Hotels’ huge role to avert culture of untrustworthiness
Hotels’ huge role to avert culture of untrustworthiness
06 NOVEMBER 2017 8:11 AM

A new survey shows that millennials are far less trusting. This might just be human nature at such an age, but the hotel industry can do much to foster trust while promoting cultural diversity and travel as an education and career path.

Interesting research came out in the last week from metasearch company Momondo.

A survey it conducted globally with 7,200 people from 18 countries found that 48% “believe that people are less tolerant of other cultures today than five years ago.” The study also found that only 36% of young people between 18 to 35 years have trust in other people—compared to 40% of 36- to 55-year-olds and 50% of 56- to 65-year-olds.

Hotels in their roles as havens to travelers have a huge role to play in fostering trust and extending a sincere welcome. Travelers have to have trust in hoteliers’ promises and offerings.

The above statistics obviously do not refer only to the hospitality industry. Young people are seeking their way through this complex world and probably are dismissive and wary of other people. They might also be more of a target for the very small number of people who do harbor ill intent.

Older people, conversely, might have gotten to know a little more of the world and realize it’s not all so bad, or they have smaller circles of people they deal with and tend to stay with the same friends they have known for decades.

Another conclusion is one of human nature. The phrase “believe that people are less tolerant” speaks to other people, not the person being asked.

It might seem silly to suggest that, yes, I personally am tolerant, but my goodness, all those other people!

These are all suppositions, but there must lie herein an important message for hoteliers.

I tend to think that young people are too trusting when it comes to their privacy, but that would run counter to the supposed wariness hinted at in Momondo’s study.

Convenience, we are told, is why millennials use debit cards to pay for everything—at least here in the United Kingdom.

If you trust no one, I would think you would likely also trust nothing, but surely cash can be trusted far more than plastic.

Hoteliers must be at the forefront of efforts to show people that the world is essentially good. People are good.

I can be as sarcastic and cynical as the next person, but I have always said that in all my travels I have found that 99.99% of people are good.

People will want to treat the traveler in the same way they hope the traveler treats them, and increasingly it falls on the shoulders of everyone in the travel, leisure and hospitality industry to underline the wonders of cultural diversity.

That derives not just from kindness in a welcome, and moral and ethical dealings in business relationships, but from making sure the underlining concepts of trustworthiness are put in place and are seen to work. This can be anything from ensuring credit-card and traveler data is safe, check-out bills are transparent and fair, and the drivers of taxi companies they partner with, and the companies themselves, are reputable.

Hoteliers forging stronger relationships with tourism bureaus, community groups and charities can also produce increased benevolence among people. Hotel chains’ evident global natures and staff diversity make them ideally suited to create and nurture even more trust.

Hotel companies have to operate at the highest levels of credibility and integrity. I am assured they mostly are, but—and along comes cliché time—if young people are our future, it is much better if their notions of trust increase with every year.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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