What does a publisher do? Procure hospitality services

What does a publisher do? is a series of posts designed to answer that question, interpreted not in the sense of “What functions does a publisher seek to fulfil?” but rather “What operations does a publisher (well, this publisher at any rate) perform?” This is the nineteenth post in the series.

The second post (‘What does a publisher do? Manage stakeholders’) in this series set out a framework for subsequent posts – a framework based on the types of stakeholders a publisher needs to work with. Today’s post focuses on a publisher’s relationship with providers of accommodation – principally hotels. So:

SUPPLIERS
Owners, investors Workforce State
Community
Media
Environment
Clients, customers

I

The choice of accommodation for business trips is usually pretty forward, based on considerations of cost, proximity, and reliability. In practice, the decision of where to stay usually boils down to a choice between the Ibis and Premier Inn (or possibly Jury’s Inn) chains – all of which are positioned towards, but not at, the budget end of price spectrum. 

Though we could afford something more lavish, there seems little point: these chains offer comfortable accommodation, with improved room design, at extraordinary good value. They don’t offer more sophisticated services, but usually all that’s required is a bed, a shower, wi-fi, and a desk.

II

I have attempted to differentiate between the chains on the basis of their environmental policies, but haven’t found it easy to do so. All of them make their policies available. Ibis’s is here, Premier’s is here, and Jury’s here. The policies suffer from the usual weaknesses of such things, notably containing many ‘apple pie’ statements about values and intentions. Jury’s Inn is the worst offender here – the other two do better in terms of providing metrics and conforming to meaningful standards. 

The difficulty lies in knowing how to compare them – with each other and with those of other chains, such as NH Hoteles. Each chain presents information in its own way. As a result, the policies have little bearing on my decision-making, though the flimsiness of the Jury’s Inn policy impacts on my impression of them. The same is true of the Macdonald Hotels chain.

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