SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT

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Question one

The importance of ecotourism in Costa Rica

Ecotourism refers to touring areas which have undisturbed and conserved natural vegetation, areas, landscapes, and lands. It is also known as responsible travel because it comprises promoting and improving the well-being of the tourist destinations (Fennell, 2014). Eco-tourists strive to learn new things such as species of plants and animals, understanding better the behaviors of animals and insects, learning and enjoying new cultures, and so on (Fennell, 2014). Costa Rice is a major ecotourism destination that is known all over the world. At the beginning of the 1990s, Costa Rica became well known for its effort towards conserving the environment and encouraging tourists to visit and see the beautiful sceneries in their country (McKeone and Emily, 2011).

Costa Rica has many big national parks which have amazing animals. The allocation of 26% of their land to environmental conservation proves Costa Rica’s determination to promote ecotourism (Nost, 2013). Additionally, Costa Rica is widely known for promoting responsible agriculture whereby farmers are encouraged to till the land without risking or endangering the natural habitats or causing soil erosion (Nost, 2013). The country has several protected areas whereby trees are not cut down, and natural life is left alone to grow and spread. The rich biodiversity and massive ecosystem attract tourists from all over because the varieties of trees and animals in the country are therapeutic to watch (Nost, 2013).  This essay aims at examining the importance of ecotourism in Costa Rica, the significance of environmental education in promoting ecotourism, how Costa Rica can market ecotourism and the organizations that are best placed to do that, and discussing factors that can hinder ecotourism in Costa Rica.

According to Nost (2013), the strategic location of Costa Rica coupled with its rich biodiversity which attracts tourism has brought tremendous benefits to the country. Every year a large number of nature lovers flock Costa Rica to see exotic birds in the verdant rainforests which are also a source of exercise because of hiking (Nost, 2013). Moreover, the many types of marine animals and wildlife species make the tourists want to come over and over again to the beautiful country. The tourists come with many advantages because apart from getting economic benefits, the conserved land benefits the country tremendously.

First, the environmental conservation culture has been easy to promote in Costa Rica because people now see the benefits of conserving nature (Nost, 2013). In the early stage of ecotourism in Costa Rica in the 1970s, there was a rapid expansion of the national parks and many initiatives to increase the number of protected areas. At this time, conservation was only a dream and not a reality, but now the realization of its benefits has made it easier for the government to influence people to be perverse the natural environment (Vivanco, 2006).

Costa Rica does not struggle with damages caused by industries because their environment is well taken care of and instead of introducing more industries, the country is promoting ecotourism which is more advantageous than industries. Conservation promotes the development and growth of plant and animal species (Vivanco, 2006). All species in the world are important because they play a unique role in the environment. Extinction of species is detrimental to the environment because it causes imbalances in the ecosystem and causes other harms to the rest of the species. Extinct species cannot are irreplaceable thus it is essential for conservation measures to be put in place to promote biodiversity (Nost, 2013).

The natural environment is an advantage in itself. Having more areas covered with trees promotes clean air, and the sight of trees is therapeutic (Nost, 2013). Nobody doesn’t want to be associated with the beautiful nature, and that is why Costa Ricans have benefitted from the ecotourism through having a beautiful environment. Unlike the polluting industries which threaten the lives of sea animals, land, and air animals and even humans through causing respiratory diseases, having an eco-friendly environment promotes longevity (Nost, 2013). Moreover, ecotourism in Costa Rica has reduced rural-urban migration which has negatively affected other developing countries. Rural-urban migration causes the rural areas to be neglected and higher poverty levels because people who should develop those regions seek greener pastures and do not invest there (Honey, 2008).

Ecotourism has motivated many Costa Ricans to remain in their rural areas and develop their areas thus ensuring a balanced distribution of resources (Honey, 2008). It is not peculiar to find an established rural area in Costa Rica because a large number of people remain in the in ancestral lands, develop them to earn a living through ecotourism. By a large number of people moving to urban areas, there has been increased levels of robberies, murders motivated by frustrations of lacking essential things in life, poor living standards due to congestion, and much more (Honey, 2008). However, ecotourism in Costa Rica has solved that issue, and people strive to stay in their rural areas which are more lucrative.

Costa Rica has several unique plant and animal species which attract tourists and scientists. It is ethical to conserve the environment because humans are the custodians of planet earth (Nost, 2013). Moreover, the future generations should not only hear about certain species without seeing them. Having many genetic variations in animals and plants ensures the survival of the entire population in case of a catastrophic event (Nost, 2013).  The many varieties of species also prevent inbreeding which can lead to unhealthy species which cannot survive the rapid changes in the world. Therefore, Costa Rica’s conservation ensures that nature is conserved to reveal its beauty to the current and future generations and also because humans need plants and animals in their life.

After logging was made illegal and locals were moved to make space for protected lands, ecotourism began to thrive, and protectionist measures were done away with (Nost, 2013). Since the shift took place, the locals have embraced ecotourism and participated in the conservation of the environment to improve their livelihoods. A large number of Costa Ricans have high living standards because they have turned into tour guides, built hotels, planted forests to entice tourists and so on (Nost, 2013). All these activities have benefitted Costa Rica.

A sustainable environment is something that every country in the world is seeking. Costa Rica has achieved a lot regarding promoting environmental awareness (Hunt, Durham, Driscoll, and Honey, 2015). Because tourists who visit the country also want to see their culture, ecotourism promotes the culture of the people of Costa Rica. Environmental is also one of their cultures because they have made it an aspect of their culture which they will pass from one generation to another. Therefore, ecotourism in Costa Rica improves the understanding and appreciation of conserving nature (Hunt et al., 2015). The citizens have carved a niche through which they are identified, and they are benefitting from it by gaining monitory advantage white at the same time conserving their environment.  The benefits of ecotourism to different stakeholders in Costa Rica

Ecotourism has also raised the consumption of local products of Costa Rica. For instance, the coffee industry gains a lot because more coffee is consumed when the tourists visit. studies show that approximately $16.5 million is gained from coffee consumed by tourists (Hunt et al., 2015). The recent low coffee prices in the Latin American countries has not affected Costa Rica because of ecotourism. While other countries are struggling to outcompete the cheap coffee brands from Asia, Costa Rica is reaping more and more because tourists love the local coffee (Hunt et al., 2015).

Another advantage of environmental conservation in Costa Rica is the financial benefit. Ecotourism is the key economic activity in Costa Rica due to its high income regarding foreign exchange (Hunt et al., 2015). The tourists bring a lot of benefits to the locals because they spend money in travelling, entering national parks and restricted areas, and also in paying for the hotels in which they reside in. Additionally, money is got from donations from tourists who are passionate about the conservation of nature and the proceeds are directed towards more nature conservation activities (Hunt et al., 2015). For instance, while tourists are visiting the Carara Biological Reserve they part with $15 as the entrance fee while some give out some donations (Hunt et al., 2015). The tourists also have to board a plane into the San Jose’s International Airport and use a bus to travel to the park. During their stay around Carara, they use hotels whereby they buy food and souvenirs which promote the local community. All these economic benefits are spread to the citizens of Costa Rica who live around the tourist destinations (Hunt et al., 2015).

Due to the improved ecotourism, the locals of Costa Rica have benefitted from the improvement of infrastructure (Nost, 2013). The government of Costa Rica has been in the forefront ensuring that ecotourism receives as much support as possible because they have witnessed its importance to the environment, the local people, and the tourists. The government has built many areas in the areas which have tourist destinations thus improving the livelihoods of the locals (Nost, 2013). Additionally, more hospitals have been built to meet the needs of the tourists and the locals also tremendously benefit from the improved healthcare. Remote areas which would not imagine getting electricity now are well lit because they now are big tourist attraction centres. Electricity has multiple benefits too because it improves security, improves businesses because people can work 24 hours and much more (Nost, 2013). Moreover, most of the parts of the country have mobile network coverage that supports the communication of both the locals and the tourists. Improved infrastructure translates into progress because the locals will also use the roads to transport their products, the hospitals to treat their patients, use the water and electricity to benefit themselves and much more (Nost, 2013).

Ecotourism in Costa Rica has attracted many investors who have established businesses such as hotels, courier services, restaurants, and so on which benefit the locals (Hunt et al., 2015). Since the improvement of ecotourism began in Costa Rica, the rate of unemployment has gone down significantly because a large number of locals are employed in hotels, as drivers, as tour guides, and much more. The employment has reduced the rate of employment in the protected areas by 16% which is a considerable improvement (Hunt et al., 2015).

The economy of Costa Rica has improved tremendously due to ecotourism. The largest source of foreign exchange in Costa Rica is tourism and ecotourism forms a significant part of that (Hunt et al., 2015). Before the advent of ecotourism, only 2% of Costa Rica’s revenues came from tourism. However, after ecotourism gained momentum, the percentage increased quickly such that in 1994 it was 8% (Hunt et al., 2015). These figures show that ecotourism is the central tourist attraction aspect in Costa Rica thus it is a significant contributor to revenue in the country.

A large number of investors in Costa Rica benefit from ecotourism. When the tourists come to view the magnificent nature, they also visit beaches to enjoy themselves. Additionally, they eat the local foods and familiarize themselves with the culture of Cost Ricans (Hunt et al., 2015). These are benefits that they would not have gotten had they not embarked on environmental conservation. By the government allowing people to enhance ecotourism by developing forests, planting rare trees privately, and so on, people have become direct beneficiaries of the tourism (Hunt et al., 2015). In Costa Rica, there are many private environmental conservation experts who have developed their lands into biodiversity centers. These private investors are free to develop the land and receive tourists who pay them after being offered services. Encouraging private environmental conservation has reduced poverty levels while at the same time promoting the ecosystem of Costa Rica (Hunt et al., 2015).

Factors that may prevent sustainable tourism development for ecotourism in Costa Rica

The primary threat to ecotourism in Costa Rica is visitor overcapacity (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Fragile environments should not host many people because it will lead to disturbance and cause problems. Costa Rica has been experiencing an influx of tourists every year as tourists want to enjoy the beautiful and breathtaking sceneries of plants, animals, and landscapes and this has endangered the environment even more (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Although some policies have been put in place to protect places with fragile natural resources, it is not easy to regulate them because of the vastness of the protected areas. As the visitors hike the mountains, witness the nature, they step on undisturbed soils, plants, insects thus causing a threat to the biodiversity (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014).

Inadequate local expertise is another threat to Costa Rica’s ecotourism (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Because Costa Rica has no adequate resource to train individuals who can protect and regulate things in national parks and protected areas, some efforts cause environmental degradation instead of promoting conservation. For instance, approximately 44% of the protected areas in Costa Rica are still managed by their previous owners thus the government cannot adequately control the activities in them (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Logging might be done without the government’s knowledge because there is no enough coverage of personnel to advance the efforts of conservation.

