Everyone that runs a business expects that 2015 will be a better year for them than 2014. The sad truth is; some companies seem to be doing worse in terms of revenue than last year! The hospitality industry is one such type of business that isn’t doing too well.
Don’t get me wrong; people that use hotels for personal reasons are still taking rooms. It’s the corporate customers that seem to have deserted many of today’s hotels. It turns that there are many different reasons for such an unusual trend:
Companies want to spend less on hospitality
It’s no secret that many companies are still reeling from the effects of last decade’s global economic crisis. They are spending less and looking for ways to further cut back on their spending.
Many businesses have workers that travel to different parts of the country, and even to countries abroad. The conventional thing to do was to stay at a hotel for the duration of their visit.
But, savvy business owners are requesting that employees use alternative forms of accommodation instead. One popular alternative to staying at a hotel is to book some days at self-catering apartments.
Corporate apartments are not a new accommodation option for business travelers. In today’s modern world, they provide the perfect alternative to expensive hotels. Especially when employees need to stay for several weeks. Hotels are seldom likely to offer significant discounts to their corporate clients these days.
Another advantage of corporate apartments is that lease terms are flexible. That means employees can stay for one day or 100 days. Hotel bookings aren’t as flexible, especially during peak vacation times of the year.
More than just accommodation
When a worker has to spend a lot of time away from home, they will welcome the ability to make use of other facilities. Examples include gyms, swimming pools, and other fitness center amenities.
Some hotels offer those facilities, but not all of them. And the ones that do charge a hefty premium for the privilege! Employees are seldom likely to pay extra for those facilities. And their employers won’t sanction putting those costs through as business expenses!
When you spend a long time based out of a hotel room, things can feel rather bleak and depressing. Typical hotel rooms offer little extra space, and employers won’t pay for workers to upgrade to bigger suites.
Staying at a self-catering location offers more scope for space. It means that it can feel like their home away from home. Not just a small box with a window and bathroom inside of it!
Better Internet access
Corporate properties offer high-speed Internet access. As you know, that’s a must for business travelers. Hotels offer mediocre Internet speeds and charge obscene amounts of money for access!
As you can see, those are just some of the reasons corporate travelers and their employers prefer using alternatives to hotels. If the hospitality industry wants to reverse this decline in business usage, they must change the way they offer their services.
Independent security research Brian Krebs suggests that thousands of guests at US hotels may have had their credit and debit data stolen.
The cache of data seems to have gone astray from computers belonging to White Lodging Services said Brian Krebs.
The service company runs 168 franchised hotels in the US for the Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and Westin chains.
White Lodging said it was currently conducting an investigation into how the data had been taken.
Brian Krebs suggests that thousands of guests at US hotels may have had their credit and debit data stolen
Brian Krebs said White Lodging’s role in the breach emerged as banking industry fraud investigators were looking into a sustained pattern of purchases made on faked cards in Marriott hotels. Oddly, said Brian Krebs in a blogpost, the fraudulent purchases were made only at Marriott hotels in six separate cities rather than across the entire chain.
Further investigation revealed that the common factor in all those hotels was they were run by Indiana-based White Lodging.
The fraudulent purchases were made at the gift shops, restaurants and other shops at the hotels and were not used to pay for rooms, said Brian Krebs.
In a statement issued to Brian Krebs, White Lodging said: “We will provide meaningful information as soon as it becomes available.”
In a separate statement, Marriott said it was “working closely” with its franchisee on the investigation.
The latest breach comes in the wake of other much larger attacks on US retailers that saw payment card details for millions of customers stolen.
Former hotel staffer Jacob Tomsky has detailed the sketchy, raunchy, and sometimes scandalous things that hotel workers do when guests’ heads are turned in his new book, Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustlers and So-Called Hospitality.
After 11 years in the industry, including a couple years at a high-end hotel in New Orleans and several years at a luxury hotel in Manhattan, Jacob Tomsky says he’s come to know the dark underbelly of the hospitality industry.
Jacob Tomsky writes that long hours and rude guests lead staffers to seek an outlet for their frustration through mischief – which sometimes involves plotting revenge against the wealthy jerks they are forced to accommodate.
“A lot of people are watching <<Downton Abbey>> now, and they think, <<Oh, I’ve got servants, too!>>” Jacob Tomsky told the New York Post.
“Especially the affluent. They treat people as they never would otherwise. Meanwhile, hardworking people – who might be getting screwed – won’t say anything. It’s the people who have way more money who want everything now, and they want it for free.”
Daily shortcomings in cleanliness are commonplace, Jacob Tomsky says.
The dirty secrets that luxury hotels don’t want you to know revealed by Jacob Tomsky
Duvets are never cleaned. The covers sometimes are – but the duvets? Never.
Drinking glasses are not washed with soap and water, but shined up with furniture polish to make them sparkle like new.
For particularly difficult guests, a staffer might seek revenge on their toothbrush or even change their key card to lock them out of their room – something that gave the overworked employees a small sliver of pleasure when the exasperated guest approached the front desk for a new card.
Jacob Tomsky said he also came across staffers who stole from minibars and from valet-parked cars.
Often, the mischief that staffers engaged in was purely out of boredom, he said.
“I’ve worked a month straight without a day off,” he said, describing “the mind-numbing boredom of an overnight shift”.
Boredom led to rifling through guests’ stuff, reading intimate information about them and giggling over their collections of sex toys.
“I found a pretty foul letter left in a room,” he said.
“It was about someone’s wife being a whore. It was probably a joke, because there was a stamp on it of genitalia, addressed to a Mr. Cuckold, with details about her sexual activities.”
Jacob Tomsky’s book is a warning, as well as a wake-up call, to hotel guests. He offers some suggestions for dealing with hotel staffers in a way that won’t leave you with a soiled toothbrush and a deactivated key card. As expected, those suggestions typically involve a generous tip for the staffer.
He has since quit the hotel industry and immediately sought anger management therapy to recover from his decade in the business.