Monday, January 5, 2009

Is work ethic affecting hotels?

A few times in this blog I've advocated hotels offering more niche, fun activities for guests to use, like bocce courts, because I think people like to be afforded time to play, be competitive and social. Well, a dent is starting to form in this theory, which may be a problem for the hotel industry. Mainly, people are apparently playing less and less.

A poll by Harris Interactive shows that Americans are working more (46 hours a week) and playing less (16 hours a week). The time working was a slight increase from this time last year and time playing dipped 20 percent. Recent data from Ypartnership seems to echo this as well, as two-thirds of the likely travelers during the next six months are "staying fewer nights."

It seems the American work ethic is leaving less and less time for American pastimes. In the book "Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America," Tom Lutz makes a good case that we're getting away from the true, healthy work week and are now working way too much and not leaving enough time to play and do nothing. And it appears the numbers are bearing this out. This is a problem for hotels, who obviously need people to go on vacation, play and have fun. The hotel industry will obviously benefit from a stronger economy, but also I think it would benefit from a nice societal shift, back to a less stressful, less workaholic world where people balanced their lives with rest and relaxation.

Someone work on that.

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