Let’s Keep The Humanity In Hospitality

Jul 18 2018

Hospitality-Noun:

The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

In the days of old, hospitality was described as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through the ties of humanity. Perhaps this is why I have such an affinity for the industry and a vested interest to keep the humanity in the hospitality business intact. When I was 10 years old I fell in love with travel and everything to do with the hospitality business. Our family went on a vacation to Hawaii, when we stepped off the plane we were greeted by beautiful women in long flowing dresses who draped tropical leis around our necks and offered us coconut drinks.  After seeing the white sandy beaches, volcanic landscapes and listening to Don Ho perform Tiny Bubbles, I was hooked on travel.

My love of adventure and experiencing new cultures blossomed over the years.  Upon graduation from high school, I pursued a degree in Hospitality Management.  I embarked on a four year program and after college, landed a job in the hotel industry in Miami and I was off and running and the pace was fast, just the way I liked it. Over the span of my career, I ran global marketing for an international hotel company, opened some awesome golf courses for some of the biggest names in golf and worked in branding for the restaurant industry. 

This afforded me the opportunity to travel and see the world.

The trip to Hawaii was the catalyst for discovering my passion for travel and hospitality. Thinking back, it was fairly obvious, I always loved entertaining. There were endless calls for play-dates and parties for all occasions. I am pretty sure I drove my mother crazy with my requests for visitors to come for dinner and occasionally stay longer. Mom always seemed a little more hospitable when guests were around too.

When friends come to visit our home, there is a turn down amenity on the bed and usually a special surprise for them during their stay. We love to break bread together with friends and family on a regular basis. Whenever we would visit foreign countries inevitably strangers became our new friends.

Hospitality means inclusion, sharing cultural nuances and treating people with civility and a welcoming smile. These are the hallmarks of the industry. I can’t imagine what would happen to our industry if we compromised these important values. When I heard the story about the Red Hen Restaurant I was appalled.  This type of behavior hearkens back to the 60’s a time none of us wish to relive. To quote Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.” I truly hope politics isn’t the new flash point for our industry and we haven’t created a backwards slide. I love the hospitality industry and preserving the civility and humanity is worth fighting for.