When you think of hospitality, what comes to mind? For some people, it could be the act of inviting someone into their home or offering a place to stay. For others, it may be creating a meal and sharing it with friends and family. Generally speaking, most hosts want to offer the best “hospitality,” meaning that they want their guests to enjoy their time and experience there.
But what about the hospitality industry? From there, the terminology changes but retains the same sentiment. Words such as guest reception, lodging, tourism, relationship management, and food & beverage pop up alongside this term, especially when viewed as a type of business. Let’s work through this field to better determine what hospitality is.
How long has hospitality been around?
Presumably, people have been offering lodging, food, and safety for travelers since the beginning of time. Humans have always had a place in their heart for helping others and sharing their own resources. While hospitality can certainly mean serving those close to you, it commonly refers to providing a place for people to rest and relax during their travels. More specifically, strangers helping strangers.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “hospitality” has been in use since at least 1382, as it was used to refer to sheltering those in need of comfort and sustenance–particularly referred to more as a charitable act rather than profitable. The word gained more popularity in the 16th century, when actual hostels and types of hotels were beginning to be established as a type of business or industry.
Since then, the field of hospitality has grown with the advent of faster transportation over time as well as the emergence of technology. In a recent study conducted in 2020, it is actually estimated that there are over 700,000 hotels worldwide! Not every hotel is the same, but that’s quite a few places that are literally in the business of offering a place to stay, meals, and other services. Since hospitality has thrived this long, who’s to say when it will end?
What counts as hospitality?
Hospitality should genuinely be offered from the desire to help and service others. While there is money involved, as there is any kind of business, that does not necessarily make hospitality any less authentic or meaningful.
There are certainly places and organizations that don’t necessarily profit from hospitality, but hospitality doesn’t always imply non-profit. Rather, it is a way of securing the happiness and comfort of others. This is why hotel managers and those in the hospitality industry make it their absolute goal to make sure that their customers are satisfied with their services. It’s their job to ensure that travelers and guests are happy!
Whether it happens with or without money is not the case, being hospitable is simply an act of kindness. However, as with most things in the world, there is the industry or company-side of hospitality. As long as those involved in this industry are still helping others, then they can still carry the word hospitality in their job title. Anyone who counts themselves as experts in the field of hospitality should also be experts in being generous, friendly, cordial, and courteous.
What doesn’t count as hospitality?
This may go without saying, but anything that isn’t based off of the motivation to help others and provide accommodations is not hospitality. Think of it this way: if the front desk at your hotel doesn’t have a warm reception for guests, you’ve already failed in one way to be hospitable. Anything that comes off as unfriendly, lacking in warmth or comfort, or turns people away is not considered hospitality.
Those in this industry should always be proactive in determining how to secure the happiness of their guests. Not taking into account the specific needs or requests of customers can lead to a cold or inhospitable atmosphere. This is why consumers heavily rely on reviews for hotels from others; they don’t want to spend their time or money at a place that won’t meet their needs or will make them feel uncomfortable.
Booking Ninjas take on hospitality
Hostels, hospice, and hospital are all connected to the word hospitality. When it comes down to it, no matter the subset, hospitality is about helping people and meeting their needs. We understand the goals of those in the hospitality industry, and we resonate with their values. That’s why we strive to provide the highest-quality software for those in hospitality, so that they can continue to keep their guests happy, safe, and satisfied.
Property managers can rely on our PMS to monitor guests, gather data, and overall create a better experience for you and your guests. Hospitality can only get better with the type of technology that we have access to–and you can have access to it too! Why not take advantage of our advanced products and services? We’re here to enhance your hospitality; let us make your job easier. Check out our software and schedule a consultation with our team today!