The tourism and hospitality industry a few decades ago were highly localized and hence, the competition was also limited. However, globalization has clearly reduced trade barriers which has not only ensured the entry of multi-national corporations into diverse global regions but has also ensured an increase in the number of individuals that travel across international borders, thus expanding the customer base for the businesses operating within the sector. Due to the dynamic nature of the modern business environment, it is evident that the there are changing trends and issues that impact the industry (Aldebert, Dang and Longhi, 2011). Addressing that aspect, this report focuses on addressing two important trends and issues that have a large-scale impact on the tourism and hospitality industry in the global context.
Growth of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in Recent Years
The extent of growth in the tourism and has become obvious as its growth percentage as outperformed the growth of the global GDP in the last few years which clearly reflects the amount of opportunities businesses operating within the industry have. However, over the last few decades the number of new entrants into the industry and large-scale expansion of existing businesses have become increasingly common which has resulted in a situation of intensive competition which requires the existing organisations to operate efficiently through the proper utilization and optimization of available resources. The recent growth in the sector has been termed as highly astonishing as it has even outperformed healthcare and information technology which are considered as major providers of jobs to people globally. In recent years, the number
of people employed in the tourism and hospitality industry at a global scale has increased exponentially and it is expected that the numbers are likely to grow further considering the growth opportunities especially in developing regions. The current market situation has demanded hotel chains to focus on methods to minimize cost and maximize profitability in order to ensure survival in a highly competitive business environment. The years ahead are likely to bring about further competition which would be facilitated due to globalization and reduced trade barriers across international borders. One of the factors due to which tourism has been promoted globally is due to the nature of its business which attracts business from foreign countries which is clearly preferred by most economies. Apart from that the extensive job opportunities it provides is clearly a solution to an extent to the existing unemployment issues that is highly widespread in developing countries of Asia and Africa (Aldebert, Dang and Longhi, 2011).
Recent trends have forced existing business owners within the industry to make adequate upgrades to ensure the compliance with global trends and issues. Hence, it can be understood that like most industries in the modern economies, it is necessary to adapt a flexible approach which ensures the adaptability and provides flexibility to make adequate changes to business strategies. For example, large-scale markets such as China and India have allowed significant amount foreign investments into the hospitality industry of the country which acts as a major challenge to the domestic organizations (Aldebert, Dang and Longhi, 2011). However, the major benefit of these strategies is that it ensures extensive development and industrialization of the country. Hence, it can be concluded that the growth opportunities offered by the hospitality and tourism industry are highly lucrative which has driven large-scale growth in the industry in the last few decades and it is expected that the trend would continue in the years to come due to the growing relevance of globalization and an ever-increasing number of tourists. In that context, the report would be discussing two critical issues that have a major impact on the functionality of businesses operating within the industry which includes the implementation of technology within the sector and the growing emphasis on achieving sustainability through operations.
Discussion of Two Key Issues/Trends:
Technological Trend in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
The implementation of technology in the hospitality and tourism industry has had a major role to play in its growth and has ensured that the industry is able to contribute significantly towards the global GDP especially in countries that attract large scores of tourists and business travellers throughout the year. The major benefit that the implementation and utilization of technology has brought to the industry is that it has provided convenience and ease of use to the tourists (customers) which has clearly boosted the number of individuals that are willing to travel across international borders at a regular basis. The second benefit that is mostly applicable to the organisational perspective is that it has enhanced the efficiency of operations which directly reduces overall costs and enhances the ability of the organisation to generate improved profitability levels which is one of the major factors that promotes the growth in any particular industry. There has been extensive growth in the tourism and hospitality industry as it has been extensively discussed in the sections above and it is clearly due to the contribution of technology which has closed down communication barriers and has ensured that suppliers (hotels, restaurants) are able to connect to the end consumers. Hence, it can be evaluated that both customers and business organisations have been major beneficiaries of the implementation of large-scale technology into the industry which is likely to play a further role in the growth of the industry in the years to come as it is expected that the connectivity that technological platforms offer is likely to attract a larger number of tourists and business travellers across international borders.
In most situations. Individuals discuss the benefits that have been brought about by technological implementation in improving the quality of service and convenience. However, the increase in operational efficiency and productivity is one of the major benefits which is often neglected. The usage of technology in the form of software’s, machine learning and artificial intelligence has allowed businesses to reduce operational costs significantly and ensure the achievement of improved profitability levels. However, studies have also indicated that the technological implementation in the industry is yet to reach a highly developed stage in developing countries because countries such as China and India have numerous multinational corporations operating within its territory. However, a major chunk of the industry is still governed by small scale hotels, restaurants that are not excessively dependent on technology and still rely on
conventional methods to conduct regular operations. Recent trends have indicated that governments across the globe have promoted the utilization and implementation of technology within local hotels which would certainly enhance the ability of the businesses to effectively benefit from the growing demand in the hospitality industry. Formulation of policies and regulations towards promoting small and medium scale hotels have been prioritized in order to maintain an adequate balance between international hotel chains and local small to medium scale hotels. Hence, it can be concluded that the implementation of technology has already transformed the hospitality and tourism industry but its impact is likely to increase in the years to come which would clearly enhance the efficiency, productivity of the industry in numerous regions across the globe.
