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HSMAI’s survey finds turnover in hospitality to be double other industries

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI<.>) Foundation commissioned a study on…

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI<.>) Foundation commissioned a study on Turnover – one of the areas of greatest interest and concern for the sales and marketing profession. Funded by the Foundation’s Corporate Membership Program, the comprehensive, six-month survey studied the Causes, Costs and Cures of Turnover, and resulted in a 70-page document detailing:


  • The level of turnover;

  • The associated direct dollar costs;

  • The individual costs of lost business and lost productivity;

  • The impact on performance and customer service and morale;

  • What can be done to control and reduce turnover.


A detailed recap and analysis of the 70-page report appears in the spring issue of the HSMAI Marketing Review. Subscriptions are included in the HSMAI membership or are available for $65 annually. HSMAI members can access additional copies for no charge through the online store at www.hsmai.org. Non-members can purchase copies of the HSMAI Marketing Review recap for $10 via the HSMAI website.



Among the major findings were:


  • Overall sales and marketing turnover in the hospitality industry is 24.7% (or one in four people), and first year sales turnover is substantially higher, between 35% and 40%.

  • That 24.7% is 165% of the 15% benchmark for professional level turnover across industry lines (reported by the Society for Human Resource Management).


Summary of Causes:


  • Money – limits and early top-stops on earnings.

  • Leadership – lack of confidence in the organization and in particular the next level of management.


Summary of Costs:


  • Estimates of hard and soft costs range from 50% to 400% of the incumbent’s annual salary, roughly 1% per each $1,000 in earnings.


Summary of Cures:


  • Provide performance-based upward mobility.

  • Pay related to performance with refined incentive plans as well as base salary plans; long-term deferred compensation plans for high-performing senior professional.


The research was conducted by the Ron Volper Group, and is based on responses from 169 members and member organizations, made up of 95 corporations and 74 individual members.



Funding was from the members of the 2001 HSMAI Foundation Corporate Membership Program, which include: Accor, American Golf Corporation, Bass Hotels and Resorts, Best Western International, Cendant Corporation, Choice Hotels International, Citicorp Diners Club, Disneyland Resort, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, HotelRevMAX, International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Irma S. Mann Strategic Marketing, John Q. Hammons, Manhattan East Suite Hotels, Marriott International, MeriStar Hotels and Resorts, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Omni Hotels, Opryland Hotels, Passkey.com, Prime Hospitality, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, RealTime Hotel Reports, Ron Volper Group, Smith Travel Research, Sonesta Hotels, Resorts & Nile Cruises, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, TravelClick, Inc. and Wyndham International.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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