Hospitality is one of the oldest in history and always evolving time after time. This industry blooms even more where tourism is at high peak and services provided are enjoyed enormously. With this in mind, it has flourished over generations, with the hoteliers reaping the profit. This has changed over the recent decades due to the growth in the industrialization as competitors try to find new ways to edge over the others. Competitors are always changing their ways of advertising, marketing and even technology wise. However, the issues are overrun with the advantages that the industry has to offer. It is of belief that poor management is also a contributing factor Legrand, W., Sloan, P. and Chen, J.S., 2016. If not properly addressed, such issues will prove difficult for owners to adapt to hence leading to closure of many beautiful resorts and holiday homes. It is therefore the purpose of this paper to address such issues.
Issues Facing the Industry
Every industry has benefits and as usual challenges.This paper will discuss the various issues facing the industry varying from technological, managerial to financial factors thus affecting the profitability and operations of the hotel property Llach et al 2012 (1015). Revenue from direct bookings due to natural and unnatural disasters is greatly affected. These issues have been classified to those are critically affecting the industry.
High Operation cost: Operational costs are costs that are incurred from day in day out kind of expenses. These expense are the main existence of the hotel in that, without them there is no hotel to even accommodate guests. The hoteliers face high cost in operations since they mainly major their services in customer satisfaction. This increase in cost can be reflected through entertainment and leisure activities. Such as, free internet services for customers, installation of air conditioners and television sets around the hotel rooms for the customers to feel at home. Due to the steady flow of competition in the industry the hoteliers spend a fortune in brand recognition and upgrading. Many hotels rebrand from their original module to increase customer attraction hence costly.
Safety and Security: This is key to all business since it protects both the employees and the guests at the hotel. In recent past there has been an increase in terror attacks all over the world. This in return has led governments to impose sanctions and restrict its citizens to visit areas that were once tourist and travel attractions. Natural disasters have also caused havoc in various areas completely destroying these destinations through wild fires, hurricanes, tsunamis floods, and tornados leaving tourists and travellers in fear Llach et al 2012 (1013). The secondary effect from these terror and natural disasters leave the distractions of the resorts infrastructure. While some of the destinations being unaccommodating to travelers for years to come forcing the hoteliers to spend a fortune in restoration or opt for closure.
Employees Relations: Employees globally are faced with low wage charges leading them to form unions that will fight for them Jin-zhao et al 2009(53). Hoteliers depend on its employees for their good relation with travelers whom are their customers Yen et al 2013(150). These unions in turn require the hoteliers to improve their demand benefits like health care which proves costly. However, Lack of sufficient training and experience among the staff can chase away customer because of incompetence Llach et al 2012 (1015).
Customer Satisfaction: This is defined as a strategy used by the marketing team to measure how products and services provided to the customers are at par with their expectation or surpasses their expectations. Every business in the world is currently putting in a lot on customer satisfaction in order to get new customers or to retain the old ones. Customers know what they want and it’s the business of the hotelier to provide these services that a customer as in need of. This has proven to be difficult in the recent years with customers demanding outrageous standards Heo et al 2011(244). It will require for an hotelier to go out of one’s way to satisfy the customer. With the evolving expectations of the customer in sophisticated technology it is costly to the hotelier to provide the said services Legrand et al 2016. Furthermore, one has to be in constant change to satisfy this niche of customers.
Here we discuss the solutions that the hoteliers can apply to save the sinking industry. These solutions that will be stated here in detail tackle the issues that were previously mentioned hence offering alternative solutions. We can start with;
High Operational cost: With the costly operational chargers that the industry is facing the hoteliers have alternative solutions that they can apply to reduce these expenses. Mainly include, Installation of an efficient AC Pieri, S.P. and Santamouris, M., 2015(250). One that will save the energy that is being wasted around the premises. Switch from regular lighting to Low efficient display (LED) or use the solar systems which will also help in reducing these costs Legrand et al 2016. At designated areas. Such as, the lobby and hall ways the hotelier can place a point of display one that will encourage direct sales to the travelers and also give more leveraged information about the premises. An audited report will also help in monitoring the situation. At the end of the day one has to be SMART to manage a business and still provide quality services in a competitive environment.
Safety and Security: Due to the recent rise in insecurity globally it has seriously hit the hotel industry. As a result the hoteliers are finding new ways to save their businesses from the terror and natural disasters that can impose insecurity and safety issues Yuan, Y.Y., 2013(181). Alternative solutions such as, Increased security by placing guards in and around the premises, and addition of check points will also help in boosting confidence of customers Jin-zhao et al 2009(53). Online assurance and disasters planning and management will also go a long way as a confidence builder.
Employees: Employee motivation and job satisfaction are the key solutions to this challenge. Employee motivation is a level at which an employee comes to work with energy and feeling enthusiastic about their work. As discussed earlier employees are the first face of the business Yen, C.H., Chen, C.Y. and Teng, H.Y., 2013(400). Whether the business is growing or not an employer should find ways to motivate the employees whether financially or any other way. Needless to say, these employees are human and deserve respect and with better healthcare and benefit plans to boost their confidence hence reflect in their output Gokova et al 2013(170). The hoteliers need to keep their staff happy Yuan, Y.Y., 2013.(155). this can be done through different initiatives i.e. Rewards for well performed staff, Outreach and exchange programs for employees to be trained in hospitality craft under different locations Jin-zhao et al 2009(53). The hotelier must also encourage its staff to be sales representatives and brand ambassadors. Annual pay increase will keep maintain staff loyalty.
Customer Satisfaction: Customer service is supposed to be at par with the current technology and innovation for the customers to be served effectively. The hotel industry is a service industry solely depending on customer satisfaction in the services offered and, it is what will set apart one hotel from the next Chahal, N. and Kumar, M., 2014.. Apart from the basic services an hotelier needs to engage the customer personally a face to face questionnaire, even suggestion boxes for any complaints and complements would suffice a long way to build confidence and maintain loyalty Tsaur et al 2011(55). The personal touch will make a guest feel at home with their interests being tailor made to meet their needs Legrand et al 2016. Some customers may have extended stays and discounted rates for such occurrences will boost loyalty hung 2010 (380). It is by such services that differentiate a hotel from its competitors.
In summary the hospitality industry needs to tackle these issues for its survival in the market. With all these issues new strategies must be put in place to curb or minimize ant negative energy towards the growth. However, lowering the operational cost by using alternative methods, increasing safety security regulations, and maintain good reputations among the customer, hotelier and staff members one will be able to boost the generation of profits. Moreover, different governments have better come to the rescue by lifting sanctions and offering temporal work visa or general support to the once lucrative industry or watch it crumble.
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