In any widely developed, competitive market, like ours, quality service delivery of a consistent and superb hospitality separates business that do well from those who struggles to keep their head above the waters.
Quality service is about personalized connection. It’s about how people feel after they’ve purchased from you or spend days of their lives in your care whether is on a vacation or a business trip. It’s about the closely developed bonds, the stunning relationships and the extra-ordinary and positive feelings between the team and the customers. Hiring the most exceptional individuals who understand this concept and delivering it naturally on a daily basis. Product or name aside, it is widely believed that service and hospitality accounts for seventy five (75%) of what is actually sold. Companies are therefore empowered to engage their teams driving them to understand both and responsibly delivering them at the highest possible standard.
Hospitality industry is one of the service sectors, with relatively high level of customer contact. The higher the level of customer contacts the more numerous and higher the growth of the organization, quality services include but not limited to:
Benefits – Under-promise and over-deliver, this by all means should be the ultimate goal for every successful company in the hospitality sector, being attentive and passionate about their customer needs. Once a customer’s needs are satisfied, you automatically build the foundation and establish a relationship based on sincere trust and devoted loyalty. Collectively contributing to customer’s loyalty and hence retention which is integral for success and sustained growth in this industry.
Feedback – Always remain open to suggestions. Understanding what exactly your customers expect and desire from you. Placing a suggestion box in your reception area, café, air travel or tourism office so you can garner feedback from your customers. Furthermore, don’t just gather customer recommendations, but expeditiously act upon them showing that you really care and appreciate their business and value their opinion. It is very essential to understand the importance of quality customer service in hospitality in order to make a positive difference to the business through active listening, learning and implementation.
Prompt Service – Providing the best service is only the first step, providing it above and beyond the required pace is most essential in achieving a desired goal. Not being fast enough may cause you to lose an important customer and several other referrals. Keep in mind that if your customer is not satisfied, he will knock on other doors until someone else will, constantly learning how to innovate, meeting high expectations and providing excellent service. Customers should be the center of your universe and your services should be designed and tailored to meet their needs.
Convenience – Both the hospitality and other service related industries thrives on convenience. If customer’s convenience is missing, this essential ingredient, your business won’t last long unless numerous changes demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Service and hospitality industries were predominantly built to offer the basics of convenience to customers. Knowing that today the industry is expanding and the competition is rapidly expanding, hotel conglomerates are getting more and more innovative, thinking of various means to achieve highest possible standards in convenience offerings.
Value – Customer needs to be treated with priority no questions asked, and he should see superb value in the services received. Once a customer strongly believes he is getting a great value for the money he is paying, he will in no doubt keep coming back. On the contrary, dissatisfaction with your service will make him turn back and look for value offerings from your competition and paint a daunting picture of your business with his friends and associates.
Without these essential tools and services no industry especially in the hospitality sector will survive and stay afloat.
Community Based Tourism
Community based tourism is tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalized) invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation.
A community by definition implies individuals with some kind of collective responsibility, and the ability to make decisions by representative bodies.
Community based tourism (CTB) enables travelers and tourists alike to discover local habitats, wildlife while celebrating and respecting traditional native cultures, rituals and norms. Communities will be fully aware of commercial along with social values placed on their natural and cultural heritage through community based tourism, hence fostering conservation and preservation of these resources.
Nature lovers can visit naturally preserved areas accompanied by a local guide who explains traditional uses of the various plants and local forest lore, transmitting not just information but experience. CTB distinctively provides an excellent alternative to community development that’s previously not sustained, giving both rural and urban communities an additional source of much needed income.
In supporting community-based tourism, one can immerse themselves in the day-to-day living of the local and indigenous community members while helping to preserve their environment and rich cultural heritage.
Community Based Tourism is normally a jointly planned and managed tourism activity of local groups: this new business never can be the main or only income source of the communities and cooperatives but can be an additional income possibility for locals while effectively reducing the impact on the environment.
Characteristics that define community base tourism are:
Seeks to integrate natural beauty and the daily life of communities.
It promotes productive and sustainable practices
It adapts itself to the dynamics of rural life making it more welcoming and relaxed.
Is sustained by local initiative and participation, strengthening local organizations, which are made up of a wide cross section of families or of the community in general.
Fosters participation of the locals in the economic activity, distributing the benefits evenhandedly, while supplementing income obtained by farming.
Encourages land ownership by the local population.
Local culture passed on to the next generation
Build community management organization Environmental
Encourage respect for different cultures
Development in response to the community needs
A percentage of profits from tourism is contributed to a community fund for economic and social development of the community Fostering a shared learning process between hosts and guests
A local with organization or mechanism exists to manage tourism with the ability to link
tourism and community development Benefits are fairly distributed to all.