The government also needs funds to educate the locals about the best ways of conserving the environment and why it is not right to take part in environmental degradation (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Lack of funds to actualize that has caused some parks to struggle because the locals do not use safe agricultural practices and so on. Lack of enough resources to manage parks and infrastructure are threatening the efforts by the government towards promoting a sustainable environment (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). The government needs a lot of funds to fight pollution, prevent irresponsible litter dropping, and stop habitat disruption and much more. Because there is no enough money to enact all those activities, the environmental conservation efforts sometimes become a burden to the government (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014).

According to Ferraro and Hanauer (2014), corruption in Costa Rica is threatening efforts of maintaining and promoting a sustainable environment. Some officers collude with loggers, while others allow locals to live in protected areas after they pay a small fee. These activities threaten the ecosystem because human activities in protected areas disturb biodiversity. The fact that nearly half of the populations in protected areas are still living in them causes a great danger because it shows that the government has no absolute control of the areas. Some locals who do not see the impact of ecotourism take part in activities such as burning charcoal, practising unsafe agriculture to earn a living but end up promoting environmental degradation (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014).

In Costa Rica, there is lack of enough standards for guiding ecotourism (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). For instance, there are few national laws and regulations to guide locals on who should take part in ecotourism and how they should go about it. Moreover, the Costa Rican government has not put down licensing procedures which regulate ecotourism (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). The effect of these issues is some tourism outfits taking part in the activities although they have little or no experience to do so. The government’s failure to restrict ecotourism such that only the qualified personnel practice it is threatening tourism because tourists are getting poor services from inexperienced tour guide operators (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Moreover, the lack of regulation causes a breach of principles that guide environmental sustainability and how local income should be generated which will cause adverse effects on the tourism sector (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014).

Another threat to ecotourism is the failure by the government to ensure that the locals benefit from the activities (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Some residents in the tourist destinations do not benefit from the proceeds gotten from tourism because they continue living in poverty, lack necessary infrastructure, people from outside are employed leaving the locals in the lowest positions, and many more injustices (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Neglect of the locals by the government is a threat to ecotourism because the locals will not take part in a process which does not improve their lives. When the governments are only promoting the interests of international tour operations firms without considering the locals, it will be an uphill task to convince the locals that they should conserve the environment (Ferraro and Hanauer, 2014). Therefore, some parts of Costa Rica have difficulties realizing the impact of ecotourism because the money got from the tourists is not equally distributed.

Possible markets for Costa Rica’s ecotourism and the key target markets

Ecotourism is tourist magnet which attracts nature enthusiasts from all over the world. Many countries which have not embraced environmental conservation do not have magnificent natural places where people can go to relax (Hunt et al., 2015). Therefore, Costa Rica has many possible markets for ecotourism. First, countries which are highly developed major in industrial development rather than environmental conservation. Costa Rica can target those countries to offer citizens a tourist destination where they will experience undisturbed natural creatures and plants (Hunt et al., 2015).

Costa Rica is a tropical country thus has a favorable climate. People living in cold countries are a good target for the ecotourism because apart from experiencing the beautiful natural sceneries they will enjoy good temperatures (Hunt et al., 2015). Many tourists travel during the summer whereby many holidays fall. Additionally, there is an influx of tourists during December holidays because people love to have quality time during the Christmas festivities. Costa Rica should target countries which experience cold temperatures during these holidays such as United States of America, Canada, and England (Gray and Campbell, 2007).

Costa Rica has many potential markets for ecotourism all over the world. First, its positioning is near the US which is the world’s most influential country makes it easier to appeal to potential tourists (Gray and Campbell, 2007). One market for ecotourism in Costa Rica is the United States of America. Coincidentally, the U.S is leading regarding tourists who visit Costa Rica. However, more needs to be done to market ecotourism in Costa Rica. America has a large number of professionals who are passionate about biodiversity, environmental preservation, and science. Costa Rica is a favorable destination for these tourists because it offers them a unique opportunity to experience an environment with diverse aspects of nature (Gray and Campbell, 2007).

Additionally, thrill seekers, honeymooners, people who are celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and so on are a target market for ecotourism. From America to Costa Rica it takes less than four hours (Gray and Campbell, 2007). Therefore, America is a favorable market for the biodiversity in Costa Rica. Moreover, Americans love fun and getaways. Most people in the U.S live in urban areas which are congested hence they require a quiet place where they will be away from their offices of condominium (Gray and Campbell, 2007). Furthermore, there is a large number of Americans who want to give back to the society such as pensioners who have just retired. Costa Rica offers that because they will come, enjoy the nature and donate money for developing the conservation of the environment (Gray and Campbell, 2007).

Another market for Costa Rica’s ecotourism is Nicaragua who are neighbors. Costa Rica receives about half a million Nicaragua tourists every year (Dodds, Ali, and Galaski, 2016). This is a high number because many tourists prefer visiting far countries for holidays. Therefore, Nicaragua is one market that the Costa Rica government should focus on when marketing their ecotourism (Dodds et al., 2016)

Organizations that can help technical, marketing, and other advice on ecotourism of Costa Rica

Costa Rica needs a lot of support in promoting its ecotourism. The first support should come from nongovernmental organizations that promote environmental and climate conservation (Dodds et al., 2016). The services of these organizations are essential because they will promote the conservation of the Costa Rican environment. The reason why some parts of Costa Rica are struggling to attract tourists is that of lack of expertise in environmental preservation. Having experts who know which are the best species to interbreed, what plants need to grow healthy, how to preserve species which are becoming extinct and much more will make things easier (Dodds et al., 2016)

Moreover, Costa Rica needs advertising experts who will assist the country to market it to the outside world. Although Costa Rica is widely known as a tourist destination, making it more conspicuous is essential because there are several other destinations which compete with it (Dodds et al., 2016). To stay above the others, the potential tourists have to be wooed and enticed to visit Costa Rica. The government should hire advertising organizations to make the goodies of Costa Rica widely known all over the world. Nongovernmental organizations have also proven to be good advertises because of their ability to sponsor and mobilize people to rally behind a certain course (Dodds et al., 2016).

There are many organizations in Costa Rica which can assist in marketing ecotourism. For instance, the government can partner with hoteliers, business owners, and airlines to encourage tourists to visit Costa Rica (Dodds et al, 2016). Using the airlines to market the tourist destinations can increase the number of tourists because the airlines, booking agents, hoteliers will inform potential visitors how interesting visiting Costa Rica can be. Moreover, by offering discounts and privileges, these organizations can influence more people to visit Costa Rica (Dodds et al., 2016).

The government of Costa Rica should hire experts of making attractive websites and managing social media accounts (Nost, 2013). Social media has proven to be an effective marketing tool because a big number of people all over the world spend approximately four hours on social media in one day. Additionally, people are highly influenced by social media because it has created a subculture which people follows (Nost, 2013). By seeking help from experts in advertising in social media and websites, Costa Rica will get more eco-tourists. For instance, they can create a website by the name Visit Costa Rica which advertises everything about Costa Rica. Another way is creating social media pages in Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and so on which will enhance direct interaction between different stakeholders in the tourism industry and the potential tourists (Nost, 2013).

Other organizations which can help Costa Rica in marketing their ecotourism are science organizations. Scientists who are passionate about conservation should be involved in research of how to best develop the ecological sites in Costa Rica (Nost, 2013). The significance of scientists is their ability to solve environmental problems scientifically. For instance, the scientists should find out ways of maintaining the fragile ecosystem while at the same time allowing tourists to visit the sites. Having the expertise ensures that everything falls into place and no damage is done while the government is striving to make more money (Nost, 2013).

Legal experts should also be consulted to make regulations which will enact the conservation laws (Dodds et al., 2016). For instance, the laws about logging should be revised and heavy penalties imposed on people who are found doing that. Moreover, the legal experts can assist the government to make laws which will improve environmental conservation and do not impeded the ecotourism (Dodds et al., 2016). The protected areas should be absolutely out of bounds by the locals. The problem is the system which is in place, which does not put more efforts in maintaining the laws. Having legal experts can alleviate those problems (Dodds et al., 2016).

The future development of sustainable tourism in Costa Rica

The future development of Costa Rica’s ecotourism is bright only if they improve on their weak areas. It is encouraging so far to see the government’s efforts towards environmental conservation and in the promotion of ecotourism (Hunt et al., 2015). Costa Rica’s tourism sector has improving year after year meaning that if they keep on improving, the future will be better. However, there are aspects which need a lot of improvement, and a major one is the funding, and management of ecotourism (Hunt et al., 2015).

Better management is needed for ecotourism to improve in Costa Rica. There is a need for better implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the conservation laws (Hunt et al., 2015). Making rules which are not enacted of followed up is a waste of time because no change can be achieved by drafting laws in a paper and not enacting them on the ground. The government of Costa Rica, therefore, must establish a system that will cover all the ecotourism aspects such as financial, biophysical, and social (Hunt et al., 2015).

More scientific studies need to be carried out to find out how the biodiversity of parks should be enhanced, promoted and maintained because the environment changes swiftly (Hunt et al., 2015). Additionally, studies on the best ways of not disrupting habitats, allocating the correct populations in parks, preventing pollution, controlling visitation, and much more need to be done. Other studies which need to be done include examining the best ways of income generation, how to develop best activities which will generate income, and methods of knowing the progress achieved after these measures are put in place (Hunt et al., 2015). All these studies will be of much help in the future of Costa Rica’s ecotourism.

There is a need for increased funding in the ecotourism of Costa Rica. More funds will ensure there are better ways of income generation, the protected areas are well maintained to protect the environment, and personnel in the tourism sector are well trained (Hunt et al., 2015). Moreover, the government should allocate more funds towards developing the infrastructure in the tourist destinations to make the tourists as comfortable as possible. Different stakeholders in the sectors such as hoteliers and tour guide companies should be well vetted to ensure that they offer professional services which will encourage tourists to come back and advertise the services to their friends (Hunt et al., 2015).

For the future of ecotourism in Costa Rica to be brighter there need to be stricter standards in the sector. For instance, only visitors and trained individuals should access the protected areas (Hunt et al., 2015). Additionally, the number of people entering parks at a given time should be regulated accordingly to ensure that biodiversity is not threatened. The capacity of each park should be assessed and established to reduce confusion and promote how the laws are followed. Private Ecotourism operators should also be vetted to ensure that tourists get the best and prevent people who are not qualified from messing up the systems (Hunt et al., 2015). More efforts should also be put in marketing the ecotourism in Costa Rica. The higher the number of visitors, the higher the income. Therefore, the government should put down measures of promoting and advertising ecotourism because that will bring in funds which will help in sustaining the sector. All these measures will make the future of Costa Rica’s ecotourism brighter although for now, things are not so bad (Hunt et al., 2015).

