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Hospitality Industry Dominates Today’s Consumer Spending According to New Research

Report identifies the hotel and resort marketing trends driving consumer preferences

PHOENIX, June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Millennials seek nearby staycation resorts over house-sharing, most travelers react to slogans that speak to value and cleanliness, and “bleisure” (mix of business and pleasure travel) is a growing trend in the evolving and strongly performing world of tourism.

These and other key findings can be found in The “2019 Southwest Hospitality Marketing Report,” developed and commissioned by LAVIDGE, a leading marketing services agency with over 35 years of experience in the travel and hotel industry. The report reveals insights around consumer preferences including: vacationers strongly resonate with ads containing practical words such as “affordable,” rely on referrals and are motivated by slogans that convey convenience.

What’s more, consumers are spending generously on getaways and trips. STR and Tourism Economics, the hotel market data leader, predicts vigorous financial growth through 2020 for the nearly $70 billion industry.

The LAVIDGE 2019 Report is complimentary and available here.

“Our hospitality research pinpoints the specific types of messages that resonate with today’s travel-minded consumers,” said David Nobs, managing director, business development at LAVIDGE. “Understanding what motivates consumers into action is critical for hospitality marketers in this competitive arena.”

Hospitality is getting more sophisticated 

Technology has also impacted how people travel, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence like digital check-in and face-recognition systems. Future trends predict travelers seeking hospitality on-the-go and the introduction of mobile suites, and more adults-only travel.

Indeed, hoteliers are exploring adaptations of the Airbnb boom. Some now offer home sharing (as a concierge service) for travelers to go offsite for smaller trips during their stay.

The Research

WestGroup Research surveyed 450 adult consumers working and living in the Southwest United States to provide fresh insights for major hospitality marketing executives, travel professionals, meeting planners and business and leisure guests about specific phrases and tactics to market their products and services successfully.


Meet LAVIDGE, an employee-owned ad agency specializing in discovering and communicating insights which engage, motivate and inspire. From building brand awareness to driving revenue, from positioning thought leaders to enhancing perceptions, it’s why we do what we do. Our unified marketing approach encompasses advertising, public relations, and digital marketing. And we’ve been doing it successfully since 1982 for clients in healthcare, real estate, education, hospitality, technology, sports marketing, personal care, food service, and government. Intrigued? Visit us at and get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Stepping Into 21st-Century Hospitality With Short-Term Tech

Some entrepreneurs are inspired to start companies because they spot unmet needs in the market: Frontdesk Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer Jesse DePinto, for instance, saw the amateur nature of home shares but the opportunity for something better than a hotel. The company saw the need for the best of both worlds and, to tackle this challenge, it is “evolving into a 21st-century tech-enabled hospitality brand,” DePinto told PYMNTS in an interview. As a result, the company can architect all the elements of its operation from technology to process and its people from the ground up with insight from the current day.

DePinto says the company aims to serve today’s modern travelers by hosting them in urban apartment units with all the service a traveler might need “from the initial communication and marketing to the physical location and amenities and furniture.” When it comes to booking the units, the company takes a multichannel approach. “We meet the guest where they’re most comfortable,” DePinto said. The company has its own website, and it loves when repeat guests book directly as they already know about the concept. At the same time, the company advertises through other channels such as Airbnb,, Expedia, UrbanDoor and VRBO.

The company likes to host guests in upscale downtown apartments in an urban core with walkable neighborhoods. “For us, location is number one,” DePinto said, adding that Frontdesk is also looking for a consistent and professional high-quality experience with customers expecting at least a Class A luxury new apartment complex. The company looks to serve the 21st-century traveler, with young professionals looking to stay in cities. It has units in cities such as Charlotte, Tampa, Milwaukee and Columbus.

The Business

When it comes to partnerships, the company works with multifamily property management companies. It seeks to help them increase their occupancy and fill their vacant units. At the same time, the company creates an added amenity for long-term renters by offering its units as guest suites for residents in the buildings. Their family and friends can then stay in the apartments whenever they are in town so they, say, don’t have to sleep on the couch (or the resident that is hosting them doesn’t have to give up their bed to their guests).

