POLITICS AND RELIGION
These two topics are subjects that hoteliers around the world are taught to avoid. Many require no guidance for it is common sense to the majority.
The adverse effects on a business are huge. All of our guests are in some way connected through their beliefs to both Politics and Religion. For many they are topics that they do not discuss in public. It is not that they are embarrassed by their choice of political party or religious beliefs, it is that they are private opinions formed over time by family and friends at home, work and play. They are there as views to be expressed at the ballot box or the church, mosque or temple, not for public consumption in the hotel lounge or cafe.
The atmosphere in a hotel is neutral, opaque, silent and unjudgemental. A platform where guests can feel free to discuss these topics between themselves but can never look to a hotel employee for support or judgement.
The beliefs of a manager should never be known for they need to be perceived as supporters of the systems, the multi-denominational personality of their reception rooms to hold meetings and weddings of every faith or political stripe. The hotelier will contribute to every political party and encourage his multi-faith employees to celebrate their holidays and attend their religious ceremonies.
In the late 90s, I was taking on the management contract of a first class, Ultra-Orthodox Jewish hotel to be designed and built in Tel-Aviv. Knowing that I had already opened an Ultra-Orthodox Muslim hotel in Riyadh, my clients in Israel poked me in the chest and with broad smiles said....." if you can do it for them, you can do it for us!".
On being challenged about their Mormon roots, Marriott responded clearly, concisely and forcefully that their hotels have their roots in the soil in many countries, not in religion.......and their candidacy amongst other potential chains was restored.......with supportive smiles.
Fast forward to the US Election in 2016 in which the world is watching the self-proclaimed great & successful hotelier decimate both Politics as we knew it, and Religion as it is supposed to be.....for all to see.
I do not vote in the US and I will not disclose my preference here but this is my belief on the outcome from a hotel business perspective.
In my considered opinion, the branded hotel businesses will suffer severely from the positions that their candidate has taken in Politics and Religion and the brand will likely not survive. As a result, employees in these businesses will be laid off, partners in the business will suffer losses, loyal clients will find other properties to patronize. The properties will probably be re-branded, re-positioned, possibly de-glitzed and the brand will cease to exist in this industry.
And the devout, privately religious founders of Hilton, Holiday Inn and Marriott will then continue to rest in peace.