Travel and Tourism - Part 3 - Tourism Essay Example
Travel and Tourism
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The travel and tourism industry worldwide has been undergoing a sea change of late due to numerous factors that are correlated to each other. James suggests that meeting customer requirements and performing key business operatives is a collective lineage in this dynamic industry, passed on from the existent trends to the upcoming ones (2006: 6). As more market segmentations are occurring, the earlier popular destinations are slowly but surely becoming redundant or less fashionable. Moreover, the health of this industry, considering its dynamic nature, is to a great extent determined by global events including political state of affairs, the latest technological advancements and job opportunities. As a matter of fact, this industry has always fed quite a few other sub-industries in some way or the other. Growth and popularity of the hospitality sector in any part of the world has not only drawn in pools of tourists over there, but also accounted for a parallel development of other related service as well as business sectors (Page and Connell 2006). Cummings et al. (1998: 24) present a data that shows that global tourism is among the very few business excesses to have exercised a telling effect on the economy of the United States of America, fetching yearly revenues worth $17 billion. If one key factor is the modern technological finesse which, in turn, presents new and more lucrative job openings, the other equally important factor involves the growing links between culinary experimentations and tourism. The fact that the world has turned into a global village in the present era has contributed immensely to the assimilation of different socio-cultural traits. Subsequently, the food habit of people has assumed a more generic dimension. Culinary trends of one particular place have encroached upon other territories, thanks to the seamless and varied communicative modes available these days. This essay is going to elaborate on how culture-specific food habits have gradually dissolved, allowing for a vertical growth of travel and tourism across the world.
Before delving into the thesis topic, it is worth taking a look at how some of the other factors have played a determining role in the aforementioned argument. It is evident from Boella’s accounts that the literature on travel and tourism studies is generally biased toward human elements of this industry (2000: 6). In other words, emphasis is generally given on how the tourists and tour governing authorities prioritise their preferences with regards to choice of venues, amenities to be had, and investments. Each of these nodal areas is directly based on political stability and technological details. For instance, the recent war on terrorism has shunned quite a few places that used to be frequently-trodden tourist destinations. Now even if one considers Iraq or Afghanistan to be worth visiting, it is likely to be an independent approach cut off from leisure or business interests. Similarly, Florence or Paris is likely to feature more in the tour itinerary of packaged holiday organisers than that of independent travel groups. Again, changes in demography have also played a crucial part in modern day tourism. Due to extensive migration and increased focus on healthy living, several new breeds of tourism have evolved in the last few decades. Adventure tourism, holidays based more on activities and less on leisure, and extreme sporting ventures have come to the fore replacing many of the old-fashioned customs. So these are the dynamic and rather flexible aspects of the tourism business at present.
Gastronomical indulgences have always determined the outcome of investments made on tourism sectors. It is quite an idiosyncratic course of discussion that requires a thorough analysis of cultural attributes and demographic patterns. Preparation and consumption food itself has become an autonomous industry around the world. It would rather be justified to claim that tourism can be classified under the food industry. The line of business in the context of food and tourism involves a decided scheme of production and distribution. The essential connectors between food and tourism have cemented themselves as a set of cultural ontology capable of disseminating diverse beliefs and human perspectives unique to different places on earth. Hence, this cultural industry has benchmarked its values directly from tourism. (Hjalager et al. 2002)
Albeit it is logical to think that disparities in food and clothing habits should place a cultural barrier in mingling freely with different ethnic groups, reality speaks otherwise. As discussed in the previous paragraph, socio-cultural outlooks have always been disseminated evenly with changing culinary trends: “Foods that are eaten by various groups are chosen as a result of cultural attitudes and normal patterns of behavior toward food.” (Hudman and Jackson 14) It is generally perceived that people indigenous to a particular place have a distinct culinary habit originating from a number of factors. Prevalent religious practices often bar groups from consuming certain types of food. This can be seen in India where traditional Hindus do not take flesh. Similarly, pork is forbidden in many parts of the Middle East (Kusluvan 511). However, the post-modern generation often deviates from such impositions and consume foods that are otherwise disallowed by their religious doctrines. But this still does not introduce majority to the common habits. Moreover, many cultures around the world tend to refrain from eating certain culinary compositions. The primitive Masai clan in Africa and the Jewish do not take meat and milk products together. Such customs have more to do with layouts related to environmental adjustments than to religious impositions (Hudman and Jackson 14). It is by and large a practice involving cultural abstinence for the sake of community preservation.