The above-discussions have clearly highlighted the importance of technological implementation in the modern business environment in context of the hospitality and tourism industry. However, there are numerous indirect implications of technology utilization such as in the domain of marketing and customer relationship management. For example, it can clearly be understood that hotels and restaurants in the modern business environment across numerous global regions have benefitted significantly due to the opportunities presented by effective marketing on technological platforms which has enhanced exposure to potential tourists located at different geographical regions. Similarly, the communication has improved by leaps and bounds in the industry as businesses such as hotels can effectively communicate with its customers globally which would directly increase the efficiency of customer satisfaction as the hospitality industry is based on providing high-quality services. Hence, it can be evaluated that technology has seamlessly connected businesses operating within the industry with potential customers located in varying geographical regions which signifies the impact of large-scale implementation of technology in the modern business environment.
The technological environment has itself transformed significantly in the last few decades and its impact has been widespread across numerous industries. The benefits of technology have clearly been discussed in the sections above and how it has resulted in extensive development, growth of the tourism and hospitality industry. However, it is necessary to understand that technology needs to be implemented strategically and systematically in order to reap its benefits. Apart from that the excessive competition and access to technology has resulted in a situation where it is necessary to properly mitigate the risks involved. It is evident that numerous benefits are being
provided by the governments to business organizations within the industry that aim to implement technology as it would directly drive economic growth primarily due to the large-scale impact that the industry has on the global GDP. It is necessary to optimize operations in a manner that promotes efficacy and productivity because recent trends have clearly reflected that despite extensive competition, there are numerous opportunities in the next few decades in the industry which can contribute not only towards organisation growth but towards holistic industrialization and ultimately economic development of countries. Over the years, the role of technology has transformed at a rapid pace as technology was primarily aimed to focus on certain functional departments but its dynamic nature has resulted in a situation where it impacts almost all if not all the aspects related to the industry. The benefits of the large-scale implementation of technology are widespread as it positively impacts the consumers, business organizations, governments and the economy as a whole which clearly depicts that a greater emphasis would be paid towards prioritizing the usage of technology in the industry in the years to come (Bethapudi, 2013).
Sustainability in Tourism and Hospitality Industry
The recent trends have played a major role in shaping the current status of the hospitality and tourism industry. As it has been discussed above, technology has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the industry and has contributed significantly towards its extensive growth. It can be understood that the growing demand for sustainable practices has acted as a major challenge for numerous industries and the hospitality industry is one that has been criticized to a great extent due to the lack of contribution from the end of the participating organisations towards ensuring that the negative impact of the industry on the society and environment is minimized. The carbon footprint of the hospitality and tourism industry has clearly been rising significantly due to the rapid increase in the number of hotels which has increased the amount of pollution that is emitted from the industry at a global level Fadahunsi, 2011). Hence, it can be understood that the concerns related to the lack of sustainability of organizational operations in the hospitality and tourism industry has emerged as a cause of concern primarily due to the fact that it impacts the customer perception and also results in non-compliance with the regulations of numerous authoritative entities. The discussion clearly depicts that the business organisations operating within the industry must enforce the initiative to adapt towards sustainable practices which would not only ensure societal and environmental balance but would also attract customers as
there is a common trend across countries that individuals prefer organisations that promote sustainability in its day to day practices (Bethapudi, 2013).
The recent increase in demand for sustainability is due to the extreme negative impact that the large-scale industrialization has had on the global environment which has also disrupted the societal balance. In that context, it can be understood that the adaptation of sustainable practices and strategies would be one of the mandatory measures which would ensure the fulfilment of stakeholder objectives. Apart from that it would be necessary for hotels to ensure compliance with regulations and rules related to the particular region within which it operates. The benefits of adapting to sustainable practices is widespread as it ensures the proper contribution of the industry towards ensuring the stability in the environment (Jadhav and Mundhe, 2011). The role of hospitality and tourism industry in facilitating pollution has increased only recently post its rapid growth into the developing countries of the world. From a managerial perspective it can evaluated that like most industries it would be critically important to ensure a proper balance to ensure that the negative impacts of the industry’s activity are negligible. As it can be understood that the current situation clearly depicts that the amount of pollution from the industry is growing at a rapid pace which is highly common during the phase of development. However, it would require the management of business organisations operating within the industry to adapt a systematic and strategic approach towards ensuring sustainability and mitigating the risks involved to it (Ukpabi and Karjaluoto, 2017).
The tourism and hospitality industry have been growing at a rapid pace for the last two decades which has clearly resulted in the increase of its importance and relevance in the modern society. It is clearly understandable that the adaptation of numerous business organizations within the industry is likely to drive competition which would result in a larger number of hotels to opt for strategies that promotes extensive sustainability by ensuring improved societal and environmental balance. Finally, it can be concluded that the rapid growth of the hospitality and tourism industry has clearly had numerous positive impacts on the global economy as it has contributed towards diminishing the negative impact of the industry towards environmental areas of concern. Evaluating the current situation, the management of most large-scale organizations have already aimed towards ensuring that it is able to make adequate operational changes towards reducing the emission of harmful gases and other particles which may directly impact
the efficiency of sustainability practices. Overall, it can be understood that due to the growing number of hotels and tourism related services it would become increasingly important for hotels of varying sizes to ensure compliance with local guidelines which would be pivotal in maintaining sustainability. Hence, it can be concluded that organisations operating within the tourism and hospitality industry must prioritize the implementation of technology and deployment of strategies that promotes improved environmental sustainability.
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