How and Why Are Issues of Class and Status Reflected in Modern Hospitality Discuss Term Paper

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Status in Hospitality

How Class and Status are Reflected in the Modern Hospitality Industry

Issues of class and status are reflected in the modern hospitality industry as this consumer-driven marketplace seeks to respond more effectively to the demands of a diverse public. Class may be defined as one's "social class [or] socio-economic class -- people having the same social or economic status." (http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn?stage=1& word=class). When class is considered together with income, the resulting "socioeconomic status" (SES, or, status) is a powerful demographic indicator that factors into many decisions in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry is unique in that it combines services with a tangible good, usually a lodging room. Issues of class and status impact on the hospitality industry by requiring the industry to respond to the customer individually, on the level of service delivery as well as product provided.

One way the hospitality industry has responded to a variety of socioeconomic status levels in its consumers is by segmentation. It is impossible to design a product (service or tangible good) in the hospitality industry that will appeal to consumers of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The market is simply too diverse. People in the lower socioeconomic brackets do not demand the same products or services as those in the upper socioeconomic strata. Furthermore, there is also a certain "snob factor" in that those consumers of higher class or status don't want to be seen consuming the same products as the lower SES. This is the basis of the term "snob appeal."

To address these matters of taste and budget, the industry has responded by segmentation of its offerings. Market segmentation refers to "a marketing technique that targets a group of customers with specific characteristics." (http://www.investorwords.com/2988/market_segmentation.html). By identifying similar segments within the broader spectrum of hospitality consumers, a company may more closely tailor its offerings to the desires of one group. In the hotel industry in particular, segmentation may involve completely different hotel chains that target consumers of different SES, yet are all owned by the same company.

Alternately, a hospitality provider may respond to differentials in class and status by specializing. In this case, a hotel might target one demographic in particular and devote its offerings entirely to that group. If the target is the upper social echelon, it may design offerings (goods or services) that effectively act as status…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Baranowski, Shelley. (2003). An Alternative to Everyday Life? The Politics of Leisure and Tourism. Contemporary European History 12.4. 561 -- 572.

Class (n.d.) Downloaded May 18, 2004 from Wordnet, Web site: http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-

bin/webwn?stage=1& word=class.

Harwood, A. (May 19, 2004). Eggs-Pensive: Our writer's verdict after he shells out for $1,000

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