The factors impacting upon the needs of the traveller/tourist in the 21st Century Essay Example
The factors impacting upon the needs of the traveller/tourist in the 21st Century Essay Example

The factors impacting upon the needs of the traveller/tourist in the 21st Century Essay Example

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  • Pages: 9 (2308 words)
  • Published: November 30, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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In this essay, the author intends to examine the factors that have influenced the requirements of 21st-century travellers and tourists. They will analyze technological advancements and their impact on travellers. Additionally, the author will assess how globalisation's perception has transformed.

Starting with an explanation of how organizations function, the impact of Henry Ford on businesses is discussed. In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company which began manufacturing the model-T in 1908. This marked the start of a new production process called Fordism, which utilized mass-production techniques on moving assembly lines with semi-skilled labor. The innovation was made possible by advances in machinery. Today, similar advances in technology are leading to new and innovative methods of production and purchasing, known as Post-Fordism. This has resulted in the transfer of employment from manufacturing to the serv


ice industry, replacing assembly-line workers with specialized professionals.

The outdated Fordist 'just in case' manufacturing system, where parts and spare components were stored, was replaced with the introduction of 'Just in time' manufacturing in the early '70s. The JIT system aims to reduce inventory at all stages of manufacturing as excess stock equates to unrealised profits. Parts are required to arrive "just in time" for production. Alongside this shift, there was a rise in pay for trained staff during the post-Fordist era. As machines and automated robots took over roles previously held by people, trained staff were employed for planning, administration, construction, and maintenance. The 'post-Fordist' debate, described by Amin, A. (1994) focuses on the nature and direction of these significant changes.

The discussion revolves around the purported shift from a dominant phase of capitalist development in the

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post-war era to another 30 to 50-year cycle based on completely different economic, societal, and political norms. The goal is to identify the driving forces of each historical phase and how they create a system or paradigm capable of ensuring relative long-term economic stability. (Amin, A. 1994:3). Post-Fordism has had an adverse impact on many industries, including travel. Although the terms travel and tourism are regularly used interchangeably, they generally refer to the "field of research on human and business activities associated with one or more aspects of the temporary movement of persons away from their immediate home communities and daily work environments for business, pleasure and personal reasons" (Chadwick 1994:65) as cited in (Page, S et al. 2001).

The WTO (1991) recommended the definition of an international tourist, as cited in Page et al. (2001:13), to be a person who travels to a country other than their usual residence for at least one night but no longer than one year and whose primary purpose is not remunerated activity within the visited country. In the past 20 years, traveling overseas has become more accessible and affordable, transforming from a luxury into a necessity in the 21st century. As leisure time increases for consumers, families commonly take one annual vacation and some even opt for two.

The global travel and tourism sector is undergoing a significant transformation. This includes an increasing demand for unique tourism products, the revival of traditional travel options, changes in the purchasing approach for tourism products, and a rise in outbound tourism from countries that previously had limited international travelers. Historically, all-inclusive packages were prevalent in the early days of package tourism due to

providing a sense of security for new travelers to foreign destinations. However, in recent times, there has been a shift towards more adaptable packages allowing tourists to purchase meals outside of the hotel and arrange their own excursions (Swarbrooke and Horner, 1999:225). According to Swarbrooke and Horner (1999:226), there are 13 major emerging markets that have led to changes in demand. Additionally, technological advancements have also impacted the tourism industry.

According to Buhalis (1998:409) the tourism industry, including destinations and businesses, must prioritize innovation in order to enhance competitiveness. The industry has grown significantly due to factors such as rising incomes and personal wealth, increased leisure time, peaceful relations among nations, reduced travel restrictions, currency market freedoms, and improved public and private transport accessibility. Although the last decade saw growth in the tourism industry, it faced numerous complex challenges. Lockwood and Medik (2001:4-5) predict that global population growth and changes, coupled with advancements in science and technology will further integrate the world into a single market.

