What are the innovations in the tourism sector? Describe six types of strategic tourism innovations with real industry examples
Innovations in the tourism sector refer to the new methods or ideas which help SMEs with new chances on how to operate within a business environment that is competitive (Moutinho 17). These can also be described as the processes which are certain to bring a positive change in the tourism sector, by supporting the introduction of new or improved processes and services. Successful innovations in the tourism sector must try to add the value of the tourism experience to customers. The value of quality likely to be triggered by innovation is always customer perceived and should always be designed with the desires of the customers in mind.
Types of strategic tourism innovations
Product innovation is the improvement of the existing services or goods to better quality or introduction of new ones that are more effective than before. This is the result of introducing a new manner to help in solving the needs of customers in the market through ways that are certain to benefit both the service or product provider and the customer. New product innovation in tourism is vital in the utilization of resources for profits and sustaining the economy. For sustainable tourism development, tourism companies should successfully try to involve the development of products and services that would make full utilization of profitable resource utilization.
This refers to new or improved ways of delivering existing services to customers. In the tourism sector, process innovation would revolve around integral sectors of the industry such as transport, tourism business center, regional markets, and investments.
Institutional / organizational Innovations
This basically refers to novelties that can be carried upon the entire internal structure of organizations or firms where processes and normal company activities take place. Some of the ways through which tourism firms can make a change in this sector are by introducing multi-links at all levels and by trying to make necessary improvements in their operating environments.
These are processes by which improved or new technologies are designed and made available for widespread use. In the tourism sector, technology innovation has helped to improve the efficiency of products and services as well as improved ways of exploration. As it would be observed, tourism is a multifaceted, information-based industry whose success is highly dependent on modern technology. Analysis of relevant information is one way of ensuring that tourism companies remain high in the highly competitive industry. Some of the most important technological innovations that would be useful for the industry include enticing websites and the introduction of smart cards that would guarantee customers’ effective access to products and services.
External organization Innovations
This incorporates the establishment of new business relationships with other firms or agents in a particular sector. In the tourism sector, this can take form of new forms of interfaces, business alliances or even business enlargement to the international levels.
Market innovation is part of a business exchange which shows how industries are changing in the wake of new ways of communication and technology. In other terms, this refers to the entrance of firms or businesses in new market levels. Market innovation in the tourism sector can be developed externally or in-house, either through technological or non-technological innovations and would involve introduction of new media techniques for advertisement and promotion, new marketing strategies and also development of new market segments.
In the next decade do you think the role of retail travel agencies will be the same or will they change/evolve? Give the reasons supporting your answer
Retail travel agencies have always played a crucial role in the tourism sector. For many years, firms in the tourism sector have been locked up in a mutual relationship with retail travel agents. Whereby the travel agents help firms to attract and retain customers, the firms pay them on an agreed commission for every successful business deal. The role of travel agencies in this setting is to establish business grounds around their retail spaces by selling standard offers and packages to tourists and other travel consumers.
The agencies do play a significant role in the sector by approaching customers from diverse settings and selling them travel related services and products on behalf of tourism firms that have contracted them. Tour companies gives a certain percentage of commission to retail travel agents as it had been agreed between both parties, for selling their services and products to potential tourism customers.
With the rapid transformations in technology and communication, it leaves no doubt that nothing in this world is going to remain the same forever. But things are changing with times and such is the way we do things in life. With respect to the diverse innovations taking place in the tourism sector, where speedy interactive approaches are being incorporated in all operational areas, it leaves no slightest doubt that the role of travel agencies will never be the same in the next ten years.
Modern ways of technology and communication that have contributed to the birth of the Internet, have transformed the way tourism sector conducts its operations. Technology innovation has transformed businesses in many ways nowadays and tourism firms have fully embraced the idea of utilizing the Internet and other interactive ways such as the social media networks to reach their customers from a wider diversity.
No wonder, tourists are able to access information on tourism firms and make the necessary comparisons on a variety of choices even before they set off for their holidays. More importantly, they can even pay for their tour and travel services in advance through the internet, and arrange for bookings and reservations.
Apart from the convenience benefits associated with the Internet, it has also proved to be a safer way of conducting business in the contemporary world and this poses serious threats to the travel agencies and tour organizers. Interactive communication is changing rapidly across the world, as newer and effective innovations continue to greet the world of technology in the dawn of every passing day.
