The “Most Welcoming Hotel in Switzerland” award
Joanne Straub, class 701_e
As discussed in class, we realized that one of the weakness of Swiss tourism is the lack of kindness and “warmth”. It is not unusual to be qualified as “cold people” from foreign tourists.
As a result, Swiss Tourism has decided to launch the “most welcoming hotel in Switzerland” award.
The award will start in 2013, and will be renew every year.
Each hotel is automatically qualified, therefore there are 4 categories:
- Luxury hotels (5-Stars and 5-Stars Superior)
- City Hotels (Urban, except 5-Stars)
- Small Hotels for holidays (max 40 rooms, rural or in the mountains)
- Big Hotels for holidays (min 40 rooms, rural or in the mountains)
Infrastructures, Computer systems are not taken into consideration. The only thing that matters, is HOSPITALITY which contains 5 different factors; cordiality, passion, competence, empathy and reliability.
The reward will be attributed according to feedbacks from guests posted on more than 100 portals (tripadvisor, expedia ). These data are collected and analyzed by a technology supplier specialized in online reputation management.
Even if each hotel is automatically qualified, a minimum of 30 feedbacks is required. The 3 firsts of each categories are verified by a comity composed of 7 experts (Director of Suisse Tourisme, Director of GastroSuisse, Director of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne…)
What will be the consequences for the hotel and the Swiss hospitality in general?
The 2 media partners “Schweizer Illustrierte” and “L’illustré” will publicly publish the name of the 4 winners. Moreover, they will be integrated in the diverse marketing platform of Swiss Tourism and will have the right to use the logo specially made for the reward, coupled with the appellation “Most welcoming hotel in Switzerland”. Therefore, the main advantage for the winners is the “free” marketing, they will have their name more mentioned in the newspapers; their visibility will be multiplied.
In my opinion, the first aim of Swiss Tourism for launching this prize is to respond to the critics made as mentioned in my introduction, but mainly to improve the global “hospitality level” in Switzerland, by stimulate the whole branch.
Even though there will be only 4 winners, all of the hotels willing to win are going to improve their standards. That means a better training for the staff, a better listening to the critics from their guests, which is a rich source of information.
Are there some risks?
The principal threat can be a lack of interest from the hotels. The worst case scenario could be that they are not willing to change their budget by investing more in management. The award will be effective only on a large scale, in the case of too few numbers of participants, the result won’t be representative; making the award not pertinent.
Of course, the technological factor is a risk. The winner will be chosen thanks to comments put on internet. Nevertheless, the appreciations are already filtered by the website and also by TrustYou who has a mechanism control preventing the risk of manipulation.
Does a similar award already exist?
During my research, I found some prizes rewarding hotels following different criteria. One of them is the International Hotel Awards: “Developed to identify, highlight and reward excellence throughout the global hospitality industry, the International Hotel Awards seek the finest operations throughout a wide range of areas. In addition to categories for all manner of different sized and specifically targeted hotels, there are also sections for the best hotel architecture, interior design, marketing and website.” or the” World’s Best Hotels 2012* from the website Travel + Leisure which chose the winners according rooms, location, service, food and value.
Nevertheless, none of the prizes I have fund have the specific criteria HOSPITALITY. In my opinion, this is probably due to the facts that it is easier and more “common” to measure and judge the quality of the food or the design than the level of “warmth” from a hotel.
In my opinion, this award is a positive response to the critics, with the goal of having a higher level of hospitality in Swiss hotels. However, even if gathering comments directly from the guests is the best way to improve the general quality, the success and the effectiveness of this award depends on the participation and the investments of the participants.
Because hospitality is so important, I would suggest a national system with standards, more as a requirement for the hotels, instead of the “optional side” of the award. Nevertheless, it is our job as future professionals to see what is going to happen.
hotelleriesuisse. (2012, 06 27). Prix de l’hôtel le plus accueillant de Suisse. Retrieved 11 2012, from hotelleriesuisse: Swiss Hotel Association: http://www.hotelleriesuisse.ch/fr/pub/verband/news/nl_6-2012_freundlichstes_hotel.htm
International Property Award. (n.d.). Welcome to the International Hotel Awards. Retrieved 12 2012, from ihotelawards: http://www.ihotelawards.com/
STnet. (n.d.). L’hôtel le plus accueillant de Suisse. Retrieved 11 07, 2012, from STnet.ch: http://www.stnet.ch/fr/page.cfm/347920
Suisse Tourisme. (n.d.). L’hôtel le plus accueillant de Suisse. Retrieved 11 2012, from STnet: http://www.stnet.ch/fr/page.cfm/347920
TrustYou. (n.d.). Retrieved 11 2012, from TRUST YOU: THE STANDARD REPUTATION: http://www.trustyou.com/
Zermatt Matterhorn. (n.d.). Est-ce à Zermatt que se trouve l’hôtel le plus accueillant de Suisse? Retrieved 11 2012, from Zermatt Matterhorn: http://www.zermatt.ch/fr/page.cfm/news_events/news/news-hotelbewertung