Basic principles of the travel and tourism industry

Last year, 2022, was the first since the great pandemic.
2022 was also a year full of surprises and uncertainties for tourism.

Later in 2022 the planes and hotels were full. We saw long lines at the attractions and people started talking about over-tourism instead of under-tourism.

That doesn’t mean last year was without its challenges and the new year will be smooth sailing.

The new year (2023) will require the travel and tourism industry and its professionals to face both current and new challenges. Travel and tourism cannot be separated from the global context in which they operate. Whether that context is political states of war, or health problems, or economic undulations, what happens around the world touches all aspects of tourism.

The year 2022 saw a boom in the tourism industry. After what seemed like forever lockdowns, the public was eager to travel. This boom caused a drop in customer service and multiple price increases. Although no one can predict the future, it seems that tourism and travel professionals will have to deal with problems such as:

Labor shortages in tourism and travel Ongoing inflation Political instability The potential for a new health crisis or a new form of Covid-19

It is for these reasons that it is good for travel and tourism professionals to take a step back and review at least some of the basic fundamentals of their industry. We all claim to know these fundamental principles, but all too often in the “madness of life and work” we need to be reminded of some of the basic principles of tourism: what we do and why we do it.

To get the New Year off to a great start, Tourism Tidbits is providing you this month and next with a list of some of these basics. It is incumbent on tourism professionals to remember that when these principles are ignored, eventually the entire industry suffers.

In the world of leisure travel, tourism is telling a story in which the visitor becomes part of the story. Traveling is looking for the difference, finding the way out of the monotony of everyday life and entering a world of unreality. This basic principle means that the tourism industry must allow its visitors to experience the unique and special in a safe and secure environment. Remember we are selling memories and it is our job to help our customers create memories that can be shared. Tourism and travel professionals should never forget that they are selling “souvenirs”. It does not matter if the travel product is leisure or business, we are selling “souvenirs”. Even on short business trips, how we treat people and the service we offer is commented and remembered. The fact that air travel has become so unpleasant and often expensive is one reason entrepreneurs have continued to look for non-travel options. It cannot be said too often that most leisure travel and tourism are choices made by the consumer using their time and income. In all but a few cases, and with the exception of business travel and some forms of health travel, the customer does not have to choose to travel. This simple fact means that tourists are often easily spooked and may have unrealistic expectations. It does no good for the travel expert to get frustrated or angry with his client. Although technically the client is not always right, he always has the option of not traveling. In that case, it is the professional or the professional’s business that ultimately suffers. This fundamental principle is so important that places around the world that provide clean, efficient, and friendly products and services thrive. Others, who took their visitors for granted, show disappointing results. A basic rule of tourism and travel is: treat your customer fairly and provide a good product in a safe and clean environment. Travelers understand that the tourism industry must make a profit if it is to survive. However, making a profit does not mean overcharging or neglecting. Make sure your prices are in line with your competition, your service is delivered promptly with a smile, and your security demonstrates a sense of care. In tourism, a perception may not be true, but its consequences always are. Negative reputations are not easy to erase and negative perceptions can destroy the tourism industry. If our visitors perceive that they are not wanted or are seen as easy prey, they will soon find alternatives

-Tourism depends on security. In a world where one can experience “virtual” travel, where meetings can be conducted on a computer, and where the traveler is exposed to news cycles 24 hours a day, our clients know where there are problems, whether they are issues related to security, health, or even infrastructure. The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of how fragile the tourism industry can be. Crime and terrorism are also major problems around the world. Countries that are not perceived as safe and skimp on security risk large economic losses.

– It is essential to create security and protection. To create that environment, local security professionals need to be part of the planning from the start. Tourism security is more than just having police or security professionals at a site. Tourist security requires psychological and sociological analysis, the use of hardware, interesting and unique uniforms, and careful planning that integrates the security professional into the enchantment experience.

– Travel and tourism professionals need to love our clients!

Tourism professionals need to travel to come experience the world of travel and tourism both as a provider and as a client.

If travel professionals are perceived to “hate” their customers, customer service and quality of service will soon decline. Visitors are smart, and they know when tourism and travel officials are more interested in their own selfish trips than the tourist experience.

An employee who is unique, funny, or makes people leave feeling special is worth thousands of dollars in advertising. Every tourism manager and hotel general manager should have done every task in his industry at least once. Often, tourism managers push so hard for the bottom line that they forget that their employees are human beings too.

– Professional burnout can become a real problem. Tourism is hard work, and many people find the industry too difficult. Keep an eye out for new and creative employees, look for people who are outgoing and outgoing, and people with patience and a sense of adventure.

SOURCE: Tourism Tidbits by Tourism and More