Lately, everywhere you go you’re referred to as a guest. Whether it is a hotel, cruise line, or theme park. Apparently some marketing guru thought the word sounded friendlier than customer.
Really though, if you were their guest, would you be paying for the opportunity to stay, play or vay-k on their premises? When the family comes at Christmas do you slide a bill under the bedroom door at 3 am on the day of departure? No, they are your guests. You foot the bill. That is a guest. You offer them your hospitality and enjoy their company.
Saying that a customer or client is a guest is an insult. The treatment is the same so why call them something different. It is an implication that you are not a very good host.
So the next time the ship’s captain welcomes you as his guest, or you call “Guest Services” at that swanky hotel, thank them for their generosity for letting you pay for that smile on their face.