Tourism is one of the many growing industries in the world, a lot of money is made from it and it provides many jobs. There are external factors that can effect the tourism industry and which tourism related businesses have no way of planning for.
It is possible for many businesses to be aware of and be able to cope with certain external factors, for example a business specialising in summer holidays knows that in winter, because of the weather, their gross profit will fall. It is impossible however for businesses to plan for such things as political issue’s e.g. terrorist attacks and environmental issues such as floods, fires, earthquakes etc. These external factors can all effect the tourism industry in many ways. It is hard to be able to prepare for such external issues ” the need to balance a company’s strategy and structure with changes in the external environment is obvious in any industry” (Alberto Landero Sept 1997)
The political environment has had a huge impact on the tourism industry; the greatest example of this is the terrorist attack on September the 11th to the United States. This was an unexpected attack that no business would ever have been able to anticipate. ” Reports indicate that the September events had a major impact on tourism world-wide” (The daily news) Tourism has been effected hugely by these events because of peoples unwillingness to travel, due to being frightened and scared. Airlines.hotels, travel agencies any business connected to tourism was effected by these unplanned events.
“There was total panic in the airline industry at the highest levels” (Rogate Mshana Feb 2002). Due to the fact that people were scared to fly anywhere the airlines lost millions and millions of pounds. Many jobs were lost and many airlines were close to going out of business. This had a knock on effect around the world because the countries that rely on tourists to help them survive where receiving less because nobody would get on a plane.
Therefore if nobody was going on holiday, travel agencies were losing out, 359,000 jobs were lost, revenue was down ” 25% in Germany, 23%in Brazil, 20% in Italy, 19% in Japan, 18% in Austrailia, 14% in France, 11% in Great Britain and 7% in Canada” (Daily news) This external influence effected the whole of the world.
Many jobs were lost in other areas such as hotels, tourist catered resturantes, pubs, bars, events etc.
September 11th is not the only external factor that has and can effect tourism, floods in certain countries discourages tourists to visit, likewise with volcanoes erupting and earthquakes etc All of these factors which know one has control over all effect tourism because people hear of these events and disasters and are put of from visiting and travelling which therefore effects the industry.
At the moment there is an external religious problem in turkey “which would have disastourous effects on tourism aimed in that area” (WTO). In turkey it is part of their culture and religion that women are covered from head to toe and show no skin. Tourist agencies have always been aware of this and it has never been a problem, but suddenly, and more importantly, unexpectedly Turkish men have been attacking women tourists who are not accustomed to Turkish culture and who are therefore showing skin. This is a big concern for the tourist industry because customers are unprepared to visit turkey through fear of attack etc so profits are falling.
It is very hard for tourist related businesses to be able to react quickly and effectively to external factors, if there is an attack on a country with a very high tourist population it is hard for a business to be able to handle the situation quickly and confidently, so that there is less damage and people don’t lose there trust. Once people are scared and fear something it is very hard to convince them that they are safe and that nothing will happen to them.
Businesses can try and be prepared for as many external factors as possible. Many business already plan incase of fires, floods and bomb scares because these are common but tourist related businesses never really expect things like terrorist attacks etc to effect them. “Unfortunatly, the fast paced nature of this industry prevents most operators from spending adequate amounts of time monitoring the external environment” (Alberto Landero Sept 1997). It is very hard to prepare for the unexpected.
All that many tourism related businesses can do is keep a close eye on all factors externally that could effect them, for example they can keep a close eye on politics. At the moment due to Sept 11th and more recently the terrorist attack on Barley, there is a war on terrorism and this has made many businesses in the tourism industry very wary and more aware of customer needs. Airlines are trying to make customers feel more secure by having tighter security on aeroplanes and in airports. Businesses in the tourism sector can also keep a close eye on world issues like the problems at the moment in turkey. Tour operators can be more aware of customer’s fears and needs by keeping in close contact with the Turkish and providing security for the tourists.
Tourists need to feel safe and as if there needs and wants are being dealt with. Many of the events that happen in the world are making them scared of travelling and many are willing and are quite happy now to stay at home. If the tourism industry is going to continue to grow they are going to have to make there customers feel like there is no reason why they shouldn’t travel and go on holiday, the safer they feel the more they will be willing to travel and the more they travel the more profit the tourism industry receives. The fast growing world of tourism is now learning that it helps if you expect the unexpected.