Question two

The need for environmental awareness and education for sustainable ecotourism

For sustainable tourism to take place, there is a need for environmental awareness and education (Sander, 2010). Without proper training about the need for environmental conservation, it is difficult to achieve ecological protection. Provision of environmental education makes the locals aware of the need to improve the ecosystem by practicing safe agriculture, not cutting down trees, not hunting down animals, not carrying away sand from river beds, and much more. The local people are the best to people to involve in environmental conservation because it is their land and they are the ones who use it regularly (Sander, 2010).

Ecotourism cannot happen without the sustainable development of the environment. Without educating the locals about the need to plant trees, it is impossible for them to realize that. People only care about issues that affect their livelihoods (Sander, 2010). Explaining to them that improving biodiversity will promote ecotourism makes them motivated to plant more trees and conserve their environment. There is a need for prevention of pollution for a country to achieve environmental conservation. Pollution is caused by humans who dispose of nonbiodegradable items into the environment (Sander, 2010). For instance, plastics endanger the lives of sea animals and land animals. Disposing chemical materials such as oil kills bacteria and other microorganisms which are vital in the ecology. People need to be taught about the importance of disposing wastes responsibly to promote environmental conservation which will cause biodiversity and improve ecotourism (Sander, 2010).

Incorporating environmental conservation lessons in school curriculum promotes biodiversity and healthier ecology (Sander, 2010). Governments should promote curriculums which teach children since a young age on how to conserve the environment. Children are the future leaders, parents, and citizens. Educating them about the significance of protecting animals, plants, and the environment ensures that they take an active part in the process of promoting biodiversity. Additionally, teaching students that ecotourism can be a primary or significant source of income if they conserve their environment can encourage the spirit of ecological conservation which is instrumental in the advancement of ecotourism (Sander, 2010).

There has been an increase of nongovernmental organizations which promote the environmental organization. Many NGOs focus on teaching people about soil conservation, stopping soil erosion, using organic materials in farming such as manure, and much more. Providing these lessons to individuals has a lot of impact on the environment (Wals, 2014). The environment cannot be protected by some individuals while others are not taking part. Environmental conservation is a collective affair which calls for the inclusion of everyone. Provision of expertise is therefore essential to ensure that the people understand what they should do because by merely discouraging them not to do a particular thing without offering an alternative does not make things any better (Wals, 2014). Therefore, it is good for people to be provided with the best options to promote the conservation of the environment thus enhance ecotourism.

Many governments from all over the world and nongovernmental organizations have been taking part in promoting family planning. Family planning is a significant solution to overpopulation which threatens the environment (Wals, 2014). Lack of family planning causes poverty which causes people to lack necessities in life. The only option left after people lack basic needs is to exploit the environment. For instance, they might start burning trees to make charcoal or logging to get money for food (Wals, 2014). Educating people about proper family planning ensures that there are low levels of poverty thus promoting environmental conservation. Additionally, with lesser people in one family, it is possible to keep more uncultivated or undisturbed lands which attract rainfall and improve biodiversity. Therefore, educating people about family planning is a measure which can promote environmental conservation thus enhance ecotourism (Wals, 2014).

Although governments might enhance environmental conservation through making and enacting laws that prevent people from tempering with the environment, environmental education is a better way because it makes people self-motivated to participate in the conservation activities (Wals, 2014). Provision of environmental education can significantly reduce corruption in the ecotourism sector because people will gain a first-hand knowledge that the environment is a resource which can be of much help to them. Additionally, by the government supporting programs which promote environmental conservation, people can get an alternative source of income. Promising people that planting more trees and not disturbing the land will make them productive can make the people self-motivated to participate in the process (Wals, 2014).

Environmental education promoted innovation. Teaching people about environmental conservation creates an interest in learning more about practices which can make their environment (Wals, 2014). Residents who are aware of the significance of environmental conservation are more likely to research about the best ways of improving the environment and teaching their friends thus making the initiative a reality. Additionally, the research raises new issues which were not thought of. Encouraging people to do research makes them better critical thinkers and effective decision-makers which are essential characteristics in environmental conservation (Wals, 2014).

Another advantage of environmental education is enlightenment. A large number of people suffer because they lack knowledge (Wals, 2014). Knowledge is power because if people know more about conservation, they will be empowered to become better environmental custodians. Teaching several members of a given community means that they will influence the others who will see a difference (Wals, 2014). One educated member of the community can affect the rest because there is a big difference between people who know and who do not know. Therefore, environmental education promotes ecotourism because it helps people to conserve the environment which is the magnet of eco-tourists (Wals, 2014).

For sustainable tourism to take place, the local members should be knowledgeable too. Tourists interact massively with the local communities which host them (Wals, 2014). They like to learn their culture, their beliefs, and much more. Therefore, educating the local community empowers them to effectively interact with the tourists, teach them about the diverse plants, animals, and landscapes and the reasons why they are the way they are (Wals, 2014). The host-tourist bond is created more if the locals are well informed about their environment. It is essential for the locals to be good communicators and communication is learned. Therefore, environmental education promotes ecotourism (Wals, 2014).

Locals should be educated about their environment for them to understand its importance. For a country to gain more in ecotourism, the local people should be offered training for not only the conservation but the maintenance of the environment (Wals, 2014). For instance, there are species which are endangered. Informing the locals about them promotes their likelihood of survival because the locals will then assists when necessary. Locals interact with the environment more regularly than any other person thus understand it better (Wals, 2014). By teaching them about the best ways to protect an endangered species promotes the interests of the animal.

Environmental education also helps communities to gain maximally from their environment. People who are not aware of the worth of their environment cannot understand how to make use of it (Sander, 2010). For instance, if tourists visit villages in Costa Rica and the villagers do not know how to gain money from them, the tourists will end up going back with their pockets stiff full. Therefore, locals need to be educated about the value of their environment and how they should charge people who enjoy their services and nature (Sander, 2010). These measures will make the country benefit more from the ecotourism thus promote the living standards of its citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dodds, R., Ali, A. and Galaski, K., 2016. Mobilizing knowledge: Determining key elements for success and pitfalls in developing community-based tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, pp.1-22.

Fennell, D.A., 2014. Ecotourism. Routledge.

Ferraro, P.J. and Hanauer, M.M., 2014. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences111(11), pp.4332-4337.

Gray, N. J., & Campbell, L. M., 2007. A Decommodified Experience? Exploring Aesthetic, Economic and Ethical Values for Volunteer Ecotourism in Costa Rica. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 15(5), 463-482. doi: 10.2167/jost725.0

Honey, M., 2008. Ecotourism and sustainable development: Who owns paradise? Washington, D.C.: Island Press

Hunt, C.A., Durham, W.H., Driscoll, L. and Honey, M., 2015. Can ecotourism deliver real economic, social, and environmental benefits? A study of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Journal of Sustainable Tourism23(3), pp.339-357.

McKeone, Emily., 2011. “Ecotourism in Costa Rica: Environmental Impacts and Management”. Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Theses. Paper 45. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/envstudtheses/45

Nost, E., 2013. The Power of Place: Tourism Development in Costa Rica. Tourism Geographies, 15(1), 88-106. doi:10.1080/14616688.2012.699090

Sander, B., 2010. The Importance of Education in Ecotourism Ventures. Retrieved from http://www.american.edu/sis/gep/upload/Education-Ecotourism_SRP_Ben_Sander-2.pdf:

Vivanco, L. A., 2006. Green Encounters: Shaping and Contesting Environmentalism in Rural Costa Rica. New York: Berghahn, Print.

Wals, A.E., 2014. Sustainability in higher education in the context of the UN DESD: a review of learning and institutionalization processes. Journal of Cleaner Production62, pp.8-15.

 

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KEY SKILLS A SALESPERSON MUST DEVELOP IN ORDER TO SELL EFFECTIVELY

 

 

KEY SKILLS A SALESPERSON MUST DEVELOP IN ORDER TO SELL EFFECTIVELY

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Key skills a salesperson must develop in order to sell effectively

Marketing strategy is the key process that accounts for the success of any organization in the world. However, different organizations use different marketing strategies to market and sell their products. Promotion is one of them is the key function that leads to making awareness of the existing products and services and making an attempt to sell them to both potential and prospective customers. Promotion is very diverse and may take the form of personal selling which involves the use of different persons to directly make awareness of the products to the customers. Personal selling basically has the concept of marketing and thus needs qualified people who are knowledgeable about the product and the organization (Avila et al, 2012). mainly, personal selling is mostly preferred by many organizations since it provides immediate feedback and provides face to face communication between the salespersons and the customers. Therefore, all the questions raised by the customers are able to be answered by the salespersons and thus providing personal appeal. However, there are some of the key skills these salespersons are supposed to possess in order to be effective. This report provides the key learning skills that a salesperson should have to effectively sell the products to the customers.

Salespersons sell the organizational products direct to the customers and thus need to have some specific skills that make them sell the products to the customers. At first, they need to have the communication skills especially the interpersonal skills. In order to communicate to their customers, salespersons ought to be friendly to their customers and able to approach their customers in a way that is attracting and able to motivate the customers to listen to them. The tone voice, pace and the volume of the sales persons are very important when communicating with their customers while selling the products (Román and Iacobucci, 2010). Mainly, the way a salesperson says things in order to prospect highly matters than what actually you are saying. Therefore, the salespersons are supposed to attribute to the tone and voice than the content. This is because the voice and volume mainly help to capture the attention of the customers. The salespersons are persons who need to be active listeners. The listening skills are very important to the sale person while communicating to their prospective customers. Giving their customers enough time to ask talk while listening gives them the ability to intelligently ask questions or even answer all the questions from the customers. Mainly, great listening skills have the ability to help them empathize with the prospects to be able to learn more about the business products including the pain points (Salmon, 2013). Therefore, they are able to critically sell and provide the most suitable solution to some of the problems that they face during their career.

Another critical skill of a sale person is an ability to prevent objection. The way of handling the objection is very important. Most of the customer may object the product whenever they are approached by the salesperson. The salesperson should have the most appropriate strategies that can help them prevent any objection from the prospective customers Avila et al, 2012). This ability comes in if the salesperson is self-motivating and able to persuade the customer on the basis of the brand, organization and product differences. Also, the salesperson is supposed to be knowledgeable about the market where he/she is selling the products. This is done possibly by having a critical analysis on the market in terms of the target customers and the segments of the market. In addition, the needs of each segment of the target market will help the salesperson provide the exact product that matches the needs of its customers. The knowledge about the product is very important. Product knowledge provides the salesperson with full information about the product, its usage and the customers who are targeted.

