Tag Archives: tourism

Responsible Tourism that Creates Shared Value Among Stakeholders

Excerpt from the paper entitled; “Responsible Tourism that Creates Shared Value among Stakeholders” This contribution will shortly be published by  Tourism Planning and Development Journal.

This study revealed how different tourism organisations were engaging in responsible behaviours with varying degrees of intensity and success. It has identified cost effective and efficient operations. There was mention of some measures which enhance the human resources productivity. Other measures sought to reduce the negative environmental impacts. At the same time, it was recognised that it was in the businesses’ interest to maintain good relations with different stakeholders, including the regulatory ones.

rtThe researcher believes that responsible tourism can truly bring a competitive advantage when there are fruitful communications and continuous dialogue among all stakeholder groups (including the employees, customers, marketplace and societal groups). The tourism enterprises ought to engage themselves in societal relationships and sustainable environmental practices (Chiu, Lee and Chen, 2014). The tourism owner-managers admitted that responsible behaviours have brought reputational benefits, enhanced the firms’ image among external stakeholders and led to a favourable climate of trust and cooperation within the company. Similar findings were reported by Nunkoo and Smith (2013). This study reported that a participative leadership boosts employee morale and job satisfaction which may often lead to lower staff turnover and greater productivity in the workplace (Davidson et al., 2010). Evidently, stakeholder relationships are needed to bring external knowledge sources, which may in turn enhance organisational skills and performance (Frey and George, 2010).

The governments may also have an important role to play in this regard. The governments can take an active leading role in triggering responsible behaviours. Booyens (2010) also reiterated that greater efforts are required by governments, the private sector and other stakeholders to translate responsible tourism principles into policies, strategies and regulations. Governments may give incentives (through financial resources in the form of grants or tax relief) and enforce regulation in certain areas where responsible behaviour is required. The regulatory changes may possibly involve the use of eco-label and certifications. Alternatively, the government may encourage efficient and timely reporting and audits of sustainability (and social) practices. The governments may provide structured compliance procedures to tourism enterprises. Responsible tourism practices and their measurement, reporting and accreditation should be as clear and understandable as possible. The governments’ reporting standards and guidelines may possibly be drawn from the international reporting instruments (e.g. ISO, SA, AA, and GRI).

This research posits that sustainable and responsible environmental practices leverage the tourism enterprises performance as innovations can help to improve their bottom-line. This finding was also consonant with Bohdanowicz’s (2006) contribution. This research indicated that the investigated enterprises were increasingly pledging their commitment for discretionary investments in environmental sustainability, including; energy and water conservation, alternative energy generation, waste minimisation, reducing, reusing and recycling policies, pollution prevention, environmental protection, carbon offsetting programmes and the like. Indeed, some of the interviewees have proved that they were truly capable of reducing their operational costs through better efficiencies. Nevertheless, there may be still room for improvement as tourism enterprises can increase their investments in the latest technological innovations. This study indicates that there are small tourism enterprises that still need to realise the business case for responsible tourism. Their organisational culture and business ethos will have to become attuned to embrace responsible behavioural practices.

Nevertheless, it must be recognised that the tourism industry is made up of various ownership structures, sizes and clienteles. In addition, there are many stakeholder influences, which affect the firms’ level of social and environmental responsibility (Carroll and Shabana, 2010). Acquiring new knowledge must be accompanied by mechanisms for dissemination. Perhaps, there is scope in sharing best practices, even with rival firms. It is necessary for responsible businesses to realise that they need to work in tandem with other organisations in order to create shared value and to move the responsible tourism agenda forward. Therefore, this study’s findings encourage inter-firm collaboration and networking across different sectors of the tourism industry.

“…responsible behaviours have brought reputational benefits, enhanced the firms’ image among external stakeholders and led to a favourable climate of trust and cooperation within the company”.

