1.1 Introduction to Hospitality Industry
1.1.1 The Nature of the Hospitality Industry
What is the meaning of HOSPITALITY? There have been different definitions of Hospitality. Broadly speaking, Hospitality is the act of kindness in welcoming and looking after the basic needs of guests or strangers, mainly in relation to food, drink and accommodation. A contemporary explanation of Hospitality refers to the relationship process between a guest and a host. When we talk about the “Hospitality Industry”, we are referring to the companies or organisations which provide food and/or drink and/or accommodation to people who are away from home. However, this definition of the “Hospitality Industry” only satisfies most situations. Can you think of any circumstances where the phrase “away from home” would not be accurate? Resort hotel Introduction to Hospitality
In groups, consider the hospitality industry in Hong Kong. Discuss the different sectors in the hospitality industry. (Hint: A sector of hospitality industry can be profit-making or non-profit-making.) You may also give the names of some companies in the hospitality industry. One example has been given in the table below. Work on the table to see which group in your class comes up with the most appropriate examples. Hospitality industry in Hong Kong
Example Name of
Food and drink Fast food McDonald’s
Look at the table that your group has just completed and compare the answers with other groups. Have you been to any of the above companies or organisations? What services did you receive from them? Were you satisfied with the way you were treated by the company or its staff? Did they understand what services you wanted? Did they provide what you wanted quickly and accurately? Was the staff member friendly or rude? Based on the discussion above, suggest five qualities or traits that a successful staff member in the hospitality industry should possess. Do you or your group members possess any of these qualities or traits? Introduction to Hospitality
1.1.2 The Tangible and Intangible Nature of the Hospitality Industry
In Activity 1, we learned about different types of products and services provided by the hospitality industry. The physical products of hospitality, e.g. food and drink in a restaurant or the actual hotel room, are products that are sold at a price to the guests or customers (e.g. the price a guest paid for renting a hotel room, or the price a customer paid for buying a meal in a restaurant). These are often regarded as the TANGIBLE aspects of hospitality. However, our experience of the hospitality industry does not only rely on the tangibles. Think about your experience of being a customer in a restaurant or a guest in a hotel. What else, apart from the food in restaurants and the facilities in hotel rooms, do you think can make your hospitality experience more enjoyable and satisfied?
A successful hospitality business does not only count on its products and services, but also how they are delivered. The qualities of staff and the way they deliver the service are often more important than the tangible products in making a hospitality experience satisfactory or unsatisfactory. We call these the INTANGIBLE aspects of hospitality. Can you think of any INTANGIBLE aspects of the hospitality industry? 1.1.3 Relationship between the Hospitality Industry and Tourism As we have seen, the hospitality industry includes hotels and restaurants, as well as many other types of organisations or institutions that offer food, drink, shelter and other related services. These products and services are offered not only to people away from home, but also to local guests. A manager in the hospitality industry, therefore, must keep in mind the following three objectives:
1. Making the guests feel welcome personally
2. Making things work for the guests
3. Making sure that the operation will continue to provide service and meet its budget Apart from local guests, can you think of any other guests who may need services and products provided by the hospitality industry? Introduction to Hospitality 4
Now work in pairs and follow the instructions below:
Tourist A – You are an 18-year-old student from Beijing. You visit Hong Kong for the first time with your cousin who is also from Beijing this summer. As you are a student, you travel on a budget and are planning to come to Hong Kong round trip by train. You plan to stay in Hong Kong for 5 days/4 nights.
Tourist B – You are a businessman from Sweden. Your company is a car manufacturer. You come to Hong Kong for an international automobile exhibition. You will fly to Hong Kong and stay for two nights before you fly to Singapore for another business meeting. You will stay in Singapore for two nights before going home. In two minutes, write down as many as possible of the products and services you would require from the different sectors of the tourism industry for your trip. Compare your answers with those of your partner. Do you have different or similar answers? How many of the points you jotted down are similar to those of your partner?
Fill in the following table:
A young student (Tourist A) A business traveller (Tourist B)
In Activity 3 we learned there are different kinds of tourists. Regardless of what type of tourist they are, they all need shelter and food and drink – the basic hospitality services – at ALL points of the tourism cycle, not just at the destination. This is why hospitality can be referred to as one of the principal dimensions in tourism, along with transportation, specialist shops and leisure activities.
Unlike tourism, hospitality, however, serves both tourist and non-tourist needs. To enhance your understanding of the relationship between the hospitality and tourism industry, complete Activity 4. Introduction to Hospitality 5
The following diagram shows the relationship between the hospitality and tourism industry. Can you think of more services with examples to add to the diagram? Hospitality Industry Hospitality Industry Tourism Industry Tourism Industry Institutional/ Institutional/
Welfare Catering Welfare Catering
e.g. Hospital e.g. Hospital
e.g. Hotels, e.g. Hotels,
Transportation services Transportation services
e.g. Car Rental, e.g. Car Rental,
In Activity 4 we learned the hospitality industry is a part of a wider group of economic activities called tourism. In addition, not all hospitality businesses are profit-making business.
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