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Navigating Legal Challenges in Hospitality & Tourism


Task: How can the Prince Hotel effectively manage legal aspects concerning property damage, intoxicated guests, and customer dissatisfaction to uphold customer service while avoiding potential legal liabilities?


Section A

As a hotel manager in the Prince Hotel, it is essential to provide excellent customer service and ensure that guests' needs are met to the best of our abilities. The following is my proposed approach for dealing with the three situations involving guests.

1.1. Situation 1: A $2,000 expensive camera that a guest had placed on the bed has been damaged by the chambermaid's carelessness. Even though a sign at the reception states that guests are responsible for their personal belongings and that the hotel is not responsible for any loss or damage caused, the guest insists that the hotel compensate him for the damage.

1.1.1. Dealing with the guest in a customer-focused manner:

In Situation 1, the hotel's chambermaid was obligated to handle guests' personal belongings with reasonable care because she was an employee. When she tried to move the expensive camera, she broke it when she fell on it and violated this duty of care. As a direct result of this, the hotel may be held liable for the harm that was caused by the careless actions of its employees. Understanding the impact that the incident has had on the guest's experience at the hotel is essential for dealing with the guest in a customer-focused manner. Therefore, I would begin by apologizing for any inconvenience caused and expressing my genuine concern for their situation. This would assist with showing the visitor that their experience is esteemed by the inn and that means will be taken to redress what is going on. Then, I would make sense of the inn's strategy on private effects and responsibility, clarifying that the inn isn't liable for any misfortune or harm caused. This would assist with dealing with the visitor's assumptions and stay away from any likely errors. I would, however, not stop there. All things being equal, I would propose to help the visitor in reaching their protection supplier, furnishing them with a duplicate of the servant's assertion about the occurrence. This would help the hotel show that it is committed to solving the problem and giving the guest all the information they need to file a claim.

In this case, the elements of negligence are as follows:

Obligation of care: The chambermaid had a duty to the guest as a hotel employee to handle the guest's belongings responsibly and carefully.

Duty violation: The chambermaid breached this duty of care when the guest's expensive camera was accidentally dropped and broken.

Causation: The harm to the visitor's camera was straightforwardly brought about by the activities of the maidservant.

Damages: The visitor had a bad experience because the housekeeper forgot to take care of their $2,000 camera.

Even if the sign on the hotel says that guests are responsible for their belongings and that the hotel is not responsible for any damage or mishap, the hotel could still be at risk in this scenario. This is because the carelessness of the hotel employee was directly responsible for the guest's property damage. In such cases, the lodging might be expected to remunerate the visitor for the damage done by its staff individuals' lack of regard.

1.1.2 Legal liabilities that the hotel may face

The incident with the hotel's broken camera does, in fact, have something to do with the well-known tort case Olley v. Marlborough Court Ltd. In Olley v. Marlborough (1949), a guest at the Marlborough Court hotel had her fur coat taken from her room. In the room, there was a notice that the hotel would not be responsible for any losses unless the items were put in the hotel safe. The hotel was sued by the guest for her loss. However, due to the fact that the contract was formed at the time of booking or check-in and the notice was presented after the contract had already been formed, the court ruled that the hotel could not rely on the notice to exclude its liability. This suggests that terms aiming to limit liability must be communicated prior to or during the formation of the contract.

1. Negligence: As referenced before, the inn could be expected to take responsibility for the servant's carelessness in dealing with the visitor's camera. The guest may be entitled to financial compensation from the hotel for the harm caused by an employee's carelessness. This might entail paying for the guest's $2,000 camera to be fixed or replaced.

2. Vicarious Liability : The hotel could be held liable for the negligent actions of its employee, the chambermaid, while she was acting within the scope of her employment, according to the principle of vicarious liability (Edwards 2019). This indicates that the hotel may still be held liable for the damages caused by its employees even if it did not directly cause the damage.

3. Damages to one's image: The hotel may suffer reputational damage in addition to the direct financial obligations that result from the negligence claim, which could have a negative impact on its business. The Inkeepers Act permits hotels to limit their liability for the loss of guest property to $500 provided that they prominently display the following notice: The innkeeper is only responsible for $500 for guests' property damage or loss. The hotel safe should be used to store valuables. The notification should be posted in a prominent spot, for example, the entryway or visitor rooms. The hotel's liability for lost or damaged guest property is not limited to $500 if the notice is not posted.

