The other morning, during the customary monthly breakfast with the Editor, I expressed a few considerations on the first two episodes of '4 Hotel', the new programme with Bruno Barbieri aired on Sky.
Among other things, I proposed to write something on this topic for Job, and I immediately met with sincere approval. Specifying the topic, I focused on the profiles of the various participating hotel managers/owners, as they transpired from the comments they made and the ratings they assigned during the programme.
I immediately sensed that my co-converser stiffened up a little, which to me translated into “he means for me to publish a story on hotel managers with an anthropological twist!" A minefield.
Indeed, the reply was: “Ok, you will do the editorial!”.
As everybody knows, an editorial is much shorter than another article, and the risk of doing harm is therefore significantly reduced. So, here we are, having already burnt half the space allotted, but the preamble was necessary.
In the meantime, we have also enjoyed the third episode, and some of my impressions have been strengthened.
I will not get into the merit of the programme setup - we hotel managers are experienced in numberless matters, from bon ton to marketing, from design to industrial relations, from good cooking to artificial intelligence, but we have never tackled television reviewing. Even though, given our degree in all-purposeness, we might have something to suggest to the authors...
Let's go back to the guest stars, the hotel managers/owners who are the protagonists of every episode. It is apparent that they are tied to their own hotels by a very strong umbilical cord. Clearly, the possibility that the grass on the other side is truly greener is only seldom and unwillingly taken into consideration. As a well- known Neapolitan saying puts it, “every cockroach is beautiful in its mother's eyes."
When it comes to assigning ratings, you can see all sorts of things (but it is called 'strategy'). Let me give you just one example, without too many details in order not to spoiler it: a hotel receives a score of 70 (out of 160 points available, and anyhow only 17 less than the winner, who - just to be petulant - therefore receives 87 points out of 160!): it sounds like they should find another line of work. This hotel has 8.9 on Booking.com with 953 reviews, and 4.5 on TripAdvisor with 608 reviews. Which is to say: better a review in the web than a colleague in my hotel...
Let's watch the next episodes attentively, and then let's discuss them in full detail. Sure, we will discuss about it. Where? At Web in Tourism, in June. It's a promise. Come prepared!
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