Lately I read an article that put forward the idea that the days of big government are coming to an end. The extremely well written piece and, in my mind logical, asserted that it was now time for cities to lead the nation. Each city knows its own citizens, the mix of ethnicity and how to govern them within the city boundaries. What is good for one city may not be the best for another, and the Mayors and city leaders know better than any large, central government what’s best for their specific city.

Even today we see strong, powerful cities standing up to centralized government. As an example, Los Angeles vowed to fight the ban against ‘sanctuary cities’ that the federal government wants to impose. There is still determination to be fair, to help those in need, and it is cities that are at the forefront of many ‘fights’.

While unfortunately many people still cling to racist beliefs I believe that in hotels all over the world there is a very positive daily coming together of people from many different nations and backgrounds. It is for the most part a very happy environment and one in which all are invited to excel at their work.

In all the hotels that I have been privileged to manage I have enjoyed working alongside people from too many countries to count.

Actually, in my second Middle East thriller I published in 2011, The Righteous Within, I wrote about this, when Jordan Kline, ex Mossad and now hotel manager, enjoys a meal in the staff dining room with some colleagues:

“Janna, your accent is cute; don’t try to hide it. It’s part of who you are and where you come from. Irit has a terrible accent when speaking English, and apart from being sexy it gives me something to tease her about. I know she likes it but pretends to hate it so she can hit me legit. We’re all from somewhere else here, and most all of us have an accent that gives that away; it’s just part of who we are. Did you know that Israel is made up of people from seventy different nationalities?”

*            “Right as always Mr. GM, I guess that my kids will be the ones who grow up to talking with no accent.” She added.*

*            “Yeah, right as always, that’s me. Mary, let’s take a deeper look at this. It’s interesting. Janna is Russian; Dorit here is third generation Israeli. That makes her a Tzabar, the true Israeli born product. Apart from that you have Tunisians, Moroccans, Americans and I believe an Ethiopian working for you at the desk, quite apart from the fact that you hail from the Channel Islands! I, on the other hand come from Canada and am married to a Syrian, proving my point!” he laughed with them.*

* *Of course, it is no secret that people of different cultures work in hotels, but my point is that at least for a day, we all get along well and have a great and enjoyable time doing it.

Just look at all the positives that are created on a daily basis in our hotels.

Many lasting, lifelong friendships have started both within the different departments but also across departments in meetings, in the staff dining room and in hotel events held during the year. Modern hotel management demands that staffs are treated fairly and, if the guest is to be satisfied, kept happy and unified. It is an integral part of a hotel’s success in today’s industry.

Menus in staff dining rooms are increasingly widening to satisfy different tastes, and we are learning new foods and customs from each other on a daily basis.

The increasingly power of staff means that hotels are pushed to be better in many aspects, and everyone wins. Hotels are held to high standards by the guests, who in turn have new and ever increasing expectations from the hotels. They expect to see and feel the harmony among the staff that serves them, and many expect pleasant interaction during their stay. It is an integral part of the experience which is no longer limited to a clean bed, good food and good value. People will pay more for an experience that is more meaningful to them, and that includes interaction with multicultural staff.

In the same sense that the best way to cut down on road carnage is not to add hundreds of highway patrolmen but to educate the young drivers before they hit the streets, the best way to get to know different people is by working and interacting with them. Understanding and appreciation comes with knowledge, and our hotels are playing a very important and positive part in our growing and diverse society.