The tourism sector has undergone remarkable growth since the beginning of the 21st century. Some of the factors that have stimulated the growth include the high rate of globalization and market liberalization. Therefore, the intensity of competition has increased significantly. The support industries in the sector such as the hotel industry have greatly been influenced by market changes.
One of the most noticeable trends in the hotel industry entails the shift towards sustainability (Tyrrell & Johnston, 2008). Goldstein and Primlani (2012) assert that sustainability involves an attempt to balance the economic, social/cultural, and environmental factors in order to foster responsible short-term and long-term business decision-making.
Over the past two years, investors and managers in the hotel industry have gained great awareness on the issues linking social, economic, and environmental elements in achieving responsible business operations.
Goldstein and Primlani (2012) emphasize that sustainability encompasses almost all aspects of hotel management and ownership. Therefore, hotel managers and investors have a duty to drive their organizations towards sustainability. This paper illustrates how the prevailing industry trends will affect my role as a general manager in the hotel industry.
Several trends are evident in the contemporary hotel industry in pursuit of sustainability. To satisfy the environmental dimension of sustainability, the industry has experienced the emergence of a green hotel movement. This trend has led to the emergence of diverse regional and international environmental management initiatives.
Kuuder, Bagson, Prempeh, Mumuni, and Adongo (2013) cite the award of eco-labels and certification schemes as some of the emerging environmental management schemes. As a general manager in the hotel industry, I will integrate an extensive pursuit for environmental management.
The second common trend in the industry involves rapid international market expansion. As a general manager in the industry, I will pursue aggressive market expansion into the emerging economies.
The choice of the emerging economies arises from the high market potential due to the undergoing economic, social, cultural, and political transformations in these countries. Some of the emerging economies that I will target include the BRIC economies, which include China, Russia, Brazil, and India. Thus, venturing into these economies will increase the likelihood of maximizing sales revenue and profitability.
The third trend in the industry that I will integrate into my managerial process entails ensuring that the firm operates in a socially responsible manner. Firms in the hotel industry have become cognizant of the view that their quest to attain business excellence is greatly dependent on how they respond to social and cultural issues. Subsequently, I will ensure that the organization’s management practices consider the overall welfare of society.
In a bid to ensure that the organization’s operations align with the prevailing industry trends, several initiatives will be considered. Some of these initiatives are explained below.
a. Environment Management Program – as the general manager, my focus will be on ensuring that the organization’s operations do not contribute to climate change, which has been associated with unethical business operations, over the past one decade. The EMP program will mainly focus on three main areas, which include the management of carbon emissions, waste management, energy and water management.
b. Franchising – as the general manager of a profit-oriented entity, I will ensure that the organization attains financial sustainability through its aggressive market expansion. In a bid to achieve this goal, the firm will adopt the concept of franchising, which entails a business contract between two parties, viz. the franchisor and franchisee.
The contractual agreement provides the franchise with the right to conduct business activities under the franchisor’s trade and deal with the franchisor’s goods and standards. However, the franchise is required to adhere to a number of aspects such as the standardization of diverse standards such as store format and profit maximization model amongst other business model elements. Through franchising, the general manager will be in a position to promote the firm’s penetration into new markets.
Steps to consider in implementing the initiatives
In a bid to implement the EMP initiative successfully, the general manager will consider a number of issues. Energy management will mainly focus on the conservation of energy. One of the energy conservation strategies that I will consider entails adopting renewable sources of energy in satisfying the organization’s energy requirements.
Examples of renewable energy that will be considered include the use of bio-fuel, solar, and wind energy. In order to be successful in managing energy, the organization will consider adopting the ISO 50001 standards, which focus on optimal energy management.
The organization will also integrate the concept of recycling, reducing, and reusing in its water management practice. Furthermore, the organization will ensure that solid waste is managed effectively in order to eliminate the creation of landfills within areas in which its facilities are located.
In a bid to achieve this goal, the general manager will consider collaborating with well-established waste recycling companies. Thus, the organization will ensure that its solid waste is managed optimally coupled with minimizing the waste management cost.
In a bid to deal with carbon emission, the general manager will consider formulating a carbon measurement initiative in order to determine its carbon emission. Subsequently, the firm will be in a position to determine the most effective method of managing its carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the general manager will also ensure that all the parties within its supply chain are incorporated in managing carbon emission. This move will play an essential role in ensuring that the organization’s carbon emissions, either directly or indirectly, are managed optimally.
In the quest to implement the franchising initiative successfully, the general manager will ensure that the franchisees are not limited by the standardization requirements. On the contrary, the general manager will provide the franchisees with an opportunity to adapt their operations to the prevailing market conditions.
For example, the franchisees will be required to adjust their menu according to the customers’ tastes and preferences. Moreover, the franchisor will ensure that the franchisees are provided adequate managerial support in order to enhance their managerial capability. These franchise management practices will play a fundamental role in enhancing the firm’s ability to penetrate new markets.
Implication of the business trends and initiatives
Complying with the industry trends and implementation of the aforementioned initiatives will contribute to the overall improvement of the organization’s performance. However, the operations and marketing departments will greatly benefit from the initiatives. For example, the implementation of the Environment Management Program will play a fundamental role in enhancing the firm’s operational efficiency.
The program will ensure that the organization is successful in minimizing the cost of operation by eliminating the utilization of non-renewable sources of energy such as petroleum-based sources of energy. Additionally, the program will enable the firm to avoid legal costs associated with non-compliance with the implemented environmental laws. The franchising initiative will also improve the firm’s operational efficiency by minimizing the cost of entering emerging economies.
The adoption of the above current trends and initiatives will benefit the marketing department through improvement in the organization’s corporate reputation. For example, the EMP will ensure that the organization’s operations do not contribute to environmental pollution. For example, the firm will be in a position to manage its rooms waste effectively.
In the current information age, customers have become acquainted with businesses’ requirements to operate in a socially responsible manner. Thus, the likelihood of the firm attaining a positive corporate image is high. The corporate image will play an essential role in improving the level of loyalty amongst its customers.
Conversely, the franchising strategy will ensure that the firm standardizes some of its operational procedures in all the franchise outlets. An example of such procedures relates to product quality and customer service. Thus, customers will be assured of consistency in service provision in different outlets. This move will further enhance the level of customer loyalty because of its unique service provision.
The decision to implement the above trends will be aimed at enhancing the likelihood of achieving business excellence and sustainability. By adopting these practices, the general manager will be focused on ensuring that the organization meets the diverse needs of the stakeholders.
The organization will be in a position to satisfy the employees and shareholders’ needs through high profits. Conversely, the firm will meet the needs of society in which it operates. Consequently, the firm will attain long-term survival in an industry that is increasingly being shaped by market changes.
Goldstein, K. & Primlani, R. (2012). Current trends and opportunities in hotel sustainability. Web.
Kuuder, C., Bagson, E., Prempeh, V., Mumuni, A., & Adongo, R. (2013). Energy, water, waste management in the accommodation sector of Tamale Metropolis, Ghana. American Journal of Tourism Management, 2(1), 1-9.
Tyrrell, T. & Johnston, R. (2008). Tourism sustainability, resiliency and dynamics: towards a more comprehensive perspective. Tourism and Hospitality Research, 8(1), 14-24.