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Currently, the subject hospitality management is being offered by various colleges and universities all around the world. Students and graduates of hospitality management are becoming more and more in demand in hospitality industries all around the world.
Hospitality management is the academic study of the hospitality industry. Hospitality courses prepare students to face the challenges of the corporate world. Hospitality management courses also provide all the training for the students to cope with the workloads of the hospitality industry. Other than that, these hospitality management courses also prepare students with leadership skills and qualities so that students have the right kind of qualities and attitude to cope in the corporate world later on.
Hospitality management can be divided into various different disciplines such as culinary arts, hotel management, tourism management etc. Each different branch of this course prepares student and graduates to face the different challenges in different field of the hospitality industry. As hospitality grows into becoming one of the most important economic sectors in the world, more and more graduates of hospitality management is being demanded in to this fields.
What is hospitality industry? Why is it becoming an important in the economic sector around the world?
The dictionary definition of hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of strangers. The hospitality industry consists of businesses and institutions involving food and beverage, tourism and all kinds of lodging establishments. The friendly reception and treatment of guests is the responsibility of the people who work in the hospitality industry.
1.1.1 According to statistics, Lodging is the seventh largest industry in the United States of America and food and beverage service is the fourth largest. Twenty-three cents of every dollar spent by a U.S. traveler are spent in a hotel and twenty-one cents are spent in a food and beverage establishment. This shows the importance of hospitality industry to a country's economy. Almost half of every penny spent by a traveler is contributed to two of the largest establishment in hospitality industry.
1.2 Since we all know that there are very good opportunities and bright future working in the hospitality industry, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of working in the hospitality industry?
1.2.1 Servicing in the hospitality industry is subjected to personal interest. To people who are interested in social skills and interpersonal communication skills, they may find hospitality industry an interesting career field. This is because in hospitality industry, we are dealing with people, servicing people where almost all of them are strangers. A great deal of interpersonal communication skills are involved in this industry. This may be of an advantage or a disadvantage as not all people are born with fluency in interpersonal communication skills though it can be acquired through a great deal of training.
1.3 A career in the hospitality industry can provide one with responsibility, advancement, diversity and personal satisfaction. A career in the hospitality requires a great deal of responsibility due to the high amount of workload. Advancement in hospitality industry is so when opportunities are provided for employees to be promoted to a higher post in the industry.
1.3.1 As said earlier, hospitality industry is an industry which involves serving guests and customers who are strangers most of the time. This is meant by diversity in hospitality industry. Each day, employees of the hospitality industry face people who come from different part of the world; this proves the diversity of the hospitality industry. Other than that, people who are interested and have acquired skills such as interpersonal communication skills, they might achieve personal satisfaction working in this industry.
1.4 The hospitality industry is full of opportunities for great advancement provided one puts in a great deal of hard work. Hospitality industry can be divided into so many fields and branches. As stated earlier, hospitality industry is referred to as one of the fastest growing economic sector around the world.
In hospitality industry, there are countless job opportunities offered to employees. From waiter at a restaurant to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at large hotels, all of these jobs are classified under the hospitality line. Moreover, the hospitality industries nowadays are facing a serious problem on the lacking of human resources. More and more employees are needed in the hospitality industry. If one were to graduate with a degree in hospitality management subject, he or she will never have to worry about not getting a good job with good pay.
1.5 However, working in the hospitality industry brings some disadvantages too. Hospitality industry is known for its extended, odd and uncertain hours of operation. Most hospitality premises have to operate 24 hours per day, if any colleagues are on leave, others might have to extend their working time or work load in order to compensate the efficiency of work. For instance, ski or water sports resorts operate seasonally based on weather conditions. Some restaurants operate only during breakfast or lunch hours. Employees working under these sectors of the hospitality management have to cope themselves with the irregular working time. However, employees are human too; they need adequate rest time in order to maintain high work efficiency. There are cases where employees work over time just to compensate the work load of absent workers, they fell sick or ill.
1.6 Hospitality industry is also known for its tremendous workload. Employees working under the hospitality industry have to put in a great deal of hard work in order to cope up with the workload in the hospitality industry. However, if an employee graduates from any hospitality management sector, he or she will be trained to handle the workload that they might face when working in the corporate world later on.
