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Hospitality Today: An Introduction.

by Rocco M. Angelo and Andrew N. Vladimir

(Educational Institute, American Hotel & Motel Association, 800 North Magnolia, Suite 1800, Orlando, FL 32803, 1998, 627 pages)

Hospitality Today: An Introduction is an excellent book. Its purpose is to prepare students for careers in hospitality, and it achieves that objective. Angelo and Vladimir are well-known professors, authors, and consultants in the hospitality industry.

The book is divided into three parts and consists of 19 chapters. A sample of the book's contents follows.

Prologue: A Brief History of Travel

Part I: Introduction

Chapter 1: Service Makes the Difference

Chapter 2: The Travel and Tourism Industry

Chapter 3: Exploring Hospitality Careers

Part II: Hospitality Organizations

Chapter 6: Understanding the World of the Hotels

Chapter 7: Hotel Organization

Chapter 10: Floating Resorts: The Cruise Line Industry

Chapter 11: Gaming and Casino Hotels

Pan III: Hospitality Management

Chapter 13: Managing Human Resources

Chapter 14: Marketing and Selling Hospitality

Chapter 17: Franchising is Big Business

Chapter 18: Ethics in Hospitality Management

Each chapter begins with a chapter outline and closes with endnotes, key terms, review questions, and a list of relevant web sites. The paragraphs that follow provide an overview of a few select chapters.

The prologue, "A Brief History of Travel," is informative and sets the stage for today's world of hospitality. For example, the reader is introduced to early travel (before and after Christ) by the Romans, Greeks, pilgrims, Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and others. Then, the authors discuss the history of steamships, railroads, automobiles, the lodging industry, and food service. Biographical sketches about giants in the hospitality industry, such as Ellsworth Statler and Conrad Hilton, are also presented.

Chapter 1, "Service Makes the Difference," is one of the most significant in the book. It stresses the paramount importance of top-notch service for success in the hospitality industry and the pivotal role of possessing "people skills." Service planning, management, marketing, and delivery are discussed, as well as market segmentation and strategic service vision.

Chapter 3, "Exploring Hospitality Careers," is very helpful. It lists and describes numerous positions (careers) in the hospitality industry and the academic and other training needed for each. These positions are in catering, engineering, food and beverage, finance and accounting, human resources, marketing and sales, and so on, and are available in the various components of the industry (e.g., hotels, restaurants, casinos, airlines, cruise ships, resorts, travel agencies). Careers in the hospitality industry involve working with people and are characterized by long and nontraditional working hours.

Chapter 6, "Understanding the World of Hotels," is one of the most fascinating in the book. It discusses types of hotels categorized by location (e.g., resort, airport, highway), ownership, price, and other factors; hotel branding; differences between chain and independent hotels; and developing, planning, and financing new hotels and site selection. Market segments for hotels include corporate individuals, corporate groups, conventions, leisure travelers, airline-related guests, and long-term stay guests. Photographs of some of the famous hotels in different pans of the world add spice to the chapter, along with exhibits listing top resort properties and hotel chains.

Chapter 10 discusses the cruise industry. It is estimated that the cruise line industry contributed about 600,000 jobs in the United States and generated approximately $19 billion in 1997 (p. 303). Modern cruising was born in the early 1970s with the formation of Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruise Lines. Cruise lines pay a great deal of attention to food service, menus, entertainment, and medical care. For example, all ships carry at least one physician and a nurse, and have entertainers and musicians aboard.

Chapter 15, "Managing Marketing Communications," examines the significance of marketing to the success of the hospitality industry. For example, it discusses advertising agencies, how to create effective advertising and choose advertising media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio, television, direct marketing), public relations, publicity, and sales promotion. Examples of print ads, TV spots, and a Motel 6 radio ad lend some practitioner insight into the marketing of hospitality properties. Specialty marketing techniques, such as the use of booklets, posters, signs, and news releases, are also mentioned.

The book is well written and is fun to read. Its main strengths are the numerous illustrative exhibits in each chapter; the many photographs of hotels, restaurants, ships, and other facilities in the hospitality industry; pieces by well-known practitioners, called "Industry Innovators"; the depth of research and valuable information in the book; and the web sites listed at the end of each chapter for more information.

Jonathan N. Goodrich

Florida International University
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Goodrich, Jonathan N.
Publication:Journal of Travel Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1999
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