This contribution contends that the notion of shared value is opening up new opportunities for responsible tourism and the sustainability agenda, particularly with its innovative approach to configure the value chain (Pfitzer, et al, 2013; Porter and Kramer 2011). There are competitive advantages that may arise from creating and measuring shared value. Evidently, there is more to responsible tourism than, ‘doing good by doing well’ (Garay and Font, 2012). As firms reap profits and grow, they can generate virtuous circles of positive multiplier effects. This paper has indicated that the tourism enterprises, who engage themselves in responsible and sustainable practices, are creating value for themselves and for society. In conclusion, this research puts forward the following key recommendations for the responsible tourism agenda:

• Promotion of laudable business processes that bring economic, social and environmental value;
• Encouragement of innovative and creative approaches, which foster the right environment for further development and application of sustainable and responsible practices;
• Enhancement of collaborations and partnership agreements with governments, trade unions and society in general, including the marketplace stakeholders;
• Ensuring that there are adequate levels of performance in areas such as health and safety, suitable working conditions and sustainable environmental practices;
• Increased awareness, constructive communication, dialogue and trust;
• National governments may create a regulatory framework which encourages and enables the implementation of sustainable and responsible behavioural practices by tourism enterprises.


References (a complete list of references that were cited in this paper)

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Environmental Responsibility in the Hospitality Sector

In a recent media release Hyatt has reiterated its commitment to environmental stewardship with a focus on energy, waste and water reduction, sustainable building, supply chain management as well as stakeholder engagement. In Hyatt’s Corporate Responsibility Report, the listed hotel corporation has unveiled an aggressive set of environmental goals for the year 2020, all designed to strengthen Hyatt’s collective ability to collaborate, inspire and further its commitment to environmental stewardship. Hyatt has also defined a suite of measurable and actionable targets. Hyatt hotels aim to create a more sustainable future for themselves and for their neighbours. The hotel group posits that the conservation efforts have reaped fruit, resulting in major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and water and energy usage by property across their portfolio. Hyatt maintains that its commitment to environmental stewardship touches every aspect of its business, from the way how the hotels are built and operated, to the way they collaborate with their global supply chain, to the way the hotel chain influences change through the passion and commitment of its employees around the world.
Setting Focus Areas
Hyatt 2020 Vision focuses on significantly expanding the global chain’s strategic scope, especially in areas where past efforts have not had as much of an impact due to occupancy fluctuations and rapid business growth in developing markets. With this in mind, the hotel chain’s three strategic priorities include the following;
• “Use Resources Thoughtfully: Hyatt is committed to examining how its hotels source, consume and manage natural resources to serve their guests. Hyatt will identify ways for Hyatt hotels to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, use less water, produce less waste and make more environmentally responsible purchasing decisions. As a highlight, Hyatt has set the goal to reduce water use per guest night by 25 percent, and within water-stressed areas, Hyatt has set a 30 percent reduction goal. Additionally, Hyatt is elevating its recycling efforts by challenging every hotel to reach a 40 percent diversion rate, as well as by setting a recycling goal for renovation waste.
Build Smart: Hyatt will work closely with stakeholders to increase the focus on building more efficient, environmentally conscious hotels across the enterprise. Beginning in 2015, all new construction and major renovation projects contracted for Hyatt managed hotels will be expected to follow enhanced sustainable design guidelines. Hyatt will lead this initiative by mandating that all new construction and major renovation projects for wholly owned full service hotels and resorts achieve LEED certification, or an equivalent certification.
Innovate and Inspire: This goal reflects Hyatt’s commitment to be a catalyst for bringing more hearts, hands and minds to the table to help advance environmental sustainability around the world. This includes Hyatt’s commitment to create a funding mechanism to support the innovation, ideation and acceleration of sustainable solutions within its hotels that can be replicated across the Hyatt portfolio, as well as the broader hospitality industry” (Hyatt Corporate Responsibility Report, 2013/2014).

Reporting Progress
Hyatt’s reported some of its major milestones, including:

• “The launch of Ready to Thrive, Hyatt’s global corporate philanthropy program focused on literacy and career readiness, which included a $750,000 investment in career readiness programs in Brazil.
• Building 11 libraries and supporting reading and writing programs in 30 schools through a new partnership with Room to Read, impacting 30,000 students in India.
• Donating 35,000 books to kids in need across the globe through We Give Books and Room to Read.
• Donating more than 100,000 volunteer hours in 2013 – a 69 percent increase from 2012.
• More than 80 percent of Hyatt hotels recycling at least one or more waste streams.
• A reduction in resource use intensity in each of Hyatt’s three regions compared to 2006 – up to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, up to a 13 percent reduction in energy and up to a 15 percent reduction in water.
• Development of responsible seafood sourcing goals based on a global purchasing audit in partnership with World Wildlife Fund.
• Required more than 40,000 of its global associates — including housekeepers, front office, concierge, guest services, key service and security personnel, and all management-level colleagues — to complete Human Trafficking Prevention Training. Hyatt also implemented a standard for all of its hotels to have training measures in place” (Hyatt Corporate Responsibility Report, 2013/2014).