For its target market, the company’s ideal customers are people who want to be in a city — those who are excited by the hustle and bustle of a downtown urban area. The company gets mostly business travelers as it has a product that tends to attract them, DePinto says, but it brings in leisure travelers as well. The target audience is harder to determine with the hybridization between real estate, hospitality, business travel and leisure travel. “It’s all just becoming travel,” DePinto said.

The offering comes as DePinto says Airbnb has changed the customer mindset for travel. “Consumers are conditioned to expect more than just a hotel,” once they started staying in other people’s apartments, condos as well as townhomes for the same price of a hotel, DePinto said. That shift pushed the boundary of what people could expect with hospitality, and created a whole new wave of travelers in the process. In the future, the company aims to provide more space as well as amenities and technology, among other plans.

The Market

Beyond Frontdesk, Mint House aims to deliver a hotel-like experience that is trusted and secure as well as built on a suite of amenities powered by technology. The company is currently in markets including Nashville, Miami, Denver, Detroit and Indianapolis, and is coming soon to San Diego and Minneapolis as of a PYMNTS report in May. Like Frontdesk, Mint House can also open up the rooms as guest suites to the rest of the tenants in the building to provide value to full-time residents as well.

And “aparthotel” company Locale, like Frontdesk, takes a multichannel approach to reservations. Consumers can book through Airbnb as well as online travel agencies (OTAs) such as, Expedia and by searching for a particular property. At the same time, Locale also allows travelers to book directly through its website or via phone.

From Locale to Frontdesk, online platforms are combining technology and hotel-like service to allow travelers to stay in apartments for work or pleasure as they move about the country in the digital era.


Why is now a good time to invest in a hospitality business?

Investors must always strike at opportune times. It’s a process that requires a great deal of foresight and strategy, as the right move at the right opening can enable stakeholders to reap a bevy of financial rewards.

Consequently, where hospitality businesses are concerned, the best time to move forward with an investment is now. 

But after all this time, why now? Well, some have succeeded enormously in hospitality despite failures early in life – why not get in on the action somewhat? 

Consequently, here’s a few reasons why you should make your move in this arena right now. 

An active industry

It’s no secret that Brexit is coming up sooner or later, and many businesses are holding their breath and stagnating until the black cloud passes. The hospitality industry is taking a different tactic; working as hard as possible and staying busy to weather the storm instead. While other industries are taking a hit already, tourism and travel in the UK is something that’ll likely never falter. 

Therefore, the industry will be consistently proactive in the future in this regard. There’re many famous landmarks and tourist spots that millions of people visit every year, so investment into travel and tourism would likely prove lucrative. At the very least, hospitality is one of the few industries that, while concerned, isn’t rendered immobile and ineffective by their fears. 

A sustainable industry

The hospitality industry is also sustainable in its operations. Businesses in this field will go to great lengths to things like recycle and be environmentally friendly, or make careful use of water waste for other means.

While this might seem like a minor thing, it displays that hospitality businesses are forward thinking and always try and better the way they do things. It also makes them media friendly, and favourable in the eyes of the public. 

Industries that aren’t afraid to evolve with the times always make for the best investment playgrounds. There’s new technologies, new methods, new rules and regulations that shape and mould how they do their business.

Once again, this plays on the theme of avoiding stagnation, and gives investors plenty of additional sectors to pump their resources into that develop alongside them. New needs are constantly in circulation that investors can have a hand in funding. 

Social media

These days, it seems like everyone has social media. However, businesses obviously use it differently to how the average joe does. It’s their outreach channel, and their means of communicating with customers.

Not only this, but its’s also a research tool, enabling firms to keep an eye on market trends and to track their competitor’s strategies. Ultimately, social media is an all-seeing force here. 

Ultimately, this is just another way that the hospitality industry keeps moving forward while never looking back. The sector has a great deal of influence over its customer base, and with the right strategies, can inspire and bend willing customers to their will.

Once again, it’s also another sub-sector in the industry, and as technology is constantly progressing, investment opportunities will forever be plentiful here. 


