Attraction areas range from the natural scenery, culture and history of a given place. The driving force that gets tourists to specific areas vary from one tourist to another. This is because different people have different tastes and perceptions on matters concerning the natural world, the artificial and the supernatural world. Tourism plays a very significant role to the economy of United States and therefore the tourist destinations have to be protected and new ones created so as to maximize the revenue from thee sector. In terms of employment opportunities this sector produces both direct and indirect jobs to about 7% state wide.
Tourism in the city of New York is a very large industry attracting around 44 million visitors both Americans and foreign. It therefore contributes a big portion of Americas economy in terms of revenue. All tourist activities in this city have been facilitated by the NYC & Company, which is the official visitor convention and bureau.
In New York there are a number of sites that attract over 40 million visitors every year both foreign and American.
The famous Empire state building, the tallest building in the world forms a major attraction in the city of NewYork and provides hotel facilities for all visitors.
The Broadway theatre is yet another destination and has captured the interest of millions of visitors. This is also a famous destination, which provides the best showcase theatre in the world thus attracting many visitors each year.
You cannot talk about tourism in America while leaving behind Washington Square Park, which features on top of the worlds most famous places. This place attracts foreigners and many Americans. This destination provides satisfaction to visitors in terms of the culture and even food. Visitors who have ever visited the destination tend to be interested in coming back repeatedly.
The Times Square and Rockefeller Center are known to be visited throughout the year by million of tourists. With the Rockefeller Center being a national symbol of American history and architectural modernization then everyone coming to Newyork has to pay a visit.
Rural America is a well-liked tourist destination. Basing on latest studies done, approximately to around two-thirds of grown ups its in the America, or 87 million individuals, have visited a rural destination within the past few years (Travel Industry Association of America, 2001a). Approximately nine out of all the trips taken were for leisure and recreation objectives. Generally, the travel industry is a very big business in the United States and contributes a lot to the economy both for local and foreign exchange.
The travel expenditures that are incurred within the U.S. summed to approximately $564 billion in 2000, therefore it enabled the travel and tourism industry to be the third in the category of large production in the whole Nation (after health sector and business services sector), and it contributed towards the total direct employment of more than 7.8 million (Travel Industry Association of America, ).
Tourism is associated with quite a number of potential benefits for rural areas for both the tourists and the local people (Frederick, 1992). Tourism gives people job opportunities and especially for non-metro communities particularly for those communities that have not seen development for some time. This is due to the fact that jobs in the tourism sector often do not need advanced skills and training, thus the local people can come in to work as workers in hospitality industry, waiters or clerks in retail outlets.
Tourism is a very important sector that can also not only provide business opportunities to local people , but it can play the role of marketing a region to prospective residents and firms, as todays tourist if impressed by the experience may come back later to retire or start a new business in the locality.
The culture of the local people is also an important destination for visitors who want to be informed. Restoration of local and prehistoric sites is important because it also attracts also attracts visitors from all over the world.
Heritage tourism in the broadest terms can be understood to mean leisure travel that has as its main objective the visitation and familiarization of places alongside activities that represent the past be it way of life or natural environment.
A prime issue concerning heritage tourism is the historical realism and long-term sustainability of the specific destination visited by the tourist.
For this type of tourism to succeed it require active local participation and this is fundamental to its successful heritage. Baldwins (1994) the study of a local heritage festival in northeastern Tennessee brings out a good image of how a successful heritage tourism plan that plan that demonstrated community involvement in a rural community that had not witnessed economic development. A different outlook of heritage tourism that is focus is provided by DeLysers (1995) article touching on ghost towns, which stresses that such town in the West could be having rich histories which should be can be attractive to impending tourists .
The second important type of rural tourism in rural areas is like an activity that is natural in outlook tourism/ecotourism (sometimes called recreation-based tourism), which means the means the visiting of natural phenomenon or areas for the purpose of enjoying beauty and the scenery, including plant life and animal wildlife. Nature-based tourism could be considered to be either passive, whereby visitors tend to be strictly keen observers of the natural world, or active (increasingly popular in recent years), where by the tourists take part in outdoor recreation activities. In this kind ¦
A third and very important type of tourism is agritourism, which can be referred to as the act of visiting a work farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness organization or firm with the aim of entertainment education, or active participation in the actions of the farm or operation.