Sources:
Hyatt Thrive: http://thrive.hyatt.com/en/thrive.html
Hyatt Corporate Responsibility Report (2013-2014): http://thrive.hyatt.com/content/dam/Minisites/hyattthrive/Hyatt%20Corporate%20Responsibility%20Report-2013-2014.pdf

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Employment: new European Skills Passport will facilitate recruitment in hospitality sector

On the 17th June, the European Commission has launched the European Hospitality Skills Passport. This skills passport was developed to bridge the gap between job-seekers and employers in the European hospitality and tourism sector. This incentive promotes mobility of European workers, especially young people, in a sector that still has high growth potential. Interestingly, this tool compares hospitality workers’ skills in order to facilitate their recruitment in tourism and hospitality. It is hoped that this passport will shortly be extended to other sectors in the future.

The Skills Passport is hosted on the European Job Mobility Portal EURES, and is available in all EU official languages. It is an initiative of the European Commission in collaboration with HOTREC the umbrella association representing hotels, restaurants, cafés and similar establishments in Europe; and EFFAT, the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism sectors.

Tutorial for employers

Tutorial for jobseekers

 

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-678_en.htm

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A snapshot of the tourism industry in Malta

This article appeared on the The Sunday Times of Malta

Ghajn-Tuffieha-Bay-600px
Malta is often portrayed as a safe and pleasant environment. Moreover, the smallest EU State was consistently ranked amongst the top countries in the world for its quality of life index. According to a latest economic impact report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, 2014), last year the travel and tourism industry in Malta has contributed to 13.6% of the country’s GDP. This figure is expected to rise by 5.6% during this year. WTTC (2014) reported that the tourism industry alone has generated more than 25,500 jobs, directly. This figure is forecast to grow to 27,000. It translates to 15.5% of the total employment in Malta and Gozo. Arguably, positive results do not come by chance. In the last decade the Maltese governments’ concerted efforts may have helped to ensure that our tourism industry remains a major contributor to the Maltese economy. The fruitful and collaborative relationships among tourism stakeholders also augur well for the sustainability of our tourism industry. Malta’s national tourism policy (2012-2016) builds on proactive frameworks of previous policies, whilst keeping pace with contemporary trends in travel and tourism.

A recent report (2013) by the economic policy department within the Ministry of Finance aimed to establish a strategy for accommodation development, whilst taking into account the type of accommodation required, the optimum mix, market developments, the market segments, limiting factors and environmental considerations. A number of actions have already been undertaken or are being dealt with in this regard. Emphasis is being placed on supporting investment in tourism product development by the private sector. This is being accomplished through the allocation of €120 million of EU structural funds (from the 2007-2013 programming periods) and additional national funding. Some €10 million were allocated to a Grant Scheme for Sustainable Tourism Projects by enterprises, including small and medium sized enterprises. This scheme directs funds towards the economic development of the tourism sector and is intended to support product upgrades, enhance accessibility, increase innovation, strengthen marketing initiatives and promote tourism projects that aim to tackle current challenges in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
Given that a large number of tourism businesses in Malta are operating either directly in tourism or in related sectors; it is important to maintain or increase current tourist numbers and tourism earnings. While there is scope for any increase during the peak summer months, there remains room for significant improvements during the shoulder months. In response, Malta is seeking to attract tourists from a spread of markets which will be attracted by niche products. Some market segments may respect Malta’s unique heritage and may have the propensity and the resources to spend more. Malta is striving to make the islands more accessible for all. Two EU co-financed Calypso projects were implemented between 2009 and 2013. The first one focused on research analyses which define the present product offering. This project also identified certain areas which have to be addressed in order to untap the social tourism market. The Maltese tourism product and service quality can be differentiated to attract visitors with personalised services and accessibility needs. The second project was approved in 2011. Its major objectives was to assess the degree of accessibility within selected tourist zones around the Maltese Islands. It has also given recommendations for improvements. A special allocation was directed to the maintenance and promotion of rural localities by supporting the establishment of walking trails and small scale infrastructural interventions which, in turn improve rural and natural areas. This latter project is being co-funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) is increasingly focusing its energies on environmental initiatives. Today’s travellers are becoming more demanding on sustainability issues and green travel. This may pose a number of challenges for the industry practitioners to constantly update their methods of operation to be in line with the constantly changing market requirements. Eco-certification is the national scheme which ensures the environmental, socio-economic and cultural sustainability of hotels in the Maltese islands. It has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council as fully reflecting the GSTC criteria. The scheme was launched by the Malta Tourism Authority in 2002. Some 16.2% of hotel accommodation establishments, covering 3, 4 and 5 star categories (accounting to 32% of beds) in Malta are eco-certified (MTA, 2014).

