The Tourism Business Environment, part 1


The first day of class, I alluded to the dynamic nature of our tourism industry.  This involves the interaction and exchange between key players.  The goal of each is to develop and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships that meet or exceed the expectations of the participant.  On both sides of the aisle.  We want to create value.

Sure we are a 24/7/365 industry.  Our open sign remains in the ‘on’ position for that period of time.  Exchange happens at any time of the day, given the exponential development of technology.  Money, information, and promises are the drivers of that exchange.  Time is expended, and must be maximized efficiently and effectively on both sides of the equation.  Remember, tourism is defined as a movement, in space, and time by individuals and groups.

These stakeholders are directly or indirectly involved in tourism.  They may be guests that convert interest to actual use, employees, government entities, and others.  Others, could be those indirect individuals, those arm-chair travelers that take a moment out of their day and post to Twitter, or Facebook, about desires.  That tweet, or post may go viral and prompt another person, or group of people to act.  The arm-chair traveler has indirectly influenced someones decision-making, whether they know they did or not.  They have created value.  Our dynamic nature is a constant stream between players, constantly moving.  If exchange doesn’t happen, our product’s ability to capture value is diminished or eliminated.  Our product has a 24 hour shelf life, perishable without use.  If we don’t sell that product, put a head in a bed, or a butt in a seat, we will lose those revenues, and never have the opportunity to gain them back.  If that cycle continues, we could stagnate and die.

Our stakeholders are unique.  They are matrix of individual personalities with differing motivations for travel, to engage in tourism.  Their expectations, some tangible and others intangible, may not be easily articulated and measured.  But in the exchange we have the opportunity to develop relationships that allow the flow of information to create an experience that could meet or even exceed those expectations.  Without knowledge, service failure looms ever-present.  That pendulum ever ticking in the background.

Stakeholders, guests, those that consume our products as well as others, each come from varying backgrounds melded and shaped by the three environments:  Natural/Man-made landscape, economic, and sociocultural.  These environments shape our sense of self and sense of identity.  Inner forces, our intellect, beliefs, values, lifestyle, gender, age, all are formed and influenced by external forces.  Products, people, information, experience, etc.  These forces define who we are, and our decision-making.  Our awareness, and understanding will vary over our life span.  Choices we make today will be different tomorrow, twenty years from now.  Change is a constant.  Adaptability a must.

Success in our industry, for the most part is measured by our profitability.  But profitability doesn’t always indicate a measurable outcome.  Money can be counted, but promises not so much.  They have tangible and intangible elements due to the insertion of the human factor.  Promises are made before, during and after experience.  We should strive to create more, create loyalty by fulfillment of those promises.  Service success hinges on that aspect.

More to come…

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