The art and science of business promotion (later called sales promotion - and in contemporary usage, now a component of marketing) is comparatively new to the lodging industry, as far as being a formalized and accepted management discipline. The processes of attracting business to a particular establishment is as old as the industry; but until the middle of this century, they were generally looked down upon by most of the industry and in most cases were not considered key functions by those responsible for the operations of their properties. And other industries similarly looked at hotel sales promotion as a poor attempt by a service industry to adapt the practices of the supposedly more "sophisticated" product-producing enterprises. However, the foundations for much of the sales and marketing principles used today can be found in many of the promotional practices used by enlightened and often pioneering properties hundreds of years ago. This paper traces the evolution of the concepts of hotel business promotion, concentrating on the development of the key sales tools and techniques which are not only in popular use today, but are indeed essential to the profitable operation of any size and type of lodging facility. It is the writer's objective that this study will offer student, instructor, and industry practitioner a basis for examining the business promotion paradigms of the past, adapting and tailoring them to the needs of the present, and then taking the best of the past and present and working them into the marketing, sales, and servicing paradigms of the future.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Hotels--Marketing--History; Bars (Drinking establishments)--Marketing--History; Taverns (Inns)--Marketing--History; Advertising--Hotels--History
Department, Program, or Center
School of Food, Hotel and Tourism Management (CAST)
Dorf, David C., "The Early days of hotel sales: A Historical look at the development and growth of hotel business promotion" (1992). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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