The travel industry is a tourism network which includes both the public and private sectors. Gee, Choy and Makens define the travel industry as ”the composite of organizations, both private and public, that are involved in the development, production and marketing of products-and services to serve the- needs of the travelers” This definition clearly identifies both the direct and indirect components of the travel industry. Businesses and corporations are regarded as components of the travel industry classified as direct providers, support services and developmental organizations.
The first category, direct providers, includes businesses that are associated with travel, such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, ground transportation, travel agencies and retail shops. These businesses provide services, activities and products that are consumed and, or purchased directly by travelers. They represent the sectors of the industry that are visible to the travelers.
The second category, support services, lends support to direct providers. It includes specialized services such as tour organizers, travel and trade publications, hotel management firms, and travel research firms. – It also includes basic supplies and services such as contract laundry and contract food services. -Support services provide goods and services for both the traveler and for organizations that sell goods and services directly but not exclusively to tourists. – A good example are tour wholesalers who prepare tours and instead of selling them directly to the public sell the tours through a travel agency. -Thus the traveler receives the service indirectly through these support services.
The third category, developmental organization, is different from the first two, since it includes planners, government agencies, financial institutions, real estate developers and educational and vocational training institutions. -These organizations deal with tourism development which tends to be more complex and broader in scope than the production of daily travel services. The decisions and results of tourism development are more long-term in nature than the first two categories which deal more with operations.
Tourism Supply Components
Tourism supply components are classified into five main categories: 1. Natural resources — includes elements in an area for the use and enjoyment of visitors such as climate, landforms, terrain, flora, fauna, bodies of water, beaches, natural beauty and water supply for drinking, sanitation, and similar uses. 2. Infrastructure — consists of all underground and surface developmental construction such as water supply systems, sewage disposal systems, gas lines, electrical and communications systems, drainage systems and other constructed facilities such as highways, airports, railroads, roads, drives, parking lots, parks, night lighting, marinas and dock facilities, bus and train station facilities and similar tourist service installations. 3. Superstructure- The above ground facility services such as airport buildings, passenger traffic terminals, hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, shopping centers, places of entertainment, museums, stores and similar structures.
4. Transportation and transportation equipment- includes items such as ships, airplanes, trains, buses, limousines, taxis, automobiles, cog railways, aerial tramway, and similar passenger transportation facilities. 5. Hospitality resources — include the cultural wealth of an area which makes possible the successful hosting of tourists. Examples are the welcoming spirit of tourist business employees, attitudes of the residents towards visitors, courtesy, friendliness, sincere interest, willingness to serve and to get better acquainted with visitors, and other manifestations of warmth and friendliness. It also includes the cultural resources of an area such as fine arts, literature, history music, dramatic art, dancing, and shopping.
The natural resources of a destination area provide an excellent asset to sell to tourists. The physical characteristics of an area can be generalized as natural scenery climate, and environment. – The natural scenery is a combination of the general topography flora and fauna, proximity to lakes, rivers, seas, islands and islets, hot and mineral water springs, caverns, waterfalls, and the like. The greater the variety and uniqueness of the scenery, the more appealing it is. The appeal can be increased if the area has a “comfortable” climate. A comfortable cold climate is determined by the wind-chill factor — a term used to express how temperature feels to the exposed skin. A comfortable warm climate is determined by the combination of humidity, temperature, and wind. -A notable example is the Caribbean because, although many of its islands are in the tropical zone, the wind currents make it more comfortable than the temperature and humidity would show.
-Water plays an important role in forming an attractive landscape. The sea, lakes and rivers not only add to the visual beauty of the region but also offer the possibility of swimming, sailing, canoeing, and fishing. Thus, large bodies of water have become popular such as Taal Lake in the Philippines, and Lake Geneva, in Switzerland. -Specific natural phenomena such as volcanoes, waterfalls, cave, and canyons also attract tourists. Examples are the Pagsanjan Falls in the Philippines, Grand Canyon in the U.S., Niagara Falls in the U.S. and Canada, and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The particular fauna or flora of a region often draws tourists. Kenya and other countries of southern Africa, and their wildlife safaris are increasing in popularity the camera being substituted for the gun. The Amazon, with its exotic rainforest vegetation and its wildlife is attracting several tourists. The same is true with the tulip fields of Holland and the cherry blossoms of Japan.
Infrastructure consists of all the underground and surface developmental construction of a region which is made up of water systems, communication networks, health care facilities, transportation terminals, power sources, sewage / drainage areas, streets/ highways, and security systems. Water – sufficient quantity of pure water is essential. A typical resort requires 350 to 400 gallons of water per room per day. An 18- hole golf course will require 600,000 to 1 million gallons of water per day, depending on the region on which it is located. Power -The important things to consider are that adequate supply of power be available to meet peak load requirements, that continuity of service be assumed and that the type of power supplied be compatible with that used by the target markets of the destination.
