Tourism is a combination of services, activities and companies that provides you traveling experience with transportation, accommodation, food, entertainment, activity facilities and other hospitality services (Mathieson and Wall, 1982).
Hospitality is how well the community accepts you and their attitude towards you which make you feel safe and welcome. It is the interaction between the host and the guest associated with protection, etiquettes and respect. The extent to which the community shows hospitality varies with the culture and subculture of different societies (Lankford S.V, 1994). Tourism and hospitality is claimed to be the world's largest industry by World Tourism Organization (WTO) with turnover of $3 trillion dollars.
Sri Lanka is famous for its tourism, mainly because of its beautiful islands beaches, old heritage and world's best resorts in mountains. Tourist comes from all over the world for facilitating themselves and for this purpose the main tourism organization working is Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority. This Organization is working in developing Sri Lanka to be the Asia's most preferable tourist destination. It uses its products creatively while promising effective and efficient use of resources. They are working hard to identify unique services, formulating as well as implementing new strategies for tourism development.
This assignment is divided into five different sections from section A to section E. Section A would discuss the brief introduction about tourism/hospitality and the tourism organization selected, section B would define the different services and product offering offered by tourism organizations in order to promote growth, section C would discuss about the global demand issues that drive the constant need for updating tourism services. Whereas section D will focus on innovative strategies and activities followed by tourism organization to satisfy these changes in demand. Section E would discuss the services provided by SLTDA.
B) Different Product/Services by Tourism Organizations:
The basic services that the every tourist expects to receive are:
Accommodation: Varies according to your packages from motels, private small hotels, 5 stars hotels and resorts.
Food Facilities: Tourist experience depends a lot on the food quality he is available to as most often people travel for exploring the beautiful locations and for enjoying the different kind of food of that country.
Time and Money: Tourism Development depends a lot on the access and ease the tourist gets after enjoying his vacations and for that it is important that he does not faces such issues relating to time and money specially.
Accommodation, Tours, Sight-seeing, Cruises, Car rentals, Best Air fare rates, Transportation, Tour Guides, Entertainment are some of the basic facilities provided to you by tourism organizations depending about your package. Whether you want to have a luxurious vacation with all the facilities at its best or a simple economical holiday, this tourism organization has packages according to your budgets and demands (David Weaver, 2005).
Tourism organization has to work on constant basis for developing there product portfolio in order to maintain their demand and to stimulate growth because once you have plan to go on a vacation, at first you select the best possible place depending on your affordability and after you have shortlisted two to three places you start listing them according to their product/services offering. The best tourism package offered with all the preferable facilities and the one which is within your range as well (David Weaver, 2005)
B.1) Different Value Added Facilities Provided By Tourism Organization:
Bucket shop: Bucket shops are retail outlets which offer discount rates in airfares in commission with tourism organizations.
Charter airlines: These airlines facilitate the movement of tourists on 'packages tours' or 'seat-only package'. They offer low cost transportation services to holiday destinations, for this the customer however has to make compromises by traveling at inconvenient hours or by providing just elementary services.
Computerized Reservation System (CRS): Access to airfares, schedules, packages, availability of seats and reservation beforehand become possible by this system.
C) Global Demand Issues in Tourism
Diversification is important in tourism. It refers the addition of new product to the already developed products portfolio; it is a process by which new products are added to the product portfolio of a tourism business or destination in order to avoid over-dependence on a few, often highly competitive, products. Tourism has changed in the last 30 years with the rise of the jet aircraft; it has now emerged as a global phenomenon. It is today one of the most important global industry. 593 million tourist travelled abroad in the year 1996 while in 2003, 694 million tourists travelled worldwide (Long, P. T, 2000)
Before it was difficult to analyze the accurate data but after the development of Tourism Satellite Account(TSAs) it became easier as TSAs informs you about the accurate, reliable and comparable data which is collected by individual nation. However it was also came in notice that economic crisis like Gulf War, effect of 9/11, oil crisis in 1970's effect tourism and tourism organization economically as it is a global risk for tourists to travel in such conditions (Stephen J Page, 2005).
C.2) Consumer and the changing world
The economical as well as geo-political situation demands for new strategies day by day. Variation in technology, demographics, political and world scenario changes the outlook of world as well as of customer. There are two perspectives in this new demand factor. Demand is influenced by factors such as traveling motivation and the ability to travel and on the other hand we have behavioral changes like destination preferences, ease at traveling, quality of experience but all these demands vary upon the intention of traveling. The person who has been traveling a lot and is experienced will adjust to the surrounding even if it is not according to his demands (Martin Lohman, 2004)
The other influencing factors in the tourism demand are divided into different categories for better understanding that is economy, politics, crisis and threats, demographic change and technology and all these factors are inter linked with each other. These factors have impact as holiday demand is driven by the need, motivation and realization depending on the economical situation of the individual and freedom to travel. External factor has an impact by effecting the ability to travel that is freedom, money, time, physical ability) while consumer behavior does not depend on any single factor but is actually the reaction caused by the external factors and is also backed by the internal factors such as motivation, strong desire (Martin Lohman, 2004).
