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International Cases in Tourism Management

To re-orient the whole curriculum around sustainability would be to overstate its role both in the tourism industry and probably business in general. In their first year, students need to have a fundamental understanding of the various forms and the structure of the tourism industry. Learning and recognizing that the environmental, economic, social, and political impacts of tourism are not always beneficial, or evenly distributed, raises the question of how things might be changed and improved. A gradual build-up in awareness of wider issues, reinforced by their work experience, can lead to a more meaningful and informed debate in students’ final year. It is expecting much of first, or indeed second year students, to understand sustainability issues fully. However, in their final year, students are better placed to understand concepts like CSR and the wider ethical issues that are implied.

Source: Tourism In Focus, Winter 2002–2003

Finally, Tourism Concern is not the only organization in the world with this name, as we will now see.

Tourism Concern Gambia

Tourism Concern Gambia is a locally based organization that was created in the mid-1990s. It publishes a magazine of its own about tourism, called ‘Concern’. This magazine is sold by ‘bumsters’ or beach boys who hassle tourists to buy things. This is reminiscent of the way the ‘Big Issue’ is sold in the UK, an example of self-help. An interview with the founder of Tourism Concern Gambia, Adama Bah, in 1996, gives an interesting angle into the ethos behind the organization as can be seen from the following extracts:

Tourism Concern was originally initiated by a group of managers in the major hotels who thought that something needed to be done after the British government’s travel advice in November 1994 that tourists should regard The Gambia as an unsafe destination. The advice was devastating for hotel employees. We did not feel that we could just throw up our hands and look on at the situation: we lobbied the Gambian government on behalf of the hotel employees who had lost their jobs, and met the British High Commission to express our dissatisfaction at the travel advice. Eventually the advice was changed, but by then the tourist industry had suffered terribly. It was disastrous.

There are a lot of misconceptions about tourism in our country. Sometimes, the information tourists get from travel agents may not be the real, accurate information, so we feel one of the roles of Tourism Concern is to educate tourists coming to The Gambia. Also, we wish to see if there is a role in contributing to policy, and advising the government, which will enable us to prevent future problems in the industry.

Source: www.africaculture.dk/gambia/concern

It is important to note that Adama Bah was, at the time, Personnel Manager of one of the main hotels in Gambia, an example of a tourism industry person taking a lead in an industry that was stimulated by a decline in business caused by advice from the UK government that it was not safe to visit Gambia in 1994.

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Tourism Concern

A new web site was launched in 2000 and according to various current web sites:

Gambia Tourism Concern was founded to promote better tourism practice in The Gambia. We publicize and support issues that generate and provide opportunities for the local people to positively benefit from tourism.

Gambia Tourism Concern promotes fair and sustainable tourist practices and has close contacts with all ‘eco-tourism’ operations.

We have also assisted in the formation of an association of small-scale tourism ventures within our country called ASSET.

Source: www.subuk.net/tourism/html/start2.htm

Key issues

Tourism Concern is an interesting, and relatively rare, example of a voluntary sector pressure group in the tourism industry which raises some important points, as follows:

It is a loose, membership organization with no major sources of funding or sponsorship. This allows it to preserve its independence but limits what it can do.

Tourism Concern is a campaigning organization in the mold of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. This can bring it into conflict with governments and private sector organizations, notably Lonely Planet, as we saw earlier in Case Study 2.

In recent years,Tourism Concern has worked particularly hard to involve young people in its activities.

There is great reliance on volunteers in the work of Tourism Concern.

Tourism Concern benefits from having the support of tourism academics and from being based at a university.

Tourism Concern works closely with other tourism pressure groups for its mutually beneficial partnerships.

Some success has been achieved in developing dialogue with players in the tourism industry, quite a difficult development to achieve for both sides.

Tourism Concern is a largely altruistic organization, drawing, perhaps, quite heavily on the guilt fac-

tor by some tourists from developed countries, when they visit much poorer countries.

The work of lobbying and campaigning groups is made more difficult by the fact that tourism is a fragmented industry with no single industry-wide professional body and often no government ministry focused just on tourism.

