway, Tripping.com, Flipkey, VRBO and many more.

An analysis of this sharing economy trend reveals the fact that commercial hospitality is indeed an extension of hospitality found at home. Mentioned in the above section, these sharing economies provide opportunities for people to stay as guests in anyone’s home and have a homely experience. In addition to that, the hosts can also earn by welcoming guests in their place and being hospitable. According to Ikkala and Lampinen (2015), the hosts or users who rent out their homes for tourists or guests are aggravated to monetize network hospitality not just for financial reasons but also for social experience. 

Big brands in order to cope with this emerging form of commercial accommodation are devising new ways to lure tourists. These brands have been shaken from their position by these commercial accommodations that have also given rise to rivalry. Hotels have laid allegations on these sites that they have taken away their customers and caused damage to their business (Liu and Mattila 2017). It is but true that these allegations would not help the traditional providers. They need to understand the pulse of the new generation customers and utilize the digital platform. They must not lose their authenticity however, in an attempt to outperform the contemporary accommodation providers. Instead, they can bring forth the drawbacks of sharing economy and the strengths of traditional accommodation. In addition, they can perform a thorough analysis of the strategies employed by the sharing economy like shared values, commitments, and trust to build their own strategy (Cusumano 2015). Although a novel concept, peer-to-peer sharing can be challenged by the traditional accommodation providers by sticking to their roots and making the best of social media. Direct interaction with the customers increases the chances of attracting them by many folds (Mody, Suess and Lehto 2017).

Impact of Sharing Economy on Traditional Hospitality Business

Conclusion

Commercial hospitality has always been inspired from the hospitality received in the home, either of one’s own or others. Being of the oldest services in the world, hospitality industry has given people the opportunity to feel at home away from home. However, certain limitations are also faced by people that include monetary capacity, availability of time, acquaintance with strange environment, language and so on. Traditional commercial accommodations succeeded in providing luxurious experiences to the people but the homely feeling was still what people looked for. The emergence of sharing economy completely changed the hospitality perspective. People now got the perfect choice of accommodation- a home away from home. In addition, they also got the opportunity to have a meaningful experience by getting to know their hosts. This justified completely, the statement that commercial hospitality is just an expansion of hospitality in the home. The report followed a logical structure to justify the statement and included views of different scholars. 

References:

Airbnb.co.in 2018. About Us - Airbnb. [online] Airbnb.co.in. Available at: https://www.airbnb.co.in/about/about-us [Accessed 4 Jan. 2018].

Cusumano, M.A., 2015. How traditional firms must compete in the sharing economy. Communications of the ACM, 58(1), pp.32-34

Filieri, R. and McLeay, F., 2014. E-WOM and accommodation: An analysis of the factors that influence travelers’ adoption of information from online reviews. Journal of Travel Research, 53(1), pp.44-57.

Ikkala, T. and Lampinen, A., 2015, February. Monetizing network hospitality: Hospitality and sociability in the context of Airbnb. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 1033-1044). ACM.

Kandampully, J., Keating, B.W., Kim, B., Mattila, A.S. and Solnet, D., 2014. Service research in the hospitality literature: insights from a systematic review. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 55(3), pp.287-299.

Kirillova, K., Gilmetdinova, A. and Lehto, X., 2014. Interpretation of hospitality across religions. International journal of hospitality management, 43, pp.23-34.

 Kowalski, Z., 2013. Commercial hospitality as a business model in the independent hotel company. Managerial Economics, 14, p.99.

Kwok, L. and Yu, B., 2013. Spreading social media messages on Facebook: An analysis of restaurant business-to-consumer communications. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 54(1), pp.84-94.

Liu, S.Q. and Mattila, A.S., 2017. Airbnb: Online targeted advertising, sense of power, and consumer decisions. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 60, pp.33-41.

Mody, M.A., Suess, C., and Lehto, X., 2017. The accommodation experiencescape: A comparative assessment of hotels and Airbnb. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(9), pp.2377-2404.. Mody, M.A., Suess, C., and Lehto, X., 2017

Wosskow, D., 2014. Unlocking the sharing economy: An independent review.

Zervas, G., Proserpio, D. and Byers, J.W., 2014. The rise of the sharing economy: Estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry. Journal of Marketing Research.

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