The hospital industry will always offer viable investment opportunities due to one key factor; change. It doesn’t shy from it in any of its forms. This, in turn, opens up further avenues for investors to explore, and enables them to be a part of these recurring periods of seismic and profitable evolution. 


Unique Challenges for Homeless Women Shape Future Hospitality Hub

Umeki Jones recently helped a client, a homeless woman, land a janitorial job.

“We pointed her in a direction to a place that would possibly be able to help her, and they did hire her,” Jones says. “She came back today to show us her schedule.”

Jones is an intake manager at the Hospitality Hub, a non-profit organization that offers services for people cycling through homelessness—anything from job counseling to help getting a state ID. Sometimes, just a cup of coffee.  

The Hospitality Hub is even helping her with a bus pass to get to and from work. But the job has created a new challenge. The homeless shelter where she’s staying doesn’t allow entries past 5 pm. Her shift isn’t over by then. 

The only shelter that can accommodate the woman is a two-hour bus ride away. It costs $10 a night. 

This is one reason the Hospitality Hub is looking to offer more than mere guidance. It needs beds, specifically for women. 

“If we had our shelter and she was working as a client of ours, we know that she would be getting off work at this time,” Jones says. “We would have someone there ready for her.”

The Hospitality Hub has raised $5.5 million toward a new facility downtown, a plan that includes a 32-bed emergency women’s shelter.  

“The need is so profound,” says the Hub’s director Kelcey Johnson, pointing out that women are nearly 40 percent of Memphis’ homeless population, but have access to less than 10 percent of local shelter beds.  

“This past year…a woman froze to death [Downtown],” he says. “The city was outraged, but I see it every single year; I have female clients who are raped [or] murdered.”  

The City of Memphis and the Shelby County Commission are offering operational support for the new Hub headquarters. Each has proposed more than $1 million in funding over three years. 

The city has already approved the allocation, while the commission is slated to vote on it in June.

Unlike other shelters, the Hospitality Hub’s lodging will not have barriers to entry such as fees, age limits for children or check-in time constraints.  

It’s something that would have helped Shundria Anderson through uncertain times. 

A Hospitality Hub poster. CREDIT KATIE RIORDAN

“It’s a depressing feeling to watch people go to their houses, and you’re just sitting there,” says the 42-year-old, who’s been homeless off and on for years. “You don’t know where you going to sleep at.”

Anderson is living with her sister now, but at one point slept in her storage unit and in a local hospital’s bathroom. 

She’s turned to the Hub for assistance more than once. Currently, she’s makes $50 dollars a day most weekends emptying trash bins along Main Street through a Hub program. 

She says the organization’s methods are uncommon among those serving the homeless. 

“We need someone that’s going to care and show us the way how to get up out of this,” she says. 

While the Hospitality Hub’s new beds will fill an immediate need, Brad Watkins, the director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, isn’t convinced that another shelter is how local government should be combatting homelessness. An investment in longer-term housing programs is a more effective approach to keep people off the streets, he says.     

“In a city with the problems that we have, something like this sounds like a godsend, and it will be to a small amount of people,” Watkins says. “[But] for that same amount of money, we can provide permanent supportive housing for four times that many people.”

Rhodes College Professor Ari Eisenberg, who is writing a book about homelessness in America, says the cities most successfully tackling homelessness are funding multiple solutions.   

“Where Memphis currently is right now, it does have chronically homeless people who are regularly living in shelters and on the street,” she says. “Until more permanent housing, along with services, is made available to those people, shelters and other services Hospitality Hub provides are going to remain crucial.”  

Officials throwing their support behind the Hospitality Hub, like commission Chairman Van Turner, say more funding for homelessness initiatives like what Watkins is suggesting could possibly be budgeted for in the future. 

“I would fight for the necessary funding to have both temporary and a permanent housing solution for homeless individuals in this community,” he says.  

Meanwhile, Johnson, the Hub director, says it isn’t just about housing. 

“Houses don’t cure homelessness,” he says.  

The organization’s new headquarters will reflect the center’s holistic approach. It will include a large outdoor plaza where people can rest in a welcoming environment. People will be also be able to safely store their belongings there, get job support, or even earn some money working at an onsite car wash.  