This includes taking part in a expansive range of activities within the farm , including farmers markets, petting farms, roadside stands, and pick-your-own dealings ; charming in overnight farm or ranch stays and other farm associated trips and visiting agriculture-related festivities, museums, and other such related attractions related attractions.
Long-term patterns in consumer demand for tourism postulate that agritourism enterprises can help provide an important position market can help provide an important part the market for farmers throughout the Nation. Hilchey (1993b) also points out that three factors are often the keys to a successful a successful agritourism
Natural attractions in the southern part include forests, lakes, parks and other outdoor activities. Tourists come for having fun and to enjoy the warm and sunny climate of the region. Therefore there is a lot to be offered in this region. Tourists need the infrastructure to be developed in the south for instance the road network should be improved so as to facilitate easy access in this area.
There is also the need of developing hotel facilities for Tourist so as to offer food and accommodation to these important visitors. Tourists therefore need facilities such as rest spots, lodgings and restaurants for them to carryout their travels comfortably. Tourists also require their security to be affirmed in the region while they carry out their activities.
Agritourism is critical in helping farmers to survive in todays economy. There is ned for this sector to diversify by attracting visitors and incorporating elements of tourism in their farm operations.Agritourism basically combines agriculture with another existing industry called tourism. Diane Kuehn and others argue that agritourism works to expand existing businesses, create new festivals and farm markets, and tie this all together regionally to attract visitors.
For tourism to be successful in this region, regional planning and cooperation are very essential. A careful analysis and consideration of attractions in such regions can lead to enhanced success in marketing. When visitors come to these regions they desire to see real farm activities and so this often calls for additional safety, environmental concerns, adequate rest tops and other needed facilities for the visitors.
Cultural tourism can be described as the marketing of cultural heritage . Tourists normally want to see historic reenactments , ethnic communities , the native American experiences , Old west towns and many other things. They are very eager to experience real cultural activities so as to be able to learn and enhance their awareness. They therefore would like to have a glance at realistic things, which are accurately represented. A good example is a replica of a Swiss Alps village in the rural south, which in my opinion might not be a real and accurate depiction of rural Ozarks village plus the associate culture.
Ecotourism refers to a purposeful travel to the natural areas so as to be understand the cultural and natural history of the surrounding environment. This should be done while taking care not to tamper with the integrity of the ecosystem. Visitors come to experience the ecosystem while providing opportunities to enhance preservation and conservation of natural resources that are financially beneficial to the local communities living around the conserved areas.
This activity involves a small-scale travel with 10-to20 visitors around the areas of attraction. An example of an ecotourism is described in the Ecotourism Development Manual prepared by the Northwest Arkansas Resource Conservation and Development Council Northwest Arkansas is home to Ozark Ecotourism, a community-based ecotourism.
Newton County, Arkansas, offers tours including caving, hikes, Native American sites, rocks, nature, river trails, etc. Packaging, marketing, policies, and personnel training are all critical issues that must be addressed and are described in the manual. Outdoor tourism and recreation, the culture, history and ecology are all important to the visitors. The visits sometimes are repeated event by the tourists. (Theophile 1995)
Research in the tourism industry has revealed that there are some tourists who after enjoying certain real areas so much they decide to migrate to the specific areas after retirement. Some communities have made it an initiative to develop the silver lining because the retirees as just as valuable as tourists. The retires look for mild climate and lower costs of living, good housing at low costs, medical facilities, cultural and recreational facilities. For the old or seniors they want home based care and services for public transportation.
Some retirees seek for facilities like those along the coast of Florida. Others need to enjoy the distinct weather seasons and the changes of fall or spring may be another added advantage..Retires may also be seeking for a central location for easy access to other coasts.
Recent estimates depict that over 50 million U.S. travelers planned or booked trips using the Internet in 1999. This is a 54 percent increase over Internet use in 1998. Additional in order in the report prepared by the Travel Industry Association of America indicated 90 percent of travelers who utilized the Internet for travel plans or reservations expressed contentment.