Communication- lt is necessary that the telephone and/ or telegraph service be available. Sewage/drainage- Sewer demand is often placed at 90% of domestic water demand. Although water storage reservoir and sewage treatment plants can be designed on the basis of maximum average demand; transmission lines must be designed on the basis of maximum peak demand. Health care -The type of health care facilities provided will depend on the number of visitors expected, their ages, the type of activities in which they will engage and local geographical factors. Street/highways- The availability of first-class roads adds greatly to the accessibility of a region. The following are certain ways to make the use of highways more interesting to tourists:
1. Provide close-up range view of local scenes
2. Change the elevation
3. Develop viewpoints and overlooks
4. Independently align dual-lane highways to fit into the land contour
5. Selectively thin trees to reveal views. Design a dual system of higher speed lanes flanked by roads for low-speed local traffic. Roads should be engineered for safety, taking appropriate measures designed to safeguard the highway user.
Transportation terminals — The following are the problems in terminal facilities and ground transportation: General — There is an almost complete lack of coordination among the three modes of air, rail, and bus. There is also a noticeable lack of consistency in standards and procedures within each mode. Directional and informational signs are not uniform throughout the system; public address announcements are often unintelligible. Air – Long walks are required in many terminals.
Rail – Parking is inconvenient and inadequate near larger terminals; use of facilities by local transients and inadequate cleaning procedures lead to crowded, insanitary waiting rooms and restrooms; security to prevent thefts is lacking; information and directional maps are not provided in most rail terminals; special transportation to and from rail terminals is not provided; urban transit and taxi service is often inadequate. Bus — Terminals are dirty and crowded due to use by unauthorized people and to inadequate cleaning procedures; boarding gates lack a system of orderly procedures resulting in crowding when passengers are boarding; inadequate protection is afforded to passengers against traffic. The following suggestions with regard to terminals and ground facilities may serve as a guide in providing adequate services: 1. Full information about facilities, terminal location, and local transportation at destination should be made available to all originating passengers.
2. A security system should be provided to prevent theft and misleading of checked baggage at terminals. 3. The information system should provide data on connecting or alternative rail and bus service, including information on fares and schedules. 4. A system of standard signs and symbols should be developed and installed in all air terminals. 5. Rapid updated arrival and departure information should be available on posted information boards, through public address announcements and to telephone callers. 6. Personnel should always be available to assist passengers especially the aged, handicapped and non-English speaking. 7. Complete information should be provided on the location fares, schedules and routes of local transportation services. 8. City maps should be made available to tourists.
Security- While on vacation, tourists are in an unfamiliar environment. Because of this, the need for assurance regarding safety is important. The image gained of the destination may be distorted. In addition, the costs of medical care is so expensive that concern about health in foreign countries may generate additional fears. Lnsecurities about food, water or police protection may prevent visitors from visiting. lt is necessary that the basic need for security and safety be considered and assumed to make the potential tourist feel secure before and during the vacation.
Hospitality resources refer to the general feeling of welcome that the visitors receive while visiting a destination area. lt is the way that tourist services are delivered by service providers, as well as the general feeling of warmth from the local population. Tourists will have a more enjoyable vacation if they feel welcomed by the host population and will certainly feel awkward and unhappy if they feel resented. Hospitality resources can be improved by training tourism personnel to be hospitable and encouraging positive feelings towards tourism and tourists by the general public.
Hospitality training aims to motivate service providers to be hospitable in dealing with tourists. It is assumed that providing more hospitable services will result in a more satisfied tourist who will be inclined to return and advertise to other potential tourists through word of mouth. To enable service Providers Hospitality resources and training to render hospitable services, it is necessary to change their present behavior. This change of behavior is brought about by a change in attitude and an increase in the level of knowledge. The three aspects of attitudes are toward self, toward others and toward the tourism industry.
Attitude toward Self
If an individual’s self-esteem or attitude toward self is low, that individual will tend to behave in such a way that the feedback from others will confirm the low opinion of himself. Hence, it is necessary to change the individual’s perception of self in order to improve his behavior. If service providers can be made to believe that they and their work is important, their work and their actions toward tourist will reflect this feeling. If services providers can be viewed as hosts and hostesses rather than “just” employees their self-image may be raised. The fact that dealing with and serving people is a very difficult task should be stressed. Although it is relatively easy to deal with a satisfied guest, it is very challenging to deal with visitors who are dissatisfied or are very demanding. The ability to satisfy guests is a very demanding task. People who can do this have skills that should be highly regarded by themselves and by others.
Attitude toward Others
The second aspect of attitude is the attitude toward others. Service providers should be assisted in developing positive feelings toward fellow employees and tourists that will result in positive behavior toward the tourists. -This can be achieved by training the individual regarding teamwork and interdependence in getting the job done. The key to the development of positive attitudes toward visitors is to be able to develop the ability to put oneself in the visitor’s place. -Role-playing can be used for this purpose. If the service provider can empathize with the tourists, accept tourists as they are, understand that for tourists, this vacation is something that they have saved for the whole year or for a lifetime and appreciate how tired they may be after a long trip, then, the attitude is likely to be more positive.