“Everything we’re doing is so that people who are experiencing homelessness can interact with someone who’s trying to help them stop experiencing homelessness,” Johnson says.  


Summer Racing Hospitality Begins At The Investec Derby Festival With Jockey Club Catering And Fizz!

Anticipation is building for one of the UK’s most celebrated events in the racing calendar, The Investec Derby Festival, which marks the beginning of the summer racing season on Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June. At Epsom Downs racecourse preparations are well underway to ensure topquality racing, entertainment and food for racegoers. Behind the scenes, Jockey Club Catering’s Head Chef Rhys Owen, 100 chefs and another 1,200 catering staff are preparing to deliver a delicious array of food and drinks over the two-day festival.

Jockey Club Catering’s continuing commitment to ensure every racegoer has a perfect culinary experience has resulted in a diverse and eclectic selection of food and beverage options. Rhys comments “The Investec Derby Festival is a special event and for me it is so important every attendee enjoys the wonderful spectacle on and off the track, including the very best in food, drink and service. I love my job and this is the most exciting event of the year. It’s my pleasure to lead the Jockey Club Catering team delivering a fantastic hospitality experience.”

From the grandeur of an elegant four-course à la carte lunch in Chez Roux @ Blue Riband restaurant to a relaxed day in the Tattenham Straight enclosure with a beautiful “Best of British” picnic hamper, there are gastronomic experiences to suit every palate and pocket. Throughout the racecourse, guests will be able to pick the best spot to dine, drink and celebrate as they watch the finest thoroughbreds on the track.

Using expertise developed during fourteen years with Jockey Club Catering, Rhys has designed imaginative menus for The Investec Derby Festival restaurants. Blending tradition and innovation whilst using the best quality ingredients and skilful techniques, seasonal favourites sit alongside adventurous options, all beautifully presented to delight the eye and the taste buds.

Perfectly prepared for summer dining, menu highlights include smoked salmon from the Severn and Wye smokery served with honey-whisky beetroot, pickled cucumber and smoked yoghurt in the Winning Post restaurant. Seabass with masala raita, pickled courgette, butternut purée, Bombay potato and tandoori onion feature in the Derby Suite, where celeriac, hazelnut and truffle soup, with British artisan cheeses and gooseberry and nettle relish top and tail the menu. Racegoers can enjoy lighter dishes too, including, on the Downs View Suite menu, sous vide fennel with orange and quinoa salad and coriander cress, a vegetarian speciality perfect for the warmer weather.

At The Investec Derby Festival Coates and Seely will be offering vintage charm aboard their characterful Albion bus where a glass of their award-winning English sparkling wine can be enjoyed – the perfect drink for a very British sporting event. In addition, a selection of expertly chosen wines from around the world will be available across the racecourse, along with premium spirits, craft beers, ciders and refreshing soft drinks.


The S.A. hospitality industry gives back

That Americans have a heart for giving is evidenced each year by the tremendous amount of money donated to organizations and individuals that need it. According to a recent study released by, our country’s residents, estates, foundations and corporations donated more than $410 billion to U.S. charities in 2017.

In doing so, total giving rose by nearly 3 percent from the previous year, an upward trend that has become a powerful tradition in the United States.

Few places are as dedicated to charitable outreach as San Antonio. From the incredible, tangible impact of Morgan’s Wonderland and Haven for Hope to the various purpose-driven initiatives by San Antonio’s civic-minded companies, our city views helping others as a part of its very culture, every bit as valued as breakfast tacos, Spurs championships and Fiesta parades.

That our community believes it can only rise by lifting others is an important emphasis, as most nonprofit and charitable entities rely heavily on outside support, financial or in time and talent, to carry on the good work they do. For so many, their very survival depends on those investments.

That ethos extends to the tourism and hospitality industry, which has quietly gone about its business for years extending a hand to those in need, from feeding the homeless to aiding programs that support those with family, mental and physical difficulties.

It’s why the theme of the recent National Travel & Tourism Week, “Travel Matters,” carries a special significance.