1.7 Working under the hospitality industry allows one to gain a lot of skills which cannot be acquired through studying. Employees who worked under the hospitality industry have found to possess of effective communication skills, innovation, creativity, leadership qualities, critical thinking skills, decision making skills, negotiation and conflict management. If you consider the working routine and responsibility of one who work under the hospitality industry, you will find that these skills are relatively important for employees in order to serve the guests or customers well. From a front desk representative to a general manger in a hotel, they must at least possess of a few of the skills from the list above. Especially for those who work in the management level, they must possess of all the skills mentioned above so that he or she could lead the team well and also be a role model to his or her staff.
1.7.1 Working under the hospitality industry also enables employees to acquire a very important skill - teamwork. Teamwork is one of the most well regarded qualities in the corporate world. In the hospitality industry, staff of the whole operation work as a team and this requires a great deal of teamwork. When employees and employers practice good teamwork and work together to handle big cases, the problem seems to be solved efficiently and effectively.
Hospitality industry is a fast growing sector and is economically important to the world. Tourism which is one of the fields in the hospitality industry shrinks the world by providing a more in-depth look at the enormity and complexity of international travel. Working in the hospitality industry has both advantages and disadvantages and is subjected to people's point of view. It also depends on one's interest. As said earlier, people who have good interpersonal communication skills will find working in the hospitality industry an easy feat but to those who does not possess of good interpersonal communication skills, they would not like it in the hospitality industry.
Question 2: Find out the factors affecting travel and tourism. Explain in detail.
Travel and tourism is a very common term when it comes under hospitality management. At least 20 years ago, travelling is considered as a big deal to most people but now with the aid of modern transportation, travelling seemed to be an easy feat for everyone.
Nowadays, with major airlines companies offering cheap fares and giving out various promotions, everyone can just travel to the destination of their choice at a relatively low price. This has indirectly affected the business of most tourism agency. More and more people can afford to travel to any destination of their choice without having to burn a hole in their pockets anymore.
The government in Malaysia has also come out with various efforts or ideas to promote travel and tourism in the country. Travel and tourism is a high profitable sector to the country's economy. The Malaysian government is putting great effort into making the country a tourism country. The annual Matta Fair is organized by government bodies to promote tourism in the country as well as attracting tourists from other countries. Other than that, the government also has promoted Malaysia in many of the international expos and has greatly raised the name of Malaysia to the world.
Since travel and tourism is made such an easy feat for everyone nowadays, there are still some barriers that stop people from travelling or other factors that cause people to travel to that particular place regularly. Actually what are the factors that affect travel and tourism?
What is travel and tourism? According to the World Travel Organization (WTO), travel and tourism is regarded as the activities of persons travelling and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purpose. Therefore, people who are considered "travelers" or "tourists" are those who are away from their normal place or residence for a period of up to one year in which they will return home after that, taking part in activities that would normally be associated with leisure and tourism and on a visit that is temporary and short term.
2.1. Determinants are those factors that influence one individual's decision-making process. In short, determinants are the factors affecting ones decision whether to travel or not. Determinants can be further subdivided onto two categories which are personal factors that influenced the tourist and external factors that influenced the tourist.
2.1.1 Personal determinants are one of the factors affecting tourist's decision making. Personal determinants can be divided into four categories:
- Circumstances of the tourist such as the health, disposable income/savings, leisure time, work commitments and family commitments.
- Knowledge of tourist regarding the destination, availability of various tourist products and prices differences among competitive tourist products.
- Attitude and perception of the destination, tourism organization, political views, particular country and cultures, modes of travel, how advance to plan and book a trip and what constitutes value for money.
- Experience of types of holidays, different destinations, products offered among competitive tourism organizations, taking trips with particular individuals or groups and attempting to find discounted prices.
2.1.2 When the personal determinants are taken as whole for the entire population, it would represent a market opportunity for the tourism industry. For example, with the growing affluence of the workforce and pressure in the workplace, many people would look forward to a long weekend to take a short break or vacation. The need for tourists to take a short break from work is to stimulate and rejuvenate their energy.
2.1.3 Situational factors such as time, money, health or marketing influence can intervene, as a facilitator or as an inhibitor, in making travel decision. Tourists' decisions are important as it directly affects the travel and tourism. Belk (1975) identified five types of situational variables which will affect tourist behavior and decision made:
- Physical surrounding - includes weather, geographical location, décor, sounds, lights, aromas, tangible signs and display of products, and other materials. The sunny weather can be considered as part of the destination's physical surrounding.
- Social surrounding - includes other people and their characteristics, roles, and interactions. The social network can provide information and can act as influencer in a choice for a particular travel destination. Crowding is another situational variable, where people from crowded cities may seek isolated places to spend their holiday for a rest and to be alone for a while.