Attitude toward the Tourism Industry
The third aspect of attitude is the attitude toward tourism. A positive attitude of service providers toward tourists can be brought about only when employees are made aware of how important tourism is to their country city and community. By being aware of the amount of revenue, jobs, taxes generated and the dispersion of the tourist dollar throughout the community employees may become convinced of the economic and social significance of the industry of which they are a part. – To facilitate a change in attitude, it is necessary to raise the level of knowledge of the individual. This may be done in group sessions or through a variety of audiovisual means.
To be able to give advice or directions to tourists, employees can familiarize themselves with the surrounding attractions and services through familiarization tours. Employees should be instructed in group sessions with regard to verbal and nonverbal behavior since many of them are unaware of the negative messages their facial expressions or posture give to tourists. By means of this joint approach – attempting to change attitudes about the self, others, and tourism through increasing the level of knowledge and teaching hospitable behavior, it is hoped that the hospitality behavior level of service providers will be raised.
Community Awareness Programs
Although the tourists is most directly affected by the degree of hospitality shown by service providers, the overall feeling of welcome within a community will also enhance or detract from the vacation experience. Residents of a destination area cannot be trained to act in a hospitable manner toward tourists, but a community awareness program can help develop a more positive attitude toward the tourists. The aims of the program are to build acceptance of tourism and to build an understanding of the tourist. An acceptance of tourism cannot be built unless the benefits of tourism are made clear to the members of the community. The benefits of tourism are many, yet many people do not realize that they are positively affected by it. It is necessary to convince the local citizens of the importance and relevance of tourism to them.
An understanding of who the tourist is can bring about a greater acceptance of the visitor. Knowing why people visit the area might result in a stronger civic pride. There are various ways to communicate with the local community. Public meetings can be held to discuss particular problems. A speaker’s bureau composed of tourism community leaders who will talk to community groups can be organized. Information sheets and newsletters can be distributed throughout the destination area. Whatever methods are used, the main objective is to create a feeling of welcome for the tourists within the community.
Transportation is of paramount importance in developing tourism. Tourists need easy access to various forms of transportation such as road, rail, air, and water. Thus, the amount of time from major population centers via each mode of transportation is important. It is important to have convenient access and quality service. The cost of reaching the destination and staying there must also be considered. This should include special needs such as road tolls, gasoline stations, repairs, parking, car rentals and charter, and scheduled bus services.
A. Land Travel
1. Taxi and Limousine Service
Adequate taxi and limousine services is important in a tourist area. Taxis should have removable and washable seat covers so that they will present a clean appearance to the passenger. The taxi driver should always be driver should always be courteous and helpful. He should open the door for the passenger and assist him in getting the baggage from the trunk. Taxi drivers should be trained in foreign languages. lf the drivers are generally weak in foreign language ability hotels can cooperate by providing written directions for the tourists to give to the taxi driver regarding his destination and another written direction for the tourist to give to the taxi driver to return to the hotel at the end of the trip.
2. Bus Service
Tour buses should have large windows, comfortable seats, air-conditioning unit and restroom facilities. Springs and other suspension systems in the tour buses should be carefully designed to prevent joggling of passengers. Multilingual services or multilingual tape recording facilities with earphones for each passenger are desirable to tour areas where an interpretation of the points of interest is necessary. Persons assigned to the buses should be selected for their appropriate temperament, courtesy and hospitality.
Tour guides and interpreters should be properly trained and educated for their job to avoid the faulty interpretation of the tourist attractions. A program of certification for tour guides should be conducted by a special school or provided in the curriculum of an institution of higher learning. In such a program, competent instructors should be hired to educate future guides in the history, culture, political, and economic system of the tourist areas. Adequate knowledge of difficult languages is also an important qualification.
3. Rail Service
The majority of seasoned travelers prefer to travel by train because of its safety record and the convenience and satisfaction of viewing the scenery from a comfortable air- conditioned car. The appeal of rail travel has been further enhanced by the recent introduction of high-speed trains. Adequate taxi, limousine or bus service from the railroad station to the hotels is very important, these services must be frequent enough to avoid fear on the part of the traveler that he will not reach his hotel at once. Such services should also be available to transport him from the hotel to the railroad station to make connections with his train.
B. Air Travel
Porter service is important at air terminals. The porters helpful behavior and attitude is essential and their training and supervision should be adequate. Although airport facilities differ from place to place, the comfort of travelers should always be kept in mind. In a hot climate, the airport must be completely air-conditioned and in a cold climate, adequate heat should be provided. Large airports provide comfortable and attractive waiting areas as well as information regarding flight times and similar information.
Courtney from Study Moose