In the hospitality industry ethical issues abound both for the business itself and the community at large. Business ethics is a complicated subject that can be described as the behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world. The ethics of a particular business can be diverse. They apply not only to how the business interacts with the world at large, but also to their one-on-one dealings with a single customer (wiseGEEK, 2009). Now the hospitality industry in general and hotels specifically have seem to be behind most businesses when it comes to ethics in concern to going green, human rights, diversity, human resources, and hotel relationships.
When it comes to the environment, from a business ethics standpoint, are hotels doing enough to help the environment? This question is at the heart of an ethical dilemma concerning the hospitality industry. Is a green program such as bedding enough? Do hotels do enough to conserve water, electricity, and gas? These are very important issues to the world, but as a business the expense does not always calculate in the cost to the rest of the world when changing out a toilet to low flow, or creating a save the planet bedding program, or using fluorescent bulbs and energy efficient air conditioners. These changes to a hotel are very expensive undertakings, and again the cost to the business owners does not always include the benefit to the world in their decision to implement or not to implement.
Human rights, is another area where hotels have ethical issues to deal with. Some ways that human rights issues are ethically affecting hotels include child and bonded labor, workplace health and safety, commercial exploitation of children, exploitation of migrant workers, discrimination, and displacement of indigenous people (Roner, 2009).
These issues vary from country to country, but as a whole something that needs to be looked upon. Just like going green many hoteliers do not look at the benefits to the world while looking at their costs.
Human resources are another ethical dilemma to look upon. When a hotel makes major changes to the heavier and more labor intensive items in rooms, such as bigger fluffier beds, more pillows, more amenities, more amenities, more amenities, but when it comes to the labor force involved in keeping up with these amenities there is not an increase in any way and expect the labor to do everything in the same amount of time. This will lead to more on the job injuries and more exhaustion. It is all about keeping up with the Jone’s in the aspect of giving guests more to get them to stay or keep staying, but on the other hand, they want to keep costs down to a minimum hurting their workforce. The human factor is also affected by these changes or non-changes in longevity of keeping workers. Ethical and moral dilemmas abound.
Another ethical dilemma is in taking advantage or misusing professional acquaintances and equipment. I found that special offers to group planners to stay at a particular property, or giving complimentary rooms to planners for their own recovery or use, or even asking for a favor for oneself, an example of personal gain. These types of programs are affluent in the hotel industry and are a regular business practice. Are these programs ethical? That is for others to determine, they are common business practices from the experiences of those who have worked in the industry.
In the hospitality industry ethical issues abound both for the business itself and the community at large. The hospitality industry in general and hotels specifically may seem to be behind most businesses when it comes to ethics in concern to going green, human rights, diversity, human resources, and taking advantage of business relationships, but these issues are coming to forefront of the future success of this expanding industry as it is with the rest of the world.
Roner, Lisa. (2009). Why Has North America’s Hotel Companies Been Slow to Adopt
Responsible Tourism. greenlodgingnews. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from
wiseGEEK. (2009). What is Business Ethics? Retrieved August 9, 2009, from