All posts by Ashley Cates

Tourism: The Negative Impacts of Travel and the Future of the Service Industry


From climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower and overlooking the city of Paris to walking through the amphitheater of Rome’s Colosseum, the world’s various historical landmarks and architectural masterpieces provide society with a great amount of places to explore. These attractions create an opportunity for families to travel and experience a new culture. In recent years, the amount of tourism has increased tremendously. In order to determine what factors influenced the increase in tourism, I reviewed statistical evidence in regards to population growth, information on marketing and mass media, and the hospitality industry. The world population has significantly increased and is predicted to reach high numbers that overwhelm Earth’s resources. Marketing and mass media has generated a halo effect on consumers. In other words, advertising campaigns have been proven to influence how people view certain destinations and can impact whether or not they travel to a specific area. Lastly, the hospitality industry has expanded rapidly due to globalization. The expansion of the service industry has provided more of an opportunity for society to travel around the globe.

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Losing Ground


The film Losing Ground by Kathleen Collins featured a philosophy professor, Sara, and her painter husband, Victor. This art event was interesting because it touched on topics such as gender, race, and art. Sara was focused on writing a paper on aesthetic experience while her husband was focused on sketching and painting after he sold one of his pieces to a museum. I found it interesting to see the shift in Victor’s artwork from the beginning of the movie to the end and how his environment influenced his work. At first he painted abstract works of art in an apartment in the city. Then, Sara and Victor decided to move to a village for the summer. After moving, Victor became mesmerized by the Puerto Rican women, scenery, and lighting. He started to paint people as opposed to just utilizing colors and shapes and focusing on the medium of the work of art. Sara and Victor’s relationship was impacted by the shift in art and the change in environment. Sara did not understand why Victor was no longer painting in the same style after a museum bought one of his works. Victor became so intrigued by the content he was painting that he ended up focusing on his subject matter, a Puerto Rican woman, Celia, as opposed to his wife Sara.

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Inspiring others to do good: The lifestyle of Ellen DeGeneres.


There are many tipping points present within our society. These tipping points could be things such as raising money to donate towards cancer research, creating awareness for certain illnesses and prevention methods, encouraging the use of sustainable products, turning off lights to reduce energy use, etc. One of the most important things to do in our society is to create awareness of issues and give back to the community. Ellen DeGeneres inspires others to do good through leading by example. Ellen hosts a television show that runs five days a week. During her show, she uses comedy as a tool to brighten everyone’s day. Additionally, her show features entrepreneurs and celebrities, but most importantly the show features people who do good things for our society. On the television show, Ellen gives back to individuals that inspire the world through their acts of kindness. For example, Ellen hosted Jesse and Jasmine on her show because they demonstrated a true act of kindness. Check out their story below:

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That’s one small step for woman, but one giant leap for womankind.


I would enjoy having dinner with Judy Chicago. She is not only a feminist artist, but she is also an author and educator. Chicago has inspired a vast amount of people through her artistic works and projects. For instance, Judy led 150 needle workers for the Birth Project. Additionally, she was able to direct hundreds of women for her project called The Dinner Party. Chicago would be an interesting person to have dinner with because she has a unique vision and has great leadership capabilities. I would enjoy discussing how she creates different projects and learning about her passion for modern art. Who is your favorite modern artist? Do you have a favorite artistic movement?  

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Expectations are high for Tiger Woods at Augusta


Tiger Woods has had a promising career in the past few years. He was close to beating Zach Johnson in the 2013 World Challenge and he was able to get third at a European Tour in Turkey. After enduring back surgery and taking time off for three months, Tiger has made a promising recovery. He has tied for 69th at the Open Championship, and then returned to the World Challenge in December. In light of the chipping problems he faced and one of his career-worst scores at the World Challenge, he had a new, free swing. So he must be ready for a win, right?

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The Four Seasons: Inequality in Luxury Hotels


As tourists walk across the Széchenyi Lánchíd Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, they approach the stunning Gresham Palace. The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace obtains a remarkable site due to the panoramic view of the famous Danube River, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion from the front rooms of the hotel. As you enter this Four Seasons, your eye is drawn towards a glass atrium leading up to the front desk. A crystal chandelier is in the center of this atrium and further addscq5dam.web.1280.720 to the grand interior architecture and design of the hotel. After having the opportunity to walk through the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace and stay in the Four Seasons Firenze, I understood why this hotel chain is one of the most well known in the world. The Four Seasons brand is one of luxury and is a part of one of the most influential industries in the world: hospitality. However, even though this hotel chain is luxurious for customers, the hospitality industry the Four Seasons falls into entails poor employee wages, high employee turnover, and lack of stability. Furthermore, this industry has created mass tourism leading to social discrepancies, economic dependencies, and weakened culture. Thus, is the Four Seasons Hotel Chain ethical for partaking in an industry that has led to such problems? Should the Four Seasons shift their attention from customers to employees in order to address industry concerns?

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Let’s build a house…with straw!


For every construction project, there is a certain amount of insulation needed within the walls of a home. The amount of insulation needed in a home varies based upon location. For instance, Florida is in zone 1, which means that builders should utilize insulation for the attic that has an R-Value between 30 and 49. To view what R-value your home’s insulation is recommended to have, click here. The R value signifies the thermal performance of the insulation such that a higher R -Value means that the insulation has a greater thermal performance. Thus, Florida builders would want to use insulation with a lower R-Value than New York builders. According to Energy.gov, the most common form of insulation for homes is blanket insulation or known as fiberglass insulation. To read more about insulation, click here.

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Are you PEPI?


Brand and service standards are very important to uphold in the business world. Micah Soloman’s Forbes article How Ritz-Carlton And Four Seasons Empower Employees And Uphold Customer Service Standards discusses an ideal way to develop training and enforcement programs for standards. This ideal system is called PEPI. PEPI is an acronym for purpose, enforce intelligently, peer pressure, and input. Soloman describes these key phrases as:

“Purpose: Employees have a clear sense of purpose—and how the standard fits into it.

Enforce intelligently: Keep things visual, train, and reinforce.

Peer pressure: Positive peer pressure is a must.

Input: Employees are able to have a say in the refinements, changes, and even possible future abolition of the standard.”

Do you think the Four Seasons hotel sufficiently meets the PEPI standards?

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Ciao, benvenuto alla quattro stagioni!


Hello, welcome to the Four Seasons!

 

As you walk off of Borgo Pinti and into the Four Seasons hotel in Florence, Italy, you are immediately greeted and welcomed by the staff. As you make your way to the front desk, your eye is drawn towards a statue resembling Michelangelo’s Bacchus statue in the Bargello Museum in Florence. The statue is in the center of an atrium and is surrounded by floral arrangements and provides seating for guests to sit and enjoy the grand interior architecture and design of the hotel. After having the opportunity to stay in the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, I understood why this hotel chain is one of the most well known in the world. Have you stayed in a Four Seasons Hotel? What was your experience?

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“You’re Fired!”


Donald Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and went to New York City where he created The Trump Organization. Developed by one of the most renowned businessmen in the world, The Trump Organization has established an elite brand through real estate development, property management, sales and marketing, hotel collection, golf course portfolio, residential and commercial brokerage, publications, clothing and entertainment. One of the most well known catch phrases by Donald Trump is “You’re Fired!” When teams face Trump in the boardroom on The Apprentice television show, it is no surprise that the environment is cut throat. Donald Trump and The Trump Organization maintain a vast amount of power in the business world. Consequently, they face fierce competition within markets and rely on the success of each of their divisions to stay on top.  Continue reading “You’re Fired!”