Contemporary issues in tourism and hospitality
This detailed article aims to explore some of the key contemporary issues in tourism and hospitality industries. Certainly, the tourism and hospitality industries are vital in providing an atmosphere of relaxation and enjoyment for individuals, families, and business travelers. However, there are several contemporary issues that affect these industries, ranging from globalisation to the gig economy.
Globalisation affecting tourism and hospitality
According to BBC (2022) globalisation is the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected as a result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange. With the advent of it, the tourism and hospitality industries have become increasingly interconnected. Therefore, businesses must consider global trends when making decisions.
Globalisation has had a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. With the increased mobility of people and goods, businesses must consider how to best position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities. Additionally, they must be aware of potential risks associated with globalisation, such as political instability and currency fluctuations.
The increased competition in the industry has also been a major challenge for businesses. With more companies entering the market, businesses must be aware of new competitors and how to differentiate themselves from the competition. Additionally, they must be aware of potential cultural differences when entering new markets.
Businesses must evaluate the impact of global trends and regulations on their operations. They also need to ensure that they comply with new regulations, such as data privacy laws, in order to avoid any potential penalties and lawsuits.
Technological advances affecting tourism and hospitality
Technology has had a massive impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. From communication technologies such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to online booking systems, technology has made it easier for businesses to reach customers and provide services. Additionally, technological advancements have enabled businesses to streamline their operations and reduce costs.
However, technology has also posed some challenges for businesses. For example, the emergence of the gig economy has made it difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors. Moreover, businesses must consider how to best leverage new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), in order to remain competitive which may be very difficult for small businesses due to lack of money and other resources.
Businesses must also protect their customers’ data. With the increased use of technology, they must ensure that their systems are secure, and the customers’ data is protected. Haqqi (2021) reports that many global organisations such as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Costco Wholesale, UnitedHealth Group, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Exxon Mobil, Toyota Motor, and Amazon have faced huge cyber-attacks over the years resulting in loss of massive data and files.
Impact of climate change on tourism and hospitality
Climate change is having a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. As the planet warms, tourist destinations may become inhospitable, and businesses must consider how to adapt to a changing environment. Moreover, they must be aware of the potential risks associated with climate change, such as floods, droughts, and extreme weather events.
Businesses must reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. They must also consider how to minimise their use of natural resources and adopt more sustainable practices.
Social media and tourism and hospitality
Social media has had a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. With platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, travel companies have been able to increase their reach and engage with customers in new and different ways.
However, social media has also posed some challenges for businesses. Smith (2022) reports that an average UK household spends around £900 a year that is directly influenced by online reviews. The problem here is the emergence of fake reviews and negative comments which not only deceive customers but also have a major impact on a business’s reputation.
Impact of sustainability on tourism and hospitality
Sustainability has become increasingly important in the tourism and hospitality industries. As customers become more aware of the environmental issues, businesses need to become more sustainable as well and reduce their carbon footprint. They also need to consider how to best communicate their sustainability initiatives to the customers.
Political turmoil affecting tourism and hospitality
Political turmoil has had a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. Businesses must therefore consider the potential impact of political turmoil on their customers. If people cannot travel due to instabilities, it automatically impacts on both inbound and outbound tourism of a country.
Impact of the gig economy on tourism and hospitality
The emergence of the gig economy has had a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. With the increase in freelance workers looking for temporary and part-time positions, businesses must consider how to best leverage the gig economy to their advantage.
Impact of global lockdowns on tourism and hospitality
The global lockdowns have had a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. People were unable to travel resulting in hotels being closed, and thousands of airlines being grounded. That had a devastating impact on the industry with many businesses being completely knocked out of the arena.
Strategies to address contemporary issues in tourism and hospitality
In order to address the contemporary issues facing the tourism and hospitality industries, businesses must be aware of the latest developments and how they affect them. Additionally, they must consider how to best position themselves to take advantage of opportunities and minimise risks.
First, businesses must consider how to best leverage technology to their advantage. They also must explore how to become more sustainable. With the increasing focus on environmental issues, they must reduce their carbon footprint and adopt more sustainable practices. And finally, they must have the best mechanisms in place to best protect their customers’ data and ensure their safety in unstable circumstances.
Summary of the contemporary issues in tourism and hospitality
In conclusion, businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries must be aware of the current challenges and develop strategies to address them. If they do not address contemporary issues, they may find it extremely difficult to remain competitive.
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Last update: 15 December 2022
BBC (2022) Globalisation, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zxm3srd/revision/1 (accessed 15 December 2022)
Haqqi, T. (2021) 15 Biggest Companies That have been Hacked, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/15-biggest-companies-hacked-173043357.html (accessed 15 December 2022)
Smith, S. (2022) The world of fake reviews, available at: https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/28/the-world-of-fake-reviews-and-how-it-impacts-businesses-16544199/ (accessed 14 December 2022)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.