This text is an enjoyable read and should be required for any individual doing a PhD in the field. The Origins of Hospitality and Tourism takes the reader through the beginning of this humble sector so that the reader can understand why it is formed as it is today. The text is well written, beautifully researched, and makes a contribution as being the first book that examines the origins of hospitality and tourism. Beyond its academic contribution, this text presents a commentary that may have been unintended by the author but is important nonetheless. Lately, the hospitality industry has been centered on being just that, an industry. Those in the industry talk about customer or guest services and how to balance services with profitability. Industry managers are constantly looking for a competitive advantage by implementing new marketing messages, offering new packages and services at a value rate. This has turned the industry into one of the most complicated in terms of revenue and channel management. The sector has become so high tech that practitioners risk forgetting the fundamental core: to be a good host for out guests. The text serves as a reminder of what the core really is and, in that lesson, comes the collection’s real contribution.
Overall, it was stated at the beginning that this text should be a required reading for any PhD in the field. Beyond graduate students, this text should be a must-read for industry managers. The lessons contained within the text are beyond that of a series of facts and fascinating stories (of which there are plenty) but rather addresses the core of what perhaps the industry should be about, hospitality. While no one is now likely to have a servant take care of a guest’s horse and spear upon arrival, staff still often help the guest from his or her car and assist with luggage. The core remains the same and perhaps there are lessons in that.