Understanding the needs and wants of Tourists
Tourism has undoubtedly had a profound impact on destinations all over the world. Coccossis (1996) claims that in some areas it has revitalized local economies whilst in others it has destroyed them; in some areas it has reinforced local identity whilst in others it has damaged customs, traditions and social relations; in some areas it has helped protect environmentally sensitive areas whilst in others it has wrought havoc with local ecosystems and resources. Whichever the case it is very important that a destination for tourists understands the needs and wants of the clients if at all the sector is to be sustainable.
Looking at a tourist destination from a perspective of platform from which a variety of tourist experiences can be delivered, one can conceptualize these experiences as the product line offered by or associated with the tourist destination. That conceptualization enables the manager of the destination to employ the logic and discipline associated with product line optimization within the realm of physical products. It is from this point of view that a tourist destination area should work from to ensure that clients are satisfied whenever they visit these destinations.
Clients satisfaction in my view should be the main point of focus for any tourist destination or organization, and this should incorporate a good knowledge and understanding of tourists expectations. Providing top quality service is obviously centered on achieving some requirements through which the service points directly or indirectly on the level desired by the customer. Analysts have pointed out that, at least five determinant factors influence a product quality. Correctness, is the ability of the organization to offer properly and faithfully the promised service
Receptivity refers to desire of the provider to help the consumer and to provide him the service promptly Safety has in view the performers ability to win the clients trust through the competence and kindness of its services in the market. Individualization, that is, the concerns and efforts to give the deserved attention to each consumers needs and requirements. Tangible elements, that is, material facilities, equipment, staff and advertising materials properly set to the service provision.
Tourist services and products character differs from one company to another, due to their different features. In other words, services are unique in their own capacity, theyre performing being influenced by the clients individual preferences.
Thus, it is vital we speak about custom-made services that allow an ad-hoc chain of activities, so that they respond in the highest level to consumers expectations. The relationship between tourist services companies employees and the clients are supposed to be interactive relations, so, the seller-buyer associations express the way in which is supposed the quality of the service performed by both business partners.
The quality dependent on both on the tourist service supplier and on the performance quality. In these conditions, the client perceives the quality not only from technical point of view, but also from functional point of view. Tourist services consumers usually have three levels for appreciating service qualitatively, grouped according to the order of evaluation difficulty:
The desired quality: the distinctiveness of the desired services met by the client and that can be evaluated before their consumption; Experimental quality of service: the character of the services that can be evaluated by the client during and after their experience in using the service; Credible quality of service: the characteristics of the services that cannot be correctly assessed by the client even after their consumption, services that are much trusted ( a psychoanalyst services, religious services, a fortune tellers services).
In most circumstances, the client will give credit subjectively to the quality of services after comparing them to similar situations, experienced in the past. From this point of view, various levels of subjective appreciation can be identified: Excellent services case in which, in the consumers point of view, the quality of the services offered exceeds the qualitative level of his expectations. Good quality services the clients expectations keep up a correspondence to the level of performers promises and/or his expectations correspond to the qualitative level of the services enjoyed by the consumer in similar past situations
Satisfactory services in certain stressing situations (for example in emergency situations) customers find more important one or more utilities offered by the services. In these situations, the client accepts as agreeable the tolerable quality of services, if he perceives as permissible the limits of one tolerance area (the grey area), together with the required tariffs.
Corresponding services from a qualitative point of view the consumer, prejudiced by his past experience, appreciates the offered services under the level of his expectations, in comparison with the required tariff. Knowing the tourists needs and wants , as well as the conceptions concerning the service offered in the destinations should portray the superiority of the management goals of the services provided, that is, the state of state of affairs regarding to giving performing tourist the services that are required
Thus, the perfect and certain way of knowing consumers expectations in order to understand the determining factors is a regular performance of marketing research that can collect and make available the information necessary in order to set optimal measures and directives , meant to assure clients expectations satisfaction and over satisfaction as they come for visitation.
Understanding clients needs and wants is also important so as to gain the customers trust in the services which are being offered altering the clients area of tolerance (that ¦ that means , to increase its size or capacity) the personnel who have been trained for the service companies must always aim at being more sensitive and listen to the customers needs, complaints , suggestions, dissatisfactions and preoccupations so as to take the necessary measures aimed at streamlining activities and ensure client needs are top prioritized.
