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People travel for business, for pleasure, or for a combination of two. The vast Majority of these people travel to a specific destination which represents the building blocks tourism. Once individuals have the time, the money and motivation to travel and have decided where to go, they need some means to get there. Once at the destination, these tourists as they are now called require some place to stay, some place to eat, drink and something to do. Such as, sightseeing, tennis, golf, skiing etc. (Mill, 2009)
People take vacation because they feel that, by doing so they will satisfy various needs and wants. In order for this to be achieved, tourists/customers must experience a phenomenal quality of service; communities must be prepared and ready to embrace this business. Once the country on a whole is developed and attractive, the people in the communities are educated and aware, the visitors’ experience will be an unforgettable one. They will definitely not hesitate to return.
The above mentioned is what this project entails. The importance of Quality Service in the Hospitality industry, community based tourism, its implication on the country and the Factors that attracts tourists to the Caribbean.
What is Quality Service?
Regardless of the industry, if you have customers, you’re in the customer-service business. With increasing access to information and alternative products, your customer is choosing where to do business based on the level of service they receive. (disneyinstitute.com)
The Walt Disney Company has never lost sight of its founder’s edict: “Give the public everything you can give them.” (disneyinstitute.com)
Tourism has been one of the world’s fastest growing industries, and there are large societies entirely dependent upon the visitor of their sustenance.
Tourism is the world’s largest industry. It sustained 120 million jobs in 1995, accounting for 7% of the global workforce. (The Hutchinson Encyclopedia)
The importance of customer service to the success of a business is difficult to underestimate. Providing quality customer service is about more than just getting the customer what he/she needs; it is about creating a relationship with your customer so that they keep coming back. (Cornett(ehowcontributor))
In order to maintain a high level of Quality Service to valued Customers, there are certain criteria that one should develop.
Staying In Touch
Prompt Service (Cornett(ehowcontributor))
Definitions of quality services have included;
Satisfying or delighting the customer or exceeding expectations.
Product of service features that satisfy stated or implied needs,
Conformance to clearly special requirements
Fitness for use, whereby the product meets customers needs and is free of deficiencies.
(Chelladurai and Chang 2000) (al, 2011, p. 4)
Delivering quality service will be one of the major challenges facing hospitality managers in the opening years of the next millennium. It will be an essential condition for success in the emerging, keenly competitive, global hospitality markets. Service encounters are the building blocks of quality hospitality service. How can hospitality businesses manage them more effectively? A suggestion of a two step process was made in the evaluation chain: (William Lazer)
First, Hospitality managers should identify each encounter in the chain that they wish to take apart, and then single out those that are of operational or strategic significance – in effect focusing in on the few encounters that really make a difference to guest experience and thus to the bottom line. (William Lazer)
Second, apply what is called the 6 S’s to improve critical encounters through effective redesign. These are; (William Lazer)
Specification means clearly detailing about what, when, where and how, of service encounters. (William Lazer)
Which Staff Members are involved in providing the service? What skills do they need? What training has been provided? How committed are they to service goals? (William Lazer)
Where will the service encounter occur? Is the space appropriately designed to facilitate the service encounter? Is the décor attractive to guests and supportive of activities that have to be carried out? (William Lazer)
Are the necessary systems support the encounter in place? Is the information necessary to respond effectively to guest to guests’ needs readily available? Is the appropriate technology being fully used? (William Lazer)
Are the service providers given the facilities and financial and human support needed to do the job? Is the technology appropriate? (William Lazer)
How should the service encounter be conducted, given the enterprise culture? Is the management style and marketing, and marketing orientation, appropriate for the tasks? Is the right emphasis being placed on service quality? (William Lazer)
Zeroing on hospitality service quality in this manner will help hospitality businesses meet the service challenges of the millennium, enhance their market positions, and reap the associated profit rewards. (William Lazer)
Service Delivery in the Hospitality Industry and Service Delivery in other Businesses
Service industries are playing an increasing important role in the economy of the developing and emerging nations. In today’s world of global competition, rendering quality service is a key for success, and many experts are of the view that the most powerful competitive trend currently shaping business and marketing strategies service quality .(LeBlanc, Nha Nguyen,1997) (www.academic.com/mmsmlcw)
Community Based Tourism
A community is a collection of individuals, families and groups with diverse attitudes, goals and aspirations. This diversity must be recognized in planning and conducting the public awareness program. It is important to identify the audience for a particular communication and tailor the message to its needs. A critical factor to be considered in explaining the benefits of tourism is relevance. One must analyze the interests, aspirations, backgrounds and lifestyles of the audience one is addressing. (Mill, 2009, p. 268)
Community based tourism is tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalized) invite tourist to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation. (Goodwin, 2009)
Community based tourism enables the tourist to discover local habitats and wildlife, and celebrate and respects traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. The community will be aware of commercial and social value placed on their natural and cultural heritage through tourism, and will foster community based conservation of these resources. (Goodwin, 2009)
The residents earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service and produce providers, and employees. At least part of the tourist income is set aside for projects which provide benefits to the community as a whole. (Goodwin, 2009)
Benefits of Community Based Tourism
