This article will provide a brief overview about
the concept of hospitality industry, the problems faced by this industry and importance of hospitality marketing to ensure
customer satisfaction and business growth.
Hospitality industry has a long evolutionary history.
In older times, analysts suggest that the concept of this industry was initially known with a synonym, hotel industry. However
in modern era the terminology of ‘Hospitality Industry’ is more common that comprises those businesses that provide
services such as accommodation, food, and beverages to travelers seeking pleasure as well as those who travel due to business
reasons (Gray & Liguori, 1996). Moreover it is argued that to some extend components of leisure industry such as cruise
ships restaurants and to some lesser degree airlines are also considered part of hospitality industry as well (Papers4you.com,
Though the industry is assumed to be in nevr lasting
demand but there are certain problems that this industry regularly faces. These problems may include uncertainty to the costs
of even most economic source of energy, increased trend of problems in maintaining profitable food and beverage facilities,
comparatively more increase in labor costs as compared to productivity, customer dissatisfaction due to increase in size and
number of rooms as it is claimed to increase registration and other services process time and more importantly very high competition
that induces heavy rate cuts to survive (Gray & Liguori, 1996).
Keeping these factors in view, in particular customer’s
dissatisfaction and profit reduction, Lewis & Chambers (1989) asserts that hospitality industry historically did not realize
importance of marketing and a remedy to industry’s problem is encapsulated in ‘hospitality marketing’, both
in its foundation and practices. It was further asserted that in 1950s and 1960s, industry focused on technology and updating
their telephone reservation systems. Similarly in 1970s and later, businesses were focused to increase assets and forgot the
essence of industry, that is, ‘customer oriented service’.
It was suggested that players in hospitality industry
should realize that hospitality product is different, that is in fact, something intangible that they are selling and as both
product and reasons for buying it are different also different so it demands a different marketing strategy, something like
hospitality marketing that requires customer centered hospitality need identification, specific segmentation & positioning
and ‘the hospitality marketing mix’.
Such trend can be observed around the world (Papers4you.com,
2006). Food chains like McDonalds, Pizza Hut etc are now focusing on customer’s service and taste rather than focusing
on their own brand name only. McDonalds in India, for instance, operates differently while focusing on the ‘vegetarian
aspect’ of their tradition than McDonalds in USA
where focus is more towards an easy accessible food facility.
Hence the discussion may conclude that hospitality
industry provided ever needed services. Nonetheless it may face certain specific issues that can be counterattacked through
industry specific ‘hospitality marketing’
Gray, W & Liguori, S, C, (1996), ‘Hotel
and Motel Management and Operations’, Third Edition, Singapore: Prentice
Hall Simon & Schuster (Asia) Pte Ltd
Lewis, R, C & Chambers, R, E, (1989), ‘Marketing
Leadership in Hospitality- Foundations and Practices’, New York:
Van Nostrand Reinhold
Papers For You (2006) "C/M/142. Dissertation. Measuring
service quality in a Hotel", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprttrav6.htm [22/06/2006]
Papers For You (2006) "P/B/582. Benefits and problems
of small hospitality businesses", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprttrav6.htm [21/06/2006]