Tourism Concern is a UK-based body trying to influence issues largely taking place outside the UK. This is a difficult task and it also means that it has to be sensitive to criticism that it is trying to control what happens in someone else’s country, a potentially imperialistic concept harking back, to the era of colonial paternalism.

If groups, such as Tourism Concern, begin to exercise real influence over industries and governments it can raise questions about democracy as these are usually run by people not elected by, or accountable to, the population as a whole, of their country, let alone the countries in which they campaign.

Conclusion

Tourism Concern may be small, but it has become a significant voice in the debate over fair trade in tourism. It combines practical advice with deeper thinking about the intellectual dimension of sustainable tourism. While UK based, it is becoming a truly international organization, not only in terms of its geographical concerns, but also through its partnerships and projects. However, like all such voluntary organizations, it continues to be plagued by funding problems.

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Discussion points and exercises

1.Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of voluntary pressure and campaign groups, like Tourism Concern, in the tourism field.

2.Compare and contrast Tourism Concern with organizations such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, and with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

3.Of all the activities of Tourism Concern identified in this case study, which do you think are likely to be the most effective, and why?

4.Critically review one complete issue of ‘Tourism In Focus’ and/or attend and review a Tourism Concern event.

5.Discuss the arguments for and against Tourism Concern seeking sponsorship from major tourism organizations and companies.

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CASE STUDY 6

Touristik Union International and

Its Environmental Policies

Touristik Union International (TUI) is Europe’s leading tour operator and one of the most important players in the global tourism industry. Its importance is demonstrated by the following facts and figures about the company:

The tourism business of Preussag, the TUI parent company, of which TUI is by far the largest element had a turnover in 2001 in excess of 12 billion Euros.

TUI profits in 2001 were 25 per cent higher in 2001 than they had been in 2000.

As well as dominating the German market, TUI is a major tour operator in Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and Poland.

TUI owns Thomson, the leading UK tour operator, and is currently re-branding it under the ‘World of TUI’ banner.

TUI owns airlines, hotels, and all-inclusive resorts, in a number of countries. For example, its hotel portfolio consisted in 2001 of 278 hotels with more than 140,000 beds.

The company employed nearly 50,000 people in December 2001.

TUI has always been at the forefront of corporate environmental policy in tourism, since it appointed an executive director, in 1990, with responsibilities for conservation and environmental activities. It has since incorporated the concept of sustainable development into its environmental management policies.

The company’s highly developed approach to conservation, environmental protection and sustainable development is clearly set out in Exhibit 6.1, from the Tour Operators Initiative (TOI) web site. TUI is a founder member of this project which is also discussed in this book, in the Case Study 24.

Exhibit 6.1 The activities of TUI in respect of environmental protection, conservation, and sustainable development

The environmental compatibility of TUI’s products is a fundamental component of its quality standards and each of its divisions bears responsibility for safeguarding the environment (Eighth Commandment of the TUI Corporate principles).

Continuous improvement process of environmental quality

The main focus of TUI’s environmental management is the continuous improvement process of environmental quality in its core tourism business – in resort hotels, holiday destinations, travel

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International Cases in Tourism Management

agencies and means of transport. They carry out important work in promoting environmental protection in its personal contacts with people involved in the tourism business, such as hoteliers and business partners, as well as in their ongoing dialogue with politicians and representatives of environmental organizations. In addition, the active participation of each individual holidaymaker is of crucial importance for the improvement of the environmental situation in the destinations.

Ecological and economic goals

The ecological and economic goals of TUI’s environmental management go hand in hand because an intact environment is a fundamental pre-requisite for a pleasant holiday. An urgent shared objective of all co-operation partners within the TUI environmental network is therefore the stepwise reduction of environmental pollution – through small systematic steps such as improving eco-efficiency (energy consumption, water consumption, waste avoidance, size of built-up areas, etc.) in thousands of holiday hotels around the world.

Summary:Table of Actions

Supply chain management

Environmental monitoring: contracted hotels are monitored annually using an environmental checklist.

Our airline is monitored regularly using an environmental checklist for carrier (to record innovations).