Tourism offers many values to the community and nearly everyone gains from some of them, either directly or indirectly. While the public awareness program should help citizens recognize these benefits, not all can be explained to all audiences. It is necessary to select and stress those particular audience experiences and to explain it at a level they can understand. (Mill, 2009, p. 268)
In selecting benefits to be promoted, it is necessary to consider not only their relevance, but, their importance. Given limited resources, it is necessary to concentrate on educating the public about those which it will feel to be most desired. Some benefits, such as economic growth, would be counted as important by most communities. The ranking of others, such as diversifying the economic base, would be more situational. (Mill, 2009, p. 268)
Community Based Tourism development benefits are:
Sustainable and independent source of funds for the community development
Promotes the acquisition of new job skills
Raises the quality of life
Promotes good hygiene
Increase and diversification of food production for tourists will improve villagers nutritional status (Community Based Tourism Ecotourism and the Public Private Partnership)
Encourages respect for different cultures
Promotes environmental responsibility
Impacts of Community Based Tourism
Communities are developing local tourism in innovative ways, making sure to include various individuals and groups, small business owners, entrepreneurs, local associations and government officials. The development of this industry is a growing phenomenon as communities respond to the opportunities. (al, 2011)
Environmental management at tourism sites such as garbage collection by the villagers
Increase environmental awareness of local people (Community Based Tourism Ecotourism and the Public Private Partnership)
Supplementary income from tourism for local communities (Community Based Tourism Ecotourism and the Public Private Partnership)
Create social bonding thus, leading their society more united and resistant to drug and crime
Improve learning process in tourism management
Local people gain knowledge of tourist impact, impact mitigation planning
(Community Based Tourism Ecotourism and the Public Private Partnership)
The Influence of travel and tourism on a community is significant. tourists bring revenue. However, the ways in which this revenue is attracted and the numbers of people who reap benefits vary greatly. At one extreme, large scale, all-inclusive resorts owned and operated by corporations may have little or no economic influence on a community. People from the community may be offered only low-skilled minimum wage jobs. (al, 2011)
Crowding situations (Community Based Tourism Ecotourism and the Public Private Partnership)
Land and resort development by outsiders, High business competition
Selling orchards, rubber plantation outside. (Community Based Tourism Ecotourism and the Public Private Partnership)
The fact that MOTS has placed such strong emphasis on consultation in developing this Master Plan shows that the need to involve community is now recognized at the highest levels in Jamaica. What is required is to ensure that all parts of the industry understand that, without local support, the industry’s growth will be unsustainable. To achieve this, the community involvement should be institutionalized in the process of developing tourism plans and products and in the management of the tourism product. (p. 191)
Factors Attracting Tourist to the Caribbean
The Caribbean region, is made up of 40 million people on 27 islands located in the Atlantic Ocean between South America and Mexico, is a popular tourist destination for those looking for a tropical, peaceful lifestyle in the sun and sand. Since the islands were colonized by Europeans in the 17th and 18th century, the multiethnic flavor and relaxing island lifestyle have captivated Europeans and North Americans, who come back again and again. (Manthei)
The Caribbean Region attracts tourists seeking an exotic romantic or family oriented getaway, or a sunny break from the harsh cold winters of their countries. Offering year – round sunny, warm weather with cool breezes, tropical beaches, cultural carnivals, peace and tranquility, and exotic food: it’s the perfect vacation location, especially for Europeans, Canadians and Americans. (Tourism and Tourism Business in the Caribbean)
The Caribbean is a geopolitical construct that includes the following principal countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, Guadeloupe, Guiana, Martini, Puerto Rico and few more. (Tourism and Tourism Business in the Caribbean)
According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Basin is the most tourist dependent region in the world. The region’s tourism dollars exceed gross exports by about a third of total receipts, and about a million workers are employed in the tourism industry. Many factors influence tourism in the Caribbean Basin. (Manthei)
Although not largely written about, Caribbean culture has arguably been preserved more by the authentic voices of intuitive scholars, artists, farmers, merchants and traders.
The Caribbean lifestyle is undoubtedly a product of its topical setting. The music, architecture, attitudes, and customers have all, in some way been shaped by the physical landscape and climate. (Culture of the Caribbean)
Cruise Tourism, which has generally grown faster than land-based tourism over the past decade, is expected to continue to grow as the Caribbean is the most popular destination in the world for cruises. (Culture of the Caribbean)
For diving, snorkeling and swimming, the Caribbean offers crystal-clear, pleasantly warm waters throughout the region. Cruise ship tourists might want to forgo time on the island to explore the treasure under the sea, such as barrier reefs, coral formations and creatures of all colours, shapes and sizes. For those in the mood for more relaxation, you will find no shortages of warm, friendly beaches for sunbathing and relaxing. (Manthei)
The Caribbean Islands have historically been popular with tourists from America, Canada, and Europe. During the global economic recession, tourism growth slowed but remained strong. Factors contributing to this are:
Ease of Access
Caribbean is the quickest getaway for most people living in the Northern Hemisphere.
There are many options of getting to the Caribbean consequently reaching the region is equally affordable especially when compared to other destinations.
The Caribbean has variety of accommodations from high-end luxury resorts to bed and breakfast and everything in between.
Many of the islands nation governments invest heavily in attracting tourists to their beaches, resorts and attractions, more so than some invest in the infrastructure of their countries. Extensively large all- inclusive hotels are built by foreign investors and the governments welcome new carriers opening new routes of travel to their islands.
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