|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Tourism Customer service|
The three travel organizations visited include Kempinski Hotel Muscat, InterContinental Muscat, and Sunny Island travel and tours LLC. Kempinski Hotel is built in an excellent location along the coastline of Al Mouj in Muscat and neighbors numerous tourist popular sites such as Shell Beach or Aviation Beach among others. Its organizational structure is as follows. It has executive managers including hotel owner, general manager, and assistant manager. Mid-level managers include food and beverage manager, human resource manager, financial manager, marketing manager, front desk manager, sales manager, and housekeeping manager. Then there is an operational staff including chefs, guest room attendants, customer representatives, laundry room attendants, cooks, room service waiters, and porters. Kempinski Hotel Muscat products and services include foods and beverages, accommodation services, breakfast, concierge, conference facilities, babysitting, outdoor pool, banquet room, dry cleaning, free Wi-Fi, swimming pool, air conditioning, free parking, among many others. The hotel also provides currency exchange services and airport shuttle. The hotel's competitive service provision grants it a significant consideration as one of the major tourist destinations in Oman.
InterContinental Restaurant is another magnificent tourism organization in Muscat. The restaurant is located along the beach thereby giving its visitors a convenient tour experience. The restaurant's organizational structure consists of the owner, the general manager, assistant managers, mid-level managers, and the operational staff. Mid-level managers include those in charge of various departments in the hotel such as the human resource manager, finance manager, front desk manager, housekeeping manager, and sales manager. The operational staff includes chefs, customer representatives, room service waiters, porters, guest room attendants, cooks, laundry room attendants, among others. Products and services offered at the hotel include foods and beverages, coffee and breakfast, concierge assistance, swimming pools, babysitting, conference facilities, business center with internet access, concierge, laundry service, meeting rooms, among many others.
Sunny Island travel and tours LLC is a tour company. It is situated in the heart of Muscat, giving it an upper hand to getting numerous visitors looking for tour services. The organizational structure of Sunny Island travel and tours consists of the company president, international travel manager, domestic travel manager, business travel manager, travel consultants, and the operational staff including the experienced and passionate tour guides. The company offers both the inbound and outbound tour services to domestic and foreign tourists. The services include guided tours, meals, cultural and entertainment programs. Sunny Island travel and tours company help small groups of tourists get in touch with places, people, and the heritage of Oman with an unforgettable experience.
Objectives and importance of activities conducted
As a student of travel and tourism management, the adventurous research in these three travel organizations is important because of the following reasons. First, it enhances strong orientation into tourism management through gaining knowledge and skills in effective tourism management. It spurred learning about the successful performance of professionals in the hospitality organizations concerning their excellence in service provision and competitive edge in hospitality issues. Second, the interview with managers of the three tourism organizations provided an opportunity to imply ethical principles at work in the tourism industry. The skills learned by conducting the interviews include good interpersonal communication skills through the appropriate codes of conduct displayed by the tourism managers. Third, it also reinforced critical thinking and analytical skills in strategic planning, organizing, and managing tourism activities to gain a cutting edge competitive advantage against other industry competitors. Fourth, the survey aimed at conceptualizing the people, data, procedures, and principles in the respective tourism organizations. The survey enhanced learning on the design and implementation of various tourism management solutions, which reinforce proper organizational performance. In addition to that, the critical investigation of the tourism organizations provided an insightful lesson on strategic issues concerning hospitality and tourism in a practical context.
Contemporary issues faced by the managers in operation and management of the tourism organizations
The current hotel management is faced with various emerging issues that not only challenge the managers' skills and experiences but also put them on toes in ensuring their companies excel and retain their operation levels at any given time (Aragon-Correa 2015). Recently, the issues concerning the social life of people in a society as well as the general business environment have played a significant role in enhancing the growth and development of hotels. This awareness has been driven by the desires of hotel operators and owners to reduce the operating costs for the hotels spur the necessary change to enhance sustainable development of the organizations, the ever-changing attitudes of investors, and the increased development regulations in the tourism industry. In all these factors, Wachowiak (2016) notes that managing sustainability has proved to be challenging in all the tourism organizations visited. According to the observation by all the managers interviewed, the tourism environment is currently facing many challenges due to its dynamic nature.