Predictions indicate that global travel will undergo substantial expansion over the next two decades. Worldwide, international arrivals are projected to rise from 660 million in 1999 to 700 million in 2000, followed by a boost to 1 billion in 2010 and further growth to reach 1.5 billion by the year 2020. This growth is anticipated to generate more tourism-related business for destinations across Europe and Asia and improve their balance of trade. Europe is expected to maintain its standing as the top tourist destination with an annual increase of around 3% -4% in visitor numbers.

According to Lockwood and Medik (2001:18-20), the advancement of technologies such as the Internet, smart cards,

and Multi-media systems has made direct booking more accessible to both tourists and the industry. By eliminating travel agency commissions, direct booking benefits customers with either lower prices or enhanced services. It is notable that several tour operators, including Thomson's Portland Holidays in the UK, have developed their own direct booking products. Airlines and ferry companies have also started offering direct booking links to their clients. In the hotel sector, major chains have established central reservations systems that allow clients to contact all their hotels worldwide directly. Direct booking has been particularly beneficial for small specialist tour operators who sell directly to their customers because they cannot guarantee enough sales to attract most travel agents.

There are multiple advantages to direct selling, including the ability to provide in-depth information about a product to potential customers and receive direct feedback. With the increasing availability of the internet, individuals can not only gather information about products but also make direct bookings. According to Swarbrooke and Horner (1999:230), this trend is likely to continue. Information Technology (IT) has revolutionized economies and enterprises by introducing electronic modes and communication technologies for acquiring, processing, analyzing, storing, retrieving, disseminating, and applying information.

According to Buhalis (1998:409), the advancement of innovative technologies, such as the Internet and interactive television, will continue to revolutionize the way tourism products are purchased. This will result in a rise of direct marketing and booking. Furthermore, the development of more sophisticated global distribution systems (GDS) will provide tourists with access to detailed product information, allowing them to create personalized itineraries. Smart card technologies will also facilitate ticket-less travel, encouraging increased last-minute purchases of tourism products. The utilization

of multimedia systems and the Internet has blurred the line between promotion and distribution in tourism. As a result, travel agents may play a lesser role in the future, with other organizations taking on a greater role in holiday purchasing.

According to Swarbrooke and Horner (1999:261-262), various businesses can offer tourism products, such as high street retailers selling tourist necessities, 'tele-shopping' networks adding holidays to their product range, banks providing loans and currency exchanges for holidays, and telecommunications companies getting involved in holiday sales as their systems become more significant in the tourism industry. Technological advancements are likely to lead to the development of new tourism products. Swarbrooke and Horner (1999) note that one of the main ongoing debates in tourism is concerning Virtual Reality technologies and their ability to produce synthetic replacements for genuine tourism experiences.

Swarbrooke and Horner (1999:259) suggest that the impact of Virtual Reality (VR) on tourism remains uncertain, as it could either decrease or increase demand for conventional tourism. The potential uses for VR in this industry are extensive and boundless. With this technology, people can experience the sensations of a sunny day, the sound of ocean waves crashing on a distant shore, and relaxation on an isolated beach in the Pacific Islands – all from their own home. It also offers an opportunity to explore destinations such as Egypt's Pyramids without concerns about terrorism, digestive issues or overbooked flights; meaning there is no need to leave home. Moreover, technological advancements like VR can facilitate new forms of escape-oriented tourism that allows individuals to fulfill their fantasies. By developing VR technology further, new fantasy-themed resorts may emerge where tourists can

entirely immerse themselves in experiences based on Wild West gunfighters or Chicago gangsters.According to Swarbrooke and Horner (1999:259), tourists enjoy taking on risky roles in a secure location. In the travel and tourism industry, technology plays a crucial role and will have an increasingly powerful impact on promoting and selling these products. During the 1990s, a major development was the connection of everyone to everything, from interactive television to personal digital assistants. There is currently a demand for connectivity, and companies are certain that this trend will continue, investing billions of dollars into bringing superior interactive communications. The telecommunications sector is also being revolutionized by the shift from analogue to digital network technologies. Digital transmission technologies will allow information in the form of discrete pulses to be sent at a much higher transmission speed. This change will facilitate the movement of larger amounts of information, greater economy, and much lower fault rates than analogue systems.

