Contemporary Issues in Tourism Assignment
P2. Understand the current trends in the travel and tourism sector.
P2.1 Evaluate current trends influencing change in the travel and tourism sector.
In this section we will have a close look at the current trends that are domination the travel and tourism sector (Amster, 2013):
- Rise of conspicuous leisure: this states that people are defining their social stature not by consuming goods but by consuming experience and travel is one of the prime contributors in that (Tisdell, 2001). This fuels the desire to travel to hitherto unexplored locations among the people and this helps in Contemporary Issues in Tourism Assignment
- Multigenerational travel: More and more people are travelling as families. People travel with their close ones to mark important events and also to get some much cherished family time. This trend calls for travel sector to come up with tailor made plans that support the entire family. This trend also generates more revenue than lone travelers. This kind of travel is supported mainly by the travel providers because the traditional destinations have no support for them.
- Strength of luxury travel: Luxury travel is still one of the most robust and revenue generating trend. Its strength cannot be denied in today’s market. Developing countries are generating new millionaires and they are ready to shell out money for traveling to exquisite destinations.
- Creative Tourism: This kind of tourism puts a traveler very close to the local residents and gives them a taste of the local culture (Butler et. al, 1997). This adds to the overall tourism experience and also improves the local economy.
- Age appropriate tourism: people from different age group are travelling in large numbers. The ones in the age of 18 to 30 are into adventure and lifestyle tourism (Buckley, 2000). They travel with friends and look for pocket friendly deals. Then there are ‘unstoppable elders’ who travel with the motive of relaxation and rest. They have money to their disposable and demand high level of customer service. Their duration of stay is also longer.
P2.2 Analyze a current trend using appropriate techniques and resource.
In the previous section we had a look at different trends which are currently prevalent in the travel and tourism sector. We will further analyze the trend of “Unstoppable Elders” in detail in this section. Elders make up for 1.3 to 1.6 billion of travelers worldwide. Data collected in United States state that 59% out of 55+ adult groups define retirement as the time to relax and travel and have been saving for it. In the next 12-24 month about 42% of them are planning to take an international vacation. Their normal travel duration ranges from 3-4 days to 9-10 days (Amster, 2013). This section of travelers wants all the good things that money can buy. They travel for relaxation and to unwind. They are also moved by word-of-mouth of publicity. Hence, it is important that their needs and concerns are handled with care. They also prefer to travel during the off seasons in order to avoid the hustle and bustle of crowded tourist destinations during peak seasons. They also put emphasis on safety and security during travel. They are ready to spend money and tend to get frustrated easily. They prefer to get what they are promised. They like high quality customer service experience and do not mind paying a good amount of money (Fick & Ritchie, 1991). They also amount for some of the wealthy travelers in the world and add a good amount of money to the revenue that has been earned by the travel and tourism sector. They at times find travel options like long airline or sea travel uncomfortable and can fare better if they are provided with more comfortable travel option. This group of travelers must be taken seriously because they provide good word of mouth and this will improve the reputation of the travel and tourism sector. This will not only attract more tourists from the same age group but also might lead to more multi generation and family event based travels. This also generated increased revenue.
P3. Understand how the travel and tourism sector responds to change.
As mentioned earlier, travel and tourism sector is highly responsive to any changes in the social, global or economic market. The response that this sector has to change and the how the changes in external factor need to be controlled can be discussed with the help of a brief and SWOT and PEST analysis of travel sector in Brighton.
- Strength: City’s historical and cultural heritage is one of its key strengths. Royal Pavilion is a great tourist attraction. It is easily accessible from London and it well connected to both Heathrow and Gatwick airport. Many events occur in the city round the year. The culture of the city is young, liberal and tolerant. Facilities for accommodation, dining, shopping is readily available and is widespread. It also has options for growth in the business tourism market domain. It also attracts students of English literature and has one of the largest English language training facilities in Europe.
- Weakness: During the peak seasons, supply demand imbalance occurs. There is a high influx of tourists during that time period and they are unable to find suitable accommodation. This needs to be addressed quickly; else it might put Brighton in a negative light. The weekend long repair activities of roadways and railways should be avoided on travel busy weekends because this might cause inconvenience to the tourists and might have a wrong impact. Some surveys have indicated that visitors are left unsatisfied by the parking cost and arrangements at time. Safety and security during night time is also a concern raised by few. Also, city can benefit greatly if they improve the co-operation and support that varied tourism businesses provide each other.
