2017 was a year defined by its challenges and crises. In these pivotal moments, the most important lessons are often learned. Here are 5 of those lessons in the hospitality and tourism industries. 1. Develop a communication plan ahead of time. When a crisis hits, knowing who needs to be in the loop and which emergency services are needed is essential. In an emergency, miscommunication can be costly. 2. Marketing can supplement product development, but can never replace it. The glossiest, most trendy marketing will fall flat without a completed product ready to go. 3. A reputation is slowly built and rapidly lost. Be open to criticism, not defensive. In crises especially, maintaining a sterling reputation is difficult and well worth the effort. 4. Keep in mind that international tourism hinges on security. In places notorious for their lack of security, tourism will always suffer. Be aware of this relationship and adjust accordingly. 5. Smile and enjoy the work. Customer service is far easier and more effective when done with genuine pleasure. Aim to please because it makes you feel good, not just for the bottom line. Customers will notice. As the hospitality and tourism industries enter 2018, it’s important not to forget these valuable lessons and others like them. When competition is tight, one slip-up can be costly.