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  • Writer's pictureMaja Loncar

HORECA: Who is blocking hospitality industry from being different?

Updated: Oct 13, 2018

If you have scrolled down job advertisements in the past couple of years, you would have noticed a number of hotels re-posting advertisements for marketing managers, at least once a year; usually overfilling job descriptions with abbreviations relating to digital marketing skills requirements, tens of years of hospitality experience, and "proven" sales skills which carry the most of points relevant to recruiting. Seems hotel managements struggle to find adequate marketeers for their businesses.

On the other hand, statistics show that the International tourism revenue was 1.22 Trillion US dollars in 2016 envisioning bright future for hotel industry too. Online bookings and registered "nights" alone cashed in 567 billion dollars of Revenue and are still growing. (Source:1

So how come hotels struggle to identify the right marketeers, when there is a constant increase in bookings worldwide? Is it about growing competition or the conventional concept is not working any more?

To answer those questions, lets get back to our introductory paragraph and constant chase for marketing managers that deliver. One could conclude that none of the previous marketing managers was good enough, or there were some other issues hidden within the hotel management. So is it the problem in communications or in the product itself?

Being creative business developer by profession understanding different industries requirements and potential improvement, I sailed on a journey with a quest to answer the question "what went wrong in hospitality", Immediately I applied for some "marketing positions" stating that I am not offering #SEO #CTR #PPC #SEM #BOUNCE expertise, but that I posses the knowledge to introduce new business model by implementing innovative, re-branding technologies that will bring new profile, high-end customers and finally give some ethical content to marketing department to create stories of "how hotel cares" and ultimately brand the hotel to become different to competitors and possibly secure a leading position. Strong promises one would think!

I assume you would think that at least I'd have received some calls from respective representatives of those hotel management, if not being interested in being different and leaders, but then at least to thank me for talking to them in a different business language.

Zero calls. Zero emails.

What does that tell us?

It tells us couple of things but let's start with the most important:

1. In 21st century hotel managers are lost; both stranded in standardization rules and in their ability to understand what is good for the business they are responsible for, and what will make their business suffer;

2. It also tells us that the vertical line of communication between a single hotel management and the brand owners is only one-way, directing information top to bottom and not vice-versa; otherwise business development would happen on spot and would not require approvals from HQs worldwide; standardization of business tends to destroy "liveliness" and "market adaptation" especially when the same standardization scheme applies from colors on the walls to business development decisions;

3. It also raises question who are these people taking C-level positions deciding on hospitality trends and brand development, when they are not approachable or at least not open to new opinions;

4. And lastly, but not least that management's complacency and "do what you are told" has become our routine keeping expectations of true care for hotels guests at the level of "I am just doing my job".

Hopefully, innovations representing the consumers' needs will not be overlooked and will finally connect private sector with hospitality giants.

True care is more than luxury.
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