- Opportunities: historical legacy of the city is one of its major draws for attracting tourists. City also came up with attractions line Brighton Centre and stadium, King Alfred Marina etc. which will act as a draw for attracting more tourist revenue. City boasts of various spas and health resorts for attracting travelers looking for an unwinding and relaxing experience. The sustainable credentials are also high and efforts have been made to preserve the natural heritage (Stamboulis & Skayannis, 2003). Methods have been undertaken to tackle ongoing climate changes as harmoniously as possible.
- Threats: There is a strong competition when it comes to sharing visitor traffic from other travel and tourism service providers on online websites and information pages. Industry still relies heavily on the economic conditions of the market. Any slip or down turn will hit the tourism sector badly. Also, Brighton has a lack of trained and skilled labor for further development in the hospitality sector.
- Political: Tourism sector is affected by the government policy of that region. This includes the taxation rate, laws, regulations, political stability, civil disorder, policies etc. The government of Great Britain has proved to supportive of travel and tourism industry. They have taken steps to promote domestic tourism. They fund the Visit Britain initiative to attract international tourists. They have made the visa application process simpler and faster to attract tourists. Funding is being provided to increase jobs in this sector.
- Economic: Tourism generates revenue for a country but on the same stage, the economic condition of a country will directly affect tourism. If conditions are not good, people will not have additional income to dispose for travelling abroad. Plus, development activities that government can undertake for travel sector will also cease.
- Social: The culture and education standard of a place affect the tourism industry. People need to be motivated to understand the importance of spending money on travelling and they need to be made aware of the benefits of tourism as a whole (Miller, 2001). The daily schedule of people, their nature of work and the amount of time they can take out for vacation also affects travel industry.
- Technological: Technology has revolutionized the travel sector. It has led to the introduction of faster means of transport and also gadgets that improve customer experience. Internet got e commerce into picture and it allowed people to look for and compare travel packages over the internet from the comfort of their home and all this proved to be beneficial for the travel sector (Poon, A. (1993).
P3.1 Analyze how the travel and tourism sector responds to change.
As we saw from the SWOT and PEST analysis we can say that there are various factors which directly affect the travel and tourism sector. If there is any change in any of the factors then travel and tourism sector brings about minor changes in order to make customer the champion. This is a service industry and depends entirely upon how a customer feel about the service provided and if they are left satisfied (Um & Crompton, 1990). If the government policies become stringent for international tourism then travel sector can respond by changing their stance on domestic tourism and promoting it. Similarly, during economic downturn they can provide cheaper and affordable packages to people looking for budget travel. They need to keep a keen eye on the changing technology and incorporate the changes quickly because this is one the major reasons that more and more people are travelling because they are powered by the ultimate research tool i.e. internet and prefer making bookings online.
P3.2 Develop strategies on how various selected travel and tourism businesses can respond to change?
It is very important for a travel and tourism industry to quickly respond to any changes that occur in the environment they are in may it be social, economic, political or technological. They need to develop strategy of how they would respond to these changes. For developing the strategy they need have a clear understanding of their strength and weakness. Certain strategies that can be implemented:
- Focus on your strengths and develop them. This is a very important point. As a tourist destination Brighton has its proximity to sea and cultural heritage as their strong points and they need to capitalize on it. Make sure that these resources are well maintained and cared for at all times.
- Develop through clustering and collaborating. Tourism industry is a combination of various service providers like hotel industry, tour guides, travel operators etc. and you need to collaborate effectively in order to succeed as a whole.
- Have a sustainable development approach. This is the best strategy to employ while responding to ever constant climatic changes that are occurring. Tourism industry is directly affected by these changes (Buckley, 2000). Tsunami, earthquake, effects of global warming can destroy the tourism market of a country. This process cannot be reversed but can be controlled and through sustainable development approach.
- Plan, promote, attract and increase investment by both government and private sector in tourism (Blanke & Chiesa, 2013). This ensures that if things take a negative turn then there is enough money to keep the company floating with support from collaborators.
- Keeping the offering varied. This allows one to attract travelers from different economic backgrounds, tastes and preferences. In case of any economic downturn when people stop spending much on travel we can attract them with cheap bargains.
P3.3 Justify strategies for how selected travel and tourism businesses could respond to change.
The above points cover in brief the preparation that a travel and tourism sector company needs to make in order to ensure that they can handle change. These have taken into account the environment in which the travel and tourism industry operate. They have identified that although the industry is currently on boom, any change in one of the many factors like government strategy, economy, and social factors can hit the industry hard as it is completely dependent on the experience of the customer. It also takes into account the constant climatic changes that can affect the state of tourism and champions sustainable development which is going to be helpful in the long run of things (Lickorish et. al, 1991). It will harm the environment less and try to put a break on the extensive climatic disasters that are happening. Similarly, strategy to encourage investors to put their money in this sector provides the sector with money to expand their horizons and invest on attracting more customers with better offerings that are customized to their demands.