Travel does matter, and in San Antonio that extends beyond the $15.2 billion the industry generates for the area economy. The tourism and hospitality community, by its very nature, has a heart for service to others. It’s represented in what local individuals and companies dedicate to charitable efforts, as well as the civic engagement showcased by many of the more than 300 meetings and conventions that come through San Antonio annually.

A few examples:

Last year’s annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians partnered with the city for a free community lung health fair at Main Plaza.

This year’s gathering of the Society of Critical Care Medicine included a “Save A Life” free CPR training and public health event in association with the city, Brooke Army Medical Center and St. Philip’s College.

The Younique Convention, held last August, saw the visiting organization donate more than 10,000 boxes of baby items for families in need.

Today, as we celebrate Visitor Appreciation Month, examples of charitable responsibility abound, from our attractions that back family-support enterprises to the culinary operations that devote portions of their profits to altruistic outreaches. Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Splashtown and SeaWorld San Antonio, for instance, donate thousands of dollars in park tickets each year to nonprofit entities in the city, fueling those organization’s fundraising initiatives.

Additionally, the tourism gives back through scholarships, grants, internships and volunteer events. Some examples:

Chef Johnny Hernandez just opened Kitchen Campus, a 501(c)(3) project that is a “learning kitchen” with an after-school program for middle school students.

Louis Barrios, whose family owns and operates several restaurants, has a 501(c)(3) organization called Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation. It’s designed to improve the lives of individuals, particularly women, who “face insurmountable obstacles in life.”

Lisa Fullerton, president and CEO of A Novel Idea, which owns and operates five Auntie Anne’s and two Cinnabons in San Antonio, has been a proactive supporter of the San Antonio Clubhouse, which works to support adults living with mental health difficulties.

Visit San Antonio, for its part, dedicates time and resources to its charity of choice, Boysville, a nonprofit children’s home and shelter that has rebuilt lives for more than seven decades.

The San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association financially backs the mission of the Angel Buys program, which has given more than $500,000 to need-based organizations since 2005.

It’s all part of who we are as a tourism and hospitality industry.

Travel matters. And those in need benefit because of it.


Luxury Hospitality Industry Suddenly Loves Hemp: When Did Hemp Become Posh?

The world of hemp is changing fast.

Only a few years ago, hemp-based products were relegated to headshops and hippie-style stores at tourist spots that sold itchy sweaters and rough t-shirts that often resembled a sack of potatoes a lot more than a clothing item should.

Today, however, healthcare trends, the CBD craze, and legislative measures like the 2018 Farm Bill – which legalized hemp on a federal level, have brought this noble plant to the forefront of collective cultural consciousness. Now everyone is talking about hemp, its derivatives, its potential for the plastic and paper industry, etc. Instead of appearing in back-alley bodegas, hemp is a full-blown mainstream commodity, with products sold at major national retailers and pharmacy chains.

But this is only the beginning of the rule of the “Hempire.”

A Sophisticated ‘Hempire’

Hemp going mainstream has not only reflected on its appearance at mass retailers, but also on its penetration of luxury markets. Earlier this year, luxury specialty retailer Barneys New York announced that it would become the first major retailer to open a luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness concept shop. Dubbed “The High End,” the store offers a variety of cannabis accessories and CBD wellness products.

Aside from retailers, a number of luxury hemp brands have risen to meet the growing demand for high-end hemp products. One such company is Beverly Hills crowd favorite Lord Jones, which offers a variety of hemp-derived, CBD-infused products, like confections, topicals, tinctures, and supplements.

The The Standard, Hollywood, one of the most hip hotels in California, currently offers Lord Jones products to its guests. A cannabis boutique store will open at this same location later this year. In addition, Lord Jones has received public endorsements from Mandy Moore, Katy Perry, Olivia Wilde, and other big celebrities.

Lord Jones’ popularity got me thinking about cannabis, hemp and CBD’s penetration into the luxury world.