TUI’s web site (http://www.tui-umwelt.com/) includes far-reaching information on environmental issues for destinations, hotels and transportation. The site is directed at anyone who is involved in tourism and is organized by information for guests, for travel agents, for hoteliers, for destination managers, and on TUI’s environmental management system.

Co-operation with destinations

Environmental monitoring: TUI evaluates the state of its destinations. The information collected on the destinations is entered in an environmental database and is used in planning and in catalogues.

Destination information is collected using checklists filled out by customers, as well as through annual reports from the TUI service offices. Extracts are published on all destinations.

The number of protected areas in each region is used as one of the key ecological criteria for determining the quality of holidays; this supports a policy of conserving nature.

TUI supports communities and regions, such as Calvia in Mallorca, in implementing the development processes of local Agenda 21s.

The company supports and promotes holiday regions such as Menorca as candidates for recognition as UNESCO biosphere reserves.

TUI supports measures to restore overused holiday zones to more natural conditions, including measures for ‘restoring value’ by a strategy of ‘protection through use’

Current destination projects are engaged in turtle, whale, and dolphin protection, in cat and dog welfare, in reforestation (Kenya, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, and Dominican Republic) and in clean-up activities

The annual ‘TUI Environmental Award’ supports exemplary environmental initiatives in the destinations with a cash award equivalent to the amount of 10,000 Euros.

Customer awareness

Far-reaching information on environmental issues for destin-ations and hotels is provided on TUI’s web site.

Brochures include tables on ‘Nature and Environment’, giving information on the environmental situation at destinations. The catalogues highlight environmentally-friendly hotels.

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Touristik Union International and Its Environmental Policies

Brochures include information about ‘holidays and environmental compatability’ and practical hints for environmentally friendly behaviour to sensitize customers.

Internal management

TUI’s contracted hotels aim to reduce their environmental impacts by boosting their ecoefficiency. TUI-owned hotels play a pioneering role.

Grecotel, one of TUIs shared hotels, co-operates with local farmers on Crete to ensure a supply of locally and ecologically produced food. Beneath the agricultural activities, AGRECO a subsidy of Grecotel, opened the Agricultural Park 2001 to public visitors. This initiative aims at demonstrating small scale traditional agricultural activities, testing agricultural techniques which comply with environmental protection measures and passing them to local farmers. Additional activities in the Agricultural Park are to demonstrate the production and promotion of agricultural goods like olive oil, herbs, Greek cheeses, honey, wine, and other Cretan delicacies.

The Iberotel Sarigerme Park in Turkey [100% shared by TUI] received its ISO 14001 certification in October 2000. The Robinson Club Fleesensee in Germany and Robinson Clubs Maris, Camyuva and Pamfylia in Turkey followed with ISO 14001 certifications combined with ISO 9001 in 2001.

Local specialities are promoted in the Robinson Clubs as well as Grecotel Hotels and Iberotel Hotels and VIP guests receive local products as gifts.

Since February 2000, TUI has worked with a communal co-operation project to improve in-house environmental management at its headquarters.

TUI’s environmental actions are included in the TUI annual report to its shareholders.

Source: Tour Operators Initiatives Website, 2001

The environmental checklist TUI uses with all its contracted accommodation establishments is a crucial part of its monitoring activities. The 2002 checklist is reproduced below, in Exhibit 6.2, with the kind permission of TUI.

Exhibit 6.2 The environmental checklist 2002 for hotels, clubs, and apartments

1.Waste water treatment?

Compliance with the national limits for waste water quality Disposal via local sewage works

mechanical microbiological three-stage

plant waste water treatment Disposal via own sewage works

mechanical microbiological three-stage

plant waste water treatment Septic tank with communal disposal Cesspool

2.Water conservation measures?

Yes Variable change of linen

WC flush stop button

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International Cases in Tourism Management

Flow limiter Hot–cold mixer tap Sensor mixer tap

Second water circuit (for used water, seawater, or rainwater) Watering of garden with filtered used water

Trickle irrigation

No

3.Water supply? Local supply (%)

using seawater desalination plant (%) using ground water (%)

Own supply (%)

using seawater desalination plant (%) using ground water (%)

4.Controlled waste management?

