Try and ask a friend what job he would like to have: he will likely answer he would like to be paid to travel. Today, however, in times of Anglicisms and imaginative fabulations (whatever its meaning, I like the sound of this phrase) the answer will become: I want to be a mystery guest.
The thought of staying at fabulous hotels for free, basking in the spa, drinking a daiquiri by the pool, and possibly pestering the reception and restaurant personnel is a fascinating dream.
Even when I talk to students or people who wish to work in our industry, this is almost always the first answer. No chance! Despite the fact that some movies, such as A Five Star Life, have made it clear that there is a whole lot of work, studies, analyses, reviews and reports that go into being a mystery guest. Clearly, the mass imprinting created by Jerry Calà's TV series Professione Vacanze is too strong.
All things considered, nothing unusual so far. Those who work in tourism are used to commonplaces. But when the commonplace comes from a professional partner, things are different.
That of the mystery guest is a captivating idea: people like it, the media and social networks like to talk about it.
Indeed, a few weeks ago, some sensation was created by the initiative of an online auctions site for luxury hotel stays, which launched a campaign to reward some of its customers by turning them into mystery guests. The message was not 'I am giving you a holiday for free", but "I am letting you work as a mystery guest". On the one hand, my sense of marketing moves me to feel admiration for this idea, but my sense of tourism is hurt, because once again a tourist profession is viewed almost as a hobby.
If I managed a hotel, I might find it annoying to work with a partner who has this view of work in tourism. But it may be that, in the last few weeks, I have been stressed out and I need a break. I am almost tempted to apply as a mystery guest myself. After all, it is the nicest job in the world.
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