This kind of approach efficiency perhaps depends on the way in which the performers on the tourist market respect the following requirements: Establishing an efficient communication with the customers of all walks of life; They should present a correct image of the service provided and perform properly the promised service; Have a permanent apprehension for improving the supplied service in order to exceed the clients expectations and eventually win the trust that is required.
An effective, adequate and efficient communication with tourists drives them close to become involved in the process of performing, reducing thus the complaints caused by the problems appeared during service production/consumption process.
An efficient communicational system of tourist service organizations that supposes the access to services (offering all necessary information about the offered service), tourists perceptions monitoring, in order to completely understand their expectations and requirements, the training of the performing staff in order to personalize the offered services, influence favorably tourists lenience and increase determinedly their trust in the offered service.
Most quite often, tourist consumers dissatisfactions are the causes of their mistrust in embellished affirmations about services offered by the company and about promises not cherished. Explicit promises are normally represented by all the information conveyed by the company within commercial promotional activities, such as: advertising, personal sales, etc, while implicit promises refer to the price of the service and the substantial fundamentals of the performance.
Therefore it is important that we appreciate the fact that, as a result of a growing concern for promoting services offered by tourists destinations , both explicit (proper advertising, personal sales) and, implicit concern (price level reflects clients expectations, a correct image of the service characteristics) the concerned performing companies can contribute to the clients dissatisfaction elimination.
Hence, tourist companies can augment their notoriousness and profitableness by directing their efforts towards guarantying and fulfilling their explicit and implicit promises made to their esteemed customers promises that should reflect exactly the desired service, not its ideal version or imitation. A systematic and efficient pursue and control of tourists satisfaction involves the development of a series of concrete actions on the part of the company performing services that form a cause-effect chain.
Understanding customer wants and needs is fundamental in identifying faithful clients who translate into very important assets for the company offering tourists services and products It is essential to come up with a plan of achieving faithful clients, that is to establish the ways of making faithful clients (individual service offers, further services, direct-mails, clients clubs, telephone marketing, on-line orders, etc)
It also pertains making up a data bases on clients, permanently dated, out of which to extract data about clients in order to be used within the measures taken for capturing the faithful clients; Making an analysis about clients satisfactions is crucial, with the help of surveys concerning, especially, clients satisfaction, their intention of repeating their choice, of recommending the services to other latent clients.
There is also need to establish the performance standards, to institute quality rates in order to satisfy clients and a regular checking of their observance; An analysis of the clients buying activities, having in mind the action of shaping and interpreting indices related to the effectual and observable behavior, such as: the possibility to buy again, the greatness of services consumption, the number of migration towards other service providers are very significant towards gaining the trust of the faithful customers.
In the case of a hotel operator tour, the extant clients represent the best opportunity for achieving greater heights in terms of profit. If in any case these clients need a permanent hotel service and they can obtain it from more providers, then no other notion would be more important than relational advertising that is attractive, developing and keeping the relation made with the client. The main purpose here is to create a faithful client, that is a content client that feels he receives a valuable service and who will come to the same hotel, willing to pay a higher price for his comfort.
For the purpose of positioning of the various tourists destination, the management has to understand what the clients require in terms of needs and wants. This is key towards gaining competitive advantage. Position is a very important aspect in advertising and communication as it sends out a clear message to the client on the attractiveness of the tourist destination. Positioning also helps to create a distinct place in the minds of potential customers. It therefore facilitates in defining a destination and distinguishing it from the others in terms of how it can meet the needs and wants of the customers.
Identifying and understanding the needs of tourists is also important to prevent conflict of interest between the tourists and the local community wants. (Zeithaml 1996)
In conclusion it is important that the stake holders in the tourism industry to work together towards helping the industry through the destinations, to identify the various needs and wants of tourist, so as to ensure that they are given first priority. This can be archived by using appropriate frameworks that should be set-up to investigate the wants then come up with better strategies for addressing them. With all this in place the needs of tourists in the destinations will be met and it will contribute a lot towards a sustainable and more productive tourism sector which is all inclusive in addressing needs of both the local people and the tourists.
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