Yes Avoidance of single portion packs/one-way packaging?

Use of deposit bottles

Use of deposit containers for large quantities

Others

Separation of waste

Paper

Glass

Plastics

Metal

Composting

Recycling

Collection and disposal of toxic waste

Used oil

Batteries

Others

No

5. Energy saving measures?

Yes Energy management system Energy saving lamps

Central power switch in guest rooms Make-and-break contact for the air conditioning Use of alternative energy:

Solar energy for heating water Photovoltaics

Wind energy Biogas

Heat recovery

No

6.Regular hygiene checks? Yes Drinking water

Legionella control plan Which?

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Touristik Union International and Its Environmental Policies

Kitchen

Refrigerator and storerooms Food

Pools

Air conditioning

Hygiene check system (e.g. HACCP) How often?

By whom?

No

7. Environmental Organization?

Yes Environmental officer and contact name, function, and e-mail Environmental committee

Staff training

No

8. Regular measure of consumption?

Yes Water consumption per guest and night (litre) Electricity consumption per guest and night (kilo Watts) Diesel consumption per guest and night (litre)

Heating oil consumption per guest and night (litre) Gas consumption per guest and night (Cubic metre) Amount of alternative energy compared to total energy consumption (%)

Amount of waste per guest and night (kilogram)

No

9. Environmentally oriented purchasing policy? Yes Preference for regional products

Products from organic farming methods

No

10.Use of biodegradable cleaning agents Yes Preferred ( 50%)

Exclusively What ones?

No

11.Noise protection measures?

Yes Insulation of rooms

Insulation of generators

Insulation of discotheques

Noise reduced air conditioning

Car-free zones

Traffic calming

No

12.Use of pesticides and pest control Yes Biological

What product/Organisms? Chemical

What product?

No

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International Cases in Tourism Management

13. Beach, lake, and sea water quality?

Yes Beach hotel awarded with the ‘Blue Flag’ Regular beach cleaning by hotel

Cleanup actions on the beach

Regular beach cleaning by local authorities

No

14. Protection of animals and endangered species in the hotel complex? Yes Keeping animals on the site

dogs cats Others

Castration/sterilization measures Regular veterinary checks

Sale of coral, shells and ivory in the hotel complex Gardens typical for the region with indigenous plans What ones?

No

15. Environmental communication?

Yes Guest information for the guests about nature and environmental protection in the hotel and surroundings

Environmental guided tours and excursions Support of environmental projects

Financially By active work

What ones?

Co-operation with environmental organization What ones?

No

16. Environmental certifications? eco-labels? auditings?

Yes

ISO 14001

valid from ....

to ......

 

EMAS

valid from ....

to ......

 

Green Globe 21

valid from ....

to .....

 

Others

 

 

No

____________________

valid from to.....

 

17.Additional information as enclosure? Yes Brochures

Videos CDs Photos Others

No

TUI monitoring also extends to the destinations visited by their customers. An annual checklist of environmental criteria for destinations is also implemented; the 2002 checklist is shown below, in Exhibit 6.3, with the kind permission of TUI.

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Touristik Union International and Its Environmental Policies

Exhibit 6.3 TUI environmental criteria for destinations, 2002

1. Bathing water quality and beach quality

Assessment of bathing water quality (sea, lakes, and rivers) and beach/shores quality (on the basis of official documents and visual and odour assessment). ‘European Blue Flags’ (development). Are water analyses conducted regularly? By whom? At how many sampling points? Analyses results available [possibly upon request] and/or made known by public notices? where are the results published? Beaches clean and well kept? If polluted, by what/whom? Method of beach cleaning? Responsibility for beach clean up? Litter bins at the beach? Regular waste collection? Toilets, showers? Bans on cars and dogs? Natural beaches worthy of protection? Protection of beach and dune zones? Coastal protection management? Artificial beaches? Marinas? Are there industrial facilities near the coast? Which or what kind? Coastal erosion? Other special points of interest? Future prospects? Important contact persons? Websites?

