History tells us

I recently came across this passage from a newspaper article and believe it’s relevant for hoteliers everywhere:

“It has been said that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ This statement might well be paraphrased to read ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of success in the hotel business.’ Why is this? The principal reason is that a hotel cannot afford to rest on the laurels of a day, a year or a decade. It must keep pace with the growing requirements of the public, and these requirements must be carefully and intelligently studied or the hotel is bound to retrograde. There is no help for it. The public appreciates fame in a way, but it does not care to live on fame when it comes to hotels. The past may be all right, but the public likes to have the present all right, too, and, what is more, the public is wide awake to what the future promises, for it judges the future by the present and not by the past.”

Instinctively, we know we must keep our properties fresh to be successful over time, but what I found surprising about this piece from the Boston Globe is when it was published: August 23, 1902!

These days, hospitality trade publications feature story after story about how hoteliers must account for design and IT trends then adapt their products and services to meet the needs of our “new” guests, such as Gen X and Millennials. After decades in the business, I admit that I’ve mostly related to such advice as if it was something new to consider.

But it’s apparent that we’ve been evolving all along to suit the ever-changing needs of our guests. Adaptability is an innate element of our business that, while always present, perhaps has not been fully distinguished for its importance to operations.

Keeping hotels healthy and successful includes making sure they offer features and services that today and tomorrow’s travelers demand. History confirms it!