Moreover there are several emerging factors having its impact on the demand and creating this dynamic nature of tourism which is known to all however bringing an overnight change is not possible, similarly these trends will also not change the world tourism.
C.3) Demographic Changes:
Although it was a constant process but in recent years it is showing changes more often now and is considered to be the most important in the European countries. These demographic trends have an impact on tourism plan of countries. Previous researches has shown that people in European countries doesn't change their traveling pattern due to their increasing age or retirement but it is now observed that the generation when will reach the age of 60's would not follow the same pattern. The senior citizen today are more active and enjoy all these tourism activities but the senior lot in next 15 years will be dull and less active comparatively. Similarly the declining rate in number of children is also showing some changes but this rate is really slow to bring in notice therefore one does not expect tourism organizations to change or re-orient their strategies (Lohmann and Denielsson, 2001).
C.4) Standardization vs. Unique Offering:
Technology is changing, with this new era of changing trend it is expected that the customers will demand for high quality product offering and will thrive for change but it is also stated that a little bit of standardization is a must for tourism product portfolio. But too much standardization will be a bigger risk for organizations because there will be no variety offering matching to the rapid demand of exclusivity. The customer today wants both quality and uniqueness. This means that the industry has a new challenge because it has to maintain a balance between standardization and exclusivity (Lohman, 2004)
Moreover considering the ongoing demand it is not necessary that the tourism product offered is good or not similarly whether the product is considered good by the consumer is also not important, the important thing is that it should be considerably in the list of priority high lightened by the tourist and should be considered the best in the specific list. Same goes for the tourism organization which include travel agencies, operators, hotel management and transportation in-charge by offering convinces and guidelines to help the consumers (Lohman, 2004).
Currently there is no major changes to be predicted but that doesn't mean that we take it as a smooth path because one cannot predict future and it is always expected to show unexpected event for example any political change, any natural disaster, epidemic disease, war) therefore it is necessary and also possible that the tourism organizations prepare for the changing trend which can be identified by keeping a close eye on current situation. Demand is high but that will not make you able to sell anything to experienced tourists (Taylor, 2001).
All these above global issues make it necessary for the tourism and hospitality organization to constantly develop their products to meet the constant demand.
D) Strategies and Different Activities Employed By Tourism Organizations:
Strategic planning consists of several steps. The first step is to formalize a proper organization which controls all the necessary details. Then a vision must be developed about how you actually want to shape out everything followed by other details including infrastructure and investment issues.
As time is changing the world is also in constant demand of change which is resulting in competition among different countries thriving for economic growth, development better than the other country. Similarly the world tourism is also emerging day by day and countries are trying to benefit themselves by developing their country into a proper tourist spot in return generating huge revenue (Fainstein & Gladstone, 1999). This will also benefit the country in prospering as developing the country will make the government work on infrastructure and surrounding quality along with that it will help making the relation stronger of the host country with the other countries whose tourists are welcomed with immense hospitality. Moreover for handling tourism more employment is needed which is good for the localities and it is also noticed that those countries which are not developing themselves for betterment and tourism may left behind in such a competitive environment where every other nation is fighting for a standalone position in the planet (Fainstein & Gladstone, 1999).
Not just internationally it is expected among the cities as well within the same countries to work for their own betterment competing with the other city of the same nation. Every city mayor should work for the development of its own city which may eventually result making the city a place for tourism destination (Holcomb, 1999)
D.2) Strategies Development:
Countries that strive to be competitive must develop a long term strategy and start working on it because without a plan you cannot achieve your goal. It's a long term process because developing a country in a preferable tourism destination and above all developing the sense of hospitality among the local community is not an easy job. Therefore for achieving this difficult task you need to first develop a strategy which is a set of policies intended to achieve your goal and mission (Getz, 1997).
Further more once the mission is achieved one must not take it for granted and should work to improve it day by day as tourism industry can never settle on one standardize procedure, it must keep brining innovation depending on the current trend and demands on its consumer (Van den Berg et al, 1995).
D.4) 3 A's of Tourism:
There are 3 A's of tourism which must be kept in mind all the time because it has the core importance
Access: Transportation must be provided to the tourist easily so that they can easily access their desirable tourist spots.
Attraction: Tourists must find variety of attractive places to visit and explore. They must have different choices to make so that they can enjoy their trip completely instead of sitting at home even on vacations.
Amenities: The facilities available to the tourist on the particular location or destination they plan to visit.
However the most important A in this category is the second one Attraction as tourism is all about exploring and visiting different locations (Dieke and Karamustafa, 2000).
