Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Theory of Hospitality

1999 was almost gone.  It was late December and the Murray family was winging their way to Newfoundland, to be at Cape Spear, just outside of St. John's, to watch the sun come up on the dawning of the first day of the year 2000.  This site would be the furthest point east in North America.  They just may be the first to see this magic moment.  While the rest of the world waits for a huge computer crash, this family will marvel at this moment in time that will never come again.  And the world did not go into melt down, but out of this exercise came a profound theory.  A theory that was never there before.  A theory that the world needed to understand, that Nimmo Bay needed, to let the world know what a special place this Temporal Nexus of ours was.

The Theory of Hospitality was born on the airplane that carried the Murray's onward toward 24 Poplar avenue, St. Johns Newfoundland, the birthplace of Deborah Murray and party central for these Christmas holidays.  After getting settled in the seats of the airplane and take off had occurred, it was decided that all flights are boring and the time should be spent in creating some marketing strategy for the family business.  While the world was preparing for a meltdown, our brains were at work high above the planet.  

Craig Murray reached into the seat pocket in front of him and pulled from that pocket a Time magazine dated December 1999 and featured on the cover, Time Magazines "  Person of the Century ".  This was none other than Albert Einstein, and there beside his picture and name was his famous, most well known equation - The theory of Relativity.  E = MC2 .  Wow, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  There never has been a theory of Hospitality, so this is what we will create on this long flight from Vancouver to St. John's.  Don't know where the thought came from but there it was and the challenge was on.  Myself, Georgia and our two boys, Clifton and Fraser were on it.  What could the Theory of Hospitality look like.

The answer of course was right in front of us, on the cover of Time magazine, right beside Albert.  What if we altered, ever so slightly, his theory, and came up with our own theory for the hospitality industry that our family was so involved with.  It had been our life for 20 years at this point.  It seemed so simple really, and it took the better part of two hours to put together what has become our Mission statement.

Put in simple terms, the Theory of Hospitality is what everyone in the industry is trying to do.  We just had to figure it out.  And eventually we did.

E = MC2 was the most known mathematical formula in history, so it seemed to us that the Theory of Hospitality should look similar, but mean something entirely different.  So it was with this thought in mind. that we proceeded to put together our own theory and how it might look.  Mission statements to be effective should be short and to the point and drive home what it is you are trying to say or do.  Remembering that tourism is an experience and not a product,  the challenge became even more interesting.  We had three letters and one number to work with.  There were only so many combinations of this grouping that could work.  We finally settled on E2 = MC.  We just moved the squared symbol.  Now we just had to come up with a meaning for the letters, that made sense in the world of hospitality.

The one thing that everyone tries to do with a tourism experience is make memories for people by giving them experiences that last a lifetime.  Create for them moments that are so powerful that they will tell all their friends and return themselves to enjoy again, that which gave them so much pleasure.  The only way to do this is by exceeding people's expectations.  Give them something that they would never expect.  Make them say WOW, bring tears of joy to their eyes and create for them the desire to share this experience with loved ones and friends.  In other words, have your guests do your marketing.  This is widely known as the best way to market - Word of Mouth.

So, we had the basics all jumbled up in what we knew, but how to say it in a simple way that all could understand and smile at when they saw and understood what that simple equation meant.  That took the better part of two hours.  What we finally came up with was what everyone in the tourism game was trying to do;  Creating memories while exceeding expectations.  So it was born -

Expectations Exceeded = Memories Created,  E2 = MC.  The Murray family's and tourism's new, Theory of Hospitality.

It is something we live by at Nimmo Bay.  It is what brings our guests back year after year and it is why they tell their friends about us and it is why tourism is an experience, not a product.  Simple isn't it, really.  It just had to be discovered, and have a name put to it.  It was already being practiced.  Make it so.