Unit 6 Contemporary Issues in Travel and Tourism

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The aim of this unit is to enable learners to gain understanding of current issues and trends, and the impacts of and responses to change in travel and tourism.

Unit abstract

This unit allows learners to develop research skills within the context of a travel and tourism topic of personal interest which may not be covered elsewhere on the qualification programme. The unit introduces learners to current issues and trends in the travel and tourism sector. Throughout the research and investigation of current issues and trends in the travel and tourism sector learners will develop understanding of how the sector responds to change and the impacts of change on the travel and tourism sector. The unit has a practical focus that enables learners to develop the skills required before undertaking small-scale projects. Learners should be able to justify their choice of issue prior to exploring the issue in some depth. Throughout the research and investigation learners will develop knowledge and understanding of particular key issues within the sector.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand current issues in the travel and tourism sector

Issues currently driving change: issues/factors as current at time of delivery; need for increased security; advancements in technology (security and anti-terrorism measures); state of the economy; rise and fall of inflation; emergence of new markets; impact of the Eurozone; low cost cruise/airlines; increased environmental awareness; responsible tourism; health issues; appropriate research methods; current national and international legislation

2 Understand current trends in the travel and tourism sector

Key trends: in domestic and inbound tourism; in UK outbound tourism; causes; specialist/niche markets eg adventure tourism, extreme/sports tourism, rural/agro tourism, gastro tourism, dark tourism, medical tourism, green tourism, grey tourism, faith tourism; growth industries; reasons for growth; types of tourism that are increasing in popularity; reasons for increase in popularity
Techniques for analysing trends: analysing and evaluating data (quantitative, qualitative, primary and secondary); drawing conclusions; potential impacts of trends; trend data sources

3 Understand how the travel and tourism sector responds to change

Response preparation: current situation; past examples; internal and external business environments; PEST/SWOT; macro and micro environments; argument based on use of data interpretation and analysis; potential ways forward; improvements
Response to change: adapting and creating new products and services; marketing plan (short or long term, mission statement, aims and objectives); marketing strategy; marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place); product life cycle; brand development; changes to business practices

4 Understand the impacts of change on the travel and tourism sector

Impacts of change: on sector structure (mergers, acquisitions, liquidations, formation of consortia); on businesses; on products and services; on employment levels
Consequences of failing to respond to change: reduced sales and profitability; profit margins; change in attitudes (customers, suppliers, competitors); negative impact on image of product/service and/or business


Essential requirements

Learners must keep up to date with current issues that may influence the travel and tourism sector. They must be encouraged to engage in regular research through a variety of sources, eg reading quality newspapers and trade journals, watching news and current affairs programmes on the television etc. Sufficient time must be built into the teaching schedule to allow learners to undertake the necessary research into at least two current issues.

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