Rapport building is another key skills helps the sales persons to have mutual trust and friendship between him/her and the customers (Arnold and Boggs, 2015). Rapport building is very important since it provides them to have good interpersonal relationships. However, most of the salesperson does not realize the aspect while selling. Rapport building can be achieved by professionally dressing, smiling and also being on time to the customer. Strategic prospecting skills also are important to the salespersons. For the sales persons to effective sell, they need to build a network whereby they ask referral from their customers. Looking for the referrals from the existing connection increases the sales. Having a closing technique after selling to the customers also matters if the customers will buy the product again or not. Therefore, the salesperson should have a formula of closing the deal when he/she sales a product to the customer.

In conclusion, salespersons are professionals who need to be highly skilled since they directly deal with the customers. How they communicate in terms of approaching customer, answering questions and also handling objections is the main determinant of their success in the field. Personal attitudes and stereotyping or biases should be put aside and be able to handle all the types of persons according to their needs. Self-motivating should be the highest aspect which should not be left aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Ingram, T.N., LaForge, R.W., Avila, R.A., SchwepkerJr, C.H. and Williams, M.R., 2012. Sales management: Analysis and decision making. ME Sharpe.

Román, S. and Iacobucci, D., 2010. Antecedents and consequences of adaptive selling confidence and behavior: a dyadic analysis of salespeople and their customers. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 38(3), pp.363-382.

Salmon, G., 2013. E-activities: The key to active online learning. Routledge.

Arnold, E.C., and Boggs, K.U., 2015. Interpersonal Relationships-E-Book: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.

National Culture Theory

 

 

 

 

 

National Culture Theory

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Culture can be defined as shared social behavior and norm that bind a given community. Culture is transmitted through social learning in the societies that human exist in. Geert Hofstede defined culture as a “Collective programming of the mind that distinguishes members of one community from another.” Members of one group can refer to States, Nations, and Kingdoms (Kwangwon & Sukyoung 2017). Culture is a very crucial issue when conducting research. It has heavy impact on successful completion of a research work. The following article will be examining the different dimensions of Geert Hofstede cultural theories and the impact they have towards conducting a research.

The dimensions of National Culture Theory

Geert Hofstede came up with six dimensions of national culture that have impact on conducting research across many nations of across different categories of people. The following are the dimensions that he came up with;

Power Distance Index (PDI)

This mainly refers to existence of social disparity between those with power and those without power. It refers to the extent which institutions and families with less power accept and expect the unequal distribution of power, it majorly focuses on inequality that is defined from the less powerful perspective. High PDI score depicts people that believe unequal allocation of power through a hierarchy where members of the society understands their place and a low PDI score indicates that power is mutual and is very broadly detached and the members of the society are opposed to situation where influence is circulated unevenly.

When conducting a research in a high PDI society, the researcher is expected to ensure they acknowledge status of a leader, the researcher is advised not to ignore a leader entirely, but a little circumvention is essential. The researchers are also expected to always go to the top for answers. (Boonghee et al. 2011). While in a low PDI society the researcher is expected to make decision and never to ignore anyone and they are also required to delegate responsibilities as much as possible.

Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)

This refers to the degree the persons are integrated into different groups as opposed to individualism. Individualism is where everyone is expected to focus his responsibilities to him or herself and their family while collectivism are exhibited by communities that are tied into strong cohesive groups from birth mostly extended families and protecting each member of the group is unquestionable (Ripberger et al. 2012). In societies with high Individualism versus Collectivism, a researcher should acknowledge each person’s effort, try giving chances for expression of different peoples’ ideas and respect to privacy. While low IDV requires procession that maintains harmony among group members like avoiding giving negative feedback in public.

Masculinity versus Feminity (MAS)

Mainly refers to sharing of roles among men and women. In feminine society, there is an overlie between the roles of males and females and humility is a desirable quality in such a society while in manly society, role of male and female overlie less and males are anticipated to be assertive (Smith 2006). The researcher should then consider the role of each person in every society they visit.

 

 

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)

This refers to the degree to which society members think and are uncomfortable with uncertainty and indistinctness. The main issue in such an environment is how they pact with the future, that cannot be known and must just attempt controlling the future or just let it unfold (Smith 2006). Rigid codes of behavior are exhibited by societies with strong UAI and can hardly take in orthodox behavior and ideas while in a weak UAI exhibits a more relaxed attitude where they value practice at the expense of principles.

Long term orientation (LTO)

Society oriented to long term goals usually promote realistic virtues that lean towards potential future like; persistence, saving and accommodating varying conditions. Short-term leaning communities cultivate merits that are linked to the history and present without focusing on the future. The researcher is expected to consider a given orientation before engaging in research.

Indulgence versus Restraint (IVR)

Indulgence societies that relatively allows for gratification of natural human drives and basics elated to having fun. Restraint is a society that suppresses need gratification and uses firm communal norm to control them.

Research Topic: The cultural Relativity of Organizational Practices and Theories

The above topic seeks to determine the differences among peoples work related values among 45 countries. In viewing these differences, it’s indefensible to formulate ethnocentric management theories. The above topic is relevant in the fields of motivation, organization and leadership.

 

Challenges faced when carrying out a research

Finding study participants; when the research team is ready, the research manager has the role of finding study participants. The best way to overcome this challenge is through using the power of a network, or snowball sampling technique asking for recommendations for participants from others.

Dealing with data; how to make meaning or sense from the pieces of data collected is also a major challenge in research and the best way to overcome this challenge is through taking advantage of technology that is available and helps in the analysis of data.

Getting the countries to participate; another daunting task is convincing the 45 countries to participate in the study not knowing the cultural leaning of a given country is hectic. To overcome this challenge a researcher needs to find leads of indigenous people who have insight about cultural demands so as to guide where necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

List of references

BOONGHEE, Y, DONTHU, N, & LENARTOWICZ, T 2011, ‘Measuring Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of Cultural Values at the Individual Level: Development and Validation of CVSCALE’, Journal Of International Consumer Marketing, 23, 3/4, pp. 193-210, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 18 January 2018.

KWANGWON, S, & SUKYOUNG, R 2017, ‘Analysis of JavaScript Programs: Challenges and Research Trends’, ACM Computing Surveys, 50, 4, pp. 59:1-59:34, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 18 January 2018.

RIPBERGER, J, SONG, G, NOWLIN, M, JONES, M, & JENKINS-SMITH, H 2012, ‘Reconsidering the Relationship Between Cultural Theory, Political Ideology, and Political Knowledge Reconsidering the Relationship Between Cultural Theory, Political Ideology, and Political Knowledge’, Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 93, 3, pp. 713-731, Professional Development Collection, EBSCOhost, viewed 18 January 2018.

SMITH, C 2006, ‘Multiple Cultures, Multiple Intelligences: Applying Cognitive Theory to Usability of Digital Libraries’, Libri: International Journal Of Libraries & Information Services, 56, 4, pp. 227-238, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, EBSCOhost, viewed 18 January 2018.

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT

 

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Sustainable Tourism Management

The tourism sector is one of the most important segments of the economy. It contributes significantly to the revenues collected by the government every year. However, the most important aspect in the tourism industry regards the individual investors who provide various goods and services. Their actions affect the welfare of the society, the environment and the economy as a whole. An example of a possible strategic action concerns social responsive to the needs of the society. Such a move affects not only the managerial activities of a specific C.E.O but also influences the operations and profitability of the industry. However, through the use of a sound managerial decision-making model, it is easy to establish the actions and benefit from various social and economic gains.

The tourism sector, just like other segments in the corporate world exists to make profits. In this case, it is important to consider all the parties that are central to the success of industry, beginning with the customers (Légaré et al. 2011). The immediate society is part of the customer base and makes their expenditure decisions depending on the perspectives they have towards a given organization or a sector as a whole. In this case, other than providing the best qualities of goods and services, it is also vital to be socially responsive. While the move is not a requirement for profitability or the law, it has major long-term benefits to the tourism industry.  On the other hand, it is also essential to consider that actions of any organization influence the immediate society. Concerning the tourism sector, companies may be putting the community at risk especially while establishing animal parks to attract international visitors. Other possible adversities possible adversities posed by the tourism sector include threatening the culture of a local community and the introduction of certain vices. In this case, the C.E.O of a company in the tourism sector will be looking to contain such problems by giving back to the society.

Harrison’s decision-making framework is an ideal reference for actualizing the strategy at hand. The theory proposes methodical ways of building the required capacity and maximizing the possibility of success. One of the most important steps in establishing a major strategy involves identifying with various adversities, including complexity and uncertainty (Légaré et al. 2011). While it is difficult to fully meet the expectations of a community, being socially responsive has few risks. In fact, as earlier contemplated, companies must not give back to the clients. In this case, the CEOs will be simply to set certain targets and strive to achieve them. Some of the possible goals include increasing the number of employment positions, reducing environmental degradation and cultivating moral values. Secondly, the CEO must identify with critical decision-making disciplines, mostly targeting the psychological, statistical and technological.

Firstly, regarding the rollout of the new strategy, the CEO must strive to relate to the ideas of the communities they serve. Despite the fact that the company puts the interest of the society at heart, they must engage various individuals to enhance the success of the strategy. Some of the specific actions include conducting a service on a relevant population to discover the most detrimental needs. Secondly, the managers should consider identity with the relevant technologies at the heart of the success of the impending action. For instance, if the target is to reduce pollutions, then the CEO must invest in the relevant software. The same case applies with the means of communication with the members of the society, to increase the reach. Regarding the statistical part, it will be necessary to identify the extent of coverage of the idea, including the number of the beneficiaries and the approximate amount of resources required.

The final phases of a typical strategic decision-making process will also apply to the impending business in the tourism sector. One of the important individual strategies entails building a unique design that differs from other social responsiveness actions (Légaré et al. 2011). The inclusion of the public in the formulation of the strategy is a perfect way of enhancing the design of the plan. Secondly, it is essential to leverage the choices that reveal interests of the public, primarily by establishing interactive segments.  The implementation process will also reconcile continually seeking the views of the public regarding the project. The management will also be keen on how to handle various future eventualities. Some possible challenges include the inability of the business to sustain the various social needs and possible lack of corporation from the public.

It is seen that there are various strategic decisions about a CEO of a typical company in the tourism sector. The most critical consideration regards how the managers implement the multiple projects in line with the expectations of the various stakeholders. Regarding the project at hand, the CEO will have to consult the beneficiaries, who are mostly the members of the community where the company operates. A methodical approach ensures better chances of reaching a solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference List

Légaré, F., Stacey, D., Pouliot, S., Gauvin, F.P., Desroches, S., Kryworuchko, J., Dunn, S., Elwyn, G., Frosch, D., Gagnon, M.P. and Harrison, M.B., 2011. Interprofessionalism and shared decision-making in primary care: a stepwise approach towards a new model. Journal of interprofessional care25(1), pp.18-25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT

 

Name

 

 

 

Course

Professor’s Name

University

City (State)

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Tourism Management

The tourism sector is one of the most important segments of the economy. It contributes significantly to the revenues collected by the government every year. However, the most important aspect in the tourism industry regards the individual investors who provide various goods and services. Their actions affect the welfare of the society, the environment and the economy as a whole. An example of a possible strategic action concerns social responsive to the needs of the society. Such a move affects not only the managerial activities of a specific C.E.O but also influences the operations and profitability of the industry. However, through the use of a sound managerial decision-making model, it is easy to establish the actions and benefit from various social and economic gains.

The tourism sector, just like other segments in the corporate world exists to make profits. In this case, it is important to consider all the parties that are central to the success of industry, beginning with the customers (Légaré et al. 2011). The immediate society is part of the customer base and makes their expenditure decisions depending on the perspectives they have towards a given organization or a sector as a whole. In this case, other than providing the best qualities of goods and services, it is also vital to be socially responsive. While the move is not a requirement for profitability or the law, it has major long-term benefits to the tourism industry.  On the other hand, it is also essential to consider that actions of any organization influence the immediate society. Concerning the tourism sector, companies may be putting the community at risk especially while establishing animal parks to attract international visitors. Other possible adversities possible adversities posed by the tourism sector include threatening the culture of a local community and the introduction of certain vices. In this case, the C.E.O of a company in the tourism sector will be looking to contain such problems by giving back to the society.

Harrison’s decision-making framework is an ideal reference for actualizing the strategy at hand. The theory proposes methodical ways of building the required capacity and maximizing the possibility of success. One of the most important steps in establishing a major strategy involves identifying with various adversities, including complexity and uncertainty (Légaré et al. 2011). While it is difficult to fully meet the expectations of a community, being socially responsive has few risks. In fact, as earlier contemplated, companies must not give back to the clients. In this case, the CEOs will be simply to set certain targets and strive to achieve them. Some of the possible goals include increasing the number of employment positions, reducing environmental degradation and cultivating moral values. Secondly, the CEO must identify with critical decision-making disciplines, mostly targeting the psychological, statistical and technological.

Firstly, regarding the rollout of the new strategy, the CEO must strive to relate to the ideas of the communities they serve. Despite the fact that the company puts the interest of the society at heart, they must engage various individuals to enhance the success of the strategy. Some of the specific actions include conducting a service on a relevant population to discover the most detrimental needs. Secondly, the managers should consider identity with the relevant technologies at the heart of the success of the impending action. For instance, if the target is to reduce pollutions, then the CEO must invest in the relevant software. The same case applies with the means of communication with the members of the society, to increase the reach. Regarding the statistical part, it will be necessary to identify the extent of coverage of the idea, including the number of the beneficiaries and the approximate amount of resources required.

The final phases of a typical strategic decision-making process will also apply to the impending business in the tourism sector. One of the important individual strategies entails building a unique design that differs from other social responsiveness actions (Légaré et al. 2011). The inclusion of the public in the formulation of the strategy is a perfect way of enhancing the design of the plan. Secondly, it is essential to leverage the choices that reveal interests of the public, primarily by establishing interactive segments.  The implementation process will also reconcile continually seeking the views of the public regarding the project. The management will also be keen on how to handle various future eventualities. Some possible challenges include the inability of the business to sustain the various social needs and possible lack of corporation from the public.

It is seen that there are various strategic decisions about a CEO of a typical company in the tourism sector. The most critical consideration regards how the managers implement the multiple projects in line with the expectations of the various stakeholders. Regarding the project at hand, the CEO will have to consult the beneficiaries, who are mostly the members of the community where the company operates. A methodical approach ensures better chances of reaching a solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference List

Légaré, F., Stacey, D., Pouliot, S., Gauvin, F.P., Desroches, S., Kryworuchko, J., Dunn, S., Elwyn, G., Frosch, D., Gagnon, M.P. and Harrison, M.B., 2011. Interprofessionalism and shared decision-making in primary care: a stepwise approach towards a new model. Journal of interprofessional care25(1), pp.18-25.

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT IN HOTEL INDUSTRY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT IN HOTEL INDUSTRY

 

 

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Strategic Management in Hotel Industry

Introduction

The global hospitality industry continues to expand and grow despite unfavorable macro-environmental factors in some regions of the world. While the hotel industry remains the most visible and profitable sector of the hospitality industry, the proportion of multinational hotel chains expanding into the Middle East are more compared to other parts of the world (Telfer and Sharpley, 2015, p. 22). In particular, the United Arab Emirates is slowly emerging as a competitive destination for major hotel chains (Telfer and Sharpley, 2015, p. 22). Indeed, Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, has crafted a global image and reputation of luxurious living as demonstrated through extravagance in almost every aspect of life (Goeldner and Ritchie, B., 2006, p. 2). In the recent days, the City of Dubai has seen major architectural developments, and most of them are designed for the region’s hospitality and tourism industries. It is on this backdrop that Ajman Saray, a five-star luxury collection resort, seeks to position for greater growth and profitability. This paper presents a strategic plan for the hotel, highlighting major opportunities and threats the hotel faces in its macroeconomic environment.

Ajman Saray is a five-star luxury collection resort in the emirate of Dubai. The resort has over 200 suites and guest rooms featuring windows that stand floor to ceiling windows; this allows guests to have a fantastic view of the pool, gardens, and sea (Kenwood Travel, 2018, par. 2). The interiors of the hotel are characteristically luminous and luxurious thanks to an amazing color mix of azure blue, golden amber and rose pink. Ajman Saray is a family-friendly resort that offers a kid’s club with a complete outdoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor play areas. Other amenities include a water sports center that offers a variety of activities.

Industry Overview

The UAE hotel industry is one of the most competitive in the global hospitality and tourism industry. Today, the industry is gearing up for exponential growth accelerated by upcoming major events, specifically the World Expo 2020 scheduled to take place in Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup that will be hosted by Qatar (Alpen Capital, 2016, p. 2). In this respect, these two emirates, and the UAE, in general, are pumping huge investments to develop the local tourism and hospitality industry. Part of these investments includes the expansion of UAE airports’ capacity to accommodate the expected huge international arrivals for these global events. In summary, the future outlook for UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry is positive, both for local hotels and international hotel chains. Overall, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region, which comprises the oil-rich Gulf countries (the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia), recorded an estimated 53 million international tourists in 2015 (Alpen Capital, 2016, p. 2). This shows that the region had a CAGR of 8.3 percent from 2010 to 2015, a figure that is significantly higher than the global average of 3.9 percent (Alpen Capital, 2016, p. 3). Even though most of the tourists are local, arrivals from Russia, Asia, and Europe are also significant in terms of financial impact to the industry. Notably, these three international markets saw their share of GCC international arrivals grow by about 11.5 percent from 2010 to 2015 (Alpen Capital, 2016, p. 3). In 2015, Dubai was ranked the fourth most popular travel destination worldwide. Tourist arrivals in the emirate grew by over 12 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Macro-Environmental Factors Driving Growth

Economic: The apparent growth of UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry is based on environmental factors that, to a greater extent, support growth. Notably, the UAE has thriving meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) market segment that provides players in the hotel industry huge potential for growth and revenue generation (Abulibdeh and Zaidan, 2017, p. 152). Consequently, active development of hotel properties is another factor driving the global appeal of the UAE as a tourism and MICE destination (Peter and Anandkumar, 2014, p. 118). Overall, the UAE tourism and hospitality industry is expected to grow by approximately 7.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from about US$ 25.5 billion in 2015 to approximately US$ 37 billion in 2020 (Benchabane,  n.d., p. 3). The long-term future of the industry is pegged on the robust development hotels something that is evidenced by the on-going pipeline of hotel projects.

Technology: Increased technological advancements focused on enhancing hotel operations is another factor enhancing the appeal of the UAE tourism and hospitality industry.

Political:  The UAE government is actively bolstering tourism activities in the region by creating favorable conditions for both local hotels and international hotel chains. The evidence of government support is seen through the actions of city-based government agencies mandated to oversee the growth of tourism and hospitality facilities. For example, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is on the forefront of packaging the city as a preferred destination for hoteling investments. Specifically, the DTCM is encouraging private sector investments in the city’s tourism and hospitality industry, building new tourist attractions, expanding airport capacity, and increasing promotion campaigns, both locally and specific overseas markets (Benchabane, n.d., p. 3). What is more, the UAE, and Dubai specifically, has actively been forging bilateral relations with other governments, including China and Russia, two of the largest sources of tourists arriving in the UAE. The continued reform of visa policies is another factor driving international arrivals in the UAE (Benchabane, n.d., p. 4). This is expected to boost the arrival of tourists and visitors for the two major events- World Expo 2022 and 2018 FIFA World Cup- as well as religious pilgrims to the region.

Sociocultural: The Middle East is known as a popular destination for religious tourism. Saudi Arabia, in particular, stands out as an important destination for Muslims intent on making the all-important pilgrimage to Mecca. In 2015, Saudi Arabia accounted for almost 70 percent of international tourists in the GCC block (Benchabane, n.d., p. 5). In the recent years, however, Saudi Arabia has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of pilgrims arriving in the country. Indeed, this provides a major opportunity for hotels in Dubai and the other emirates of the UAE. What is more, the growing global reputation of Dubai and the other emirates as centers of pleasure (shopping) and architectural innovation is attracting people from all over the world to witness this marvel. Indeed, World Expo 2020 entrenches Dubai as the global capital of shopping and exhibitions.

Critical Success Factors for Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort

Given the above macro-environmental factors and opportunities and potential threats confronting tourism and hospitality players in the UAE, it is clear that Ajman Saray should adopt a strategy for growth and profitability. This strategy should involve exploiting opportunities in the market/industry and avoiding the potential threats or converting them into opportunities.

Major Opportunities

For players in the UAE tourism and hospitality industry, the GCC region offers major opportunities for growth. Firstly, the continued facilitation of visa policies will see the number of international visitors arriving in Dubai, the UAE, and the entire GCC region grow tremendously. This reality provides a major opportunity for hotels in Dubai and the UAE to expand their bed capacity in anticipation of huge international tourists. Secondly, the players in the hotel industry have an opportunity to work closely with the UAE government and city authorities, such as the DTCM, to create a better tourism and hospitality environment. Considering the already existing government goodwill towards the sector, players in the industry can proactively inform the establishment of intelligent tax reforms that will foster private sector investments. Indeed, private sector investments in the industry would not only guarantee a competitive environment but a boost in tourism infrastructure for the coming 10 to 15 years (Benchabane, n.d., p. 2). What is more, with government support through reforms and a favorable tax regime, hotels can recruit and train the right people with the right skills to meet this future demand.

Thirdly, players in the industry have an opportunity to undertake strategic initiatives focused on the long-term sustainability of their operations. Indeed, players in the industry have a profit-oriented duty to safeguard the environment and ensure that the growth of the sector is both responsibly and sustainably managed. Fourthly, the expected market changes owing to significant investments towards Dubai Parks, Expo 2020, and the 2022 World Cup provide an immense opportunity for hotels in the UAE to enhance their operational capacity. There is no denying that these events and investments will see robust growth in international arrivals in the UAE and its emirates. Fifthly, despite hard economic times occasioned by global economic crises and fluctuating oil prices, travel and tourism spending in the UAE stood at US$ 34 billion in 2015. This was a reflection of 8.5 percent annual growth in leisure spending from 2010. What is more, the expected expansion of airport capacity in anticipation of international arrivals for the upcoming global events is another opportunity for the capacity boost for hotels in the UAE. So is the continued investment in theme parks and other attractions.

Another opportunity for hotels in the UAE is based on research findings that show government spending in the tourism and hospitality industry in the Middle East is set to grow by almost 3.7 percent every year from 2016 to 2026. At the same time, capital investments in the sector is predicted to grow by 5.5 percent over the same period.

Potential Threats

The UAE tourism and hospitality industry face multifaceted challenges and threats that require careful navigation by players in the industry. Firstly, the 2007-2008 and periodic slumps in oil prices significantly undermine spending, particularly on luxurious commodities, including travel for leisure. In the period 2010-2015, for example, spending by tourists in the GCC region, except in the UAE, fell by about 4.7 percent on a year-to-year basis even though leisure spending in the same period reported marginal growth. Secondly, the appreciation of the US dollar has made spending by international tourists, particularly from Asia, Russia, and Europe, a bit expensive in the GCC region. It is important to note that most currencies in the GCC are pegged on the US dollar. This is evidenced by the drop in the number of tourists arriving in the UAE from Russia beginning the second half of 2014.

Thirdly, the onset of political unrest and misunderstanding is another major threat to UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry. For example, the political crisis in Bahrain in 2011 and the crisis pitting Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia are a threat to the hotel industry in the entire GCC region. Notably, the onset of Bahrain crisis in 2011 saw international tourist arrivals slump by over 40 percent in the region. Fourthly, there is intense competition in the UAE tourism and hospitality industry. The apparent governmental goodwill in the industry has facilitated an environment where both local hotels and international hotel chains fight for recognition and profits. Some of the globally renowned hotel chains in the UAE include Marriott International, Accor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and InterContinental Hotels Group. JW Marriott, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn are some of the five-star hotels operating in the UAE. Moreover, major international and local hotel operators have a combined pipeline of over 200 hospitality projects in the GCC; about 50 percent of them are in the UAE14. Specifically, Accor and Starwood Hotels & Resorts have over 27 and 37 hotel properties, respectively.

Evaluation of Success Factors- Key Growth Drivers

An analysis of the macro-environmental forces impacting the tourism and hospitality industry in the UAE as well as the possible opportunities and potential threats for industry players it is clear that Ajman Saray has a positive outlook in Dubai. Firstly, the upcoming global events- the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and 2024 FIFA World Cup in Qatar- are bound to accelerate the growth in the number of international tourist arrivals in the GCC region. For the World Expo 2020, Dubai anticipates over 25 million international arrivals from over 180 countries. On its part, Qatar anticipates close to one million international arrivals for the 2024 FIFA World Cup. Prior to this global mega sports event, the country will also host World Championships in Athletics in 2019. As a city famed for its architectural beauty and extravagance shopping experience, Dubai will definitely attract a substantial percentage of these arrivals. In this respect, Ajman Saray should invest heavily in expanding its operational capacity, especially bed capacity.

Secondly, by expanding its operational capacity, Ajman Saray benefit from religious tourism. As it stands today, Muslim pilgrims are exerting immense pressure on the hotel industry in Saudi Arabia. Through proper international promotion campaigns, the Ajman Saray can provide international pilgrims visiting Mecca an accommodation option. Thirdly, having being named as the fourth most attractive destination globally, Dubai is set to attract international leisure and business travelers. Even though the city has seen major arrivals from Russia, some parts of Asia, and some parts of Europe, this global ranking will see tourists from other regions of the world visit the city. This is also an opportunity that Ajman Saray should grab and expand its operational capacity. Fourthly, the growing MICE segment in the UAE provides an immense growth opportunity for Ajman Saray. As a five-star luxury collection resort, the hotel is strategically positioned in the UAE’s MICE market. The trend towards conference and exhibition tourism is unstoppable, and the only way to benefit from it is by expanding operational capacity. In this sense, Ajman Saray should introduce airport transfers in their accommodation packages to create competitive advantages.

Another success driver for Ajman Saray in the UAE tourism and hospitality industry is the continued government support for the industry. Notably, the UAE and the Qatar governments are heavily pumping funds into developing infrastructure, encouraging private sector investments, and running extensive international promotion campaigns in anticipation of the upcoming global events. In Dubai, these initiatives are captured in Tourism Vision 2020 strategy. By 2020, the emirate targets to attract 20 million international visitors on a year-to-year basis. Overall, countries in the GCC region are expanding the operational capacity of their airports and also developing infrastructure to boost visitor traffic to the region. For example, ranked as one of the world’s busiest airport, Dubai International Airport (DIA) served approximately 80 million passengers in 2015. The airport is expected to handle 90 million passengers in 2018 and 120 million passengers per year by 2023. The on-going expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central is expected to increase its capacity to handle 120 million passengers per year, thus reducing pressure at DIA. This is a major incentive for Ajman Saray to increase its operational capacity.

Most importantly for Ajman Saray, the emirate of Dubai is planning to add nearly 57,000 rooms in hotels and serviced apartments in the period 2015-2020 compared to Saudi Arabia’s on-going pipeline of over 48,000 rooms. This strategic plan by the emirate of Dubai presents Ajman Saray with an opportunity to boost its operational capacity. The on-going investment in theme parks all over the UAE is another opportunity for the hotel to expand its capacity. These include IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts. The latter incorporates zones, including Lapita, Motiongate, Legoland, Bollywood Parks, and Riverland. In 2017, Dubai Parks and Resorts attracted approximately six million visitors. Other key attraction sites in the UAE include Al Mamzar Beachfront, Bluewaters Island, Dubai Safari Park, MBR City, Pearl of Dubai, Museum of the Future, Aladdin City, Dubai Water Canal, and, Dubai Frame. In Abu Dhabi, the expansion of Ferrari World also provides an opportunity for Ajman Saray for those willing to engage in shopping.

Further, beginning 2014, the Dubai emirate has enhanced its tourism and hospitality market through calculated moves aimed at diversifying revenue sources. For example, the city has introduced a tax reprieve, a shorter approval time for constructions, and a grant of land plots to public sector investors. This is aimed at encouraging the development of mid-range to five-star hotels in the city. Apparently, Ajman Saray should exploit this opportunity to expand operations, maybe build another resort in the city.

Creating Competitive Advantage

Obviously, Ajman Saray faces intense competition not only in the GCC region and the UAE as a whole but also in its locality, the emirate of Dubai. Even though Ajman Saray has positioned itself as a five-star luxurious collection resort, it faces incredible competition from international chains with a presence in the UAE, such as Marriott International, Accor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and InterContinental Hotels Group. Accor and Starwood Hotels & Resorts have over 27 and 37 hotel properties, respectively in the UAE. To enhance its competitiveness, therefore, Ajman Saray must adopt winning competitive approaches.

Service Diversification

By definition, service diversification involves creating a multifaceted business operation that offers services for different market segments or target markets (Duman and Kozak, 2010, p. 89). At the moment, Ajman Saray offers the following services and facilities: Sauna, Children’s pool, Kid’s club, Spa (with beauty salon), Swimming pool, Private beach, Fitness center, Squash court, Concierge, Valet service, Laundry, Dry cleaning service, and Luggage storage. However, to meet the demands of a global tourist population with diverse needs, stemming from leisure, business, and religious travel, the hotel must diversify in terms of service offerings. While these products serve a global audience, there is a visible lack of specification in terms of target market.

One of the growth drivers in the UAE tourism and hospitality industry is religious tourism, where the entire GCC region subscribes to the Islamic faith. Indeed, this is the basis of the globally famous annual pilgrimage by Muslims to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. As part of its growth strategy, Ajman Saray is supposed to offer these pilgrims an accommodation option to relieve the Saudi Arabia hotel industry the stress that usually accompanies these pilgrimages. Therefore, in diversifying its service offering, the hotel should specifically target Muslims. This will not only position Ajman Saray as an alternative accommodation center but also a responsive hotel that minds about the religious convictions of the Muslim international business or leisure tourist. Considering that Dubai is also a Muslim-populated emirate, the hotel will also attract the local population by virtue of its sensitivity to the Islamic faith.

In this competitive strategy, Ajman Saray should establish an arm that specifically caters to Muslims during sensitive religious obligations, such as Ramadan and others. Literature defines Islamic tourism as a new ethical dimension in global tourism (Al-Hamarneh, 2008, p. 4). In essence, Islamic tourism emphasizes on values that are regarded as highest epitomes of morality and decency (Zaidan, 2016, p. 110). Additionally, it encompasses respect for local beliefs and traditions, including the care for the natural environment (Al-Hamarneh, 2008, p. 4). In a way, Islamic tourism offers a new outlook on life and society, restoring back critical value systems that have eroded as a result of contemporary consumerism (Stephenson, Russell, and Edgar, 2010, p. 12). It also emphasizes the harmonious interaction of different cultures and civilizations. For Muslims travel is purposeful; it focuses on health (relaxation), the experience of other cultures, education (teaching, learning, or information sharing), and/or business (Al-Hamarneh, 2008, p. 4; Morakabati, 2013, p. 378).

Ordinarily, evaluation of service value is one of the critical aspects that inform consumer decision making process in the global tourism and hospitality industry. Research on consumer behavior agrees that consumers’ perceptions of value influence their satisfaction levels and future behavioral (purchase) intentions (Rauch, 2015, par, 3). In making the evaluating value of a service, consumers do comparisons between what they receive in terms of benefits and what they give up in terms of monetary and nonmonetary value (Zeithaml, 1988, p. 4). In the tourism and hospitality industry, this comparison takes a longer time, and involves high costs, due to the aspect of travel (Rauch, 2015, par, 4). In this sense, therefore, tourists spend considerable time in evaluating their experiences and demand high value for future consideration.

Notably, high-value tourism is characterized by emotionally satisfying, high-quality, reasonably-priced services that require less physical and psychological exhaustion. Reference to pre-purchase expectations is one of the aspects that influence consumer satisfaction and value evaluation and by extension repeat purchase. Fundamentally, consumers form their expectations with motivations and, as such, expect to experience benefits that align with their initial motivations (Rauch, 2015, par, 4). In Islamic tourism, however, religious requirements inform a completely different process in value evaluation. The shariah principles require Muslims to behave in certain prescribed ways when engaging in travel. For example, they are prohibited from consuming pork, gambling, engaging in adultery, consuming alcohol, and dressing provocatively (Battour and Ismail, 2016, p. 151; Kovjanić, 2014, p. 36; Zamani-Farahani and Henderson, 2010, p. 80). Additionally, Muslims are mandated under the Shariah principles to pray five times a day in clean environments and fast in the month of Ramadan. Islamic teachings also proscribe Muslims from engaging in excessive consumption and indulgence in pleasure (Hassan, 2008, p. 3). In view of the sharia principles, therefore, tourism for Muslims requires the facilitation of permissible/acceptable- halal- goods, services and environments.

On the basis of Halal tourism, Ajman Saray should diversify in service offerings to exploit the opportunity in Islamic tourism in the UAE and the wider GCC region. In observance of the halal concept, the hotel should provide amenities that are free of alcoholic drinks, but which have secluded rooms for prayers (Kalesar, 2010, p. 106). Additionally, the amenities should separate swimming pool and beach facilities for men and women and require and project-specific dressing code in certain areas (Henderson, 2008, p. 138). Moreover, opposite gender children of six years and above should not be allowed to share swimming facilities, and photography in swimming areas should be completely banned. The hotel, however, should use the amenity to promote and provide social programs in Islamic content.

Indeed, service diversification is good for Ajman Saray owing to the sociocultural aspect of the local tourism and hospitality, particularly the Muslim market segment. However, undertaking this diversification with a focus on halal tourism might make the hotel miss out on capturing the growing non-Muslim market segment driven my MICE tourism and leisure and business tourism. This means that for the hotel to address both segments of the market, it must invest heavily, maybe even establish a new venture that specifically targets the Muslim market. While this is strategic, it might not be financially feasible for the hotel. What is more, diversifying into halal tourism might expose the hotel to new dining requirements and new marketing dynamics that might require hiring a new set of professionals. Again, this comes with financial and service implications that might expose Ajman Saray to unexpected risks.

International Marketing Campaigns

As already observed, governments in the GCC region have been proactive in positioning the region for the upcoming global events. Specifically the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2024 FIFA World Cup and World Championships in Athletics in 2019 both in Qatar, these global events are expected to draw millions of international tourists into the UAE, Qatar, and the entire GCC region. It is on this respect that Ajman Saray should design and implement an international marketing campaign to position itself as the preferred spot for dining and accommodation. Going by the statistics available, the World Expo 2020 is expected to draw over 20 million people while the 2024 FIFA World Cup will see over one million soccer fans visit the region. It is undeniable that these times will be of great business value to the UAE tourism and hospitality industry; however, to gain maximum value Ajman Saray must market itself beforehand internationally.

As literature puts it, value comparison in the tourism and hospitality industry is costly both with respect to money and time and this is all because of the aspect of travel. This means that most tourists expect their experiences to meet the expectations and motivations they had before purchasing the travel package. In this light, by initiating an international marketing campaign, Ajman Saray will proactively be engaging international travelers, shaping their expectations and motivations. Besides the global events, the UAE and the GCC regions is currently seeing a host of tourism and hospitality projects, especially theme parks, which are expected to enhance the attractiveness of the region to the international community. Among these crowd pullers are IMG, Worlds of Adventure, and Dubai Parks and Resorts; in 2017, Dubai Parks attracted over six million visitors. Definitely, a majority of these visitors are local; however, with the expected global events, these parks will also see an international population that will need dining and accommodation. This is another opportunity for Ajman Saray to initiate international promotions in Asia, Europe, Russia, and the Americas.

Another aspect of the UAE tourism and hospitality industry is the growing trend in MICE tourism. In the last one decade, the UAE, especially the emirate of Dubai, has grown in reputation as a preferred MICE destination. Indeed, this image is expected to grow even more owing to the ongoing governmental support of the tourism and hospitality industry. Specifically, the continued investment in the expansion of airport capacity, global promotional campaigns, and establishment of friendly tax regimes are aimed at positioning the GCC region as a preferred destination for MICE tourism. In light of these on-going developments, Ajman Saray should complement the efforts of the UAE government, including DTCM, by initiating an international marketing of its own across Europe, Asia, Russia, Latin America, and the United States. Connecting both the east and the west, Dubai is strategically positioned for MICE tourism, meaning that Ajman Saray and its competitors are bound to reap big going into the future.

Increased competition, particularly form international hotel chains is another aspect of UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry that Ajman Saray must take into account. Even though these multinational hotel chains, including Marriott International, Accor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and InterContinental Hotels Group, have a global reputation of quality and excellent service, they might not be strategic in addressing the sociocultural need of Islamic tourism. Currently, Accor and Starwood Hotels & Resorts have over 27 and 37 hotel properties, respectively, in the UAE. The only way for Ajman Saray to beat this formidable competition is to mount aggressive marketing campaigns overseas targeted at Muslims who make visits to the GCC region mostly for religious purposes. As literature on halal tourism indicates, hotels operating in the Middle East must observe central tenets of the Shariah principles if they are to capture the Muslim segment of international tourism. Considering that Muslims visit the holy land, Mecca in Saudi Arabia, every year for religious obligation, Ajman Saray should mount an aggressive marketing campaign in the Muslim world in places like Indonesia that lie outside the GCC region but are predominantly Muslim populated. This will give the hotel an upper hand above its competitors in offering dining and accommodation services to pilgrims visiting the region out of religious duty.

Even though this competitive approach is strategic, it comes with potential risks for Ajman Saray. Firstly, the hotel will have to invest heavily in international marketing, which might expose the hotel to financial difficulties. Funding an international marketing campaign is no easy task and might require contracting an internationally reputed marketing firm. Such firms do not come cheap. Again, there is no telling whether some of these events will take place as scheduled owing to the rampant security issues in the region, including political standoffs within and among countries.

Conclusion

There is no denying the fact that the global tourism and hospitality industry remains competitive despite unstable macro-environmental forces. Today, the UAE is among the most visited regions owing to its growing global reputation for architectural innovation, shopping escapades, and luxurious living. Indeed, the construction of megastructures, such as Burj Khalifa, has driven this global image and reputation. What is more, the ongoing construction of theme parks and hotel projects is expected to drive international arrivals in the region compared to any other part of the world. It is in this context that Ajman Saray must strategically position itself for growth and profitability. Currently, the governments in the GCC region, including the UAE government, are facilitating the tourism and hospitality industry through friendly measures. In Dubai, for example, the ongoing expansion of Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to enhance the number of international arrivals in the emirate. Through the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the government of Dubai is creating a conducive environment for investment in the local tourism and hospitality industry. Measures such as giving land grants to private sector players, reducing the time taken to evaluate and permit construction projects, and establishing a relaxed tax regime are meant to see the number of companies investing in the local tourism and hospitality industry grow in number. Most importantly, the UAE and Qatar and expected to hold three global events (World Expo 2020, 2024 FIFA World Cup. and 2019 World Championships in Athletics) with the capacity to draw millions of international tourists to the region.

In such a context, Ajman Saray has no choice but to position itself strategically above its competitors. Even though the international hotel chains with a presence in the region are globally famous for quality and excellent service, they might not be strategically positioned to address the sociocultural needs of the local culture. In this respect, Ajman Saray should diversify its service offering to incorporate halal tourism; this will see the hotel capture the Muslim segment of international tourism in the GCC region. Additionally, owing to the upcoming global events and the increasing significance of the region as a MICE destination, not forgetting the formidable competition from the international hotel chains, Ajman Saray should mount an aggressive international marketing campaign. Through these two competitive initiatives, the hotel is bound to reap big in terms of value in Dubai, the UAE, and the entire GCC region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Bibliography

Abulibdeh, A. and Zaidan, E., 2017. Empirical analysis of the cross-cultural information searching and travel behavior of business travelers: A case study of MICE travelers to Qatar in the Middle East. Applied Geography85, pp.152-162.

Al-Hamarneh, A. (2008). Islamic tourism: A long-term strategy of tourist industries in the Arab world after 9/11. Manchester, UK: Centre for Research on the Arab World.

Alpen Capital, 2016. GCC Hospitality Industry. [PDF]. Available from <http://argaamplus.s3.amazonaws.com/6c149822-0ee8-4029-b8dc-66f3d04c59fe.pdf>%5BAccessed on 21 January 2018]

Battour, M. and Ismail, M.N., 2016. Halal tourism: Concepts, practices, challenges and future. Tourism Management Perspectives19, pp.150-154.

Benchabane, Y., n.d. The Key Factors of a Sustainable and Successful Tourism Sector: The Case of Dubai. [PDF]. Available from <https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/35583803/Dubai_Tourism_2014.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1516519518&Signature=MX0iKa5Gxl4pmvfHJAKlbCM1y0E%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DThe_Key_Factors_of_a_Sustainable_and_Suc.pdf>%5BAccessed on 21 January 2018]

Duman, T., and Kozak, M., 2010. The Turkish tourism product: Differentiation and competitiveness. Anatolia21(1), 89-106.

Goeldner C. and Ritchie, B., 2006. Tourism: principles, practices, philosophies, 10th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Hassan, A.R., 2008. Islamic tourism: A matter of faith. Islamic Tourism33(2), 1-6.

Henderson, J.C., 2008. Representations of Islam in official tourism promotion. Tourism Culture & Communication8(3), 135-145.

Henderson, J. C. (2009). Islamic tourism reviewed. Tourism Recreation Research34(2), 207-211.

Kalesar, M.I., 2010. Developing Arab‐Islamic Tourism in the Middle East: An Economic Benefit or a Cultural Seclusion. International Politics3(5), 105-136.

Kenwood Travel, 2018. Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort. [Online]. Available from <https://www.kenwoodtravel.co.uk/middle-east/ajman/ajman-saray,-a-luxury-collection-resort-hotel/&gt; [Accessed on 21 January 2018]

Kovjanić, G., 2014. Islamic tourism as a factor of the Middle East regional development. Turizam18(1), pp.33-43.

Morakabati, Y., 2013. Tourism in the Middle East: conflicts, crises and economic diversification, some critical issues. International Journal of Tourism Research15(4), pp.375-387.

Peter, S. and Anandkumar, V., 2014. Dubai shopping festival: Tourists’ nationality and travel motives. International Journal of Event and Festival Management5(2), pp.116-131.

Rauch, R.A., 2015. Competitive Strategy for the Hospitality Industry. [Online]. Available from <https://www.4hoteliers.com/features/article/8857&gt; [Accessed on 21 January 2018]

Stephenson, M.L., Russell, K.A. and Edgar, D., 2010. Islamic hospitality in the UAE: indigenization of products and human capital. Journal of Islamic Marketing1(1), pp.9-24.

Telfer, D.J. and Sharpley, R., 2015. Tourism and development in the developing world. New York, NY: Routledge.

Zaidan, E., 2016. The impact of cultural distance on local resident’s perception of tourism development: The case of Dubai in UAE. Turizam: međunarodni znanstveno-stručni časopis64(1), pp.109-126.