2. Water supply and water saving measures

Source of drinking water (ground water, springs, dam, sea water desalination, etc). and capacity? Cost of water per Cubic metre? Water consumption per capita and day (guest/ inhabitant)? Seasonal water shortages? How will be dealt with this situation? Quality/treatment of drinking water? Regular monitoring? Are water conservation measures implemented? Are there national/regional/local awareness campaigns for the public and/or tourists? Measures to reduce groundwater consumption e.g. by re-use of treated waste water? Government subsidies for water saving measures? Other special points of interest? Future perspectives? Important contact persons?

3. Waste water disposal and waste water utilization

Public sewer system? Sewage plants (technologies used, capacities, number, and location)? Which areas are connected by a sewage water system with the sewage plant (map)? Cesspools and further treatment? Calculation of sewage treatment costs; joint with drinking water fees, separate, etc? Other forms of sewage treatment? Where exactly is the [treated] waste water discharged? Is treated waste water {%} re-used [e.g. in agriculture, on golf courses, green spaces, in parks, gardens etc.]? How and where are the sewage sludges and residues disposed of? Other special points of interest? Future perspectives? Important contact persons.

4. Waste disposal and waste avoidance

Waste disposal plan? Regular waste collection services (by whom, how often)? Allocation of containers by the community? Fees for/cost of garbage removal (by volume or weight)? Amount of garbage per capita? Locations, number and types, capacity and utilization (%) of controlled landfills and/or waste incineration plants? Uncontrolled rubbish dumps (where)? Potential smoulders? Affected tourist zones? Separation of different types of waste? Recycling possibilities or composting in the destination (public/private)? Treatment of hazardous wastes? Are there national/ regional/ local waste avoidance awareness campaigns for the public? Other special points of interest? Future perspectives? Important contact persons?

5. Energy supply and energy saving measures

Type of energy generation (which source of energy)? Energy cost per Kilowatt-hours? Utilization of renewable sources of energy? Kilowatt-hours percent of total (wind, solar, and biogas); Layout plan? Are there energy saving measures? National/ regional/local awareness campaigns for the public and/or energy saving programmes and measures? Promotional programmes for renewable energies? Other special points of interest? Future perspectives? Important contact persons?

6. Traffic, air, noise and climate

Impairment of air quality by industry, traffic, or incineration of wastes? Are air quality analyses conducted regularly? With what results (if available)? Measures to ease the traffic load (traffic control, contingents, park and ride, public transport)? Traffic calming or car-free zones? Measures to

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International Cases in Tourism Management

reduce noise (traffic, air traffic, machinery, building sites, and public amenities)? Noise protection systems? Indications for or noticeable impacts of climatic changes? Unusual dry spells, rainfalls, weather phenomena? Other special points of interest? Future perspectives? Important contact persons?

7. Landscape, built environment and building density

Scenic features? Landscape conservation? Agriculture? (Mono-culture/type of farming) Application of pesticides for pest control? Forestry? Golf course construction? Are there green areas, parks, public amenities? Regional or land use planning? Local development plans and regulations? To what extent are these implemented and observed? High building density on the coast? Extreme sealing of surface? Urban planning? Environmental impact assessment for construction projects? Architecture blended in with landscape? Other special points of interest? Future perspectives? Important contact persons?

8. Nature conservation, species preservation, animal protection

Nature reserves? Percentage of protected areas? National parks? UNESCO World Natural Heritage? Biosphere reserves?Which of these are affected by the TUI programme? Data on biodiversity? Marine flora and fauna? Coral reefs in jeopardy? Soil erosion? Flood hazards? Forest fires (preventive/control measures)? (Re-)Afforestation? Particular animal protection problems? Animal and species protection activities? Are there animals and/or plants in the destination area that fall under the provisions of the Washington Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)? Are there national/regional/local awareness campaigns for the public and/or tourists on protected species (if such species exist in the destination area)? Other special points of interest? Important contact persons?

