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Sunday, March 28, 2010

LESSONS FROM THE HOTEL INDUSTRY: The Evolution of Best Practices in Hospitality and Tourism, Part 2

Lessons From the Hotel Industry with Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS

The first part of this series outlined a number of service management issues I felt would influence the hospitality and tourism industry over the next decade. Recognizing that the hospitality industry in many ways has become a mature industry, that column suggested major areas of research and execution to address those issues in global trends and competitors.

The future is always beginning now.
Mark Strand, Reasons for Moving

Last month I was asked what service management topics I felt would be relevant to focus on to mid-career hospitality and tourism professionals attending a 2-day executive education program devoted to service management.

My response:

The initial step must be to establish program objectives. These should include:
  1. Providing a series of industry specific programs and courses for professional development.

  2. Linking university hospitality program students and graduates to industry professionals with the executive education series and interaction from on campus programs.

  3. Supporting the mission and vision of university hospitality programs by expanding this pilot program over an agreed upon period in support of the mission and vision of the university hospitality program.

  4. Increasing interaction between university hospitality program faculty contact and industry executives to facilitate and student success.

Specific service management topics:
  • Positioning Competitive Differentiation: Best-in-class hospitality and tourism businesses work and plan to leverage superior guest service to overwhelm competitors. This mindset reflects a strategic understanding that this industry must maintain a sense of personalized attention to keep guest loyalty.

  • Addressing the declining profit margins of the traditional product-based hospitality industry through service management via factual data by market and business segments

  • Providing interactive group exercises to demonstrate the power of linking service delivery as a pro-active management tool to combat the commoditization of the mature hospitality industry.

  • Introducing specific service management tools and initiatives aimed to build guests’ perception from a neutral level of satisfaction to an attitude of loyalty, preference and passion for the total experience.

Many of my articles and columns have addressed variations of these questions, as it has been an important part of my professional experience. Reader comments and suggestions are welcome for inclusion in future publications.

What are you doing at your hospitality business today?

Feel free to share an idea for a column at anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements.

And remember: We all need a regular dose of common sense.

Autographed copies of Lessons From the Field: A Common Sense pproach to Effective Hotel ales are available from The Rooms Chronicle site:, and from and other industry sources.

All rights reserved by John Hogan. This column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

John Hogan, a career hotelier and educator, is a frequent speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is a successful senior executive with a record of accomplishment leading organizations at multiple levels. His professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development, consulting, management, including service as Senior Vice President of Operations.

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Expertise and Research Interest
  • Sales Management and training
  • Turn-around and revenue management
  • Professional Development & Customer Service
  • Hospitality Leadership and Executive Education
  • Making Cultural Diversity Real
  • Accreditation & Developing Academic Hospitality programs
If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

As the principal in an independent training and consulting group, John Hogan has served associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He has managed hotels with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independents, and created and launched a blended learning system for the world’s largest hotel chain in his tenure at Best Western International. He has conducted more than an estimated 3,200 workshops and classes in his career, including service as an adjunct faculty member for 20 years at three different institutions.

Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in operations, service, sales and marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis, including service as Senior Vice President of Operations in a specialty medically oriented hotel brand for eight years.

He holds a number of industry certifications (CHA, CHE, MHS, ACI) and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.

He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his long-term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program.

Service to the Industry and Hospitality Education includes working with the Educational Institute Certification Commission of the AH&LA, the Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute, the AH&LA Multicultural Advisory Council, the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, the Commission for Accreditation on Hospitality Management Programs, the AH&LA and AAHOA Education and Training Committees, the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators (CHRIE), the International Hotel Show and the Certified Hotel Owner program for the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association.

For more information, please visit John's TNNW Bio.


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