Tourism and Hospitality: Issues and Developments
All over the world, technological advances are being made at the speed of light, and the hospitality and tourism industry is growing and changing just as quickly. Customers can get a special rate when they follow a hotel on Twitter. They can book tour reservations online with a simple click. Cruise destinations around the world can be explored without leaving home, and bloggers on different continents share dining recommendations. Travelers can even plan a vacation that allows them to commune with nature while printing e-mails from their smartphones.
In order to stay competitive in an international market, businesses must adjust to these emerging social trends and respond to the ever-changing needs of their customers. The traditional focus on customer service and guest loyalty has become intertwined with rapidly progressing technological enhancements infl uencing all areas of the industry, including sales, marketing, human resources, and revenue and asset management. The result is a visitor experience personalized to each specifi c guest, through strategic data collection, market trend research, and the capabilities of integrated online self-service. This means knowing what matters most to consumers and recognizing emerging innovations that will be the next big thing for the next generation of customers.
One such movement is the worldwide recognition of the need for environmentally friendly “green” initiatives, which are becoming signifi cantly refl ected in the hospitality industry. There has been an increased interest in ecotourism and sustainable tourism, which provide travelers with destinations and activities that have a lower negative impact on the environment. This trend is evidenced by the growing prevalence of green conferences that attract everyone from hotel general managers and tour operators to the tourists themselves. Ecotourism, responsible tourism, jungle tourism, and sustainable development have become prevalent concepts since the late 1980s, and ecotourism has experienced arguably the fastest growth of all sub-sectors in the tourism industry. The popularity represents a change in tourist perceptions, increased environmental awareness, and a desire to explore natural environments.
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