9. Environmental information and environment related supply

Information material of national/regional/local information centres (e.g. municipalities, environmental authorities, health authorities, etc.)? Notices, posters, etc.? Guided tours, excursions, courses? Educational or hiking trails? Bicycle tracks, hire? Regulations governing jeep safaris? Cars with catalytic converters for hire? Unleaded petrol available? Are there problematic holiday activities offered [e.g. jet skiing, water scooters, sale of souvenirs, etc.]? Other special points of interest? Important contact persons?

10. Environmental Policy and Activities

National/regional/local environmental policy? Development of a (local) Agenda 21? Environmental protection laws? Tourism Master Plan? Measures for sustainable tourism development/ regional development? Environmental officers? Environmental organizations? Environmental protection established in media/schools? Health/hygiene/consumer protection policy? Environmental awareness and behaviour of the public? Environmental competitions, awards? Environmental projects? Environmental seminars and conferences? Ecotourism? Co-operation between private and public sector? Environ-mental certification for hotels and industry? Local, regional, national eco brands for tourism offers and products? Are TUI partners/authorities/environmental protection organisations willing to cooperate?

Source: TUI Environmental Management, 4/2002

TUI has also launched a web site with well over 1000 pages which focuses on their approach to environmental policy. It is available in 10 languages including Polish, Greek, and Turkish. In 2001, it won the ‘Umwelt Online Award’ which is organized by BAUM the German Environmental Management Association.

Among the companies which are part of the ‘World of TUI’ family is the leading Greek hotel operator, Grecotel. It is a partnership between TUI and a Cretan-based family of entrepreneurs, the Daskalantonakis family. Grecotel has been a pioneer of good environmental practice in hotels for

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Touristik Union International and Its Environmental Policies

more than a decade. However, they go much further than the physical environment and are also concerned with the social and economic impacts of tourism. They are also committed to supporting the local communities in the area in which their hotels are located. Grecotel claims, with justification, to be ‘the leader in the Mediterranean hotel industry for its environmental implementation and cultural programmes’ (Grecotel, 2000).

Exhibit 6.4 displays the Grecotel environmental policy statement.

Exhibit 6.4 Grecotel environmental policy statement*

To formulate and implement a programme to improve the environment for both local people and seasonal visitors thereby encouraging fellow hoteliers and members of the tourism industry to undertake similar responsibilities.

To be realistic in setting goals, due to local considerations, and the existing Grecotel product. At no time will any conservation or protection plan be accepted if it may lower the quality of services already offered.

To take notice of changing attitudes and suggestions from staff, guests, or other interested parties and adapt programmes accordingly.

The conservation and protection of the landscape, wildlife, and historical resources near each Grecotel will have priority over other regional or general projects.

Grecotel SA aims to collect information regarding similar programmes being undertaken by other members of the tourism industry and by local authorities in order to make better use of available resources and avoid duplication of activities.

To use local, natural raw materials and recycled products; save energy and water; minimise waste; and control air/water pollution.

To increase level of awareness of environmental issues within its own organization, to local residents, hotel guests, and business partners.

To include improved environmental considerations in all new building and renovation plans.

To balance financial benefits from environmental applications against increased initial costs of other improvements.

*Nikolaos Daskalantonakis, Managing Director, Grecotel SA

Its action on environmental issues has been very successful. For example, up to 2000, Grecotel had

achieved a 30 per cent reduction in water consumption;

replaced 2,500,000 plastic laundry, refuse, and sanitary sacks with environmentally friendly ones;

reduced the use of plastic packaging by 68 per cent;

achieved a 40 per cent reduction in the use of chlorine in swimming pools;

replaced 76 per cent of cleaning products with more environmentally friendly ones;

achieved 12 European Blue Flags for the beaches they control, in 1998 and 1999.

However, they are also involved in broader activities that relate more widely to sustainable tourism, including:

Agricultural investments, in Crete, which involve them producing wine and honey and providing advice for farmers on organic production.

The Doran Society, which Grecotel set up in 1992, and which engages in projects to protect the cultural and national heritage of Crete, the home island of the Daskalantonakis family. This organization has restored monasteries, sponsored archaeological sites, and supported the conservation of the endangered sea turtles, the ‘Caretta-Caretta’!

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