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Differentation & Innovation in the hospitality /tourism industries - Essay Example

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Differentiation and Innovation in the Hospitality/Tourism Industries Name: University: Introduction According to Cruz (2006), tourism is the impermanent movement of people to destinations outside their ordinary places of work and living. People who do this are generally referred to as tourists…
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Differentiation and Innovation in the Hospitality/Tourism Industries Introduction According to Cruz (2006), tourism is the impermanent movement of people to destinations outside their ordinary places of work and living. People who do this are generally referred to as tourists. Due to the competition within the tourism industry, the need to innovate and differentiate is key to ensuring that the businesses within the industry remain relevant in terms of maintaining competitive advantage. These components will be the basis of this paper. Having understood the meaning of tourism, this article will then seek to look at the concepts of differentiation and innovation. With such deliberations, it is essential to further understand ways that companies operating within the hospitality industry remain relevant and memorable in the minds of their customers. Concept of Differentiation and Concept of Innovation Differentiation within the tourism industry means a company setting itself apart from the rest as a means of beating the competition. This has been especially valuable to companies operating within international bounds. Radisson Hotel in the United States, for example, has positioned itself as a midmarket hotel (Okumus, Altinay, & Chathoth, 2010). The result of this is that it attracts a specific clientele and it also means that the clientele can be encouraged to remain loyal, which is an important characteristic in this industry. According to Okumus, Altinay, and Chathoth (2010), differentiation is based on the perception of the consumer as well as potential to use the brand name to make revenue in the short and medium term. The authors go on to say that this indicates the gap between the experiences of tourist sites between the developing and developed countries. On the other hand, the act of differentiation means that the products are tailored to suit the interests of the local market. However, the act has an international impact, which is greater than the local experience. The differentiation mainly has a lot to do with being unique. If a company can create a niche within the industry, which essentially means a new way of doing things, it has the benefit of creating a loyal customer base. While differentiation means a unique way of doing things, innovation will top this up by enabling this different way of doing things. An international company wanting to set up in a local market will look into the culture of the market. This is a bid to have a more intimate relationship in the market. When this relationship is made, the company has then to come up with better ways of doing the same things to create a distance with its competitors. According to Okumus, Altinay, and Chathoth (2010), the innovation must always happen. In fact, there has been a change from a condition of “mass tourism” to that of individualized mass (Peters & Pikkemaat, 2005). This new breed of tourists is more educated and far travelled and pursues value for their money. These tourists also seek more out of the vacation. This means that they want things such as sporting activities and more educational excursions. This, in short, means that companies need to “shape up or ship out.” This simply means that with this kind of tourist, it will take more than a simple safari into the wilderness to arouse their interest. With that in mind, a lot of companies within the hospitality industry have had to frequently review the products they offer and come up with much more. A hypothetical situation, for example, is the introduction of kite surfing for a hotel located near the sea. Conversely, an inland hotel can offer products that will lead to the clients experiencing a firsthand feel of the primal life in the wilderness. In this regard, the attempts to innovate will eventually lead to differentiation since an innovation brings about a new and different way of doing things. As a result, with proper advertising, the company will be able to arouse the curiosity of people who will, in turn, come to the hotel to get a feel of what goes on in the place. According to Peters and Pikkemaat (2005), the hospitality industry was affected by the need to adapt to globalization. According to these authors, the hospitality industry has sought to ease the way of doing things. Some companies have chosen to conduct their business online. This means that customers have been given a more relieving experience, i.e., the whole process of choosing a tourist destination including all the things one plans to do can be organized long before the journey begins. This is so because some companies will offer to cater for all the activities that a person will indulge in. This goes even to the treatment that the employees give to the tourist. If it is a pleasant one, the individual will want to return for more; thus, loyalty is created. Conclusion The current situation in the hospitality industry is very competitive. As a result, differentiation and innovation are two issues that must form the mantra of all companies. The company wishing to stand out must look out for distinct products that will allow the tourists to want to come back and have fun in their stay. This can vary from the food to the services as well as treatment offered by the employees. All these have to be pristine if the company wants to make profit. References Cruz, Z. L. (2006). Principles of tourism. Quezon City: Rex Bookstore, Inc. Okumus, F., Altinay, L., & Chathoth, P. (2010). Strategic management in the international hospitality and tourism industry. Massachusetts: Elsevier Ltd. Peters, M., & Pikkemaat, B. (2005). Innovation in hospitality and tourism. New York: Haworth Hospitality Press. Read More
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