Suddenly, Coda Signature cannabis-infused chocolate truffles are getting into the Oscars gift bags, there are marijuana stores on 5th Avenue in New York City, and paraphernalia is looking so pretty I wouldn’t mind having it as décor in my own house.M

Several months ago, a friend brought up the existence of this hemp fabrics and products brand, arguing it was the prettiest, most sophisticated she’d ever seen.

“Hemp fabrics? Soft? Yeah, right,” I answered, knowing this friend had been obsessed with hemp for years and was probably overstating the products’ real appeal.

She insisted I check it out. “This hemp brand is on a mission to not only elevate hemp as a source for luxury consumers good, but also to trigger a wider consumer shift towards sustainability,” she added. “It’s about a lot more than clothes and furniture, which they also make. It’s about the environment.”

I was willing to look into the company from a sustainability standpoint. However, what I found was nothing like I’d imagined.

“Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly fibers on the planet, MoonCloth co-founder Sarah Harf explained during a recent chat. “It’s very versatile; there’s a lot more opportunities for consumer products that you can design.”

She explained MoonCloth works with hospitality brands like Design Hotels and Sensei to design hemp-based hotel décor and furniture that “both look and feel good.” In recent months, the company has been working on eco-hemp patio furniture for Soho House & Co.’s new downtown L.A. club house, expected to open later this summer, Harf disclosed.

Aside from designing décor for luxury hospitality brands, MoonCloth is also working on launching a product line of hemp home goods and hemp wellness products this summer.  Much of MoonCloth’s line will be comprised by consumer versions of the products that they make for hospitality brands, such as pillows and towels.

But the brand will also offer hemp-based health and beauty products, as well as an extravagant line of hemp-silk kimonos. Working with musical artist and style icon Lizzy Jeff, Harf hopes that the hemp-silk kimonos will help drive home the point to consumers that they don’t have to sacrifice comfort for sustainability.

“There’s a lot of stigma around things that are sustainable because people think that you have to sacrifice design, and we believe the opposite,” Harf continued. “Now that hemp has been legalized, we can create beautiful products with the right design and with the right partners.”

There’s a lot of stigma around things that are sustainable because people think that you have to sacrifice design, and we believe the opposite.”

At present, much of the hemp that MoonCloth uses is imported from China. But, according to Harf, that is not by design.

“Right now, the U.S. is not developing the kind of quality textiles that we should be developing,” Harf said.

One of the things preventing the U.S. from developing high quality hemp textiles is a simple lack of infrastructure, she assured. Although hemp makes a good source of fabrics, processing the material is different from cotton and requires special equipment.

Countries like China have been using hemp as a fabric for multiple years and consequently have the manufacturing capacity to meet demand. Unfortunately, the U.S. has not made similar investments, but Harf hopes to change that.

“Part of our movement is to create the demand and show that it is possible,” says Harf.

In order to see a larger consumer shift happen, there needs to be a whole branding and perception change of what hemp is and that’s what MoonCloth is focused on.”

So, How Did Hemp Become Fancy?

Understanding that hemp products could also look and feel good, I set out to find out how, when, and why hemp had become a luxury product, managing to penetrate an industry as tough as the hospitality industry.

Joseph Levey is a partner at Helbraun Levey, a New York-based law firm that focuses on the “legal and licensing needs of the hospitality and cannabis industries.” When prompted about this issue, he explained hospitality is all about the experience.

“Operators of hospitality businesses are always looking for an edge in improving their products and essentially their brands – whether it be an inventive style of cooking or a unique cuisine or an expertly crafted cocktail or even a cutting-edge marketing/lifestyle angle, such as ‘instagrammable’ restaurants or dishes,” he said. “And there are really only a set, limited number of tools to augment those experiences in the hospitality industry operator’s toolbox.”

Therefore, the legalization of adult-use cannabis in some states, and hemp on a federal level, represents an exciting, new opportunity for the hospitality space.

“This is truly the advent of the wine pairing all over again,” Levey said, bringing up the example of the rise of alcoholic beverage pairings and how this had changed the restaurant experience.

This is truly the advent of the wine pairing all over again.”

For James M A Williams, Managing partner at Atra Form and OSO Hospitality Design Studio, it’s all about timing.

“Hemp as a material is having a moment in the Zeitgeist as it has become legal and available. This along with it’s durability and natural beauty has put it into the design worlds conscious as an ecologically sound option that allows great design aesthetics without sacrifice.”

Emily Paxhia, co-founder and managing partner of what is often seen as the first long-short, cannabis-focused hedge fund in the world, Poseidon Asset Management, is also a board advisor for MoonCloth. She too conceives the rise of hemp products as a result of the Zeitgeist.

The trend of wellness is starting to extend to fibers that feel and look good, that are non-toxic and hemp textiles fall perfectly into that trend.”

“Hemp is gaining interest on the heels of the FARM Bill passing,” Paxhia concluded. “Investors and consumers are starting to understand the myriad benefits of cultivating and processing hemp, as it is an incredibly sustainable resource and has a multitude of potential end products. Hemp as a fiber for textiles is incredibly comfortable and healthy to wear. The trend of wellness is starting to extend to fibers that feel and look good, that are non-toxic and hemp textiles fall perfectly into that trend. Furthermore, fashion -orward influencers are interested in integrating hemp into luxury apparel and home design.”


Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry: What Industry Participants Should Do to Protect Themselves and Their Customers

In 2016 alone, 4.8 million people were victims of forced sexual exploitation worldwide. Nearly 200,000 were trafficked in the Americas, and more than one million were children. Moreover, data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline shows that at least 7.7 percent of human trafficking cases reported in 2016 were based in hotels or motels, the most common “location” for the abuse to occur. Indeed, hotels and motels are common sites of human trafficking—they not only offer an affordable and easily accessible location for commercial sex acts, but they also provide privacy and anonymity for both traffickers and trafficked individuals.

There is no doubt that members of the hospitality industry do not want their legitimate services abused by traffickers, nor the safety of their guests jeopardized in this manner. As federal and state authorities, the plaintiffs’ bar, and public sentiment increasingly place pressure on corporations to join global anti-trafficking efforts, the hospitality industry can take proactive compliance-related measures to ensure trafficking does not happen at their hotels.

This Jones Day White Paper touches on key aspects of the fast developing law addressing the scourge of human trafficking. More specifically, it sets forth: (i) the laws governing the hospitality industry’s obligations to detect or eradicate human trafficking at their establishments; (ii) examples of lawsuits filed against members of the hospitality industry; and (iii) suggestions for members of the hospitality industry to best protect their customers and position themselves in this climate of heightened obligations.


62% of hospitality staff think sector doesn’t take care of employees

RSPH also advises Improved enforcement of employment rights and for further research into what hospitality can learn from best practice in workplace wellbeing within other sectors

Almost two thirds of hospitality staff think that the sector does not take good care of its employees, new research has found.

Research from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has found that mental health and wellbeing is “under significant strain” amongst hospitality employees.

In its latest report, ‘Service With(out) a Smile’, over four out of five (84%) hospitality workers reported increased stress which was believed to be a direct consequence of their job. As a result, almost half (45%) of respondents said they would not recommend working in hospitality.

Other key findings from the RSPH research include:

  • Around one quarter (24%) of hospitality staff have reported seeking psychological support or medication
  • Three quarters (74%) have experienced verbal abuse from a customer
  • Almost a quarter (24%) required medical or psychological help
  • Only around one in ten (10%) had received training to support health and wellbeing, or access to mentoring, health champions or mental health first aiders

The report highlights a number of initiatives which have been introduced to address concerns around staff health and wellbeing such as Hospitality Action’s Employee Assistance Programme and Me, Myself in Mind’s classes on mental health awareness for the hospitality industry.

RSPH also revealed that recommendations that emerged from the research includes employers putting in place a package of support which protects the mental health and wellbeing of staff including sick leave, regular one-to-ones between managers and employees, health champions and mental health first aiders.

It also advises Improved enforcement of employment rights and for further research into what hospitality can learn from best practice in workplace wellbeing within other sectors.

The survey results and recommendations will be discussed at an event in London, held in collaboration with The Springboard Charity today ( 20 May). The event aims to encourage employers to “proactively consider” how to look after mental health in the workplace.

