How We Live Our Hospitality
As educators who teach and research hospitality and tourism, we have the daily opportunity to practice what we preach; that is, to demonstrate hospitality in every interaction we have. We can do this with our students in the classroom, our peers on the faculty, the staff and administrators of our institution, our worldwide academy, the industry leaders with whom we interact, and everyone else in our daily lives.
Role modeling is a commonly understood technique to demonstrate a concept. By living our hospitality in the classroom, we can demonstrate to students the kindness, the thoughtfulness, and the commitment to their learning. We don’t harangue them with our lectures. We don’t threaten or cajole with our power as instructor. Instead, we can listen to their needs, deliver knowledge as appropriate for the course, and strive to support their curricular and co-curricular success with civility.
Living our hospitality with our faculty peers is just as important. With our peers, we are members of a larger academy who have a shared interest in hospitality and tourism. To them, we certainly owe our hospitality. It is about respect. It is about believing in what we teach. It is about practicing the hospitality with which we identify so readily.
The institutional staff and administrators deserve our hospitality, too. It may be easy for us to slip into a classic faculty role of us versus them. But that is not necessary. Our staff provide support for us so that we can be outstanding in what we do. Administrators carry heavy loads to create the institutional environment. While we may not always get exactly what we want from either group, that’s no reason to treat them with any less hospitality.
Our academy is a place where our hospitality should shine. It is where like-minded professionals gather to share knowledge and experiences. I fear that our hospitality isn’t always present. But it can be! We are not direct competitors. We collectively share the mission of advancing knowledge in hospitality and tourism. We are collaborators. We may be in different places in our careers at diverse institutions, but we all have something to share to help others advance. The academy is a wonderful, living arena for us to demonstrate our genuine caring for one another. The ICHRIE staff and leadership team is there to support us. Those volunteering their time and energy in ICHRIE leadership roles (the board, editors, committees, reviewers, etc.) help make it a rich environment. Let’s show all of them the same hospitality that we are willing to share with our students and peers.
We can (and often do) extend our hospitality beyond the delicate walls of our world of hospitality and tourism education. We frequently interact with professionals in the industry. What a better advertisement for what we do than to practice hospitality with them. Our family and friends often know what we do at our institutions. We can live up to our reputations by practicing hospitality with them. It’s not hard to do. We know what it is. Let’s enrich all of our lives by living the hospitality that we teach. Let’s be civil. Let’s be gracious. Let’s be thoughtful. Let’s give everyone we encounter the friendly and generous reception that we know so well how to deliver. Let’s live our hospitality!