Hospitality management entails the provision of services to people in a way that demonstrates consistent excellence and quality. The services provided within the hospitality industry demonstrate high level of uniqueness and process distinction. The hospitality industry include the wide ranges of companies within the travel and tourism industry (Gu, Wang & Zhang 2004), which provide desirable goods and accommodation services to people from different regions or parts of the world. Some of the main services offered in this case include tourism lodging, transportation services, retail services recreational activities, foods and beverages. For this reason, industrial managers must ensure that the services offered are of high quality while maintaining a generally clean environment (Gu, Wang & Zhang 2004). This paper explores specific areas within hotel management such as operational, managerial and legislative issues resulting from recent developments affecting the hospitality industry, justifications of predicted future trends and developments in hospitality as well as impact analysis for the predicted trends and developments within the industry.
AC. 3.1: Contemporary operational, managerial and legislative issues affecting the hospitality industry
The main recent developments affecting the hospitality and tourism industry include globalization, safety and security issues, diversity, service competition, taxation and regulations. All the mentioned recent trends fall under the three major categories; operational, managerial and legislative issues.
According to the recent studies conducted on issues of globalization and their impact on tourism industry, the integration of national economies improve regional cohesion and understanding among people across international borders. With the observed increases in business across the globe, people find opportunity to travel around the world more than ever either for business conferences, vocational training or for pleasure (Monetti, Hummel & Huitt 2006). For example, the data presented indicate that international tourism arrivals had grown from 797 in 2000 to 940 in 2010. This was a 17.94 percent increase in international tourist, which has been on the rise with every little invention across international borders. Globalization as a factor, therefore, predicts future improvements in population count due to the rising number of tourists or business investors who would want to reside temporarily in their target countries.
Safety and security is yet another factor widely mentioned to have greater impacts on hospitality industry. The rising terrorist attacks or threat of terror activities worldwide raise concerns for improved security (Monetti, Hummel & Huitt 2006). In various occasions, tourists and business travellers have faced instances like kidnappings, robberies and assaults. With such instances, the call for security during hospitality and tourism operations remains critical. Otherwise, improved service management including disaster plans should be made readily available for each kind of threat. In other words, the needs to prioritize on personal safety of the guests arises because, despite all the security challenges, the hospitality industry must ensure safety its customers (Monetti, Hummel & Huitt 2006). The range of studies conducted on issues of security indicate that international airports and most airline companies are major targets for terrorists, and as a result, governments, especially those whose economies rely on foreign investment and tourism must upgrade their security systems. Moreover, such governments must put in place strategies to exceed the requirements of airline industry. This could be possible through improved technological advancement in respective security departments.
On the side of diversity, the tourism and hospitality industry is considered one of the most diverse industry based on the number of employees and records of guest the industry hosts (Johns & Teare 2011). It is true to believe that with such a huge number of employees and guests, the hospitality and tourism industry can be benchmarked for unique cultural experiences. The only way to work with such a diverse population and to improve interpersonal relationships is by understanding the need differences and appreciating the cultural differences of the employees and guests (Johns & Teare 2011). The industry must understand the religious and cultural needs of these groups, and while attaching importance to factors like race, colour, age, and gender differences, sexual orientation also signifies an understanding of the industry and its diverse attributes. Based on the understanding of the diverse relationships among employees and guests, every business within the industry must always struggle to train their workers not only to understand and appreciate such diversities (Johns & Teare 2011), but also to be able to accommodate fellow workers and guests without attaching importance to ethnicity, religion or region or origin. Service providers within the industry must always be driven by the urge to facilitate better understanding among workers and guests without giving much consideration to cultural differences, social class factors and economic perspectives, but with a mind of improving the services offered to the guests.
Similarly, the changes in service requirements within the tourism and hospitality industry have various impacts on the performance of businesses in the industry. With the expanding service sector, growing global competition and changes in market consumption, quality in all the areas of performance is essential towards attracting and retaining customers who in this case are either potential business persons or important persons within the government (Harris 2005). Business managers in the industry have the sole responsibility of ensuring quality services and higher degree of satisfaction on the side of customers. In other words, quality service and improved satisfaction are the most differentiating factors, which businesses in the industry can use to attract more guest and gain competitive advantage. Most hotels today compete by expanding unique service and making their deliveries convenient to every customers. The growing market needs for better accommodation services (Harris 2005), foods and beverages compel hoteliers to continuously search their environments for improved competitive advantage. Following the kind of expansions activities taking place in the industry, hotels are currently increasing their investments with the aims of improving the quality of their services and to maintain the perceived product value for their potential guests. In general, hotels that improve their accommodation services only aim at achieving better customer satisfaction, loyalty and creating better opportunities for enhanced relationships with every customer (Harris 2005). The theory of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) indicates that relationship quality if fundamentally important towards influencing the behaviour of a hotel guest.
Like any other business, hotels are expected to remit a particular percentage of their total revenues as tax to the city authority or to the government (Johns & Teare 2010). Other than the tax, hotels operate within a politically controlled environment and must just adhere to the numerous environmental laws and regulations set by the government or any other physical authority. For example, hotels are expected to operate in a clean environment, maintain environmental cleanliness and also facilitate environmental growth. Some of the strategies here include proper damping of wastes, making compensations for environmental damages (Johns & Teare 2010), delivering safe and healthy foods to the customers as well as working towards ensuring zero pollution to the environment.
The predicted future trends and development in hospitality include the integration of Technological Information System (TIS), higher competition and highly improved services. With the introduction of technology in areas of communication, hotels find it more convenient to apply computer and computer applications in data processing, storage and transmission (Chew, Cheng & Petrovic 2006). As already stated, the number of workers and guest in the tourism and hospitality industry has doubled making it hard to complete the major administrative work without a second thought on technology. Hotels have resorted to the use of computers in customer’s profiling for fast and efficient service delivery. Today, guest can books rooms online and also make order on other accommodation services prior to their visit. Online activities has also reduced facility crowding since guests can search for rooms online and book those that are not congested (Chew, Cheng & Petrovic 2006). With the mentioned technological changes, hotels face rising competition and this compels them to improve their service in order to attract new guests or to retain their customers. The only way to emerge competitive among the many hotels in the industry is by exploring the various avenues that would lead to service improvement.
For the predicted technological changes, the hotel management must understand that effective information technology leads to operational improvements (Hossain, Patrick & Rashid 2001). The hotel industry and its relevant businesses extensively rely on technology developments as a strategic resource for improving guest services. With the inclusion of IT and advanced software or communication tools, hotel industry today aim at enlarging their operational efficiencies such as making orders through faster, safer and cheaper means. Hotels also explore support tools, databases and modelling tools in decision making and also to assist managers with some of their jobs. In other words, the expert systems is expected to allow every manager in the industry to use the numerous sophisticated expertise in ensuing better service delivery.
In general, technology changes signifies important improvements in the tourism business and its important rules. For example integrating IT as the main growth factor in the industry will improve information accessibility and service acquisition from different markets (Guo 2004). The observed territorial boundaries restricting customers will no longer exist since people will be in a position to interact with the hotels prior to their visit (Guo 2004). Technological improvements will also improve decision making and instances of service technology and service personalization may occur in future.
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