Discuss the importance of delivering quality services in the hospitality industry and identify differences if any between service delivery in the hospitality industry and service delivery in other business. (500 words)
Community-based tourism has, for over three decades been promoted as a means of development whereby the social, environmental and economic needs of local communities are met through the offering of a tourism product. However, whilst many projects have been funded in developing countries, their success (or otherwise) has not been widely monitored and, therefore, the actual benefits to local communities remain largely not quantified.
Identify the pros and cons of community based tourism and discuss the implications on the country as a whole. (750 Words)
What are the main factors that attract tourists to the Caribbean? (500 words).
Tourism is a fast growing business that helps to diversify and stabilize the Jamaican economy. Jamaica is equipped with the necessary factors to attract global visitors. The country possesses a pool of dedicated, innovative, creative and know-how hospitality service deliverers. The thought of a visitor always triggers the reaction of delivering quality services to ensure that local and international consumers are satisfied. The businesses set up here in Jamaica aim at retaining all the guests that set their feet on the ground of any hospitality business and by extension other firms. Business in Jamaica scopes ranges from community-based to national-based tourism.
It is therefore the author’s intention to present in printed format this report. The report aims at enlightening its readers about the importance of delivering quality service and how service delivery differs among industries. Additionally, it focuses on the pros and cons of community-based tourism and the implications it has (if any) on Jamaica. It further broadens the knowledge of it readers about the main factors attracting tourists to the Caribbean region.
The importance of delivering quality services in the hospitality industry and the differences between service delivery in the hospitality industry and that of other businesses
Delivering quality service is the key to a successful business. Quality services will secure customer’s trust and loyalty thus producing a satisfied customer. Customer satisfaction will ensure long term business-customer relationship that will help to grow and expand the business. Offering Quality service provides you with the competitive advantage over competitors, which helps you to compete for potential customers. By making guess feel like a priority and providing them value for their money also helps in promoting of you business, while receiving feedback is also important to see the progress of you business whether its growing and what can be done to improve your product.
Undoubtedly, hospitality business conveys prompt, sincere and genuine services. Such services should never be given on the grounds of under-promise or over-delivery as the ultimate aim is to gain customers trust and loyalty. For instance, preparing an order based on customer’s taste and delivering at the time promised. Should there be an over-delivery it should be in terms of quality. This will increase customer’s trust so they will be loyalty and keep supporting your business. This provided will form a magnetic reaction that keeps attracting and recruiting other customers. Example, if dining at (La Rosé Restaurant) makes me happy as a customer then, no one can convince me that customer satisfaction is not guaranteed there. I will continue to encourage my family and friends to dine at La Rosé instead of other restaurants. I will therefore keep promoting this business by encouraging others to give up their choice of restaurant for dinning, and to come to mine where I’m sure it offers good service. It is the quality service I received that allows me to place my trust in their product hence, I will be loyal enough to stay in touch with them and bring along others to do the same. The result is customer satisfaction which is very important to any business especially the hospitality industry.
Conversely, where quality service is not guaranteed the business will lose customers. Businesses that fail to retain customers will not make profits and eventually become bankrupted. Customers, who are dissatisfied, will associate the business brand negatively and the monopoly effect of spreading their experience with friends and family will further negatively affect the companies branding.
According to Hemmington 2007 “customers do not buy service delivery, they buy experiences; they do not buy service quality, they buy memories; they do not buy food and drink, they buy meal experiences”. The writer went on to state that “the notion of hosts and guests is fundamentally different to that of managers and customers and is much more socially and culturally defined”. In all business service delivery surrounds customer satisfaction but the delivery techniques differ in accordance with the type of business. Hospitality and professional industry deliver services on an individual and personalized basis whereby there are interactions with customers that leaves them with memorable experiences. Other businesses such the manufacturing industry service delivery is on a mass/batch approach based on sales.
Hospitality service delivery has a social and cultural host-guest approach while other business service delivery techniques are on a manager-customer approach. Hospitality business generates and renders service at the guest’s request while other businesses service delivery entails processes and systems that can be automatically generated by assigning resources and systems. Example, water Company that provides water and online/paymaster services.
The pros and cons of community based tourism and its implication on Jamaica.
According to Goodwin and Santilli, “community-based tourism is a means of development whereby the social environmental and economical means of local communities are met through the offering of a tourism product”. It carries advantages and disadvantages for the community and therefore has an overall impact on Jamaica.
In light of the advantages, it supports positive attitudes toward self development and allows awareness of the commercial and social value placed on community’s natural and cultural heritage. Hence, it empowers the community people to become aware of the value of their community assets in terms of their culture, heritage, cuisine and lifestyle. It also gives tourists and community people the chance to exchange culture and broaden their understanding and respect for different cultures. As a people-oriented tourism it contributes to the sustainability of Jamaica’s tourism industry and fosters community based conservation of natural resources. It enables people mobilization that converts community assets into income generating projects.
Furthermore, it is capable of boosting economic growth and jobs. Income can be generated privately as individuals in poor and rural areas can receive income for the use of their properties. For example, Mayfield Falls in Glenbrook, Hanover. Additionally, it creates employment for community people as tourist visits restaurants, take tours, souvenir shopping etc. Although community income is small in relation to Jamaica’s total wage package, it is significant because it can be distributed more widely amongst community members including the least employable, or used for joint community investments. Clearly then, it allows economic and educational growth as income generated can be used at the community and national level to improve education, infrastructure, fund conservation efforts and promote responsible tourism.