In spite of the record figures in terms of tourist arrivals, bed nights and tourist spending, the tourism stakeholders are very aware that not everything in the garden is rosy. The ToM Business Supplement reported (27th March) about a number of unlicensed accommodation establishments who last year evaded VAT and taxes. It goes without saying that such accommodation establishments may have not been subject to any form of quality control on their product. Such unlicensed accommodation establishments may have also created some distortions in price structures, particularly for hospitality enterprises. Interestingly, another ToM article (25th March) featured a summary of some findings from an MTA research about the highs and lows of tourism in Malta. For instance, it reiterated the importance of improving aesthetics in Maltese tourism zones. It reported that eight per cent of visitors said they would not return to Malta. Apparently, some informants complained of a dirty environment, excessive building, bad experiences with accommodation, poor transport and unfriendly locals. This same article hints that MTA may set up quality assurance structures as it wants to measure sustainability. It mentions some of the challenges of the tourism industry and makes a few recommendations which resonate with the national policies.

In conclusion, this contribution suggests that frequent situation analyses (and longitudinal studies) may possibly give a better picture of our product offering and service quality. Certain findings may be an eye-opener for some stakeholders as there are some issues which will have to be addressed in the foreseeable future.

The views expressed in this article are my own – Drmarkcamilleri.com

 

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Tourism’s Impact on Economic Development and Competitiveness

oecd

The latest Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publication entitled, “Tourism Trends and Policies 2014″ provides an in‑depth analysis of the latest trends and policy developments in tourism planning for 48 OECD member and partner countries. It highlights key reforms in tourism organisation and governance with a focus on national and international issues. This report suggests that there is potential for further visa and travel facilitation policies to boost economies. Therefore, OECD (2014) is calling for a strategic, integrated approach with greater coherence among all tourism stakeholders. This publication provides comparative data on tourism taxation. It posits that tourism-related taxes may support infrastructure and tourism development. It also features some relevant information about national budgets pertaining to marketing and promotion, safety and security and environmental protection.

Travel facilitation, tourism and growth

The tourism industry directly accounts for 4.7% of GDP, 6% of employment and 21% of exports of services in OECD countries. In Europe, new estimates indicate that 6.6 million travellers from six key target markets were lost due to the visa regime in 2012, equating to EUR 5.5 billion in direct GDP contribution. As a result, governments have implemented a variety of approaches to facilitate travel, from streamlining visa processing and changing visa requirements to introducing other forms of travel authorisation and improving border processes such as e-visa, visa on arrival, automated border processing, and trusted traveller programmes.

Taxation and tourism

In recent years there has been a general increase in tourism‑related taxes, fees, and charges, including those associated with air travel, those with an environmental focus as well as incentives for investment and spending. The rationale for specific tourism‑related taxation varies from country to country. Apart from contributing to general tax revenue and supporting public investment in tourism development, other common purposes include: cost recovery for passenger processing and environmental protection; encouraging visitor spending and job creation; and funding promotional activities. Many countries have introduced reduced rates of consumption tax for tourism‑related activities – focusing primarily on hotels and restaurants – to boost tourism and stimulate employment in the sector, or tourist/VAT refund schemes to encourage visitor spending. Industry is concerned by the sheer number of levies payable by tourism operators, what they see as regular increases above inflation and the lack of a clear link with the cost of service delivery, which results in many taxes raising more than their stated objectives. The OECD will continue to work with countries to better understand how tourism‑related taxation affects the international competitiveness and attractiveness of destinations.

