ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Emotional Intelligence in the Experiential Hospitality.
By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Monday, 23rd August 2010
As earlier mentioned in other articles, the Experiential  Hospitality is becoming more and more one of the tools which mostly influence the differentiation and positioning of hotels in the international market.

The number of tourists traveling in search of experiences that make them live emotional, unique and unforgettable moments is growing every day.

This is a trend that leads to an increase in the number of hotels focused in producing holistic positive experiences in their guests, as the management starts to realize that the application of this kind of knowledge makes a strong impact on the loyalty more sought in a guest: the emotional one.

However, we cannot talk about experiences in a given context without mentioning the generation of emotions and feelings, even less if deprived of emotional relations and ties. It is precisely at this point where the Human Resources plays its more prominently role in the Experiential Hospitality, as it is responsible for managing the experience designed for the host.

In this kind of Hospitality  the guest vision suffers a rearrangement due to the need to see him primarily as an emotional and not only rational human being, which allows us to decipher his emotional needs, however, this deciphering only takes place if links and emotional relations are established between the host and the experience makers so that the Human Resources goes through a new reordering also in their role within the company.

However, how can we recognize other people's emotions and feelings without recognizing our own, and be able to establish the level of interpersonal relations and bonds required for such purposes? That's why all Human Resources intended to work in the Experiential Hospitality must achieve the aptitude to develop skills and capabilities linked to the Emotional Intelligence.

As already referred in other articles, the empathic capacity of the Hotel Experiences' makers can be a further tool of differentiation since in achieving greater ties and relations with guests, what they are trying to seek emotionally will be better known, hence adapting the attributes of each service in order to be used as experience detonators perceived as their own, and impossible to repeat outside the context in which they were lived.

The use of Emotional Intelligence by experience makers, seen like the capacity to manage his own emotions and hence the ability to recognize the others' emotions, to know what they want and need and basically to develop skills essential to establish social relations and personal ties, will provide to the service a new added value which will be expressed in terms of Emotional Quality, i.e. the guest feels that he is emotionally understood and satisfied.

In the Experiential Hospitality is just not enough to have Human Resources with a high level of technical expertise, but also a high level of emotional expertise, which is mainly the ability to incorporate the emotional intelligence into the offered service. Human Resources lacking emotional expertise will render services perceived as emotionally empty, which will be felt as the famous and always feared "perception of cold services". Higher levels of Human Resources“ emotional expertise will provide higher levels of Emotional Quality to the services rendered.

Nowadays, the Experiential Hospitality is avidly seeking hoteliers able to develop and use the emotional intelligence in the services, permanently asking themselves: What am I doing to make emotional contact with the guest who I am attending now?  That is why the job of all centers training personnel for the Hotelier Industry is to focus on the development of the skills mentioned above. On the other hand, the selection of the Hotel Human Resources should be based not only on the level of technical expertise but also the emotional one, that is to say, the ability of generating empathic links with the attended guest.

In short, we can say that in the Hotel Business Experience the managing of people intensifies. We are emotional human beings serving and attending other emotional human beings, thus establishing emotional bonds between the person who is receiving the service and the provider of the service and a synergy of influences which will mould the degree of bonding and relations that can be achieved as well as the behavior.

Summing up, we can say that the Emotional Intelligence applied as a tool for support in the Experiential Hospitality, provides the Hotel the possibility of establishing a new level of positioning in the market: the emotional one.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Hotel Butler.
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