Innovation in Tourism in Response to Global Concern
Innovation in Tourism in Response to Global Concern
Tourism is among the largest global economic industries and play a crucial role and contribution to local and national economies all over the world. According to World Tourism Organization (2009), “In 2008, there were 922 million international tourist arrivals with tourism receipts of US$944 billion. It is estimated that the global travel and tourism industry contributed 9.6% of … GDP, and 7.9% of worldwide employment,” (pp. 4). However, the demand for tourism has decreased substantially over the recent years because of economic crisis affecting the whole globe. Climate change is one of the most threatening global crises affecting almost all economic sectors, as well as the environment. Tourism is closely related to the climate considering some tourist events such as winter sports are dependent on climate. Additionally, some of the some climatic attraction sites or resources are sensitive to climatic change. The climatic changes cannot be ignored since it would mean increased problems. There is a need to come up with newer strategies of tackling the issues raised by the climatic changes in order to sustain tourism and travel sector. It is for this reason that innovations in tourism in response to global concern is of at most importance to the continuity of the tourism and travel sector (Schott, 2010).
With such influence of climate on the tourism industry, management within this sector have to make crucial decisions and innovations that minimize risks associated with climatic changes, and focus on the mew and emerging opportunities in economic and environmentally friendly and sustainable way. Because of global climatic changes, policies and changes have been implemented to ensure the sustainability of the environment. Some of the impacts that management has to deal with due to climatic change include higher operating expenses, business interruptions and increased infrastructure damage (World Tourism Organization, 2009). Additionally, management has to innovate new ways of protecting the attractions sites that are threatened by the climatic changes. Tackling such climatic changes that pose many complexities to the tourism industry requires keen innovations since older policies do not provide for such. New policies implemented might require new infrastructure, means and even capital for the tourists businesses. This goes ahead to affect the profitability of the tourist industry since it means added operating costs. This requires new strategies of reducing or minimizing such costs associated with tourism in order to ensure profitability. Thus, management is pressurized to ensure that tourism is sustained. This can only be done through innovations. Additionally, if tourism is to continue thriving, it has to tackle what is deemed the greatest influence in the industry, which is climate. It may be hard to change the climate within a short time. However, through innovative measures and policies, climatic degradation can be slowed through creative innovations (Schott, 2010).
The climatic changes are changing the pattern of tourism in many countries, with some seasonal events having shorter periods. Additionally, this affects the decisions made by tourists and travelers, such as where to travel depending on the climate. Climate acts as a crucial factor for decision-making for tourists especially when there are seasonal, climatic fluctuations in tourist destination areas (OECD, 2003). For tourist regions depending heavily on seasonal events or tours, this has a far-reaching effect that requires novel ideas to tackle. This requires the management to tackle such issues through ensuring that all the tourists that wish to travel can do so and have their experiences, without being affected by the changing climatic factors. To address this, there will be a need for more infrastructures to tackle issues of transport that is heavily affected by climate. Other issues to consider, that are affected by climate and requiring management, are issues to do with water supply, heating and cooling requirements. Additionally, considering tourists now want experiences or holidays that cater for their special needs, under such periods, management has to innovate ways of serving all the clients in order to make as much within the period. Additionally, this is posed with a challenge of meeting the set policies and changes on climate for sustainability. This requires new ways of doing business since the older ways where everything was standardized and without a concern for climate changes have to be eradicated.
To tackle this problem, one of the innovations that management within the tourist industry needs to do is change its strategies of doing business, including changing their timing of receiving visitors depending on the changes of the climate. Considering the climate is the main issue, managers can advertise for holiday services during the time it is most appropriate depending on the weather (Hall, 2010). For instance, with winter sports that attract many visitors, tourist companies can advice the travelers about the most appropriate time when to visit or play their favorite sports. In general, there are areas that tourist companies can innovate to ensure profitability while they also ensure climatic sustainability. Firms can adopt proactive innovations using economic intelligence (Schott, 2010). Additionally, tourist companies can improve efficiency in innovations nationally through training of operators well as staff. Nations should develop more roles of both public and private agents as well as foster more research in the area, especially in innovative methods of tackling climatic issues. Additionally, this requires the society as well other industries involvement since climatic change is driven not only by the tourist industry, but also largely by manufacturing industries. In fact, tourist industry is just one of the major victims to climate change (Hall, 2010).
Tourism industry is currently facing a lot of pressure to change due to climatic changes that affect tourism. Climatic conditions are a major factor when it comes to decision-making by the tourists and travelers. Therefore, tourist companies need to have innovative ideas of ensuring the climatic change does not affect their business largely (OECD, 2003). It is evident that climate change will affect tourism, considering it affects seasonal periods such as winter that attracts many travelers for the winter sports. Therefore, coming up with novel innovative ideas for handling such issues are quite important. Many innovations for the tourist industry in response to climatic changes would involve strategies for ensuring minimized costs of operation, efficiency through technology and other means that ensure optimal and efficiency of operations.
Hall, M. C. (2010). Tourism and Innovation. New York, N.Y: Routledge
OECD. (2003). Conference on Innovation and Growth in Tourism. Lugano, Switzerland.
Schott, C. (2010). Tourism and the Implications of Climate Change: Issues and Actions. New York, N.Y: Emerald Group Publishing
World Tourism Organization. (2009). From Davos to Copenhagen and beyond: advancing tourism’s response to climate change UNWTO Background Paper. World Tourism Organization.