Key recommendations

  • Greater coherence across government policies is needed to boost tourism and economic growth. Policies such as innovation, transportation, taxation, service quality and visas influence people’s desire to travel and the competitiveness of destinations.
  • Governments should focus more on evaluating the tourism policies, given the widespread pressure on public finances in many countries. More detailed monitoring, evaluation and analysis, of existing taxes and incentives for example, would give policy makers the tools to implement evidence‑based policies to support the long‑term sustainable growth of the tourism industry.
  • Governments and the tourism industry need to develop skills to keep pace with market developments. Digital and social media require a major shift in approaches to marketing, promotion and service delivery, including tailored marketing to individual consumers and learning how to communicate with digitally‑aware tourists.
  • Closer alignment is needed between transport and tourism policy and sustainable energy policies at national and international level, given the heavy reliance of tourism on air travel and the risks associated with climate change
  • Measures that identify and facilitate high volume, low risk legitimate travellers to move more freely and efficiently should be adopted, targeting constrained resources where they are most needed to secure borders and meet economic, security and other needs.

Source: http://www.oecd.org/cfe/tourism/publication-tourism-trends-policies.htm

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UNWTO partners with the International Hotel and Restaurant Association

wto

This week, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA) have consolidated their partnership in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in matters related to sustainable hospitality. The MOU was signed on the 10th of March  (which coincided with the 1st World Hospitality Day) at Interlaken, Switzerland.

IH&RA (a UNWTO Affiliate Member) has long been a strategic partner to UNWTO. This MOU will allow both organisations to cooperate even closer towards their common goal of driving positive changes in  a number of initiatives related to the hospitality industry; including the Nearly Zero-Energy Hotels (NEZEH) Project, supporting hotels in improving their energy efficiency and reaching nearly zero energy levels.

This partnership agreement may serve as a catalyst for further cooperation agreements between private and public sectors for the best interest of all stakeholders in the hospitality industry.

Source: http://media.unwto.org/press-release/2014-03-12/unwto-and-ihra-sign-memorandum-understanding

Links:

NEZEH European Project, Nearly Zero Energy Hotel

European Commission > Energy > Intelligent Energy Europe > “Nearly Zero-Energy Hotels” (NEZEH)

Centre for Energy Efficiency in Sweden: Nearly zero energy hotels – IEE funded project

Tsoutsos, Theocharis, et al. (2013) “Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Application in Mediterranean hotels.” Energy Procedia 42: 230-238.

ihra

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Consumer Behavioural Attitudes: Implications for eTourism

online

Last month, the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management in collaboration with Elsevier organised the 2nd World Research Summit for Tourism and Hospitality in Orlando. During this inspiring event, one of the keynote speeches featured some interesting findings from a national US survey entitled; ‘The Portrait of American Travellers’. This quantitative study consisted of 2,511 informants (who reportedly were active leisure travellers in 2013); who reside in households with an annual income of $50,000 or more (they also included “affluent travellers” with an annual income over $125,000); who have taken at least one leisure trip of 75 miles or more from home during the previous 12 months (who have used overnight accommodations).

The survey, which was conducted during February 2013, has provided an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, prevailing social values, and emerging media habits on the travel behaviour of Americans. Unlike most surveys in the travel category this particular study explained how consumers plan, purchase and share information about their travel experiences. It also revealed some of the underlying motivations that often influence travel decisions. Respondents were selected randomly and screened before they voluntarily participated in a 45-minute online survey. The study indicated that all tests of statistical significance were made at the 95 percent level of confidence.

In a nutshell, this American study has shown that the latest advances in technological developments and additional sources of information are increasingly influencing the tourists’ choice of tourism destinations. Apparently, travellers are becoming more frugal in their purchase decisions. They are often making smarter options, seeking better value and good deals in return for their money. Travel shopping sites such as Kayak and Dealbase have gained in popularity and are now used to make travel reservations by 28 percent of travellers. Interestingly, this figure rose from a mere 15 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, six in 10 leisure travellers (58 percent) typically use an online travel agency (OTA) such as Expedia, Travelocity or Orbitz to research travel. Yet, at the same time the use of OTAs to make travel reservations is down from 66 percent in 2010 to 58 percent in 2013.

