The tourism industry is the largest and fastest growth industry in the world, and also is the main and important industry that consumes a lot of human resources in the labor market. As an example, Malaysia is one of the twelve mega-biologically diverse countries in the world, which boasts at least 15,000 species of flowering plants, 286 species of mammals, 150,000 species of invertebrates and 4,000 species of fishes in addition to the countless micro-organisms. Since there are so many beautiful natural elements, Malaysia was very successful in development of ecotourism, and it is highly recommended for tourists in the world. The tourist arrivals to Malaysia is 24.7 million in year 2011, which is greater than 24.6 million in year 2010; and the receipts in year 2011 is increased to 58.3 billion from 56.5 billion in year 2010 in Ringgit Malaysia.
The following are the main characteristics of tourism today: Work for longer hours. In the hospitality industry, businesses are open for almost 365 days a year and almost 24 hours a day. Although employees don’t have to work all of the days, they are still working longer hours than people in other industries. Since the hospitality business are working all of the days, that means evenings and weekends are included in the workweek. In this case, managers and their subordinates have to accept that they may be working when others are enjoying their leisure time. In the hospitality industry, business operations depend heavily on employee’s shift work. Generally, there are four shifts in the industry. Beginning with the morning shift, employees might start to work at 7 a.m. The midshift usually will start from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; evening shift starts at 3 p.m. and end at 11.30 p.m.; and the final night shift begins at 11 p.m. and goes on until 7.30 a.m. For management people in the hospitality industry, they often begin to work at 8 a.m. and end at 6 or 8 p.m.
Intangibility. Tourism services are primarily intangible. Unlike commodities, they do not have a physical dimension, which means the tourism products and services cannot be touched, tasted, heard, felt or smelled in the same way as goods before they are purchased. For example, guest cannot try a night’s stay in a hotel or taste the steak before dinning in a restaurant but they can try on the shoes before purchase it. In this case, the tourism services considered as activities and customers’ experiences, based on the service performance provided by the workers. So what the tourism employees did is strive for outstanding guest satisfaction that leads to guest loyalty and gain profit. Give an example, the travel agency introduced a nice trip to his potential customers. Even though customers cannot try the trip before purchase it, they still can perceive intuitively whether their holiday experiences will be safe and enjoyable, and all of the perception are based on the services provided. In this case, the travel agency should provide more tangible elements into the promotion, such as photos, videos and so on, to make them believe that the trip is fun and enjoyable; and purchase the package.
Inseparability. Production and consumption of tourism services are inseparable. Unlike the physical goods production to consumption process, which most of the goods manufactured in one place, packaged and transported to retailers for sale in other location at a different time, and then consumed by the customers in another place. As the result of inseparability of production and consumption, tourism services required simultaneously presence of the consumers and service provider during the transaction, and consumers also must come to the place where the tourism services are provided, even that customer has paid for the services, he or she does not have the ownership. For example, a tourist wishes go to travel in Melaka to visit A Famosa then he or she must go to the destination to consume the services provided in the destination,...
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