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Sustainability and Profitability in Hospitality Dissertation

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Updated: Sep 23rd, 2022


Wight (1996) defines sustainability as the ability to maintain a certain situation or state. It is the ability to take and use what we require now without having to affect the needs of the future generation. It can also be said to be the act of maintaining something to an unlimited future period. Hospitality on the other hand may be defined as the process of treating people especially strangers or guests with goodwill or with a good heart (Jacques 2000). Sustainability in hospitality can therefore be defined as the process of maintaining goodwill among the people one interacts with. The review aims at coming up with themes which support the fact that sustainability in hospitality is compatible or directly affects profitability.

According to Jacques (2000) hospitality mainly comes into effect in those areas where people need to interact directly with one another. Every firm’s aim is to make profits and those firms which directly relate with their clients need to ensure that they maintain proper hospitality standards in order to promote their profitability measures. This means that the commercial sector and the tourism industry need to critically look into means of ensuring hospitality in order to attract sales and in turn increase their profitability. The review carries out an objective study of the major areas where profitability co-relates with sustainability in hospitality.

The study helps to identify the various ways in which a firm may create hospitable conditions so as to promote their profits. It also brings out the concept of compatibility between sustainability in hospitality and profitability in different sectors of the economy.

There are major areas in which sustainability in hospitality and profitability may be said to be compatible with each other. One broad area is the tourism industry where hospitality plays a key role in promoting its growth. The tourism sector must apply hospitality ethics in its management and in most cases, hospitality and tourism comes as two distinct practices that are dependent on each other. Therefore, promoting sustainability in hospitality in the tourism sector is one way of enabling the industry to flourish (Wight 1996). The study looks at the ways in which the sector’s sustainability in hospitality may be said to be compatible with its profitability.

According to Gillepsie (2000) sustainability in hospitality is also important in the commercial sector like hotels and other companies that operate directly with their customers. In business enterprises, hospitality creates a basis for improving their services and marketing their products and in this aspect it can be argued that the business enterprises would be required to observe ethics in hospitality for them to make their ventures profitable. Sustaining hospitality in the business sector should therefore be a major factor to consider in promoting growth and enhancing its success.

The literature will focus on these two sectors in bringing out the concept of compatibility between sustaining hospitality and promoting profitability. The sectors, tourism sector and commercial sector will form the themes of the literature review since their success depends on how well they treat their clients and this bases the judgment on how sustainability in hospitality co-relates with profitability.

The tourism industry

The tourism industry is one major sector that enhances hospitality in its operations. In the recent society, it has been deemed necessary to create the hospitality industry with an aim of working hand in hand with other sectors towards fulfilling their objectives. The industry sets ethics, generally known as hospitality ethics, to enhance good relations in the entire community. Hospitality and tourism combine their services to provide the best to the society and at the same time increase their profits. Good behavior is a requirement for the tourism industry because it is only through treating tourists properly that the industry can attract more customers.

Therefore one major way of marketing the tourism sector is by offering hospitable conditions. The World Tourism Organization has come up with a code of ethics that is supposed to guide tourism industries on the proper way to handle their clients and this way, it has become clear that the sector may not survive without enhancing hospitality (Clifford 1999).

Wight (1996) argues that tourism is part of sustainable development in a country and the extent to which a country is able to create good destinations depends on the natural and cultural/social environment; the natural environment because, it forms the basis for tourist attraction sites and the cultural and social environment because, tourists greatly interact with the people of the country when they visit. This means that for sustainable tourism to work, a country must develop its natural factors that attract the tourists and must also enhance the good relations between the tourists, their guides and the local community.

This means that hospitality must be enhanced in order to maintain tourists and attract many others. A hospitable community is one whose cultural values take into consideration the well-being of other people including the foreigners. The morals of a community play an important aspect in promoting hospitality of the community towards strangers and since tourism involves dealing with people from other parts of the world, there is need to ensure that the morals and values in the tourism sector are focused towards making the tourists feel important and appreciated.

Sustaining hospitality-is it compatible with profitability?

According to Wight (1996), tourism involves developing ways of promoting quality products in the industry without negatively affecting the natural and social environment which sustains it. This means that the industry ought to critically review the norms and values to be used in order to ensure that they are able to benefit more from the tourist visits. The tourism industry plays an important part in the development of a country and every country ought to market its destinations in order to win more tourists from its competitors. For the industry to benefit the country it must be profitable, that is, the benefits gained from having the tourists in the country must exceed the costs incurred. The benefits of tourism include creating revenue for the country, job creation and regional development. These benefits are gained if the sector is flourishing and in this aspect favorable conditions need to be created for the tourists to enjoy the services of the host country.

Hospitality in the tourism sector involves properly educating the local community on the proper way to welcome the visitors. It involves creating awareness to the community on the importance of tourism in the country. This will help the community to appreciate the tourists and enhance good relations with them. When the tourists feel appreciated, they enjoy their stay and they will be willing to offer their services for the benefit of the country in general.

