A guest checks walks into a hotel and checks in to his/her room; the guest just encountered the first host/guest interaction of the visit. The interaction of the host and the guest continues throughout the stay from maids and bartenders, to the front desk to the cook at the restaurant. These interactions may change each person unknowingly, through the little time they spend with each other. People are affected by tourism ever day, and how the locals are affected can cause a negative or positive impact. Hosts are trained to meet the guest approval and sometimes a host does all they can and still cannot win over the guest. The guests pay for services and the more hospitable the recipient is, the more the country benefits from tourism. It is likely that a tourist would return to a destination that offered good treatment.
To boost the level of hospitality in the tourism industry, government has set up schools to teach the employees how to offer professional services to the guest. Gmelch argues that training of the host is away of empowering the host with knowledge and skill that are crucial in the hospitality industry. He adds that the continuation use of untrained employees increases the possibility of mistreatment of guest through poor services, which one way of alienating the guest. The Government and other organizations of Barbados support this idea in the view that betterment of services would boost the country’s reputation. Subsequently, this will result to establishment of close relationship of the host and guest that may last for long time.
The betterment of the guest service requiring professional service is well seen as of advantage but not by all individuals in the community. Some of the people in the Barbados community have a reason to object to the idea pointing out that it’s an additional cost. Furthermore, Kincaid shows the negative aspect of teaching the employees how to service the guest, by stating “for an institution that is often celebrated in Antigua is the HotelTraining school, a school that teaches Antiguans how to be good servants, how to be a good nobody, which is what a servant is (Kincaid 55).” Not every person feels like the industry makes the person a servant. “I’ve seen white persons being waitresses, waiters, and so on. Besides, no one’s a slave here. Maybe that’s why we don’t use the term “maid” anymore (Gmelch 97).” Industries train their workers to be respectful and they are required to meet the expectations given to them. ”People lectured us on being professional – on how to deal with guests, how to answer the telephone (Gmelch 67).”
The work of tourism thus is entrenched in the development of social culture. The host ensures the guest is kept occupied and no sense of boredom during their leisure time. This entails employment of well coordinated means of communication that would bolster the social interactions. It is the task of the host to initiate the warm social environment to satisfy the guest through engaging the guest in entertaining and enjoyable activities of the site. It’s not an easy task to initiate and maintain such an environment, but through the employment of the tactics taught in the tourism institutions, the host’s work is made a bit light. For instance, the host has to communicate of the significance of the locale or site through the use of pseudo bodily images. The female hula comedians of Hawaii had their acts mechanically produced in numerous printed works including magazines, pictures, brochures, just to mention a few, which though not original produced were widely distributed resulting to creation of new values (Desmond, 25) . This not only makes the guest to have lively entertainments but it also creates fresh value of the site, may it be a hotel or beach. Moreover, the guest learns a lot from the entertainment materials which the host presents before him. As the one on one relationship has got much impact to the guest, the use artificial imagery have similar or even higher effects on the host-guest relationship. Though such object form a major part of host-guest interactions, the choice of object should be well selected to unravel the best picture of the site together with increasing its desirability by the guest. The Hawaii’s imagery depicting it as tourism destination centre is meant to show the rendered Hawaii which is pseudo authentic.
Like in any kind of relationship, the host-guest relationship has several impacts on both sides. In some cases, the dominance of power may exceed in one side. As result, there is suppression or coercion effect on the side which is less privileged. The guest dominance depicted through the praise of the importance of the tourism subdues the host identity. This raises serious effects on the host existence, particularly by affecting significant other fields which directly and indirectly are of paramount importance to his life. Despite the fact that Antigua has vast fertile agricultural lands, the Antiguans have made tourism to be their chief industry. This has paralyzed the growth and development of other type of industries besides reducing the island’s identity. Apparently, Kincaid (67) says that the service and tourism industry which the Antiguans have developed has led to degradation as well as humiliation of the Antiguans daily lives. On the side, there is also distortion of the guest’s daily lifestyles by the beach boys.
Working in the tourism industry many hosts have a one on one interaction with the tourists, which makes the hosts attitude and behavior so much more important. Employees usually come from different backgrounds than their guests who come from countries many of the hosts have never been able to travel. The host and the guest interaction is unique in its own way: the host is there on duty, while the guest is there for leisure. They both need each other the guest is rich materially but lacks local information, while the host is financially poor but rich with culture. “I always say that a good bartender has to be a therapist, counselor, pimp, loverman, ambassador, and even a bush doctor. You’ve gotta have knowledge of what’s going on so you can converse with people (Gmelch 72).” The guest-host relationship in Barbados involves a white and a black mainly, because most of the guests are white and most of the hosts are black. “But I hardly ever think about color. Sometimes a person will say to me. “Oh, wouldn’t you like to be on this side [of the bar] and me on that side?” I say, “Of course not, this is my job.” Some people think we are uptight about having to serve white people all the time, but really, it’s my job and I don’t think about it (Gmelch 74).”
Through the host-guest interaction, there is some kind of mutual existence. The host’s sweet-talks helps him to engage the guest into intimate relationship where he guest get company from the local/ host while the host gains financial support and other temporary benefits including free accommodation, snacks and drinks (Gmelch, 170). Since the hosts and guests encounter each other every day, the person gives something unknowingly by their speech, actions, and emotions. “The attendants change because they watch what the guests do. It’s human nature – one person watches the other. They learn things; it could be a certain dress or style of hair or face makeup. Any where out there you can see out people getting new ideas, leaning new things from guests (Gmelch 96).” The one on one relationship that the guest-host have is important to how things run, but it also may produce a change in the host. Hawaii recently launched a campaign “revealing the anxiety about “losing” Hawaiian-ness, which is defined as a complex of place, people, behaviors, and beliefs, especially the aloha spirit, associated with a rural, pre contact past but persisting in the present and yielding a magic that elude other islands (Desmond 15).” The quote shows that not every person wants to be affected to where it will produce a change in the community. Hawaii is working hard to keep their heritage, but there is question that the heritage really is not the same as before Hawaii was a large tourism spot. Traveling provides experiences that remain with people throughout their life. Tourists give a lot to the community while they are visiting. Travelers give valuable knowledge, and skills that can be shared with the community during travel. “The tourist industry is the leading source of income for the state, generating $11 billion a year in revenue, representing a quarter of Hawaii’s gross state product and employing nearly a third of all workers (Desmond 13).”
The positive rewards of the tourism industry are the money coming into the country from tourists. The proceeds of the earnings can be used to promote development for more tourists; for example, state of the art hotels and other hospitality facilities. The world around us is always changing and adapting, just like we have adapted over time as humans. The change is not done knowingly, if we all could change ourselves we would have the perfect human race. Just like the adaption of humans the adaption of change on places heavily traveled it is going to happen knowingly or not knowingly. Unfortunately there are negative aspects to the change, like losing the heritage and culture that the local ancestors tried to pass on. This makes many of the local citizens angry, because they do not want the country to change; their ancestors lived there before and lived just fine. All change may not be for the best, but change is going to happen. Tourism affects people every day, locals see tourisms negative aspect, while the tourists see the positive impact. Every view on the situation may be different in some way.