People are getting involved into different kinds of events and therefore chose holiday destination considering the upcoming possible event, so that they can enjoy their holiday break completely. Therefore the event business is also a profitable business these days. It is also noticed that sometime events make the tourist visit a specific location for example Dubai festivals or fashion shows make people visit Dubai, which often doesn't hold a desire for exploring Dubai but those events (Getz, 2004).
This helps a lot in off seasons when tourism is at a low level encouraging the tourists to visit helping the tourism organization in maintain their profits. Besides that it also help in developing an image of the host country in a favorable position making the country as a favorite holiday destination for people from all over the world. (Mossberg, 2000)
As events are important part of tourism, one should work for its marketing in a proper way. Promotions through blogs, brochures, press release are some common way for marketing the events. Different marketing channels should be adopted for promoting the events so that everyone comes to know about it and it should be done giving enough time to the travelers so that they can plan a trip conveniently.
D.6) Culture and Roots:
The host country should emphasize on its culture greatly because the tourist find it attractive as it gives them something different to explore. Ancient heritage, monuments is of keen interest for the tourists and in this way one can make its own culture known to the people worldwide as well (Mossberg, 2000).
E) Sri Lankan Tourist Development Authority:
E.1) Tourism In Sri Lanka:
Sri Lanka's main business comes from its tourism. It has ancient heritage, beaches, beautiful mountains, lush green resorts making it a perfect spot for holidays. Tourists comes from every part of the world to visit Sri Lanka as it has a really good tourism development organizations working for the betterment of industry and bringing diversification in there product offering.
Visa policy for Sri Lanka is comparatively easy to get. Usually they give a tourist visa for 30 days but it can also get extended. Your visa can extend up to three months by paying some amount and it can further increase for three months giving extension fees along with additional Rs.10,000 however extension more than this depends upon the concerned authority ((Sri Lanka Development Tourist Authority Online)
E.2) Different Exclusive Offering By SLTDA:
Sri Lankan Tourist Development Authority offers different exclusive services in order to satisfy their customers and confirming a great experience depending on their affordability
Heritage: Sri Lanka is rich in ancient heritage. It has preserved Asian monuments which are an attraction for people all around from the world especially for tourists who are fond of ancient culture and tradition specially visits Sri Lanka for enjoying these cultural, belief and traditional way of living that is held in reserve in the roots of Sri Lanka. UNESCO world heritage, Adam's Peak are some of the must visit in Sri Lanka.(Sri Lanka Tourism Guide)
SPA and Ayuerveda Treatment: They just not revive your mind and body but also try to sooth your soul by providing you with the most popular method AYUERVEDA for relaxing your body and mind and healing spiritual and physical problems by herbal treatments, various relaxing bath and body massages along with physical exercises such as yoga, aerobics and particular diets which help one feel relaxing and completely enjoying this lavishness of life which you usually do not cherish in your daily routine (Sri Lanka Tourism Guide).
Shopping Destinations: Apart from beautiful and lavish shopping malls in Colombo and other larger cities, one can also enjoy traditional villager shopping in small villages and handcraft material from local vendor on a very cheap price, while brass work of Sri Lanka is also very famous due to its finesse. Another purchase f Sri Lanka are its silverware that is also given as a souvenir at times but the most famous of all are the widest variety of stone found in Sri Lanka because of which Sri Lanka is considered among the largest gem producer country therefore you can also facilitate yourself by getting yourself these stones on your visit (Sri Lanka Tourism Guide).
Adventures Sports: Sri Lanka offers the chances of indulging in all kinds of sports specially adventures involving waters as it has more than 100 beaches which facilitate you to go for water skiing, water surfing, scuba diving, boating, Speed boating. Moreover these sports are run under the supervision of professionals and when you are thorough professionals you can also try killer fall, head chopper and drop. Apart from water adventure one can also enjoy wildlife, forest exploration, mountain climbing for being able to witness the world's most beautiful scenery ahead. Beautiful waterfalls are also one of the desirable scenes to watch in Sri Lanka.
Safari which happens to be the national park of Sri Lanka has variety of animals including different kinds of mammals, elephant, hog, porcupine, ant eater and variety of monkeys as well. Islands have different kinds of reptile (snakes, crocodiles as well) making it dangerous to wander carelessly as it is said that out of all these hundreds of reptile kinds 5 of snake found are deadly.(Sri Lanka Tourism Guide)
Festivals: Sri Lanka is a city of on going entertainment and therefore every season you will witness some kind of celebration going on. Cultural festivals, Harvest festivals or some regional ceremonies are always taking place.
All these are the exclusive offering which is given by the Sri Lankan tourism organization to its tourists depending on their affordability level. Apart from those basic facilities like accommodation, transport, breakfast benefits are usually included in the tourism package.
CONCLUSION: In the end it is concluded that tourism organization faces extreme global issues and if they want to be ahead of others they must constantly bring innovation intro their product portfolio. Strategies should be made and tourism organizations must follow them step by step.
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