1.2. Situation 2: An important guest, Mr. Smith, is having drinks at the hotel bar and seems intoxicated. The hotel is regulated not to serve alcoholic drinks after 11.00 pm, and it is already past that time. When politely advised to leave the bar, Mr. Smith refuses.

1.2.1. Dealing with the guest in a customer-focused manner:

In this present circumstance, focusing on the security and prosperity of the visitor and different benefactors in the hotel is fundamental. I would initially move toward Mr. Smith and consciously advise him that it is past 11.00 pm and the lodging isn't allowed to serve liquor past that time. In order to ensure his safe transportation, I would offer him a non-alcoholic beverage and suggest that we either escort him to his room or provide him with a taxi service.

1.2.2. Legal liabilities that the hotel may face:

1. Negligence: The hotel may be held liable for negligence if Mr. Smith's intoxication results in property damage or personal injury to other guests. If the hotel staff continues to serve Mr. Smith alcohol after 11 p.m. or fails to take reasonable steps to deal with his intoxication, they could also be held accountable (Dyrenfurth 2017).

2. Public Brutality: The hotel may be held liable for public nuisance if Mr. Smith's behavior hinders other guests' enjoyment of the hotel or causes harm.

3. Breach of Licensing Regulation: Depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the violation, serving alcohol after the time specified can result in legal consequences for the hotel, such as fines, license suspension, or even revocation of the liquor license.

The hotel should remove Mr. Smith from the premises because it will assist in preventing any further harm; this is the most crucial step. The hotel has the right to ask Mr. Smith to leave if he is intoxicated and causing trouble. The hotel may need to contact the police to remove him if he refuses to leave and is oppressive

1.3. Situation 3

1.3.1. Dealing with the guest in a customer-focused manner:

1. Apologize and empathize: Begin by expressing genuine concern and empathy for Ms. Chong's disappointment. Apologize for any inconvenience caused and assure her that the hotel values her as a customer.

2. Clarify the situation: Explain the situation to Ms. Chong, including the fact that the hotel does not have chili crab available for the day despite it being listed on the menu card and website.

3. Offer alternatives: Offer alternatives to Ms. Chong, such as other seafood dishes, and suggest any other menu items that she may enjoy. You could also offer to have the chef prepare chili crab on another day, and provide a discount or complimentary meal voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

4. Escalate if necessary: If Ms. Chong is still dissatisfied, involve a higher-level manager to handle the situation professionally and discreetly.

To avoid potential torts such as breach of contract or defamation, the hotel should ensure that its staff:

1. Adheres to the menu and website information provided to customers.

2. Provides accurate information about the availability of menu items.

3. Does not make false promises or give inaccurate information that could lead to legal consequences (Clifford et al., 2021).

By dealing with Ms. Chong in a professional and customer-focused manner, the hotel can mitigate the risk of any legal liabilities or reputational harm.

1.3.2. Legal liabilities that the hotel may face:

An offer, not a menu, is an invitation to indulge. A promise to do something in return for something else is an offer. On the other hand, a menu is merely a list of items that can be purchased. It does not imply that any of the items on the menu will be sold. A menu is generally regarded as an invitation to indulge, not an offer. This indicates that the restaurant does not have to sell any of the items on the menu because of legal restrictions. However, the restaurant may be considered to have made an offer if the menu specifically states that an item is available.

Hence, no contract exists between Ms Chong and restaurant because menu is not an offer but an invitation to treat. When there is no contract there Ms Chong cannot sue the restaurant

Section B

2.1. Part 1

Ms. Lee may have a valid claim against the airline and its handling agent for the loss of her laptop. In any case, her case's prosperity would be dependent upon various things, for example, the agreements of her ticket, the regulations and guidelines that apply, and the proof she can give to help her case. In the event that Ms. Lee's laptop was stolen, vicarious liability and negligence may both apply.

