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Staycationers behaving badly | Traveldailynews.Asia

In Hong Kong, many vacationers trapped in local hotels during the pandemic have begun to behave badly, taking a toll on the mental health of staff.

COVID-19 (new coronavirus infectious disease) It has changed the way we vacation. Heading out in droves to the airport to fly to a distant resort. stay close to home While this may seem like an effective way to support local tourism while containing the virus, research Students by Ph.D. Wilson AuPh.D. Nelson Tsang and Dr. Claire Fong Researchers from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at Hong Kong Polytechnic University reveal the downsides of ‘staycations’. In Hong Kong, many vacationers trapped in local hotels during the pandemic have begun to behave badly, taking a toll on the mental health of staff. It highlights the need to remove the incentives to cause and create an environment that brings out the best in guests.

Even before COVID-19, staycations were on the rise. “From the early 1900’s” The author is “Many Americans are taking short trips to enjoy their summer vacation at their usual place of residence.”Once ignored by tourism researchers, staycations are now recognized as an important market segment. Framing short-distance travel as a special vacation allows people to see familiar places from a new perspective. In addition, vacationing in your hometown during times of uncertainty is less susceptible to disruptions and more environmentally sustainable than traveling abroad.

Like the West, Hong Kong has seen a surge in staycations since 2020 due to pandemic-related travel and leisure restrictions. But researchers warn that the tourism industry’s homegrown solution to the pandemic has a darker side. Focusing on the Hong Kong hotel sector, they explored the interplay between the recent staycation boom and an old problem in hospitality: ‘jaycustomer’ behavior.

“The term ‘jaycustomer’ is a customer-specific form of ‘jaywalker,'” the researchers explained. Customers who engage in anti-social behavior in service environments such as hotels, bars and airports and make life difficult for staff. Jaycustomer’s behavior ranges from rude to criminal and covers everything from rule breaking, disrespect to staff, refusal to pay, even theft and vandalism. Hotels are particularly vulnerable to jaycustomer behavior, researchers say, because they are “characterized by intimate but short-term service provider-customer relationships.”.

Combining jaycustomer and staycationer gives you a toxic visitor that researchers call a “jaystaycationer”. While staying in hotels in their home cities, jaystaycationers abuse the hospitality of their hosts and cause physical and/or emotional harm. The SHTM team was inspired by local examples of guest disorder in 2020. “A large group of guests held what was described as a ‘wild birthday party’ at the Hong Kong Peninsula,” the researchers reported, adding that “every electrical device in the room had stains on it.”

Jaycustomer’s problems intensified during the pandemic. One reason is that travel restrictions have put businesses in a dangerous position. Those who continue to patronize local establishments may feel like saviors and feel forgiven for cheating. “Because of the perceived very strong bargaining power in the market,” say the researchers. “Individuals are less likely to abide by organizational rules and social norms, stimulating j-customer behavior.”Recognizing the harm such hotel guests can cause to other customers, staff, and business operations, researchers set out to categorize the jaystaycationer problem and identify its causes and staff reactions. Did.

The authors conducted individual telephone interviews with 10 staff members of 4- and 5-star hotels in Hong Kong. Have they experienced trouble with their guests? Under COVID-19 restrictions, the city’s luxury hotels have seen a surge in bookings from Hong Kongers who are unable or unwilling to travel abroad. However, while regular expat guests spend most of their time wandering around the city, pandemic sojourners are stuck in hotels almost 24/7. Researchers asked if the staff found these guests to be unusually demanding. If so, what did they think of it?

Our staff’s response to your behavior is subjective and depends on the individual. The authors were therefore interested in capturing both the interviewees’ unique personal experiences and the broader context of the social turmoil in which these events occurred. Their approach had to be objective and grounded in established theory. To meet these demands, they settled on constructivist grounded theory, a common framework for obtaining qualitative insights in tourism research.This approach allows them to “It emphasizes the existence of multiple realities and elicits each participant’s view of the ‘subjective world'”.

Analysis of the interviews revealed four types of jaystaycationers. “Attention seekers” and “profit seekers” were defined by their underlying need to get something from hotel staff. People who want to attract attention can, for example, address unseen emotional needs by highlighting how it has been meaningful to support a local hotel despite the risk of contracting COVID-19. I tried to respond. Profit-seekers took things even further and took advantage of hotels’ vulnerability during the pandemic to demand tangible rewards by demanding free upgrades and special services. A similar distinction between tangible and intangible segregated “rule-breakers” is violated when the opportunity arises, e.g. by hosting a large party, and “property abusers” e.g. Physically damage property by driving or leaving. sprinkler system.

As expected, the spread of COVID-19 was a recurring theme in our interviews. Hotel guests have found ways to disrespect staff through both under- and over-compliance with safety rules. One interviewee, a housekeeper at a five-star hotel, worried for her personal safety due to her jaystaycationers’ carelessness over her mask. They were wearing no masks and argued with me without wearing a mask. In contrast, another hotel front desk clerk felt dehumanized by the hygiene obsession of checking-in guests. “Jaystaycationers kept cleaning everything on my desk including pens with sanitizer spray. Very disrespectful. I’m not a virus.”

Staff responded to these unpleasant guests in several ways, but the researchers classified it as practical and psychological. but their emotional responses ranged from thoughtfully trying to understand the guest’s position to simply giving up hope or avoiding contact. These findings provide new insights into the psychological impact of dealing with people who jaystay. “Three emotional responses (namely, thoughtfulness, helplessness, and self-isolation),” the researchers report.

Finally, the interviews revealed two types of causes for jaystaycationer behavior. It is personal and environmental. J Staycation participants may be motivated by her three negative emotions: fear of COVID-19, arrogance, and greed. Conflicts can also arise from her three environmental factors: The nature of the staycation (being confined to the hotel almost 24/7), the rules regarding infection control (a first for both guests and staff), the ambiguity and complexity of her packages for the holidays offered. To staycationers that jaystaycationers tried to take.

This last point suggests a possible way to deal with the problem. “Not only do we keep track of guest dining credits in-house, but Researchers “Hotel operators could consider ensuring transparency so that guests can monitor it on the hotel website.”.

Irresponsible customers are nothing new, but it is the first study to analyze the jaycustomer problem in the specific context of staycation. The findings provide actionable insights for hotels to avoid environmental factors in jaystaycation behaviour. By paying attention for the first time to the psychological and practical strategies that destitute staff use to deal with this problem, this study suggests that hotel owners can better serve their employees during stressful times such as the pandemic. This preliminary research shows how to better understand the causes and consequences of significant emerging problems in hospitality.

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