According to O'Brien (1998:pp174-175), communication can now be done in various forms - such as data, voice, and video - through the same circuits. Additionally, O'Brien (1998:31) defines expert systems as knowledge-based systems that act as expert consultants and provide advice to users. Jackson (1991) highlights how modernism takes on two different forms; the first form regards hard and cybernetic approaches as systematic modernist while soft systems thinking is revealed as an underdeveloped form of critical modernism. Critical systems thinking, on the other hand, is presented as a highly advanced form of modernism wherein some systemic aspects are subordinated to critical presuppositions. Jackson subjects each form of systems thinking to a critique based on research relevant to the functioning of complex,

large-scale systems that is financed, and only those results that contribute to improving the input-output equation are recognized. The second form of modernism - 'critical modernism' - is based on Kant's program of enlightenment and rests on what Lyotard calls the power of 'grand narratives,' which aim to explain history in terms of progress.

According to Jackson (1991), Lyotard believes that systemic modernism is the more dominant form. As technology connects the world electronically, business travel will not decrease, but rather increase rapidly. In the future, executives will increasingly rely on personal relationships with colleagues for "high-touch" comfort.

The way in which customers purchase goods and services is being altered by the Internet, with a rise in cashless credit/debit payment systems. There is an expected growth of the usage of 'smart cards', which will provide detailed customer information for more efficient targeted marketing. Additionally, resorts, conference centers, transportation providers, and other destinations are finding it increasingly simple to market directly to customers, eliminating reliance on intermediaries.

According to Lockwood and Medik (2001:21), travellers are using the Internet to purchase their airline seats and hotel rooms, often through online auction services like The business world saw significant advancements in computer-based techniques during the 1980s, which led to greater sophistication in business operations. Today, the strategic implementation of information technology plays a crucial role in gaining a competitive advantage, especially in the travel and tourism industry.

In the travel and tourism sector, computer applications can be categorized into two types: external functions that are directly related to customers, such as computer reservation systems (CRS), and internal functions that improve the efficient operation of a property with the help of

management information and decision support systems - tools used for decision making. The airline industry employs CRSs such as Galileo, Amadeus, Sabre, and Pars. With the use of computers, tourism management information systems are utilized for internal information, external intelligence, management research, and management science systems. These systems now facilitate decision making by non-experts.

According to Galliers and Leidner (2003:19), advancements in technology and the increasing globalization of business and IT have led to the potential for more standardization and uniformity in IT products and services. However, some literature argues that diversity still exists in the ways that individual organizations around the world incorporate standard practices, rules, and technologies based on their unique local cultures. These technological innovations have led to a shrinking of the world (McHale 1969), evidenced by reduced travel time, cost savings, and increased efficiency. As Wackermann (1997:35) points out, this economic opening-up and globalization of the leisure industry, aided by high-performance transportation options, has allowed societies to become less dependent on natural resources and the limitations of distance and time.

According to Page (1999:5), competition is becoming increasingly global in many industries, necessitating a global approach to managing activities in order to compete successfully on both a domestic and global scale. While some global firms have explicit global business strategies, not all have global information technology architectures. Galliers and Leidner (2003:89) argue that due to industry globalization and the dependence on information technologies for management and operation, a global information management strategy is necessary, as well as a national competitive posture that coordinates separate domestic strategies. Furthermore, although technology can provide a competitive advantage, competitors may easily imitate it as it becomes

more readily available and affordable.

Therefore, in order to effectively compete, travel and tourism businesses must use innovative ways to harness their technology. This is because technology is changing the way travellers purchase products. Furthermore, experienced and adventurous travellers are no longer interested in pre-set holiday packages - they want customized options to meet their specific needs. However, travel companies can use advancements in technology to their advantage by offering tailored packages to their customers. Taking advantage of technology is crucial for travel and tourism businesses to succeed and provide excellent customer service.

The advancement in technology will bring about the emergence of novel intermediaries like the Internet. This will particularly impact consumers who opt to make their bookings online and gain access to a wider array of information, while also saving time and money.

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