Educating and building understanding of diverse cultures and ways of life. Raising awareness of natural and cultural conservative among tourists and the local community
Stimulated by the sight of tourists and increasing support from government offices and local business operators, development agencies along with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), communities are fast developing the infrastructure and services required for sustainable CBT.
Rural community tourism in Jamaica for example, is a showcase of conservation of large tracts of virgin rainforest, reforestation work and organic agriculture as now been explored by the cockpit country and also a showcase of the rich musical heritage and colonial occupation when we were once enslaved, Travelers support these work through their visits and purchases of memorabilia’s available on location.
WHAT TRAVELERS CAN DO
Successful community tourism is mutually beneficial — for the communities and for the travelers. The big question is where to go? As some communities do have their negative side that spruce its ugly head every now and then.
Community based tourism is not always successful; we could begin to look at these failures as pathways to great success. Rural community base tourism takes place in already marginalized areas. Created with great intentions, community-based tourism projects and activities are generally abandoned when political pressures arise, jealousies deeply intensify or the heralded ecotourism don’t arrive.
Many developers talk of ‘integrating communities into tourism,’ but they rarely visit a community and ask what it is locals would want to see done or the main areas that needs urgent attention. Instead, operations are just imposed in an all too familiar top-down fashion.
Likewise, many travelers may require to be graced with the experience community base tourism, but within two to four days they begin to complain that the services are not up to their standards or lack any form of professionalism. Greater time should be spent getting to know your guests. It normally pays off with a richer and more filling experience for all concerned.
Successful community-based tourism succeeds when it achieves mutual benefits for locals and visitors.
Factors Influencing Caribbean Tourism Growth
The Caribbean is experiencing a tourism boost.
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. And now, with the ongoing recovery, tourism numbers are steadily rising with a 4 percent increase in 2010 alone.
Ease of Access
For most people living in the northern hemisphere, the Caribbean is the quickest getaway destination where they can be on a beach with a colorful drink in one to four hours. The Bahamas, for instance, has islands that are barely 50 miles away from Florida. This has made the Caribbean a favorite of many travelers and contributes to tourist growth. Airlines continue to create more flights such as the Jetblue route from both Boston and New York to the Turks and Caicos. And for those who prefer not to fly, there are numerous cruise ship options. These include the Royal Caribbean Cruises that visit the Bahamas, St. Thomas and the Disney Cruise Lines, which are tailored for families and take them not only to islands like Antigua, but also privately owned islands such as Castaway Cay.
As noted above, there are many options for getting to the Caribbean. Consequently, reaching the region is equally affordable, especially when compared with other destinations in Europe, Asia and even parts of Latin America. You can find an affordable ticket for a quick trip during off season when there are less tourists. And for large islands with airports that are hubs for air carriers, like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, cheap tickets are available almost year round. And upon arriving, visitors can enjoy themselves without going broke. Save, of course, if they opt to shop at prime luxury stores, which can be found on many islands. This affordability is an essential factor in the region’s tourism growth.
The Caribbean has a variety of accommodations from high-end luxury resorts to bed and breakfasts and everything in between. These options mean that visitors of all economic levels can come to the region. But in addition to the accommodations is the affordable cost. Resorts and hotels continue to present competitively priced accommodations that attract visitors.
The Caribbean has been visited by tourists since the 1800s, and tales of its beauty and relaxing environment precede it. In fact, the Royal Victorian Hotel was built in the Bahamas during the American Civil War, one of the earliest such establishments in the region. This continuing good reputation makes it easy for tourists to visit for the first time or return for a repeat vacation. Also, the region is known for being safe, alleviating concern from families and single visitors.
According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Basin in 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.
Since the global financial crisis, which began in 2008, the Caribbean Basin has seen a slight decrease in visitation due to higher unemployment, particularly in major markets such as the United States.
Hurricanes and major tropical storms impact tourism in the Caribbean a great deal. Hurricane season in the Caribbean is June1 to November 30. In Caribbean islands where major storms are rare, such as Curacao, tourism remains unaffected by weather.
As the price of crude oil increases, airlines cut back on flights to the region. This reduces access to the Caribbean Basin, resulting in a lower tourism rate.
The CTO has increased the marketing and promotion of the Caribbean region, with more emphasis on Internet social websites, online booking agencies and international marketing offices.
More deals and incentives by host countries attract more visitors. The CTO aims to provide attractive vacation packages to travelers, especially during holidays and the off-season.
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