Travel & Tourism Industry’s Basic Principles: Part 2

by: Dr. Peter E. Tarlow | copyright: eTurboNews – Travel Industry News – World Travel News

Tourism is multifaceted and despite the fact that there is no one form of tourism many of the industry’s basic principles hold true no matter in which aspect of the travel and tourism industry one works. Despite our cultural, linguistic, religious, and geographic differences human beings are basically the same around the world and the best principles of good tourism transcend cultures, languages, nations, and religious affiliation. Due to tourism’s unique ability to bring people together if use properly it can be an instrument for peace. This month we continue with some of the basics and fundamental principles of the tourism industry.

– Be prepared for to face both ongoing and new challenges. The tourism industry is part of a constantly changing world. The year 2023 will see multiple challenges about which travel & tourism professionals will have to face. Some of these are:

·     Climate crises that can impact your part of the industry, including flight cancellations or delays, and irregular heat and cold patterns

·     Economic pressure especially on the world’s middle class

·     Increased issues of crime

·     Higher levels than normal of professionals leaving the workforce due to retirement or feeling underappreciated. These include police, medical personnel, and other essential service providers 

·     Fuel shortages

·     Food shortages

·     Further divisions between the richer and poorer areas of the world

·     Greater numbers of people suing tourism business or tour operators due to poor service or not delivering what was promised. 

The following reminders are meant to both inspire and to warn.

– When the going gets rough, be calm. People come to us for tranquility and to forget their problems, not to learn about our problems. Our guests should never be burdened with our economic difficulties. Remember they are our guests and not our counselors. Tourism ethics requires that your personal life stay out of the workplace. If you are too agitated to work, then stay home. Once one is at the workplace, however, we have a moral responsibility to concentrate on the needs of our guests and not on our own needs. The best way to be calm in a crisis is to be prepared. The COVID-19 pandemic should teach to do good risk management and be prepared for foreseeable problems and “black swan events.” In a like manner, your community or attraction needs to train employees on how to handle health risks, travel changes, and personal security issues. 

– Use multiple methodologies to understand trends in tourism. There is a tendency in tourism to use purely qualitative or quantitative analytical methodologies. Both are important and both can provide additional insights. Problems occur when we become so dependent on one form of analysis that we ignore the other. Remember people surveyed along with computerized data are not always truthful. Although these methods may be highly valid their reliability factors may be lower than what we believe. Polling errors both in the US and the UK ought to remind us of the principle of “garbage in/garbage out.”

– Never forget that travel and tourism are very competitive industries. It behooves tourism industry professionals to remember that the tourism industry is filled with multiple forms of transportation, hotels, restaurants, tour operators and tour guides and interesting places to visit and shop. Additionally, there are many places in the world with interesting history, beautiful scenery and great beaches. 

– Find a way to make the shopping experience unique. In today’s interlocked world major cities no longer sell only their local products but provide wide variety of products from around the world. Basic principle: if you can get it there, you can probably get it here.

– Do not forget that travelers today have more information than ever before. The worst thing for a tourism industry is to be caught exaggerating or lying. It takes a long time to rebuild a reputation and in today’s world of social media, one mistake can spread like wildfire.

– Marketing can aid in product development, but it cannot substitute for product(s) development. A basic rule of tourism is that you cannot market what you do not have. Remember that the most successful form of marketing is word of mouth. Spend less money on classical marketing strategies and more money on customer service and product development.

– Focus on the unique aspects of your part of the travel and tourism world. Do not try to be all things to all people. Represent something that is special. Ask yourself: What makes your community or attraction different and unique from your competitors? How does your community/locale/country celebrate its individuality? If you were a visitor to your community, would you remember it a few days after you had left or would it be just one more place on the map? For example, do not just offer an outdoor experience, but individualize that experience, make your hiking trails special, or develop something unique about aquatic offerings. If, one the other hand, your community or destination is a creation of the imagination then allow the imagination to run wild and continually create new experiences. 

– Travel and Tourism professionals need to enjoy what they do project this sense of joie de vivre to their customers. Travel and tourism are about having fun and if your employees are you do not come to work with a smile on your face then it would be better to seek another job. Visitors quickly ascertain our moods and professional attitude. The nice you are the more successful your company or local tourism community is going to be.

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