Consequently, one tourism activity may lead to skill development in which other local people will develop their own idea for tourism-related enterprises. Although the community gains no control or right over the business they gain responsibility and control of the revenue share which may be empowering. Clearly then, ownership and control remains in the hand of the entrepreneur and the revenue generated contributes to equity and poverty-alleviation. Finally, it can strengthen institutions and in the long-term lead to other community initiatives in tourism.
Conversely, the disadvantages include environmental and cultural degradation. Moreover, any influx of tourists in the community can increase population and over consumption of community resources hence, creating water shortages, frequent electricity outage, pollution etc. Additionally, heavy traffic can occur due to additional tourist vehicles on the road, damaging roads not designed to withstand heavy traffic, the community will then have to bear the repair costs. It is difficult to encourage conservation which has low impact on the community as benefits and understanding of the source of revenue are not widely dispersed and there is no institutional development for resource management. This is possibly a negative impact from resentment and alienation of resources.
Additionally, community people can be deprived of resource control hence costs faced by communities could include loss of access to land and its resources such as grazing, timber, privacy etc. Furthermore, social standards can be undermined as tourists demonstrate a lack of respect for local culture. For example, tourists walking around in shopping facilities or community market in swim suits. This can cause tension between locals and tourists. After all, infection and disease can be easily transported to the community especially those not medically advanced to detect and treat certain type of infection or disease.
No one can deny that the pros of community-based tourism far exceed its cons but they have implications for Jamaica. Certainly, there is potential infrastructural development but there are also potential significant resource costs to local people. Additionally, the national economic benefit is greater than the community economic benefit as a dollar (though devalued in comparison to the US dollar). The community gains has a higher value from Jamaica’s economic perspective than a dollar in the entrepreneur’s bank account as it contributes more to the reduction of poverty and inequality. Furthermore, all community revenue can increase the total expenditure per tourist and generate benefits, such as enterprises and human or natural resource development which all have economic value. For example, if the dollar earned from Mayfield falls business by the community employees were to be doubled along with the community fund put with the value of educating the community people employed in that tourism business at the annual cost of primary education per pupil then the economic value and rate of return of Mayfield business would increase. After all community-based tourism is an asset to Jamaica.
The main factors attracting tourists to the Caribbean
One of the main economic activities in the Caribbean is tourism which is also the driver of economic growth in the region. The Caribbean destination choice is influenced by many factors that include location, costs, accommodation, climate and entertainment.
Figure 1- CaribbeanThe Caribbean which is made up of over 7,000 islands, coves and reefs, consists of approximately thirty-five countries with an area of approximately 2,754,000 km2. Its location (figure 1) makes a difference in comparison to other countries in the world such as Africa, Asia or Europe. Its tropical nature enables tourists to use it as a getaway destination for leisure or business. For example, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Island are located near to Florida one of the states in America. These islands are often chosen as vacation destination because of nearness to homeland. File:Antillas (orthographic projection).svg
Undoubtedly, one can vacation anywhere in the world but the cost of reaching that destination is often a problem. It may take some persons a very long time to save for a vacation trip outside their country but a short time for others. At the end of the day, the overall costs are left up to affordability instead of availability. For example, a resident of the United States who needs a vacation will have to consider destinations such as the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. The choice will depend on affordable ticket, quick trip and spending money for food, entertainment and accommodation. At the end of the day the Caribbean will be the choice due to nearness, destination arrival cost and the costs of enjoying one self.
No one can deny that the Caribbean region caters for tourists. Its location not only allows it to gain competitive edge as vacation destination but for other reasons such as business, sports etc. It attracts tourists with its low, medium and high-end luxury resorts and hotels along with its hospitality services ranging from breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunches, reception, parties etc. In a ‘nut shell’, tourists from ‘all walks of life’ come to the Caribbean mainly because of its affordable and varied accommodation (figure 2).
Figure 2 http://www.destination360.com/contents/pictures/hotels/rio-hotel-in-jamaica.jpg
Generally speaking, Caribbean tropical climate attracts tourists who often view the Caribbean as the prime honeymoon spot. Although the weather patterns on different islands vary, temperatures are almost always moderate with very little seasonal changes. Throughout the year the trade winds blows steadily across the ocean and this enables the heat of the sun to be at a bearable temperature. During the hurricane season (June to November) the region usually experience moderate rainfall. See table 1 in appendix.
Figure 3Unquestionably, those who set their feet on Caribbean soil are always upbeat about ocean view, beaches, cultural activities etc. No doubt, the hotels and resorts are usually located along the coastline with long white sandy beaches (figure 3). Assuredly, the hospitality services always include cultural entertainments. Caribbean countries therefore guarantee tourists a spot close to the ocean, an array of fabulous music, warm water, picturesque landscapes, multi-coloured coral reefs etc. Tourist’s security undoubtedly, is not a problem.
In final analysis, any business whether it relates to the hospitality, manufacturing, professional industries or otherwise, delivering quality service is what enables all entrepreneurs to stay in business. It is therefore important for employers and their employees to be fully committed to delivering service that is of very high standards to ensure that customer satisfaction and retention is guaranteed. Although there are differences in service delivery throughout the different industries depending of the product they offer, at the end of the day the aim will always remain ‘customer first, operators last’.
Pursuing this further, the hospitality industry is assisted by community-based tourism which has its advantages and disadvantages both at the community and national level. The advantages however, outweigh the disadvantages although it has implications on the Jamaican economy. Undoubtedly, tourism is the main contributor to the economy as it brings in the majority foreign exchange. Obviously, there are factors that attract tourists to the Caribbean region and these include location, lower costs, tropical climate and variety of accommodations and entertainment facilities. Putting together Jamaica’s delivery of quality services, varied community-based products, location in the Caribbean region among other things the hospitality industry will continue to be the number one contributor for all economies.
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