This however, continues to present new opportunities to global marketers and businesses that have every reason to take their products and services into the next level of e-Commerce. These changes are likely to reach their peak in the next few years, where the Web is likely to become the platform for all business transactions in the world as firms continue to discover new ways of providing their services and products to their customers. These transformations have seriously transformed the role of travel agencies in all sectors and they may even lead to their full eradication from the world, unless the industry comes up with new strategies that can help them regain their lost glory in the market.
What is an e-tourism strategy? Why is it important that we understand and value an integrated e-tourism approach to strategic management? Include tourism industry examples in your response
Electronic tourism or e-tourism strategy refers to the process of incorporating information and communication technologies in the tourism sector. Tactically, this strategy simply includes electronic commerce and it uses modern information and communication technologies to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the tourism industry. With the wake of modern computer technologies, ICTs and the internet, the global business world has fully embarked on a universal mission of utilizing current computerized systems to increase their efficiency in the process of organizational information and distribution management.
These new developments would see various organizations in the tourism sector take full advantage of the emerging trends of technology to transform their operations in the emerging world of e-Commerce. E-tourism offers an impressive basis upon which businesses, stakeholders and customers can interact and execute business transactions. For this reason, the trend plays a strategic role in determining the high competitive nature of the entire tourism sector.
The current business world is rapidly transforming, owing to developments in the computer technology. In that case, it is very important for modern generations to value and appreciate e-tourism strategy as a key initiative of the e-Commerce revolution. The interactive strategy of e-tourism involves three major disciplines which include tourism, business management, and information systems and management. Integrated e-tourism approaches have enabled the tourism sector to develop and adapt strategic business processes, thus contributing to effective management of the industry (Cardoso & Lange 32).
E-tourism strategy constitutes of all business functions in the tourism sector such as transport, travel, public sector organizations, hospitality, intermediaries and principals. This trend helps in streamlining services in the tourism sector by enabling firms within the industry to operate and communicate effectively and efficiently with their customers worldwide. Miami tours and Las Vegas tours are good examples of tour firms that have incorporated the idea of e-touring in their operations.
As it would be observed from recent studies, the demand for tourism has gone online through the strategy of e-touring. The internet is increasingly turning out to be a platform upon which knowledge on various issues and aspects can be created and shared among all users across the world. Through the internet, tourists can easily access information on touring destinations and services regarding travel, accommodation, holiday and leisure packages among other choices that are associated with tourism.
More importantly, through e-touring, users and potential customers will be informed on availability of products and services and their real-time prices. Unlike the conventional ways of accessing tourism services, which could be more time-consuming, e-touring is more convenient, since it allows travelers to access crucial information from the internet within a fraction of the time.
E-tourism has many benefits to both the tourism industry and the tourists. For instance, it is always easy for customers and firms to locate suppliers and/or customers, no matter their geographical destinations. This trend also serves as a smart competitive tactic for growing firms, for this makes it easy for them to use special business models to compete against their giant rivals in the market.
In the part of customers, there is always a guaranteed expansive selection for people to make their preferable choices from various channels. Potential customers or tourists can have access of various firms from the internet anytime they wish, and make comparisons where necessary before they make their final decisions regarding the kind of products or services they want and from which firms in the vast tourism industry. With all these observations, e-touring improves the quality of services in the tourism sector, thus leading to a higher satisfaction of customers within the expansive industry.
Describe tourism distribution channels and discuss how they are transforming. Provide industry examples
Tourism distribution channels are the ways or means used by firms in the industry to make products and services available to consumers or tourists. In other words, these are organized systems established with the aim of providing convenient access of tourism services to tourists or customers. Distribution channels in the tourism are diverse and the connection between service producers in the industry and customers is can be executed either directly or indirectly via a number of intermediaries.
Some of the key intermediaries here which can be used for distribution in the tourism sector would include channels such as tourism organizations, retail travel agents or agencies, wholesalers, and outbound and inbound operators among other means. The type of distribution channels used by a firm is determined by a number of variables such as the size of the operation and the type or nature of services it offers. According to various studies, smaller operations would tend to have limited distribution strategies while those operations that are more oriented in commercial operations are characterized by complex distribution channels and strategies.
How to make products and services available to consumers remains a key decision of the management at any operational level. In the tourism sector, distribution implies to the ways through which tourists can access information on various tour packages and execute the payment for those services. Tourism distribution channels would vary greatly from region to region and from country to country.
However, the industry’s rapid globalization and transformation tends to intensify the information that is required for transactions in the sector. In that respect, there is always a need for effective distribution strategies so as to provide enough information. Distribution channels would also tend to influence the behavior of consumers on services and products in all levels, hence determining the industry’s potential strength to address the interests of consumers in a more efficient manner.