The tourism industry will then grow and there will be greater room for attracting more visitors and promoting growth and development in the country. This means that through maintaining a hospitable environment for the tourists, the industry grows and earns higher revenues. It can hence be argued that in the tourism sector, sustainability in hospitality directly relates to the profitability of the sector. Tourists will be motivated to tour the country and this will help the industry make great sales of their services and in turn promote higher profits. Hospitality needs to be sustained all through in order to ensure that there will be progressive growth in the sector even in the future (Lindberg 1997).

The Commercial Sector

The theme of the commercial sector implies those enterprises that are concerned with selling goods or services to the benefit of the society. They buy or produce goods and services and sell them to the general public with the major aim of making profits as they also satisfy the needs of the society. The commercial enterprises normally set standards which they must meet in order to be profitable and they are guided by these standards. They aim at providing the best for their customers so that they can win large markets and make high sales (Gillepsie 2000).

According to Gillepsie (2000) one major feature found in the commercial sector is the competitiveness in the market. For instance, the motor vehicle industry is a commercial industry and its activity involves buying vehicles or their unassembled parts and then assembling them to produce vehicles which are then sold to the general public at a profit. There are many companies in the motor vehicle industry and each of these companies must ensure that they win as large markets as possible. They do this by ensuring that they offer the best services to their clients. Hospitality in the commercial sector would therefore create a basis for acquiring markets for their goods and services.

A motor vehicle industry that takes care of the relations between the entrepreneurs and the customers will make higher sales than that which is not concerned with the welfare of its clients. To promote their markets, therefore, the industries ought to take into consideration the social factors of both the owners of the businesses and their prospective buyers, especially where the business involves direct interaction with the buyers.

Sustaining hospitality and its compatibility in profitability

Unlike the tourism sector, the commercial sector need not critically emphasize on the means of sustaining hospitality among its clients. This is because commercial is mainly concerned with increasing their sales which can be made even without directly associating with its clients. The sector should aim at providing the needs of the society and through providing these needs, markets are created and both the buyers and sellers benefit. Hospitality comes in to ensure that the sellers provide the buyers with a suitable environment that will encourage them to buy their products even in the future. In this aspect, hospitality may or may not be compatible with profitability in the commercial sector, mainly depending with the kind of business that they are carrying out (Morrison 2000).

Those sectors that provide intangible services to their clients must ensure that they offer hospitable conditions for them to make profits. This is because most people will opt to buy the services of those industries that take into consideration their social needs like the need to be recognized and appreciated. Therefore, other than providing quality services, hospitality is also important as a way of increasing the profits of the service providers. On the other hand, while providing tangible goods, the major factor to consider is the quality of these goods. Since the goods industries need not directly interact with their markets, sustaining hospitality is not a priority and it may be compatible to profitability. Profitability in these industries can be promoted by taking into consideration other factors like providing the basic needs to the buyers other than sustaining hospitality between the buyers and the sellers (Morrison 2000).

Social enterprises

Ridley (2008) defines social enterprises as those enterprises or organizations that aim at providing services to the society in general. They may be business oriented but they focus their services to the society and their activities are based on the social needs and they may or may not make profits. Most government enterprises can be referred to as social enterprises and sustaining hospitality in these organizations is a core aspect. This is because their aim is to accomplish social targets as well as the financial targets and to meet them both, there must be conducive and good conditions for the society. The enterprises gain profits from the sales they make to the society and they use these profits to further improve the living standards of the society. This implies that the social enterprises are incompatible with the general society; they must work hand in hand to fulfill the desires of both parties.

According to Ridley (2008), sustainability in hospitality is very important among the social enterprises for them to promote their profits. Unlike the commercial enterprises, the social enterprises must take into consideration the desires of the society and it is through this that measures of promoting hospitality need to be emphasized on. The enterprises directly work with the society and it is important that the society feels appreciated so that they may obtain services from the enterprises and in turn improve their sales and increase their profits.


To conclude, it can be argued that sustainability in hospitality is a necessary aspect in major areas of our social and economic well-being. Hospitality ought not to be a one-time factor but it should be made a long term goal in most enterprises. It can also be noted that hospitality determines the profitability of those sectors that directly deal with their clients because it is one major way of marketing their services. Where the sectors need not handle their clients directly, the concept of hospitality may not affect the profitability and it may be argued that in this case sustainability in hospitality is compatible with profitability.


Clifford, J, 1999. Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century: Harvard University Press; USA.

Gillespie, C and Morrison, A, 2001. Commercial Hospitality Consumption as a Live Marketing Communication System: International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management; MCB UP Ltd.

Jacques, D, 2000. For Hospitality: Stanford University Press; Stanford.

Lindberg, K, McCool and Stankey, G, 1997. Re-thinking Carrying Capacity. Annals of Tourism Research: U.K.

Mireille, R, 2001. Post-Colonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest: Stanford University Press; Stanford.

Ridley, D, 2008. Social Enterprise as a Socially Rational Business: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research.

Stabler, J and Goodall, B, 1998. Environmental awareness, action and performance in the Guernsey hospitality sector: University of Reading, WhiteKnights; U.K.

Steve, R, 1993. The Stranger’s Welcome: Oral Theory and the Aesthetics of the Homeric Hospitality Scene: The University of Michigan Press, UK.

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