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Newer Generations Challenge the Hospitality Industry (Sabrina Peng)


In today’s ever-changing world, the hospitality industry seems to be suffering the most as it works to adapt to the newer generations and their lifestyles. Used to instant gratification, the younger generation now has different priorities, thus no longer seeking the experience that people once did. Such changes in consumer trends can be quite challenging to our industry, specifically that of hotels. From faster service to more sustainable measures, recent trends have really been demanding a lot from hotels which, in order to survive, continue to come up with innovative, eco-friendly solutions, while dealing with other problems.

Green is Good!

With eco-tourism continuing to grow, consumers are gradually recognizing how important environmental conservation is and are now expecting accommodation supporting sustainable and eco-friendly tourism. As a result, companies, such as Marriott International with its new Element hotels, have been creating new brands that would incorporate more eco-conscious practices in order to attract green consumers. Going green really is a great concept for marketing, so don’t be surprised if all hotels became relatively sustainable in a few years!

You’re no good, technology!

It would be impossible to turn a blind eye on all the benefits that technology has brought to our society. However, it is also due to technology that certain jobs have been taken from people. Younger generations would now much rather receive a faster service from a machine than to go through the traditional person to person process, especially since that would mean experiencing actual human interaction. People seem to be accepting of such a tragedy when they shouldn’t be! The service industry exists for a reason and if we continue to let technology take over, I don’t see why the world would not soon be run by robots.

Rising Labor Shortage

Even before technology had affected the hospitality industry, there had always been somewhat of a labor shortage. The ugly truth is that younger generations do not generally consider the hospitality industry as a viable career path; instead, the popular understanding now is that the STEM—science, technology, engineering, mathematics—fields pay the most, which in today’s consumer society seems to matter the most. As a result, fewer and fewer people would voluntarily choose to work in the hospitality industry, leaving HR with no choice but to suffer from labor shortage or to settle for less suited candidates when hiring.

High Turnover Rates

Through my past two years working in the food and beverage industry, I have witnessed high turnover rates and its consequences, making me wonder what could be done for a change. While sometimes it may really be the non-ideal work environment or conditions pushing workers to quit, there are other times when workers would simply quit because they just didn’t feel like working anymore. Such attitude and overall indifference should not be acceptable and would most likely never be seen in a successful business that had the luxury to wait for the right person for the right job. Nevertheless, not all businesses are as lucky, especially with the shortage in labor.

How to Retain Staff Members

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Similarly, companies that are able to recognize the importance of treating their employees right will, in turn, be satisfied as well. Employee retention may not be the easiest but it is rather critical for industries, which are already in a lack of engaged, motivated, and overall qualified individuals. Retaining employees is just as important as customers, if not even more! Just like how customers can oftentimes serve as free marketing by either posting on social media or by simply telling their friends and family, employees can serve as even better free marketing like, for instance, by providing such memorable experience that will make customers come back.

Where is the hospitality industry headed? Will it be defeated by the newer generations or will it come back stronger under its command?

About The Author

Sabrina Peng is a student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, pursuing her B.S. degree in hospitality management. Most of her work experience so far has been in the food and beverage department, but is hoping to learn from the other departments as well as from different fields, thus why she is now getting experience in retail through PacSun and will be in the guest services department at Mountain High Ski Resort for the upcoming winter season. People and service are her true passion. After graduating, her dream come true would be to work at different hotels from all over the world.

Note: The picture was downloaded from Deskmoz.com.

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