Chief executive of RSPH, Shirley Cramer, said: “At some point in our lives many of us will have experienced working in the hospitality industry, so we understand how demanding this working environment can be. Having access to good mental health support is essential for workplaces, and we are pleased that there are a number of initiatives being rolled out across the sector. However, it is clear from our research that this support is not reaching everyone, with two-thirds of hospitality workers reporting that they don’t believe the sector does enough to look after its staff.

“It is also concerning that around a quarter of staff have had to resort to psychological intervention or medication to deal with work-related stress. Investing in staff health and wellbeing is not just the right thing to do for individuals, but it will ultimately benefit the hospitality sector in the long term.”

By: Lewis Catchpole – Source:

Learning Hospitality The Old Way in The Modern Environment

While the world is now learning how to open doors of their homes to guests and travellers and how to be hospitable through ventures; Hospitality in Indians has been ingrained since times immemorial. We grow up on stories epitomizing Atithya or Supreme Hospitality. Our mythological literature is full of anecdotes where only the best is for the guest.

There would nary be an Indian who hasn’t heard of a Shabri first tasting ber (Indian jujubes) herself and ensuring that she served only the sweetest (doesn’t matter that they were half bitten) ones to Lord Ram or a poor Sudama feeding the last bowl of his rice to his friend and honoured guest Krishna. We are honour bound to host guests and welcome with open hearts, whoever enters our homes.

So, while our hearts and homes are indeed open, something that people are even monetizing now, hospitality and its meaning has undergone a sea-change and therefore most of it needs to be re-learnt.

Shifting Paradigms in Travel & Hospitality

Travel and hospitality industries are witnessing shifts in the basic foundational paradigms of these twin segments. Firstly, from travels being undertaken only as per necessity till a decade back, the world and its family now love to travel. People are travelling frequently, and household budgets are being accordingly apportioned to accommodate travel expenditures.

The millennials view travel as a necessity and not as an option. There are all kinds of travellers requiring a vast spectrum of hospitality services – from budget stays to mid-priced ones to premium services and the ultra-luxury demands.  The hospitality industry needs to necessarily cater to this entire spectrum of demands and not expect the traveller to adjust.

Secondly, hospitality needs to identify what expectations are at the centre of the demand conundrum and cater to those expectations for a fulfilling experience on the part of the traveller and receiving a positively glowing review on part of the service provider. Expectations can centre around learning about the place, experiencing the destination, meeting the locals, taking in the sights for some.

For others, it might be the basics of cleanliness and comfort – wanting clean sheets and not thread-counts really, desiring homely or local cuisine for food or extravagant buffets for others. Thirdly, there is a huge thrust on the exploratory – seeing offbeat and newer places. And lastly, the power and reach of social media are increasing by the day – whether it is for posting unique experiences or feedback or for looking up reviews. Social media is an integral part of the curriculum for relearning hospitality.

Rewarding Thumb Rules

With an understanding of these basic changes, the industry is seeing massive changes – new business models, new accommodation types, new offerings and packages etc. And for those willing to learn, following thumb rules will prove to be rewarding.

The first thumb rule of hospitality is to understand cultures – as a way of thinking and being. This results in broadening one’s mind. Hospitality professionals need to learn to deal with people from many different backgrounds – be they be guests or industry colleagues.

The second thumb rule is to understand the economics – the underlying principles behind standardized qualities – of cleaning, of portions and of service. Any line of work within the spectrum of hospitality entails management of numbers and better management of same leads to customer appreciation.

The third rule is to understand sustainability – see how you can rely on local resources for all requirements – recruitment, procurement and entrepreneurship. Building a circular economy by training local talent, buying local foods, building local activities and ensuring that local income rises go a long way in rising footfalls and continuance of a sustainable venture.

The industry is changing at a dizzying pace – making way for newer ways of hospitality. Formal programs are still to catch up and on-the-job learning is crucial. So, whether you aspire to run your own homestay or build a chain of hotels, consumer preferences remain central. The one thing that remains same down the ages and hospitality industry must always remember – Atithi Devo Bhava!