Evidently, the tourism and hospitality enterprises have become cautious in pricing their products (and services) and they often resort to revenue management tactics. This study suggests that travellers are planning to spend slightly more on travel / vacations as 82 percent of the informants have indicated that they are planning to take as many (or even more) trips in 2014 when compared to last year.

Some of the most significant results of this study include:

  • Low Cost versus Legacy Carriers: Since the cost of travel remains a major issue in influencing leisure travel preferences, it follows that half of all leisure travellers (47%) prefer travelling on a low-cost carrier. Only three in ten (30%) prefer to fly on a full-service carrier. However, one-quarter (23%) have no preference. And it should be noted that leisure travellers are significantly more likely to prefer a low-cost carrier today than in previous years – in 2010 only 42% favoured such carriers.
  • Digital Marketing: More than eight in ten leisure travellers use the internet to either obtain travel information (87%) or make travel reservations (83%). 54 percent have downloaded airline branded apps, followed by hotel branded apps (38 percent), and destination guides (27 percent).
  • E-Commerce: More leisure travellers now access the internet via a smartphone (62%) than from the office (59%). Four in ten (43%) also now access the internet from a tablet. Access to the internet via tablets jumped from 7% of all leisure travellers in 2011 to 43% in 2013.
  • Mobile E-Commerce: Smartphone usage among travellers has nearly tripled since 2010, and the act of downloading travel-related applications has also increased dramatically – from 19 percent in 2010 to 36 percent in 2013. Among travellers who have downloaded travel related apps,
  • Social Media: Only 17% of leisure travellers with household incomes over $250,000 have confidence in the information read or seen on a social media site about potential travel destinations. This is significantly lower than the percentage of those with lower household incomes; 25% of leisure travellers with household incomes of $50,000–$124,999 and 21% with household incomes of $125,000–$249,999 have confidence in social media when considering vacation destinations.
  • Word of Mouth. Eight out of ten travellers (82 percent) expressed confidence in the recommendations of friends and family members when considering vacation destinations, while six in ten (58 percent) turned to online advisory sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor.com. Approximately four in ten travellers (41 percent) are confident in consumer reviews read on a blog, while slightly less (39 percent) are confident in articles found in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio.
  • Going Green for Green. Though eight out of 10 leisure travellers (79 percent) describe themselves as environmentally conscious, just 10 percent are willing to pay higher rates/fares for environmentally-friendly travel services, and only one in 10 (11 percent) has selected an environmentally-friendly travel service supplier who demonstrates environmental responsibility. Four in 10 (44 percent) indicated that they would probably choose an environmentally-friendly travel supplier who expresses concern about the environment over one who does not.
  • Consumer Outlook: Three-fourths of leisure travellers (73%) are optimistic about their own future and the future of their children (73%), while six in ten are optimistic about the future of their job (62%) or company (61%).

For more information about these latest travel and tourism industry insights are also available on MMG Worldwide.

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Key trends in Tourism for 2014

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The annual ITB World Travel Trends Report has indicated that Asia is among the major forces driving the international tourism market. According to IPK International, many Asian countries have experienced impressive growth in travel and tourism. In a nutshell, their findings indicate that the Chinese are becoming frequent travellers as their affluent Japanese neighbours are spending considerably less in tourism and hospitality products. Apparently, the Chinese market is now the world’s number one when it comes to travel expenditure. This report also suggests that Chinese tourists rank second for travelling abroad and are fourth for overnight stays.

In 2012 the Chinese citizens have made around 45 million trips abroad and spent approximately 84.4 billion dollars. Overall, international departures from Asia have increased by eight per cent during the first eight months of 2013. It is the Chinese market which has actually contributed towards this trend. There was an astonishing 26 per cent increase in Chinese travelling internationally over the previous year. On the other hand, the Japanese have travelled less (i.e. -2 per cent). For 2014, the Chinese people are expected to travel even more than this year, as departures are forecasted to increase by around 18 per cent.

