Threats of terrorism, pandemic outbreaks, natural calamities and, finally, pesky security checks notwithstanding, the international tourism industry is booming. Tourism has become a key economic driver globally, and is one of the main sources of income for many developing countries today. The global crisis that shook 2008 to the core (and continues to do so) has impact in industries across the board. One of the most affected fields is tourism as it’s an elected excess and not a necessity. A recently released research by the Tourism Journalist’s Association shows that people will be more cautious in spending for leisure travels and will engage in more meaningful, rather than extravagant, vacations. The tourism industry has matured significantly in recent years and is displaying a new willingness to share information and co-operate.
The result: A different type of growth, one that is more moderate, more solid and more responsible. Many of the crisis events that affect tourism have been occurring for millennia. The global financial and economic downturn that affected tourism from 2007 through to 2010and beyond has cast substantial attention to the role that crisis events play in tourism. These concerns have only been exacerbated by natural disasters. The potential affect of crisis events on international tourism is likely to increase both in size and frequency as tourism becomes increasingly hypermobile and the global economy even more interconnected. The impact of technology and the competitive factors on tourism were among the interesting trends.
Technology is a driving force of change that presents opportunities for greater efficiencies and integration for improved guest services. Technology has become a tourism business activity in development of strategic resources and is considered as a tool to increase competitiveness. Effective use of information technology can make significant operational improvements. Advanced software and communication tools allow enlarging operational efficiency, for example, orders may be made better, faster and cheaper. In addition, decision-making through decision support tools, databases and modeling tools assist the manager’s job. Technology changes the tourism business rules. More specifically: Information on all tourist services is available virtually from all over the world. Potential client can be any resident of the world.
More territorial boundaries restrict the number of customers. Decision making turns into a tourism specialist in each component. Changes in customer service technology and service personalization occur.
Tourism services compete on more than just image, differentiation, and benefits offered. Tourism demand trends. While the mass tourism market remains fundamental to the growth of many destinations, the new challenge for the decision makers of the tourism sector nowadays seems to be the choice between supporting the conventional mass tourism activities or creating the conditions for the development of a new local tourism supply (Conti and Perelli, n.d.:17). The multi-motivational nature of holiday decision-making combined with the fact that tourists become more and more sophisticated, seeking increasingly for tourist products that fulfill their particular needs, has increased competition between destinations, fuelling the need to target particular special interest visitors.
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