Discuss why hospitality is about providing an ‘experience’ rather than a ‘service’. Using examples illustrate how hospitality includes the creation of experiences

There are several definitions of commercial hospital provision that place emphasis on different perspectives such as social, cultural, economic and psychological. From a holistic and conventional point of view, hospitality is an element in the service industry that encompasses tourism, cruise line, theme parks, lodging, and restaurants among others. In the context of hospitality, the host provides the service and has the primary responsibility of ensuring that the guest is safe and happy (Hemmington 2007). Central to the definition of hospitality are the aspect of service and experience. Current approaches in defining hospitality have failed to distinguish between service and experience with respect to the relationship between the host and guest; this has resulted in inappropriate business models that have hampered industry growth and development. In order to make commercial hospitality hospitable, profitability should not the bottom line rather the experiential effects associated with the relationship between the host and guest; this is because most definitions of commercial hospitality focus on the relationships between the host and guest; rather than defining hospitality in the domain of economic relationship existing between a buyer and a seller, which focuses on service delivery. It is apparent that most definitions of hospitality spell out the need for businesses in the hospitality industry to focus on guests’ experiences rather than their commercial gains in order to grow and develop the industry (Brotherton 1999).

The effective delivery of hospitality services mainly depends on how well the firm retains the guests’ perceptive; this is because customers in the hospitality industry, which in this case are guests, do not purchase service quality, instead they purchase memories. For instance, in the restaurant sector, customers do not purchase food and drinks; rather, they purchase meal experiences (Hemmington 2007). Applying this model in the restaurant business, operators should not only focus on quality service delivery but also focus on making sure that guests’ leave their facilities with memorable experiences; this is the art of customer retention in the hospitality industry. Creating experience in the hospitality business entails being appreciative of the guest, and placing emphasis on memories and generosity. EmbeIDed in the definition of hospitality is the fact that the guest should be able to experience that the host is hospitable through generosity and the desire to entertain the guest. This viewpoint of hospitality highlights the significance of aspects such as experiences, entertainment, host-guest relationship, friendliness, and generosity (Hemmington 2007).

References List

Brotherton, B 1999, ‘Towards a Definitive View of the Nature of Hospitality and Hospitality Management’, International Journal of Hospitality Management, pp. 163-173.

Hemmington, N 2007, ‘From Service to Experience: Understanding and Defining the hospital business’, The Services Industries Journal, vol 27, no. 6, pp. 1-18.


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