While the sectors of the hospitality industry are interwoven, the overall industry is diverse and layered, and it requires tailored handling when it comes to the collection of debts. Debts within the hospitality industry can be either Business-to-Business debts or Business-to-Customer debts. Each of these situations must be handled in distinctly different ways with careful attention to laws and client handling. We at Alexander, Miller & Associates are skilled in managing both.
Despite prepayment frequently being the norm in many areas on the consumer end of the hospitality industry, difficulties in receiving payment can still arise. Credit cards are often taken when reservations are booked, tickets are purchased in advance of events, and many modes of travel require payment before departure.
However, issues can still arise due to employee or computer error or when a customer stops payment or disputes charges or when a card is declined when the payment is processed. When that happens, it can be a hassle to contact the customer to settle the bill. Often, customers in those circumstances are unwilling to acknowledge the need for them to pay their debt.
Hospitality staff is not trained to manage situations like this, but collection agencies can and do successfully manage problems like this every day.
Hospitality is a consumer driven industry. Sometimes the consumer is a private party and sometimes it’s a corporation. In either case, relationships and reputation are fundamental to a hospitality business’s success. Cash flow in the industry can be variable due to seasonality of travel or events. Care must be taken early to avoid debts becoming older and more difficult to collect. But spending too much time on debt collection yourself is burdensome and inefficient. We’re here to help!
The value of the hospitality industry and its contributions to our nation and the world’s economy cannot be overstated. Beyond the direct revenues seen by hospitality businesses, incidental tourist and visitor spending indirectly stimulates local economies and benefits communities. According to a study by Oxford Economics, the hotel industry alone accounted for 1 in every 25 jobs in the United States in 2018. In 2019, the global hotel industry saw $550 billion in rooms revenues. The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated over $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2017, supporting 7.8 million U.S. jobs1.
Since then, Covid-19 and related travel restrictions have hit the hospitality industry hard. Travel and leisure activities were down in 2020 with fewer people staying at hotels, attending conventions, and flying. Although we have reason to believe that a brighter future is ahead, the concerns we have been facing economically are very real. The hospitality industry has proven resilient at other times in our nation’s history, recovering and prospering after the Great Recession. We as a nation and hospitality as an industry will recover, and debt collection is an important facet of keeping a hospitality business afloat during this difficult time.
The hospitality industry encompasses a variety of businesses that can be broken down into four main sectors.
These businesses include everything from take-away food to formal, sit-down dining. Both commercial and non-commercial food service are part of this category.
Planes, cars, buses, trains, cruise ships, and other methods of transportation fall into this category that encompasses both leisure and business travel.
When people travel, they need a place to stay, somewhere they can rely on for serving as a home away from home. This includes options from low-cost motels to luxurious resorts and everything in between.
From concerts to sports games and from conventions to hiking, recreation takes many forms and is a key component to attracting guests to participate in the hospitality industry.
We know managing a business within the hospitality industry is demanding. Catering to customer needs, attracting new consumers, and handling vendors takes skill and focus. Collecting debts can be time-consuming and sometimes labor-intensive. It also requires knowledge of the state and federal laws that govern debt collection, laws that change and may vary from state to state. Attempting to collect a debt without knowledge of these laws could result in you finding yourself subject to a lawsuit. When you allow Alexander, Miller & Associates to manage your debt collection, you can rest assured we are doing it the right way, enabling you to focus on providing for guests and growing your business.
Another advantage of using a debt collection agency such as ours is keeping your good reputation with your consumer base. In the hospitality industry, brand is key. Increasingly, people research locations and companies before deciding which to use for their travel, business, and recreation needs. Negative reviews on sites such as Yelp can greatly impact the desirability of your company.
By allowing us to pursue outstanding debts, you’re keeping your relationship with your guests focused where it should be: on hospitality. Allow us to handle the sometimes stressful issues related to debt collection with knowledge, diplomacy, and tact. By outsourcing debt collection, your relationship with the public can remain unsullied and focused on the joys of doing business with you and all that you can offer to visitors.
Our experienced staff has the skills necessary to legally encourage debtors to pay what they owe, and we can get faster results than when a company tries to elicit payment on their own. We are familiar with the kinds of excuses and sidestepping that debtors frequently try to use. We’re skilled in leading these people and companies into a resolution that results in you getting paid.
At Alexander, Miller & Associates, we only get paid when you get paid. As one of the leading commercial debt recovery agencies in North America, you can have confidence in our ability to tackle the debt collection concerns that are weighing you down. Give us the opportunity to manage your debt collection needs so you can focus on what really matters: managing your business and thriving as we all work to rebuild the economy together.
1“Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Spotlight.” Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry Spotlight | SelectUSA.gov. International Trade Administration. Accessed January 5, 2021. https://www.selectusa.gov/travel-tourism-and-hospitality-industry-united-states.