- Temporal perspective - includes the time period, time constraints, and elapsed or expected time. The time situation is important in tourism since many holidays are limited by duration of time. For example, holidays can only be taken during school holiday or during certain says when you go on an annual leave. Tourists also prefer to go for a holiday after a time elapsed since the last holiday travel.
- Task definition - includes the orientation, intent role, or frame of a person where certain situational may become relevant. For example, one would decide on certain criteria to go for a vacation during different time period.
- Antecedent states - is where a situation would shape the perception, evaluation, and acceptance of the current condition, such as a person receiving a bonus, may suddenly decide to go for holiday on a STAR cruise.
2.1.4 Social and cultural influences are other factor that affects the travel and tourism. Most of the social and cultural structures are pervasive and intangible in nature. However, most tourists are unaware of the influences of these structures, even if the structures are actually embedded in their travel decision making. One of the major social influences are groups including family members and relatives.
Reference group can be defines as a collection of people that an individual use as a standard for his or her attitudes, beliefs, values and behavior development. For example, since many officemates will be spending their holidays in China, one may be aspire to join the group by deciding to go along to the holiday in China.
Culture can be considered as a broad, impersonal reference group consisting of the knowledge, behaviors, customs, and techniques that are socially acquired or learned by an individual. It includes beliefs, values, norms, signs, habits and non-normative behavior.
Thus, culture can influence the way an individual behaves as a consumer or as a tourist. For example, one of the promotional themes to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination is to exhibit Malaysia as a melting pot of various cultures that are found in Asia. Cultures also exist within overall culture and are known as subcultures. Those subcultures are groups based on region, race, language, religion, age, social class or other factors. The island of Bali in Indonesia has been prominently promoted as a cultural destination, based on religion.
Social class is another example of subculture. Social class is a product of division in society on the basis of status and prestige. Education, occupation, wealth and income are some of the basis used to explain the belonging of one social class.
Some tourist destinations tend to appeal to certain groups of social class of people. For example, the French Riviera is favored among the higher social class people. Places like Langkawi Island may attract people from all social classes, but people may differentiate classes once they arrive on the island by staying at different kinds of hotel's categories. In some society in Indonesia, travelling abroad is considered as a social status and sometimes the connotation of "Has Been Abroad or HBA" is attached to the individual.
2.2 Apart from personal determinants that we have discussed earlier, there are also some external determinants that may affect consumer travel decision making. Some of external determinants are:
1. Views from friends and relatives
2. Marketing activities in the tourism industry
3. The influence from the media
4. National-level politics and factors like economy, social and technology
5. International-level politics and factors like economy, social and technology
Most of these external determinants can be further subdivided into sub-factors:
Government legislation and policy, like capital control restricting amount of money taken out of the country
Immigration restrictions and visa requirements
Civil disorder and terrorism
Taxation policy, for example, airport tax, exit fees
Travel channel -- Holiday features reported on television, in newspaper, magazines and guidebooks.
Non-travel channel - news reported in national Geographic programs and in news programs
Marketing activities by national tourist organization
Brochures from travel agencies
Special promotions by hotels and other travel operators.
The extent of the personal and the external determinants influence the tourist behavior depend on factors such as tourists' personality and their lifestyle. Extrovert people are more likely to take account of the external determinant such as the views from friends and relatives while the introvert people prefer to rely on their own experiences.
People who watch news regularly and are very much concerned about the world affairs may be influenced by those external determinants compared to those people who are not worried or do not know of the situation of that country, may not consider this external factor.
Some of these determinants can either be a catalyst or a constraint to the tourists' motivation and desire to travel. For example, high disposable income is a catalyst and low disposable income is a constraint. Travel brochure with glossy and rosy picture of a resort destination would attract potential tourist to visit, in contrast to a cheap looking flyer.
Tourists do not make rational decision based on perfect information. They might not realize most of the determinants, as mentioned earlier.
There are tourists who are aware of the various determinants to be considered in the decision making, but choose to ignore these determinants. People tend to use other aspect of lie such as pressure and emotion, to dictate their travel decision.
Most literature in tourism marketing noted that there are relatively long periods spent in travel decision making process, like thinking about the vacation, collecting information, and evaluating the alternatives. Currently there is a growing trend in the tourist industry of the "last-minute purchase: decision to travel. Working people have a high desire to go for a short trip whenever there is an opportunity to do so and are more willingly to go to a less interesting destination if it is offered at a low price.