Consumption of food in different cultures is also determined by historical events and their interpretations. Forbiddance on eating pig in many countries of the Middle East has a historical legacy behind it. Pigs were considered to have a bucolic undertone from the days of the ancient rovers. Hence, consuming it implies going against the nomadic principles of living (Hudman and Jackson 2002).
So we have seen how cultural practices and inhibitions often define the eating habits of people belonging to specific groups. Now while not all of the aforementioned groups have contributed evenly to shaping the tourism business around the world, at least some of them have done so and it is a sine qua non in the context of our studies that we should discard the tacit effects exercised by the less important groups. In the United States, for instance, majority of animals consumed for recreational purposes do not feature in the list of domestic animals. The same goes for many other developed countries too. The taboo is quite self-explanatory in this regard. A degree of fond attachment is developed naturally for animals that are raised by a family. This sense of attachment is further extended to the next level of society and the subsequent effect is felt in the food market. Now when we talk about the food market with regards to tourism, it is explicit that groups sharing similar values would also not feed on those animals that are raised in their individual communities as well.
The ever-growing popularity of the travel and tourism sector is primarily grounded on a single principle: mankind’s endless thirst to explore new and uncharted horizons. Along with this comes many other related aspects, including the drive to know the unknown and feel the unfelt. Barring a few instances when traveling is undertaken for business reasons or as part of educational excursions, everything about it is quintessentially motivational. It has been observed an umpteen number of times that this motivation is directed to cash in on economic goals by putting forward gastronomy as a marketing tool. Along with a profusion of sight and sound related attractions, many major tourist destinations are simply noted for their culinary expertise or specialties (Hjalager et al. 2002). Tourists coming to South Asia from the United States of America, Canada, or from Australia get a genuine value for their money when provided with a list of culinary dishes from which they can pick and choose on their own accord. India being such a diversified country is blessed with unique food habits and if ever there was a place to gorge on epicurean fantasies, this South Asian country has to stand up as a forerunning contestant. So our previous argument involving the correlation between food habits and tourism can be underpinned furthermore in this section. Moreover, the exotic brilliance of Indian spices adds to the charm of the country’s flavor, which, in turn, strengthens the economy by pulling in tourists from all around the globe.
However, the risks associated with banking entirely on setting up a tourism venue on the basis of its culinary trends are worth considering as well. Despite the globalised phenomenon of cultural unification, many conventional minded tourists still prefer not to deviate from their tried and tested cuisines. Albeit the borderline between what new things to try and what not to try is a very thin one, it is nevertheless a risky proposition to rely heavily on the exploratory inquisitiveness of the visitors. A Frenchman, for example, is unlikely to get overly fascinated with spicy Indian cuisines. He would rather stick to his routine French diet which in itself is quite savory (Levenstein 2004).
It is clear from studying the literature that the thesis question can be addressed from two basic viewpoints – the beneficial aspects associated with the merging of food and tourism as a single unit of profit and the detrimental aspects of the same. However, what eventually comes out of our purview of analysis is that the beneficial aspects are far more important with regards to the overall growth and development of the changing global tourism market.
List of References
Boella, M. J. (2000) Human resource management in the hospitality industry. London: Nelson Thornes.
Cummings, P. R., Kwansa, F. A., and Sussman, M. B. (1998) The role of the hospitality industry in the lives of individuals and families. Madison Avenue: Routledge.
Hjalager, A., Richards, G, and Minho. (2002) Tourism and gastronomy. Madison Avenue: Routledge.
Hudman, L. E., and Jackson, R. H. (2002) Geography of travel & tourism. New Delhi: Cengage Learning.
James, S. (2006) Travel & Tourism. Sydney: Career FAQs.
Kusluvan, S. (2003) Managing employee attitudes and behaviors in the tourism and hospitality industry. New York: Nova Publishers.
Levenstein, H. A. (2004) We’ll always have Paris: American tourists in France since 1930. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Page, S., and Connell, J. (2006) Tourism: a modern synthesis. Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA.