Hotel Online  Special Report

Defining a Hotelier; The Hotel Professional Has Gone
Through a Major Transition Over the Past 20 Years

August 2004 Year-to-Date

The Canadian Lodging Outlook is a joint monthly publication 
of Smith Travel Research and HVS International, 
Vancouver and Toronto, Canada
By Mark Keith - HVS Executive Search - Hong Kong

A decade ago, hotel owner and operator Leona Helmsley appeared in a series of highly successful ad campaigns as a demanding "queen", with a reputation that any transgressions by employees would be met with scathing contempt, ridicule and banishment from her realm.

Not many of her employees were too upset when the "Queen of Mean" was jailed for 18 months for tax evasion.

Hoteliers have often been described as kings in their castles, dispensing summary justice to their subjects, but the industry has gone through a major transition over the past 20 years.

At the start of the 1980s, most hotels were run by professionals who had spent their formative years in a craft apprenticeship, either in the kitchens, restaurant service or front-desk.

They had worked their way up through a series of jobs of increasing responsibility.  Long hours and extreme dedication were the hallmarks of their success, and they expected no less from their subordinates.  Through their excellent apprenticeship systems, Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria produced a surplus of ambitious hoteliers who soon left their native lands to gain experience internationally.  Their hands-on, detail-orientated, operational style became the role model for today's successful hoteliers.

Around that time, British hoteliers began to appear on the scene, many of whom were beneficiaries of a UK initiative which levied companies and encouraged systematic training, with the "training of trainers" and rebates or grants for companies that adopted sound training practices.

Nowadays, it is common to see senior hoteliers from North America but, years ago, these were the exceptions.

Hotel companies today are looking for strengths in leadership, and communication skills which mobilize the energy and resources of a management team.

Leaders are now expected to be visionaries, who see the future clearly and can articulate this vision so that others are inspired to follow.

Effective leaders see the relationships among various ideas and information.  They articulate, follow a clear mission and are guided by broad goals, as well as more short-term objectives.

They spend time anticipating the future, as well as dealing with the present. They surround themselves with experts and are able to analyze and interpret the information they receive so that they can make wise decisions for their organizations. 

Sensitivity to, and appreciation of, diversity in individuals is an area in which the hotel industry is particularly attuned.  (All too often, a promising career has been brought to a sudden halt by the intervention of a local partner, owner's family member or representative who exercises his/her authority following some perceived insult or personal affront.).

Orientation to service may seem an obvious prerequisite for a hotelier but, these days, this also encompasses an internal service culture that measures employee satisfaction, knowing that high morale is critical to high customer satisfaction.  Nowhere is this more true than in the area of ethical practices, and today's industry leaders must demonstrate an awareness of the ethical dimensions embedded in their daily activities.

Managers who are perceived as having a great deal of integrity receive more respect from their employees and, consequently, more influence.

Creativity and innovation are becoming recognized as highly valued management characteristics and, with the increasing rate of change, managers who respond creatively to new challenges and opportunities will be in demand in the next decade.

Those individuals will look for new ways of solving recurring problems, take a creative approach to their tasks, will be able to innovate when required, move their organizations forward and help maintain a competitive advantage.

Fresh Perspectives

Creative managers bring fresh perspectives to organizations and inspire those around them to think out of the box.

Certain hoteliers are described as "having presence", or "filling the space around them". This is a consequence of their confidence to perform the specific tasks relevant to their roles. They feel empowered and proud of their contributions, and tend do be independent and self-directed.

They do not depend on constant recognition from others to feel good about their jobs. They believe they can handle their job requirements under a wide range of conditions, and tend to seek new and challenging tasks. They have realistic self-assessments.

One is reminded of the old Chinese saying:"A half-empty barrel makes the most noise". In the interests of another much-valued characteristic - humility - the final word goes to Rudyard Kipling and this except from his classic verse, The Man In The Glass:

"When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say
For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Who's judgement upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass."
August 2004

August 2004 Year-to-Date

© Smith Travel Research, 2004. Reproduction or quotation in whole or in part
without permission is forbidden. *INS - Insufficient Data

Selina Lai
HVS International – Canada
2120 Queen St. East, Suite 202
Toronto, ON M42 1E2
(416) 686-2260, ext 21
(416) 686-2264 FAX
[email protected]

Also See Hotel Investments; The Magic, Curse Of Leverage / Canadian Lodging Outlook - July 2004 Year-to-Date / September 2004
June Results Are In And.......We’re Back! / Canadian Lodging Outlook - June 2004 Year-to-Date / Aug 2004
Hotel Life Expectancy / Canadian Lodging Outlook - March 2004 Year-to-Date / May 2004
European Hotel Transactions 2003 - Country Analysis / Canadian Lodging Outlook - February 2004 Year-to-Date / April 2004
2003 an Unbelievably Strong Year for US Hotel Sales / Canadian Lodging Outlook - December 2003 Year-to-Date / February 2004
2003 Canadian Hotel Transaction Survey / Canadian Lodging Outlook / January 2004
2002 Canadian Hotel Transaction Survey / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Feb 2003
How To Get The Best Sales Price; Positioning Your Hotel for Sell / Stephen Rushmore / Canadian Lodging Outlook - July 2003 YTD / September 2003
Lodging Market Impact of Hosting Olympic Winter Games; Will Salt Lake City Experience Apply to Vancouver and Whistler? / Canadian Lodging Outlook - June 2003 YTD / August 2003
Year-to-date Occupancy through April is 50.4% for all of Canada / Canadian Lodging Outlook - April 2003 YTD / June 2003
SARS and Its Impact on Tourism in Toronto / Canadian Lodging Outlook - March 2003 YTD / May 2003
Hotel Values in Europe - Current Trends / Canadian Lodging Outlook - December 2002 Year-to-Date / Feb 2003
2002 Canadian Hotel Transaction Survey / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Feb 2003
Performance Clauses Essential In Hotel Management Contract / Stephen Rushmore / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Dec 2002
Separating the Hotel Looker From the Hotel Buyer / Stephen Rushmore / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Sept 2002
Making The Ideal Hotel Investment / Stephen Rushmore / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Aug 2002
Reporting In at Six Months..../ Canadian Lodging Outlook / July 2002
The Global Approach To Hotel Valuations / Canadian Lodging Outlook / June 2002
Hotel Insurance Premiums on the Rise? / Canadian Lodging Outlook / May 2002 
Hotel Development Cost Can Determine Feasibility / Canadian Lodging Outlook / May 2002 
Hotel Internet Distribution Channels / January 2002 Month-to-Date Results / Canadian Lodging Outlook / April 2002 
2001 Was a Great Year If You Were in Edmonton! / December 2001 Year-to-Date Results / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Feb 2002 
2001 Canadian Hotel Sales / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Jan 2002 
The Effect on Capitalization Rates and Discount Factors After September 11 / Canadian Lodging Outlook / Dec 2001 
So How Bad Was September for Canadian Hotels.. Pretty Bad! / Nov 2001
So How Bad Was September for Canadian Hotels.. Pretty Bad! / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / September 2001 
Have Hotel Values in Canada Declined Since September 11th? You Bet They Have / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / August 2001 
The Popularity of Boutique Hotels / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / July 2001 
Rising Energy Costs Cause Concern in the Lodging Industry / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / June 2001 
Niagara Falls: With Supply Comes Demand / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / May 2001 
Does Supply Generate Demand? / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / May 2001 
Optimism With a Hint of Caution, As Analysts Predict a Softer Year for the Canadian Hotel Industry / Mar 2001 
Limited-Service Growth in Canada - Where’s it Going? / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / January 2001 
HVS Canada in Review - Year End 2000 / The Canadian Lodging Outlook / March 2001 
Canadian Lodging Outlook / May 2000 Year to Date Statistics / HVS International - Canada / July 2000 
The Rule of Thumb Method...Does It Still Hold Weight? / Elaine Sahlins - HVS / Oct 2000
What’s Hot and What’s Not in Western Canadian Hotel Markets / Mar 2000

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.Online Search

Home |Welcome! | Hospitality News | Classifieds | Catalogs & Pricing | Viewpoint Forum | Ideas/Trends
Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.