From In Search of Hospitality: Theoretical Perspectives and Debates

Andrew Lockwood
School of Management Studies for the Service Sector, University of Surrey
Peter Jones
School of Management Studies for the Service Sector, University of Surrey


There is a story of an old man who lived high on the Lassithi plateau above Agios Nikolaos on the island of Crete and made a living out of making and selling pottery. At first, very few tourists visited him to buy his pottery, but in the tradition of Greek hospitality or philoxenia , those who did were provided with a drink and a snack from the old man s kitchen. As his fame spread, more tourists visited him to buy his wares and he continued to provide them with refreshment. The difficulty arose when he became an established stop for the tourist coaches and he found that he was giving out more in food and drink than he was able to make on the sale of his pottery and his business was making substantial losses. When the old man died his family took over the business, extended the pottery production, and built a restaurant capable of handling the coach parties. The business is now very successful but sometimes visitors are heard to say that it is not quite as it was in the old days.

The implication here is that while the provision of hospitality was a personal and almost peripheral act, it was in some way more genuine and better. As soon as the provision of hospitality becomes the central focus of the...

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Topics of Interest

David Botterill School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff Overview It is impossible that the domain of hospitality could have escaped the influence of the...

Elizabeth Telfer Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow Overview Hospitableness is the name of the trait possessed by hospitable people. It is clearly something to do with hospitality, so I...

Hazel Andrews School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of North London Overview Wood (1994a) has argued that there have been few attempts to understand what the concept of...

John K.Walton Department of Historical and Critical Studies, University of Central Lancashire Commercial hospitality has its roots in supplying to travellers, through the market, the basic human...

Conrad Lashley School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Leeds Metropolitan University Overview For a couple of decades now, both higher education providers and industrial organizations in...