Tourism and Leisure Organizations
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Tourism is the business or industry of providing information, accommodation, transportation and other services to tourists and leisure is time spent away from work, business and domestic chores. According to the Collection of Tourism Expenditure Statistics, tourism grew by 6.6% compared to the previous year. This essay explores critically the relationship between Tourism and Leisure organizations and the Macro business environment. Tourism is a main contributor of GDP of many countries around the world. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how various issues affect tourism and the leisure organizations. The relationship between the business macro environment, tourism and leisure organizations can be categorized into Economic, Social, Political and Environmental factors.
The leisure organizations face a lot of competition within the industry and the enlightened consumer has more variety to choose from in terms of destination and other tourist activities. Managers of leisure organizations have to strategize so as to have competitive advantage over their competitors. Inflation and economic crisis, affect the spending power of the tourist, the destination they choose and the frequency of the leisure activities. Between 2008 and 2009, international tourism declined by about 4-6%, and there was slow growth of 1% of African market (UNWTO World Tourism Barometer 2009, Vol 7). The economic and tourism boom causes increased growth of leisure organizations, which in turn, raises competition (Conrady 2010, p. 75). The Economic crises also affect the level of expenditure for the leisure organizations to market their products and services. Economic crisis and the job cuts result in declining travel volumes for the suppliers. Even when the economy starts improving, not all areas of tourism and the service providers, recover as some are inched out and lose their niche market with entrance of new suppliers. Competition is determined by supplier power, buyer power, threat of substitutes and threat of entry.
There is a growing interest in arts and culture in tourism and the leisure organization need to be able to respond to this demand. A study carried out in Germany showed that 63.3 % of the people travel for cultural reasons. Therefore, art and cultural tourism seem to be increasing in popularity (Survey on Cultural Tourism by Gebeco/TMA/UPB 2009, p.5). A lot of tourists are opting to visit new regions (rural and urban attractions instead of the traditional beach and skiing attractions).There is health tourism here the main reason for travel is personal well being and health by centering the leisure activities to health resorts, spas and mind wellness centers. The destination spas and health resorts present a broad selection of services aimed at improving the well being and relaxation of the mind. They also offer specialized services such as weight loss and other holistic treatments. Festival and events tourism is also common as people travel to celebrate global, national and regional festivals like Pilgrimages to Israel and Mecca. As a result of recent interest in staying healthy, and to escape the sedentary lifestyle, activity holidays have become necessary too and service providers need to incorporate these activities in the tourism packages offered to people. The business managers for these leisure organizations have to identify a niche market, and adjust to the new tourist trends and still remain profitable while providing the best services to clients.
Technology in the tourism and leisure activities has brought a lot of changes in this industry. New technology is introduced every so often, and managers of the leisure organizations need to keep abreast with the new gadgets and services available. The main areas in tourism that may be affected by the use of technology are the transport, accommodation and administration functions. Technology seeks to improve on the existing modes of transport to make the safer, faster and bigger. This is through improved engines, aerodynamics and reduction of fuel consumption. Other technological trends that tourism and leisure managers need to be aware of are that the internet can be accessed through other devices, for example, Bluetooth; I scent technology (Briggs 2011, p.47). Environmental Factors
Tourism and leisure organizations are affected by the concern to preserve the environment where they have their activities. This aims to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment, and tourists’ decision on destinations is also influence by the need to be eco friendly (Conrady & Buck 2011, p.93). The number of people choosing eco-friendly tourism holidays is growing faster than those choosing other holidays (Smith-Starmer 2004, p.1).It is essential to conserve the environment, since most tourist attraction are natural resources, which are easily, depleted. Tourism and leisure organizations have to make sure that, the tourist numbers are maintained at a level that does not need exceed the natural habitats capacity.
The political situations in various places that are tourist attractions affect the volumes and frequency of tourism. Tourist fears for their safety and will avoid such places and this affects tourism. In 2009, the unrest in Thailand affected tourism and scared away potential tourists especially Chinese out bound tourists, which are their greatest tourist source (Arlt 2010, p50). Government’s policies that affect tourism play a vital role and impact tourism and leisure organization. For tourism to thrive, the government must be committed to boosting tourism growth. This is through attractive environment for leisure organizations to invest in, its commitment to the conservation of the tourist attractions and resources. Tourism can only thrive if the government realizes the impact tourism can have on the economy. Therefore, reduce restrictions that prevent visitors from visiting the specific countries. The laws should also be able to protect the tourist when in those countries, and as long as the tourists feel safe they will market those destinations. In conclusion, the political, economic, social cultural and environmental factors form the macro environment in the tourism industry. It interacts with the tourism and leisure organizations, and this relationship changes from time to time, there for all the stake holders should work to ensure harmony.
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