The Effects of a Slowing Economy to Resorts and Hotels

With the recession, businesses such as resorts and hotels are also in for a downturn. The slowing of the economy really has a strong effect on all business endeavors. And bad hotel business is also bad for employees. If they are not laid off, they are forced to go on leave, or suffer lower compensations for their work outputs.

Business and leisure travelers can expect a lot of things because of this recession. There will be changes, of course, and these are discussed in more detail below.

Services that Suffer
Of course, the best way for these hotels to save money is to cut down on budget, particularly on wages. Amongst all the staff of a hotel, it is the middle managers initially laid off, because their absence is not noticed by the guests.

Next in line would be the “high touch” front line employees like housekeepers, room service attendants and front desk clerks. These will leave hotels with skeleton crews where guests can already notice the decrease of services. This can be apparent when you find yourself waiting in line for 30 minutes already just to be able to check in or when the food you ordered takes more than an hour to reach your room.

Aside from the staff, administrative assistants at the hotel’s corporate offices can also lose their job. With this, you can expect that your letters of complaint about the long line you had to endure just to check in will also take decades to be read, more so, to receive feedback.
The Beginning of Outsourcing

With outsourcing, resorts and hotels will be able to save money. This is mostly with security housekeeping, beverage and food services. Although you can find outsourced staff that are very efficient, most of them are not well trained and do not comply with some of the hotel’s standards. More often than not, this can lead to poor services for the hotel or resort’s customers.

Having a Facelift
This is the time when hotels delay their expansion plans, mostly because their investors are not pouring money on their projects anymore. However, if the existing hotels are already experiencing a low occupancy rate, it is the perfect time for refurbishments. Empty floors and rooms can be completely shut down to have easy and quick remodeling projects. Empty parking lots can also be re-paved. With the lack of houses to build, contractors can offer hotels their services cheap.

Finding Lower Rates
Most travelers think that these hotels will substantially drop their rates just to draw in a lot of customers in these slow periods. This may not be the case. Instead, these hotels will come up with special promotions and packages with the rates not really going down. With the lower rate of revenue, they will just book a lot of extra room night packages. This means that with the bills these hotels need to pay, they will just look for people who are up in paying their regular rates rather than lowering their rates continuously.

Looking for New Segments
A “Market Segment” is a term used by hotels to refer to a group of individuals that hotels court and try to cater to. Most downtown hotels would go after business traveler market segments while beachside resorts would go for family market segments. This means that hotels will look for people who are still spending enough money.

Cutting Down Costs by “Going Green”
Since most of the expectations here can happen real soon, stuff like turning off the lights, doing less of the laundry and turning up thermostat temperatures on common areas are ways to reduce a hotel’s costs. Even if these are efforts to save money, press releases will indicate otherwise. It is their “contribution to the environment” by becoming an “environmentally-friendly” hotel.

Although most of us see the slowing of the economy and the recession as a temporary deal, these hotels may end up attached to all the money that can save from the above-mentioned expectations. However, there are still a lot of hotels who will never compromise their excellent services.

Top 10 Travel and Tourism Programs

With a travel and tourism degree, there are many different career paths you can take. Each travel and tourism course you take will help in your goal of becoming a travel agent, hotel manager, cruise ship event director, tour planner or other hospitality-related specialist. The following are considered to be the top 10 travel and tourism programs at colleges and universities in the United States:

  1. Johnson and Wales University: You can complete one of many four-year travel and tourism programs at campuses in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina or Rhode Island.
  2. University of Central Florida: Complete a certificate, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in hospitality management, and while you’re at it complete an internship at one of the many local theme parks, resorts or hotels.
  3. University of Hawaii at Manoa: This island university offers a well-respected travel and tourism degree in four specializations. You will also be able to network and make connections with leaders in the travel and hospitality industry.
  4. Brigham Young University, Hawaii: BYU’s Hawaii campus ranks #4 in U.S. News’ list of comprehensive colleges for bachelor’s degrees, and it’s in the perfect location for internships and networking.
  5. University of New Hampshire: With a rich history, prime east coast location, small student body size and high educational standards, you’ll be able to start your career path straight out of college.
  6. San Diego State University: This CSU campus with a freshmen retention rate of 81 percent is located in a popular U.S. travel destination with many hotels, resorts, travel agencies and cruise ship companies.
  7. University of Phoenix: This is one of the top online universities in the nation with numerous degree options including a BS in Business/Hospitality.
  8. Penn Foster Career School: If you’re looking to start working as a travel and tourism specialist or hotel/restaurant manager, a career diploma from this school will put you on the right path.
  9. Walden University: This online university offers a BS in Business Admin-Management, MS in Leadership-General Management and Ph.D. in Mgmt that are ideal for the travel and tourism industry.
  10. American InterContinental University: With a Bachelor of Business Administration in Operations Management or MBA from this career-focused university, you’ll be well on your way to the job of your dreams.

Travel and Tourism Online – Learning From a Distance

A lot goes into traveling outside the actual trip. The plan to get to a destination is only a small detail when compared to the overall experience of a vacation or business trip. Online colleges offer training in travel and tourism for the individual who wants to think and do all the necessary things that go into planning a trip. Prospective students can earn a degree online and be working with clients to help them get the most of their money when traveling.

There are a variety of benefits from attending school online.

  • Learning from a distance allows individuals to choose their study pace and take classes inside the comfort of their own home.
  • Online schooling in travel and tourism permits students to study on days that are set by them not the college or program.
  • Students have the ability to complete all the phases of education without the hassle of commuting to a campus everyday.
  • This is a high advantage for disabled individuals who are unable to commute to a campus and attend classes.

More colleges and universities are adding online degree programs in travel and tourism, which is enabling students to gain a better education with higher degree choices than a certificate program or associate’s degree.

Prospective students have numerous choices when it comes to education programs. Students have the option to gain an education from accredited online colleges and universities starting at an associate’s degree in travel and tourism to a master in business administration for hospitality and tourism management. The opportunities for students to gain an online education in this field is widening and programs are preparing students in numerous ways. Through coursework students will learn about:

  • sales techniques
  • travel destinations
  • bookkeeping
  • reservation systems

An online degree in this area could provide the best career preparation and have graduates working in many different aspects of travel and tourism.

Travel agents have more responsibility to their clients than just booking travel and securing them a discount. The job description for a travel agent encompasses the entire trip whether it’s for leisure or business. A travel agent will arrange:

  • transportation
  • hotel
  • food options
  • tours
  • entertainment

Whatever a client is looking for in regards to their trip a travel agent will spend time getting the best discounts, looking up travel packages, and exploring what activities the destination has to offer their client. Along with the above responsibilities an agent will be the number one source on things like the weather, local customs for international travel, site attractions, money exchange rates, and more.

A new trend is developing for individuals who gain a travel and tourism degree through an online school. More students are becoming specialists in a particular area. Meaning they are choosing to become highly knowledgeable in one area like a culture, destination, or interest. This type of travel and tourism agent is particularly useful for clients who are traveling internationally. Becoming a specialist will require the student to learn the customs and in some cases the languages of a chosen location. With increasing demands on travel agents from their clients, gaining a degree in the field is becoming extremely important.

Use your passion for travel and exotic destinations to start your career training online. Accredited schools provide the best quality education. There are numerous agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org) that provide full accreditation to educational programs. Students can research accredited colleges that offer a degree distinction that fits their goals and begin working towards their personalized career in the hospitality industry.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

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