Hospitality – It’s Origin and Continuing Mission

Hospitality - It's Origin and Continuing Mission. Hospitality began in biblical times in the ancient world and focused on aiding the alien or stranger in need

Hospitality – It’s Origin and Continuing Mission

The International Travel Herald

Hospitality – It’s Origin and Continuing Mission


Hospitality – It’s Origin and Continuing Mission

Hospitality – It’s Origin and Continuing Mission. I could not help but use a play on words for this title. It combines a “Star Trek” reference connoting the future, with the word “origin, connoting the past.

When I looked up the origin of the word “hospitality, I was surprised. Well no, not really surprised that not a single dictionary reference attributed “hospitality” with the bible or ancient bible times. Like it, hate it, believe in it or not as the inspired Word of God, it is none the less unquestionable as a history book of proven origin. It is the foundation of all morals and ethics today. So I had to go to a biblical source to find the true origin of the word “Hospitality”.


Hospitality – It’s Biblical Origin

Dictionaries – Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Hospitality

  • Hospitality

    Hospitality plays no small role in the realm of biblical ethics. Biblical admonitions exhorted the Israelites and the early Christians to practice this virtue.

    Hospitality in the ancient world focused on the alien or stranger in need. The plight of aliens was desperate. They lacked membership in the community, be it tribe, city-state, or nation. As an alienated person, the traveler often needed immediate food and lodging. Widows, orphans, the poor, or sojourners from other lands lacked the familial or community status that provided a landed inheritance, the means of making a living, and protection. In the ancient world the practice of hospitality meant graciously receiving an alienated person into one’s land, home, or community and providing directly for that person’s needs…There appears to have been some decline in hospitality from the period of the Old Testament to that of the New Testament, since hospitality is omitted from later Greco-Roman virtue lists. In its literature, Israel alone seems to have included the foreign sojourner along with those other alienated persons who were to receive care: the widow, the orphan, and the poor.

Hospitality is something all people should practice simply because we should be kind and hospitable to each other. Surely we can all agree on that statement. But where does the word “hospitality” get its meaning related to what we call the hospitality industry?


Hospitality – Its meaning In Etymology

According to the Wikipedia’s Etymology of the word, we get “hospitality” from the Latin word for “hospes”.


Derives from the Latin hospes,[5] meaning “host”, “guest”, or “stranger”. Hospes is formed from hostis, which means “stranger” or “enemy” (the latter being where terms like “hostile” derive). By metonymy the Latin word ‘Hospital’ means a guest-chamber, guest’s lodging, an inn.[6] Hospes is thus the root for the English words host (where the p was dropped for convenience of pronunciation), hospitality, hospice, hostel and hotel. See Wikipedia

Whether you refer to hospital, hospice, or hostel, or hotel, the words are all derived from the word “hospitality“. Hotels are concerned with providing food, lodging and personal care for travelers who are away from home whether for business or leisure. It is no small surprise then that the hospitality industry incorporates the admonitions to care for and provide for their traveling guests. This is collectively called customer service within the industry. And excellent customer service is what distinguishes the best from the rest


Hospitality Today

The hospitality industry of today is far different in scope than the providing of a room to sleep and food for a guest as in ancient times. Today’s hospitality industry is a multi-trillion dollar a year business enterprise. It includes multiple sectors from a cozy bed-and-breakfast to, small motels, to five-star high-rise hotels, and mega resorts. The food sector alone makes up the largest sector of all industries worth over $10 trillion dollars a year by itself.


Hospitality As A Service Sector

The hospitality industry of today centers around three primary service types – food, fun, and lodging. But those categories comprise a wide range of services. In fact, the hospitality industry is one of the broadest industries within the services sector. Food could be high-end restaurants, fast-food restaurants, catering businesses or beach front food trucks. Fun, or recreation comprises all the forms of activities provided by businesses including things like golf, work out rooms, oceanfront activities like paragliding, waterparks and so much more. Lodging is provided by everything from bed and breakfasts, to mom and pop motels, to niche industries, to 5 Star high-rise hotels. Cruise ships and resorts combine it all at one location.

The cruise industry is further separated into Ocean cruises, regional ocean and sea cruises, river cruises, charter boats, yachting and more.


The Hospitality Industry Must Be Sustainable

The hospitality industry is an enormous industry comprising many segments. And yet it is just one segment of the overall tourism industry. However, as with all industries, it consumes a huge amount of our natural resources and our natural space on this earth. We encourage all sectors of the tourism industry to recognize, practice, and subscribe to the sustainable tourism initiatives of the UNWTO.

International Travel Reviews™ subscribes to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) and we support the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Agenda.


Related Links

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International Travel Reviews ™
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Inverness, Florida


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