Take the Widest View You Can

Wow, it’s been a rough couple of weeks around the world. First off, here in the U.S. we’ve had a bruising legislative battle over national health care and immigration control, a whipsawed stock market, floods in the heartland that wrecked much of Nashville and other places. Oh, and then there is that gusher of oil in the Gulf of Mexico that we can’t seem to stop.
In Europe and Asia, it’s been rather bumpy too: The Greek debt crisis has sped up the big drop in the Euro’s value, and growth in China and India is slowing while their domestic expenditures are rising to accommodate the needs of their growing middle class.
What does all of this have to do with our business? Lots, actually. When such things occur, it’s like stepping on a half-filled balloon–things don’t pop, but the pressure moves somewhere else. In our case, things like health care and immigration control affect how much companies spend on meetings and events versus other necessities, while Nashville had to relocate dozens of large meetings to other destinations on short notice after its floods. And the oil spill could spell trouble for the southeast’s travel and tourism market this year. Lastly, those international problems and situations will also affect how many international business traveler come here, and how many meetings multinational companies hold around the world.
My point today is that planning and running your business requires a much wider view than simply looking your next month’s occupancy rates and the doings of your immediate competitors. The world is smaller than ever, and hospitality people who don’t account for that in their business thinking will have it smack them upside the head at some point.

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1 Response to Take the Widest View You Can

  1. The Destructionist says:

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.




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