Ethical Hospitality Marketing, Brand- Boosting and Business Sustainability [Summary]
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Hotel directors and especially the marketers, face ethical challenges on a daily basis. Nonetheless very few tend to consider some aspects of their daily operations to be issues relating to ethics at all. In the past it has been commonplace for many hotels to conduct their operations in whichever way, often to the detriment of consumers and this trend continues to an extent today. Greater market penetration is vital for a hotel as the depth of sales of a product or service in a particular market enhances the bottom-line and invariably affects sustainability. Certain hotels consider ethics to be a restraint on their profitability. Such operations consider increased revenues and ethics to be contrarywise. In reality however, espousing ethical practices may in the short term decrease profits, but in the long-run a hotel’s profitability will increase due to the notion that once a hotel has a positive ethical practice reputation it gains a strategic competitive advantage. Many hotels are not looking at the consequences of their unethical actions in aspects such as advertising. There should however be an approach to advertising in which hotels strive to reach consumers in an honest way without subjectively embellishing and making blatant untruths about their offerings. Marketing is intrinsically linked to a variety of ethical issues that require serious consideration and a sense of moral idealism in which universal consumer rights are not flouted, and utilitarianism in which consequences of actions are careful mapped out so that ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ can be realized after assessment of the costs and benefits of the desired ethical marketing. Hotel operations cannot forever hide behind the concept caveat emptor or ‘buyer beware’ and are called upon to be proactively ethical as matter of course in all dealings but especially in marketing.