Addressing Hotel Guest Discrimination Claims

By John Welty Practice Leader, SUITELIFE, Venture Insurance Programs | April 02, 2017

Discrimination has been a hot topic in the news lately. The "Hate Has No Home Here" campaign, women's marches, LGBTQ issues and Black Lives Matter protests are just a few examples of how Americans have been turning up the heat on what some view as existing but emerging threats to their race, gender, age, religion, or lifestyle.

On the corporate side, the discrimination issue has left virtually no industry untouched. In this article, we will examine the impact of the topic of discrimination as it continues to gain steam in the hospitality industry, in particular. We will also discuss examples, insurance coverages available as well as risk management tips.

With so many homeowners providing room rentals across the globe, it is not hard to imagine the variety of issues that can arise daily. A recent article in the New York Times, stated that Airbnb, the well-known home-sharing and short-term rental website, had seen numerous claims of discrimination by those renting out their homes – discrimination claims involving age, race, gender, and more. A Harvard University study found that the accusations stemmed from reports that those with "African-American sounding names" had a more difficult time securing rentals on the site.

Whether it may relate to gender identity, race, or even physical attributes, hairstyle, tattoos or political affiliation – it's fair to say the repercussions related to accusations of discrimination are more prevalent today. Discrimination may be an age-old global problem, but people are fighting it more vocally now than ever before thanks to social progress and technology. Consider the power of the civil rights marches in the 1960s and multiply that by technical advancements that help people share information, and the result is a quickly growing movement with much less time and expense than in years past.

Discrimination: The Facts

Gender identity alone encompasses self-image, appearance, behavior or expression, which is far different from what has traditionally been recognized more simply as one's legal sex documented on his or her birth certificate. When one considers this along with discrimination claims related to race, religion, age, and gender, there is no doubt discrimination is taking on a broader prevalence almost on a daily basis.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close
Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.