Award Date


Degree Type

Professional Paper

Degree Name

Master of Hospitality Administration


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Billy Bai, Chair

Number of Pages



According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the United States entered a recession in December 2007. (Woodworth, 2010). The hospitality industry has been hit extremely hard by this economic downturn. With clients cutting costs, there is less business to be had by the same, and in many cases, a growing number of hotels. At the same time, hotels are forced to cut costs in any number of ways to remain viable. This may mean scaling back services, staffing reductions and cuts in employee benefits. However, there is a point where a company simply cannot cut anymore without doing more harm than good. Once cuts start to affect the service provided to the guest they can actually cause a decrease in revenues rather than help the business be profitable. Ultimately, at some point, cost cuts and operational streamlining is just not enough and a hospitality organization must find a way to drive additional revenue. The sales department is the natural place to start since this department is a profit center with a direct impact on revenues. So how does a company drive the sales team to produce in an environment, which in its very nature, is one where there is less business to be had? Motivation is the key. Much has been written about motivation in the workplace and sales motivation in particular, but little about the hospitality industry, specifically hotels. And even less about motivating in extreme environments or times of economic stress. The current state of our economy and the effect it has had on the hospitality industry exemplifies how important it is to take the study of sales motivation to the next level. Through several case studies of hotel companies weathering the current economic environment, this paper will seek to discover the best practices of motivating a hotel sales team in difficult circumstances. The study examines what strategies property owners, management companies and brands are taking to motivate their sales teams and ultimately drive revenues. Specific areas of concentration are sales organization structure, target markets, compensation, benefits, sales process and new tactics implemented as a result of the economic environment.


Employee morale; Employee motivation; Hospitality industry – Employees; Hotels; Recessions


Hospitality Administration and Management

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit