Competitive Advantage in Tourism and Hospitality O Essay

This essay has a total of 2302 words and 14 pages.

Competitive Advantage in Tourism and Hospitality Organizations





Introduction


Hospitality and tourism are closely related fields. These fields have grown together and
have assumed the form of well-established industries in many economies today. The
magnitude of these industries have grown so much that they contribute a significant
portion to the economic revenues of some counties such as the US, European countries like
Switzerland, France, Belgium and Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Maldives.
Therefore the importance of these industries must be recognized to avoid undermining them.



Following the realization of the worth of these industries, many organizations have
emerged on the local and global scenario that provide with tourism and hospitality
services to consumers, which are primarily tourists and travel / adventure enthusiasts.
With the bloom in the industry with various organizations rendering tourist and hospitable
services, there has been a remarkable change in operations standards. Each organization
must compete for a bigger share of consumers to maximize profits. The competition in the
industry highlights the importance of attaining a competitive advantage over other
organization functioning in the same industry. This means organizations must adopt fads
which will give them an edge over other organization rendering the same services.



Thus, efficient utilization of resources is of pinnacle importance for organizations
willing to invest in a competitive advantage. However attaining a competitive is not as
simple an activity as it would seem. There are several different types of resources
available to organizations which may be utilized to gain an edge over competitors while
others must be acquired through long term plans and strategies.



Broadly categorizing these resources leaves us with two variations: external and internal
resources. Whereas tourism and hospitability-related organizations are heavily dependant
upon shifts and adaptations in external factors and resources, the internal resources are
what ultimately determine the competitive advantage of these organizations. The
organizations must manage their internal resources most efficiently in order to meet the
challenges posed by the external operating conditions of these industries. Therefore it
can be suggested that the astute use of internal resources are what gives a firm sustained
competitive advantage.



Purpose Statement


This paper is a concise critical evaluation of the extent of sustained competitive
advantage a firm can attain with the astute use of internal resources. The paper will
present the thesis statement of the paper to outline the argument thought the paper,
followed by a literature review. The review of literature outlines the significance of the
topic, the various internal resources available to tourism / hospitality organization, the
efficient employment of these resources towards the goal of competitive advantage in light
of management theories. An analysis by the author follows the literature review to
critically analyze the extent of competitive advantage from an astute use of internal
resources.



Literature Review


The tourism and hospitality industries are operating in a global environment. The extent
of globalization introduces the organization working in the industry to compete beyond
borders, besides the competition faced from within the local market. Therefore
organizations need to be highly competitive to get hold of a greater share of consumers in
the global markets. However, tourism and hospitality industries are sensitive to global
fluctuations in demand and conditions (such as travel safety and seasonal shifts). Keeping
this under consideration, organizations need to strengthen the use of their internal
resources to solidify their operations in the fierce competition. This generates the need
for organization to realize the importance of efficiently utilizing their internal
resources towards organizational objectives.



Before we can indulge in an analysis of the extent of competitive advantage tourism and
hospitality organizations can get through smart utilization of internal resource, we must
first establish what these internal resources are. We will orientate from identification
of the internal resources of organizations towards the utilization of these resources by
organizations to gain competitive advantage.



There are abundant internal resources that are available to organization and can be
employed towards attaining competitive advantage in the tourism / hospitality industry.
However, these resources will be limited to the most common organizational internal
resources identified by the various literature reviewed in the course of writing the
specific paper. These internal sources are listed and concisely discussed in context to
how tourism / hospitable organizations employ these resources for getting competitive
advantage:



Information Technology


The use of integrated systems, networks and software have great importance in the tourism
industry today. Information technology is a powerful organizational (internal) resource
that many organizations have yet to unleash. Information technology fundamentally consists
of the mix of hardware, software working to aid the organizational objectives. The
communication link established between the businesses and consumers is also considered an
integral part of the information technological system (Latvia, 2002).



Riga Latvia (2002) in her review on tourism identifies the fact that tourism / hospitable
organizations employ IT at many dimensions of the business, and for many reasons. First of
all, IT helps in establishing a thorough, fast, convenient and an inexpensive
communication channel between the business and consumers. This means that businesses are
made more available to consumers using IT networks than those businesses that are not.
More availability and accessibility (from the introduction of the World Wide Web) give
tourists ease of approaching these organizations, giving such organizations a competitive
advantage over others. Further, the use of an IT backbone minimizes the time it takes for
businesses to respond to requests launch by tourists from anywhere around the globe, hence
showing conformance to globalization of the industry.



Training


Educating the existing employees of the organization is the premise of this resource.
Organizations steer safe from depending upon external resources for carrying out tourism /
hospitable activities if the staff of the organization is trained in the specific regard.
Training is one activity that can be carried out by the management to increase the
productivity and efficiency of the employees of the organization.



Chesser et al (1993) reviews the fact that tourism / hospitable organizations employ
training of the staff tactics after recognizing the staff as a valuable resource in
attaining competitive advantage. Training employees may be directed at making the staff
more consumer-oriented and well equipped to manage any complex business situation that may
arise during the course of the job. Anyhow, a better trained staff will also be able to
service the consumers better. This in turn leads to a higher degree of consumer
satisfaction, further, consumer loyalty. This is how organizations may use training to
attain competitive advantage.



Competent Staff


Similarly, Anderson et al (2003) note that training of new staff is different from
training of existing staff. The existing level of competency / skills of the employees are
another internal resource that can be / is exploited by organizations. Organizations
identify and employ the competency of employees within the business to get the maximum out
of the internal resources of the organization. The competency of a manager, for instance,
can be used to device a brilliant operating / marketing strategy for attaining completive
advantage in cost or market share of consumers.
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