Why do hotels still bother with receptionists?

AS A rule, when Gulliver first arrives at a hotel, he would prefer not to have to deal with another human. There are main three reasons for this. The first is that he is, by nature, cantankerous. The forced jollity of the initial exchange with a receptionist does not come easily after an exhausting trip. The second, perhaps not unrelated, is the fear that a porter might latch on to him and insist on showing him to his room. What is it about Gulliver’s demeanour that suggests he is incapable of counting room numbers sequentially, or is unable to identify which of the two chambers in his room is the toilet? (If in doubt, it is usually the smaller one.) Being pressured to tip a porter whose sole purpose seems to be to point out which of the Gulliver-length objects in the room is for sleeping in, and which he might fill with bubble bath, is always riling. Finally there is the annoyance of having to hang around at the front desk, with the heating on full blast, while the receptionist deals with a queue of other people. At that point all he really wants to do is head to his room and peel off a few of the layers that have been protecting him from the arctic conditions outside.

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This post was originally published in the Economist.

Why do hotels still bother with receptionists?

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