In a similar vein, this year’s arrivals in Asia were very encouraging. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), between January and August, international arrivals grew by 6.3 per cent when compared to 2012. There was an increased demand for Southeast Asia and Southern Asia as tourism arrivals grew by 12 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively. There was a growth rate of 4 per cent in the Pacific region. Arrivals in northeast Asia rose by three per cent.

The Chinese market was the most eager to travel among other Asian countries. Their holiday stay (which exceeded four nights) have risen by 28 per cent, whereas short trips / weekend breaks have increased by around 21 per cent. This sharp surge in tourism figures shows that the Chinese have emerged as the world biggest spenders, averaging around USD 1,765 per trip. Apparently, their main reason for travelling abroad is for holiday / vacation purposes. Such trips rose by 30 per cent this year. City breaks and beach holidays also became very popular for this market segment. At six per cent, the business travel market (which also comprises MICE) grew moderately on the previous year.


Typically, the Chinese travelled mainly within Asia, while long-haul trips to Europe and America followed in the second place. Interestingly, this travel boom is set to continue as experts are predicting that the Chinese will be just as eager to travel during 2014. Around 44 per cent of the respondents from China declared that they intended to travel more next year. Although, only seven per cent of Chinese citizens earn more than 15,000 dollars a year, the country’s competitiveness and economic growth prospects are bringing a demographic shift that is characterised by a fast-growing, wealthy middle class. This is in stark contrast to other Asian nations such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. For instance, international trips in Japan fell by an overall two per cent, while overnights and spending dropped by three and six per cent, respectively. To add insult to injury, the business travel market has suffered even worse than holiday trips in Japanese destinations. Generally, there was a downward spiral in demand for long-haul destinations. In 2012, long trips have dropped by around 20 per cent in the Asian continent. This was largely offset by an increase in city breaks and beach holidays. Very few of the respondents from Japan said they wanted to travel more than this year despite Japan’s economy is on the road to recovery. It is likely that the Japanese market will probably stagnate in 2014.


By and large, tourism forecasts are indicating a growing eagerness for travel and tourism over the next few years. This is mainly attributed to the Chinese economic growth and its expanding middle class, that is both educated and young. Moreover, the emerging low cost carriers in the region are making travelling much easier and affordable.

More information is available here: http://www.ipkinternational.com/en/read-news/article/34/?cHash=28b716052bd119810a0926c5bd416005

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Sustainable Tourism Indicators for EU Destinations

The European Commission has developed a European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS) for Sustainable Management at Destination Level, which is a comprehensive system, simple to use, flexible and suitable for all tourism destinations.

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The system is designed to be used by tourism destinations to monitor, manage, measure and enhance their sustainability performances, without the need of any specific training. Motivations for tourism destination monitoring include:

•Improved information for decision making
•Effective risk management
•Prioritization of action projects
•Performance benchmarking
•Improved community buy-in and support for tourism stakeholders
•Enhanced visitor experience
•Increased bottom-line / cost savings
•Increased value per visitor

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/sustainable-tourism/indicators/documents_indicators/eu_toolkit_indicators_en.pdf

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Tourism in the Green Economy

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The UNWTO – UNEP’s 2012 report entitled, ‘Tourism in the Green Economy’ demonstrates how increased investment in sustainable tourism has the potential to boost the sector’s contribution to economic growth, development and job creation, while simultaneously addressing the major environmental challenges of the times. The report also highlights that, while tourism is one of the most promising drivers of growth for the world economy, its development is accompanied by sustainability-related challenges. It recommends an increased investment of global GDP per year from 2012 to 2050 in order to allow the tourism sector to continue to grow steadily and ensure significant environmental benefits such as reductions in water consumption, energy use and CO2 emissions. Findings call for a better access to tools and financing for SMEs in particular from governments and international organizations through public-private partnerships and also for public policies and support to encourage private investment in green tourism.

The report is an extension of the Tourism Chapter of the Green Economy Report, which makes the case for investments in greener and sustainable tourism as a means to create jobs and reduce poverty while improving environmental outcomes.

 

Source: World Tourism Organisation (2012) Tourism in the Green Economy: Background Report Url:  http://sdt.unwto.org/en/content/publications-1 accessed on the 29th June 2013.

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