Zamani‐Farahani, H., & Henderson, J. C., 2010. Islamic tourism and managing tourism development in Islamic societies: the cases of Iran and Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Tourism Research12(1), 79-89.

Zeithaml, V. A., 1988. Consumer perceptions of price, quality, and value: a means-end model and synthesis of evidence. The Journal of Marketing, 52, 2-22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Needs and Health Screening

Community Needs and Health Screening

Introduction

Approximately, 29.1 million Americans have type 2 diabetes despite the lifestyle modification emphasis from various healthcare institutions.  Besides, it is the seventh leading cause of death in developed nations because of complications like kidney failure, stroke and heart diseases.  The economic load of type 2 diabetes was $ 245 billion and $ 69 billion for both direct and indirect medication respectively (Gregory & Nordheim, 2016). The paper focuses on community needs and health screening of African American in Detroit, Michigan. Precisely, it discusses screening purpose, population, screening activity, conceptual model, location and outcomes.

Screening Purpose

There are increased efforts to address the difference in diabetes rates among ethnic minorities in the U.S.  In Michigan, the prevalence of diabetes is higher than other states. Furthermore, diabetes is significantly highest in African Americans in the region compared to other races (Sacks & Coresh, 2014). The aim of the screening was the identification of characteristics connected to abnormal blood glucose among African Americans.

Population

The researchers collected data from African Americans that lacked previous diabetes diagnosis at a mobile screening event in Michigan notably, Detroit. The received data encompassed gender, age, race, weight, self-reported height, blood pressure, random capillary blood glucose and total diabetes risk score.

Screening Activity

The first step of the screening was the use of pre-existing data where it started with the available epidemiological data to understand issues of Type II diabetes and local trends. The second step entailed series of interviews with key persons in the Detroit community. They were identified by Flint Health Coalition Diabetes Task Force, and the prioritized individuals were African Americans that participated social or medical services associated with diabetes management and prevention.  The third activity entailed a series of focus groups which were majorly social services and health care agencies in Detroit.  The function of the focus group was to screen and identify factors that contributed to increased diabetes cases among African Americans in the region.  The fourth step consisted of the development and distribution of surveys that were administered to the sampled population.  Major areas of concern included diabetes knowledge and risks, left efficacy associated with diabetes prevention, for example, physical activity, behaviours,  program logistics and demographics (Feathers & Wisdom, 2015).

It also identified individuals at high risk of diabetes without undertaking tests that are hard to perform.  Therefore, the approaches entailed the combination of questionnaires and capillary glycosylated haemoglobin test.  The strategy included the completion of reliable and validated 7-item diabetes risk assessment survey.  The second method was the collection whole blood drops from fingers of the sampled African Americans to screen glycosylated haemoglobin.

Conceptual Model

The conceptual approach utilized in the type II diabetes screening was called PEN-3 model, which aimed at situating culture at the centre of the determining health behaviour in connection with disease prevention and health promotion.  The PEN 3 model was used as health promotion framework in African nations. However, the increase in the emphasis on cultural relevance and community-based intervention stimulated its application in the United States.  The focus on cultural influence as well as the integration of cultural experiences and beliefs along with culturally sensitives messages were effective strategies to address health issues like type II diabetes among minority populations.  The model is different from traditional health promotion frameworks because it addresses type II diabetes health issues in three dimensions (Heuman & Wilkinson, 2013).

Location and Population

The researched focused on Detroit which is a populous city in Michigan and it is situated in the United States and Canada border.  The municipality estimated a population of  1.3 million in the region in 2012 making it the 23rdlargest city in the US.  In 2014, Detroit Metropolitan had African American population of approximately 961,871 (Lorentz & Le Bihan, 2015). That was about 70,000 lesser African Americans compared to 2000 when the population of the Blacks was beyond 1 million.  Black Detroit increased as a result of Great Black Migration from Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia as well as Kentucky. That heightened the blacks population from around 6,000 in 1910 to 120,000 in 1930.  In 2010, about 2863 blacks in Detroit were hospitalized due to diabetes. Furthermore, 741 types II diabetes in the region was related to stroke while 224 were connected to cardiovascular disease (Lorentz & Le Bihan, 2015).

Cost

Items US Dollars
Screening questionnaires 80
Ac1 testing Kits 75
Syringe 65
Cotton 45
needles 63
Travel Allowance 100
Total 428

 

Outcome

The result indicated that there was a gap between lifestyle behaviour, overweight and obesity status.  For instance, 71% of undiagnosed high-risk persons were obese in regards to self-reported BMI ranking. Females were at increased risk compared to males due to high BMI and gestational diabetes. The knowledge on Type II diabetes among African American in Detroit was based on personal and family experiences as opposed to professional training.  They defined diabetes regarding sugar and had limited awareness of cumbersome disease process. Therefore, they needed nutritional and food preparation skills.  The population had a sense of denial because they most individuals were reluctant to accept that they were at risk of the disease.  They also did not take care of risk factors or preventive strategies like weight management, and co-morbidities control.  Besides, family history was a strong influence on beliefs and attitude, especially about perceived risks.  Disease understanding was majorly associated with observation of family members experiences with Type II diabetes and other health consequences.  The family members and friends support concerning the relevance of healthy behaviours like diet and exercise was the key factor that helped in the prevention of diabetes.

Summary

Type II diabetes was a fundamental health concern among African Americans in Detroit, Michigan.  Key issues identified was lack of accurate knowledge concerning diabetes risks and prevention.  On an individual basis, education of the community members regarding type II diabetes prevention as well as health promotion is vital.  There is also the need for the recognition of the importance of cultural competency in the delivery and access to health services.  The reason is that it plays a unique role in the interventions designed for the elimination of Type II diabetes prevalence in African American communities. In conclusion, the use of community-based participatory strategy in connection to the PEN-3 model in the screening of Type II diabetes among African American population in Detroit is a valuable approach.  The utilization of population of interest in the solution to diabetes problems in Michigan offered an opportunity for researchers to learn from community and verify requirements of African American population the U.S to curb diabetes and other health issues.

 

 

 

 

References

Feathers, F.& Wisdom, K. (2015). Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health   (REACH) Detroit partnership: improving diabetes-related outcomes among African    American and Latino adults. American journal of public health95(9), 1552-1560.

Gregory, P. C., & Nordheim, U. (2016). CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonists for treatment        of obesity and prevention of comorbid metabolic disorders. Journal of medicinal   chemistry49(14), 4008-4016

Heuman, A. & Wilkinson, K. (2013). African American populations at risk in developing diabetes: sociocultural and familial challenges in promoting a healthy diet. Health          communication28(3), 260-274.

Lorentz, N., & Le Bihan, E. (2015). Life satisfaction, cardiovascular risk factors, unhealthy          behaviours and socioeconomic inequality, 5 years after coronary angiography. BMC            public health15(1), 668.

Sacks, D. B., & Coresh, J. (2014). Trends in prevalence and control of diabetes in the United        States, 1988–1994 and 1999–2010. Annals of internal medic

Privacy in The Digital Age

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Privacy in The Digital Age

Introduction

Nothing is challenging nowadays than the notion of privacy with today’s technological advancements. From CCTV surveillance to cybersecurity challenges, no one is leading a private life. Celebrities are followed by stalkers while CCTV surveillance will tell the café you had breakfast. Hyper-connectivity through social media: Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, use of global positioning systemby cybercriminals security agencies lead us to the million-dollar question, are our lives known by us and those we only trust? This paper will discuss the concept of privacy, how we can protect ourselves and the resources put in place to ensure privacy.

Social media sites are irresistible because of the lure by family members or friends. Reading, browsing, nosing, stalking and comparing is an impulsive and instinctive tendency. Internet scams and spam messages have become a common thing on social platforms and emails because of computer viruses and hacking. Staying online exposes an individual to cybercriminals who intimidate, embarrass and scam people in a bid to get what they want.Cybercriminals use the internet to scam people through social security numbers, credit cards or using some information from social sites for blackmail. Through surveillance, criminals have obtained information about many people. Hacking exposes people and businesses’ confidential information. The breaches compromise the privacy of the affected individuals. Therefore, we can say that no one is safe today asan individual’s privacy can be breached by cybercriminals who have information of their whereabouts.

To protect your privacy online, it is crucial to be aware of cybercriminals existence, the methods use and learn to navigate the internet cautiously by using secure websites like cookies enabled browsers (Miyazaki, 20). Protection can be through using unique passwords for personal accounts and devices, use of password managers like LastPass to store your passwords and generate new ones if you have difficulties memorizing your passwords, and using random passwords. When using services offered by Google, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, use a two-step verification to prevent third parties from accessing your accounts. Always update your software because updates enhance security protocols and prevent hackers from obtaining your information due to familiarity with loopholes in the initial software versions. Put more than 8-digit pins on your devices to prevent individuals from guessing the password when the gadgets accessed by people with malicious intentions. Enable full-disk encryption when a computer is switched off. In case your devices are stolen, encryption and passwords make it harder to access personal information minimizing identity theft cases (Miyazaki, 20). Encryption also ensures financial transactions are secure. Security suites like blocking malicious people and using MacAfee virus protection, Ad-aware, AVG and Internet Security and much more to protect computers against viruses, spyware and malware (Privacy Technical Assistance Center, 3). Businesses can use key-loggers, password protected routers, virtual protected networks and hiding personal information.

Privacy is essential in daily lives in many unconsidered ways. Technology offers solutions to privacy problems with antiviruses, firewalls and many other security features. After analyzing your online activities, install antivirus on devices to protect them from Trojans, worms, spyware and viruses. When the devices are protected, use virtually protected networks to complement the antivirus to prevent snoopers and hackers from accessing personal information. Citing Alessandro, John & Loewenstein (251), always follow security protocols to lock out cybercriminals from phishing and manipulating you to fulfil their interests. When shopping on online platforms or when making online payments, ensure the sites are secure and credit cards used are protected. Privacy Technical Assistance Center (7), resources to be used can be obtained in the form of or from network security systems mechanisms, perimeter security mechanisms, configuration management policy and personally identifiable information.

In conclusion, individual privacy is important, and it is imperative that it is not breached at all. People should live comfortably lives free of snoopers and other cybercriminals to who obtain information to extort, humiliate or intimidate some people or businesses. It is necessary to acknowledge cybercriminals exist, the methodologies they use and how to avoid cyber-attacks, phishing and any form of privacy infringement.

Works Cited

Alessandro, A., John, K., & Loewenstein, G. (2013). What is privacy worth? Journal of Legal Studies, 42(2):249-274.

Miyazaki, A. (2008). Online privacy and the disclosure of cookie use: effects on consumer trust and anticipated patronage. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 27(1):19-33.

Privacy Technical Assistance Center. (2010). Data security: top threats to data protection.