According to Jafari and Scott (2014), high growth rate and the establishment of hotels in Oman and also across the globe produce a high competition in the tourism industry. Hence, the managers have to work extra hard to keep their companies both growing and competitive in the market. Different hotels implement various business models that are suitable for their planned strategies, missions and visions. Significant developments can be seen to range from customer support systems, health, environmental, and technological concerns (Boella 2013). The managers confessed that they had faced numerous challenges and emerging issues in operation and management of their respective organizations. According to Van Niekerk (2017), the emerging issues include the evolving customer expectations, shortage of experienced labor and skills, evolving use of technology and the application of social media, as well as the inadequate capital to run the companies. However, the most significant issues that were found to be common among the three companies include the ever-changing customer demands, technology, and social media, and the high costs of operations. The following analysis considers only these three major emerging issues.
The first emerging issue is that the fixed costs are continually increasing while the revenue streams decrease. According to Swanson (2013), tourism hotels have to deal with the ever-increasing fixed costs including salaries for the workers, bills and running costs to sustain different hotel facilities. These costs are significant for the operation of a hotel, but they do not generate any income to add up to the hotel business. Managers need to make quality decisions to decrease the fixed costs of running the hotel without affecting the quality of service that the hotel offers to its customers (Sharpley 2014). The large expenses on fixed costs make the hotels run out of money to finance hotel expansion. Thus, to keep in touch with the increased operating expenses, hotels tend to increase accommodation costs for their guests. On the other hand, customers visiting these hotels also look for affordable accommodation services thereby creating a deadlock between the interests of the hotel and the customers.
According to the managers interviewed, there are seasonal fluctuations in business. The challenge comes especially in managing transitions from the low season to high season and vice versa. As the business proceeds from a high season to a low season, managers have a difficult task in finding ways to improve and sustain high business to maintain a high amount of profits for the business (Ryan 2015). Since there are drastic changes in these seasons, managers have to take some steps to prevent the hotel business from running out of operating funds.
The second emerging issue in the tourism industry is the ever-changing customer demands. According to Phillips (2014), the internet plays a significant role in the marketing of hotels and other tourist destinations. With the internet, customers can know what luxuries are offered in various hotels thereby increasing their expectations as they visit hotels. As a result, customers have developed high expectations for services and standards in hotels. For example, many hotel customers have developed high expectations for high-quality fast foods everywhere they go, anytime they check in, and, as they want it. In addition to that, as customers check in to a hotel, they expect the hotel rooms with excellent network connectivity for their browsing needs and adequate space that they can use their electronic gadgets while at the hotel facility. The current tourists visiting hotels do not want to keep up with the average service provided by the hotel. Instead, they not only expect but also demand the excellent quality of services provided by the hotels (Hall 2013). According to managers, guests to the hotels tend to come back and even spend more money in the hotel if they experienced excellent service in their previous visit. However, they note that most of the tourists who felt dissatisfied with the service in a hotel would not come back again. As a result, the hotel loses such customers to their nearby competitors. Managers work hard to install wireless networks to their hotels to satisfy the guests' needs. Also, the hotels have introduced the application of swipe cards for access to the hotel rooms to guarantee security. These luxurious achievements increases costs of operation and the managers have to keep up with them to sustain their reputation.
The third emerging issue in the tourism industry is the technology and social media. According to the survey, players in the tourism industry work hard to enhance convenience for their prospective customers to access them. Application of websites is the currently trending issue for the players in the tourism industry (Lovelock 2013). According to Law (2014), the percentage of reservations made through the internet increases significantly every year. This means that the managers must consistently invest in maintaining these facilities, which as a result, increases the overall operation costs.
With the advent of social media platforms, tourism organizations must observe their performance to avoid issues that would bring negative publicity. Most hotels and tour companies venture globally as part of their strategic growth and development; this puts the tourism industry at the center of globalization. The dynamic global affairs demand that the tourism organizations change continuously to fit in the changes (Smith 2015). While expanding, the tourism organizations must ensure they meet the changing global requirements.
Social media platforms have enabled tourists across the globe to share their experiences thereby causing a critical impact on the tourism industry. Many customers currently write reviews of hotels they have visited and share them with other prospective customers all over the world through various social media platforms.
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