1. Negligence: The carrier and its dealing with specialist might be expected to take responsibility for carelessness on the off chance that they neglected to practice sensible consideration in dealing with Ms. Lee's actually taken a look at stuff, bringing about the deficiency of her PC. Failure to properly secure the baggage or allowing it to become lost in transit is examples of this. If the airline and its handling agent failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent Ms. Lee's laptop from being damaged or lost, they could be held liable upto a certain limit for negligence because they have a duty of care toward passengers and their belongings (Nath 2020).

As per the Airlines rules if the luggage is stolen or lost then the airlines will pay 20$ per kilogram. Since her luggage was 20kg therefore the airlines will pay (20*20 = 400 $). Herein, the passengers can purchase additional insurance to safeguard their luggage.

2. Vicarious Liability : A situation in which one party is held accountable for the actions of another refers to vicarious liability (Silver 2014). For this situation, the carrier might be expected vicariously to take responsibility for the activities of its dealing with specialist, as the specialist was following up for the aircraft in taking care of Ms. Lee's things. Even if the airline was not directly involved in the handling of the baggage, the airline could be held liable for the loss that resulted from the handling agent's carelessness.

Ms. Lee may be able to hold the airline and its handling agent accountable for the loss of her laptop by taking legal action under both negligence and vicarious liability. This would necessitate gathering evidence to back up her claims, such as receipts or other documentation indicating the laptop's value and any damages caused by its loss, as well as evidence of the airline's and handling agent's negligence.

2.2. Part 2

When firing an employee, employers must follow a fair and reasonable procedure, as stipulated by Australian employment law (Keay & Loughrey 2019). This includes giving the employee written notice of their termination, giving them a chance to respond to the allegations and provide evidence, and carrying out a fair investigation. On account of burglary or untruthfulness, it is by and large viewed as a substantial justification for excusal, yet the business should in any case follow a fair cycle to stay away from a case for unfair excusal (Southey 2015).

For Ben's situation, there are a few classifications of misdeeds that might actually be pertinent. Some torts and how they might apply are as follows:

Vicarious Liability: Even if they were not directly involved, the hotel may be held liable for any wrongdoing that an employee or manager of the hotel commits while performing their duties, such as defamation, invasion of privacy, or trespass, that causes Ben harm. The term for this is vicarious liability.

Any act or omission, whether done intentionally or unintentionally, that is inconsistent with the express or implied terms of the employment contract" is the definition of misconduct in the Singapore Employment Act (SEA). Under the SEA, Ben's admission that he had stolen the wallet would constitute misconduct. This is because it is a behavior that goes against his employment contract, which says that he must be trustworthy and honest. Ben may have a claim for wrongful termination if he is fired for misconduct. However, he will not be successful unless he can demonstrate that the termination was unreasonable or unjustified. It needs to be ensured that the dismissal was just and reasonable in order to avoid filing a claim for wrongful termination. This indicates that you must be able to justify your dismissal and follow the appropriate dismissal procedures.


Bloch, QS, & Brearley, K 2018, Employment Covenants and Confidential Information: Law, Practice and Technique, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London.

Clifford, S., Smith, J.A., Livingston, M., Wright, C.J.C., Griffiths, K.E. & Miller, P.G. 2021, ‘A historical overview of legislated alcohol policy in the Northern Territory of Australia: 1979–2021’, BMC Public Health, vol. 21, pp. 1-18.

Dyrenfurth, N 2017, A Powerful Influence on Australian Affairs : A New History of the AWU, MUP e-store, Melbourne.

Edwards, L 2019, Corporate power in Australian policy making: The case of unfair contract laws, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol 78, no. 4, pp. 516-529.

Keay, A and Loughrey, J 2019 ‘The concept of business judgment’, Legal Studies, vol. 39, no. 1 pp. 36-55

Nath, N 2020, The Consumer Revolution : Tipping the Balance of Power, SAGE Publications India Pvt, Ltd., New Delhi.

Pomerenke, A. (2017). Statute and Common Law Current Legal Issues Seminar Series.

Sapountsis, J 2016, Australian consumer law update: ACCC cases targeting false or misleading representations, viewed 13 April 2022,

Silver, J. 2014, ‘Houston, we have a (liability) problem’, Michigan law review, vol. 112, no. 5, pp. 833-857.

Southey, K. 2015, ‘Unfair dismissal for Australian workers: the hundred-year journey’, Asian Academy of Management Journal, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 147-164.


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