P4. Understand the impacts of change on the travel and tourism sector.
The success of travel and tourism industry depends upon the balance that they are able to achieve among the various factors that influence it. There are various issues and trends that affect this industry as a whole and companies who are able achieve the right balance survive and the ones who cannot perish with the tide of change hitting them badly. Let us take the example of Hotel industry and understand the topic.
P4.1 Analyze the impacts of issues and trends that drive change in the travel and tourism sector.
The issues and trends and their impacts which drive change in the travel and tourism sector are many and are listed as follows:
- Social issues: convincing people that tourism is not an industry that caters to just the rich. It should be ensured that tourism development is not happening at the cost of poor and needy. A move like building a luxury hotel by moving the poor will harm the reputation of the establishment (Ashley et. al, 2001).
- Taxation: Levying heavy taxes from international travelers as they are not the citizens of the state is a wrong approach and should be abolished. Revenue can be increased by treating the tourists light as this generates more footfalls (Hall & Page, 2014).
- Terrorism: This has become a global problem. Time and again many developed as well as developing nations have faced severe terrorist threats which cripple the tourism industry as travelers are wary to reach these venues. This leads to empty rooms and fewer earnings. Hence, hotels will fare better if the safety and security is ensured for their guests.
- Environmental issues: Sustainable development is the call of the hour. When it comes to the hotel industry the government favors those which show responsibility towards the environment. Hotel chains have started making changes in the way things work by incorporating sustainable and environmentally safe measures. This is the most viable lifeline.
- Growth of secondary cities: small and previously unrecognized destinations are gaining importance. The revenue that tourism generates has made places identify their potential and they are also developing their resources. This has given the hotel industry and opportunity to come up with new branches. The tariffs are decided according economy of the place.
- Holiday Trends: Hotels need to keep a keen eye on the global holiday trends. In recent times, there has been more focus upon shorter holidays (Hall & Page, 2014). They need to identify the travelers interested in longer breaks and the ones looking for shorter getaways. Once this data is available, they should respond by creating customized travel plans.
- Technology: Technology is a powerful tool and a driver of change when it comes to the way people chose their travel packages and destinations. Ecommerce has become prevalent and hotels must respond by registering a convincing online presence (Inkpen, 1998). They must have their dedicated websites and also provide links to travel portals. This helps them survive among the competition.
- Globalization: Globalization has turned an individual into global citizen. The boundaries have become obscure and people are settling in different nations and are travelling far and wide. This calls for tourism sector to become sensitive towards different cultures. Hotels must play host to various people and make them feel at home even when they lie far away.
- Changing value chains: The tourism sector is no longer just dependent on hotels, airlines, restaurants. Things like cultural heritage, society, connectivity to internet, education etc. the new network is much more flexible than the older network. The destination has become as important as the whole process.
Fig Traditional value chain
Fig New Value network
P4.2 Discuss the consequences of businesses failing to respond to market changes.
In the previous section we discussed about the various issues and trends that drive change in the travel and tourism sector and the impacts that they have. It was also concluded upon that any business needs to respond appropriately to these changes if they have to survive. In this section we will focus in detail on the topic as to why accepting and acting on change is necessary.
As, tContemporary Issues in Tourism Assignment is a service sector industry and depends upon the satisfaction level of the consumers. Consumers are fickle people and their demands are affected greatly by the environment in which they survive. If the environment changes, the requirement of the consumer also changes and if the tourism industry fails to respond to these changes, the customers will be left unhappy and would not use the services again. They will also not spread the good word and hence further business might become a problem. Any failure, to respect the demands and insensitivity towards people of various nationalities means that the industry does not respect globalization and hence this might lead to less profits and dwindling number of guests. They must also conform to the changing holiday trends, inability to which might lead to people preferring other service providers. As the competition is strong, the need to identify the demands and requirement is of prime importance else people will readily take the next available and more viable option (Moutinho, 2011).
Similarly, if the industry does not agree to go for sustainable development it will attract the wrath of world organizations as well as local government which have strict regulations for protecting the environment.
If the industry is not sensitive to the social issues and prefer development at the cost of the needy then it will generate ill will and reputation and guests might prefer staying away from such establishments.
In the end, we can say that if the travel and tourism sector does not respond appropriately to the changes then it would be akin to moving towards a self-demise. Industry is all about providing service and flourishing on the basis of the feedback obtained. The satisfaction level of guests is as important as the money, maybe more and should be valued. Similarly, government allows the establishments to function and non-conformation to rules and regulations will mean going against them and they have all the right to close a business that is doing so.
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Blanke, J., & Chiesa, T. (2013). The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013. In The World Economic Forum.
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