Combination, information and travel arrangement services are the main distribution functions of contribution in the tourism sector. Through these channels, mechanisms that make it easy for customers to confirm and execute payments for bookings and reservations are enabled. The nature of tourism distribution channels has never been the same all through, but it has changed over the years, owing to a number of present determinants to fit in the standards of the changing business environment in the industry.
Unlike the conventional strategies of the past, which incorporated the use of travel agencies or post offices, modern distribution channels uses online or internet channel more often, among other effective and efficient processes that would facilitate bookings and purchases of services in the tourism sector. Modern developments in the computer technology have continued to present strong influences on the structure of distribution channels in the tourism sector.
Nowadays, the tourism sector fully integrates the business opportunities brought by the internet and ICTs, in its structural, management, operative, marketing and strategic levels to facilitate a worldwide integration between firms in the industry and their potential customers.
The transformation in the distribution channels in the tourism sector fully maximizes the exposure of travel products and services through various modern intermediaries where exclusive and inclusive strategies are applied. Other common ways of upcoming distribution channels in the contemporary tourism sector include vertical integration methods which presents when firms at one level of the tourism sector form alliances to increase their bargaining power and enhance co-ordination of brand management among other benefits.
What is the difference between strategy and tactics? Identify a well known international tourism brand and compare their strategic and tactical plans
Both strategy and tactics are terms used to refer to approaches applied to address management issues in businesses and organizations. Strategy simply refers to the scope taken by an organization in an attempt to achieve a business advantage in a challenging market environment. Strategy aims at meeting the needs of the consumers as presented at the market and fulfilling the business objective according to the requirements of the stakeholders.
Tactics on the other hand, refers to any interruptive course of action which is undertaken with an aim of achieving a specific goal. The meaning in this context revolves around strategy and tactics as they would be applied in marketing. It is quite understandable that the two terms must be used together to give the desired outcome. In that case, a strategy can be a conceptualization or idea towards a particular goal, while a tactic is the action taken in carrying out the strategy.
Australia’s tourism brand
For over four decades now, Tourism Australia has been promoting the country to the world. Through the brand, the international scene has got to learn what makes Australia different from the rest of the world when it comes to tourism. The uniqueness in the brand is contained in its strong positioning statement, personality and proposition, all of which have been used to describe some of the things that sets this beautiful country apart from any other region in the world (Crockett & Wood 283). This uniqueness as observed from these prospects, defines the wonderful nature of the country, ranging from its citizens who are observed to be friendly and welcoming, to the country’s vast natural and physical attractions that are praised to be beyond imagination.
Among other key attractions, Australia’s food and tourism sectors remain to be one of the major potential partnerships regularly expounded on the brand’s praise messages as one of the most competitive sectors that are certain to steer the country to global recognition as an authentic wine and food destination in the world. New experiences in the sector will attract tourists in the country, and to achieve this vision, five objectives or strategies have been set in respect with the necessary tactics or implementation processes that will help in meeting those needs.
Objective 1: Making South Australian’s wine and food easily accessible
- Strengthening distribution systems.
- Using appropriate buddle and package.
Objective 2: Communicating the best food and wine experiences of the region
- integrating wine and food as major experiential aspects in the campaigns of South Australian tourism.
- Identifying affordable but effective marketing opportunities between the major industries involved in the production of food and wine.
- Identifying and promoting wine and food tourism products as well as hero brands through PR activities that are cost effective.
- Marketing and promotion.
Objective 3: Creation of future food and wine experiences that are more appealing
- Increasing the range of innovative experiences of food and wine in S. Australia.
- Encouraging ongoing improvement of existing wine and food attractive experiences.
- Strategically calling for support opportunities from the state to developing authentic experiences on food and wine products.
- Product development.
Objective 4: Working together for creative as an industry
- Sharing knowledge and information through regional relationships.
- Introducing strong working links between tourism, food and wine stakeholders.
Objective 5: Increasing industry professionalism and understanding
- Developing career paths in the products’ tourism and retaining the talent within the region.
- Improving operators performance and professionalism.
Cardoso, Jorge & Lange, Carola. “A framework for assessing strategies and technologies for dynamic packaging applications in e-tourism.” Information Technology in Tourism 9. 1 (2007): 27-44. Print.
Crockett, Shane & Wood, Leiza. “Brand Western Australia: A totally integrated approach to destination branding.” Journal of Vacation Marketing 5. 3 (1999): 276-289. Print.
Moutinho, Luiz. Strategic Management in Tourism, 2 ed, United Kingdom: CABI, 2011. Print.