Introduction and Meaning of Tourism
Nordic tourism can be understood from the Nordic concept. The term Nordic is derived from the Scandinavian language meaning northern nations. The countries are particularly those from Northern Europe such as Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Apart from referring to the geographical space, the term also refers to the kind of institutional occupation that the Nordic council has in the region’s political space, the cultural space in terms of the elements that constitute a northern identity. Moreover, it also entails the openness in movement among the countries in northern Europe that illustrates the tourism space of the northern nations (Hall, Muller and Saarinen, 2009, p. 2-3).
Although Tourism appears to be a simple concept, it is actually a non-simple one. The main problem with its conceptualization is that most people perceive it as a travel that is leisure oriented. However, the concept is quite broader than that when seen from an academic perspective. It does not only entail the volitional travel of people from their normal domestic surroundings to other to other locations and return, but also the time and space involved in their travelling forming an essential aspect in defining several kinds of mobility. Thus in looking at Tourism from an academic and research based perspective, the study encompasses other aspects of travel such as travel to pay visits to friends and relatives, making business tours, second homes travel, travel related to education, travel related to health and religious travel (Hall, Muller and Saarinen, 2009, p. 6). Due to the high standards of living that the Nordic nations have in common, they form an important market in international tourism apart from a few regions on the periphery whose living standards may be a bit different.
Tourism as a Service Industry
Services are known to comprise of several attributes. First, services are intangible. In the tourism context, these are experiences that can be kept by people as reminders of the great times they had in various places that they toured. Reminders can be in form of souvenirs or photos. Secondly, services are inseparable. There is no separation between the time that tourism services are produced and when they are consumed. The two processes occur at the same time.
Thirdly, they are heterogeneous. The tourism industry is involved in the sale of experiences which vary greatly from service to the next. Moreover, services are perishable and cannot be stored for long. For example, not selling a hotel room tonight will result to a loss of that opportunity completely. Also, experiences cannot be stored anywhere else apart from in people’s heads (Hall, Muller and Saarinen, 2009, p. 26).
Business services that can be said to enhance tourism include catering services, transportation, tour operations, whole selling and booking, entertainment, national parks, souvenir manufacture, supply of travel information, and event operation (Hall, Muller and Saarinen, 2009, p. 26). Apart from the diverse services that tourists are bound to consume on their trip, there are also experiences that are accompanied by the same.
Viewed from the perspective of a service, tourism comprises several activities which f allied together constitute the tourism product. The tourism product development comprises of three main sub-industries. They include transportation, travel agents and tour operators, and hotel services. Rather than being confined to transportation and accommodation, the product also incorporates another broad range of services such as entertainment, shopping and insurance. Persuasive communication at both the macro-level (nationally) and micro-level (enterprise level) is one that generates demand.
Other services that will enhance the tourism product are improved means of transport, education and new marketing (Srinivasan, 2009, p. 151-152). Although there have been limited resources to make Iceland a tourism destination through marketing, there have been attempts to support tourism through the branding service. The transport minister with other companies has invested a lot in this. In the recent past, there has been intensive advertising for trips to Reykjavik by the Icelandair (Hall, Muller and Saarinen, 2009, p. 39). Without these services, the tourism product would not be complete in the Nordic region.
Nordic tourism refers to the tourism industry in the northern European nations. Like other services, the tourism services are intangible, inseparable, variable and perishable. The main services that contribute to the development of the tourism product are transportation, travel agents and tour operators, and hotel services. Most of these have been applied in some nations within the Nordic area with success.
Customer relationship marketing, CRM, in tourism
The relationship between the host and guests is an essential aspect in tourism. This is the relationship between the visiting tourists, mainly from countries that are developed, wealthy and industrialized and the local people, mainly the developing poor nations (Tribe and Airey, 2007, p. 238). The creation of the tourism realm necessitates a set up of social interactions between tourists, the local people and the representative organizations. These social interactions can either be simple or non-simple, recurring or not recurring, seasonal or not seasonal and so on. This essay brings out how these relations are developed and highlights the unique characteristics about them.
The direction the host-guest relationships may take may be determined by the way in which the parties may treat each other and other circumstances that may either result to the perpetuation or termination of the relationship (Smith, 1989, p. 44). Metropolitan dissatisfactions may jeopardize the relationship in cases where the hosts are murderous, unfriendly, ridden by disease or involved in political conflict. On the other hand, the hosts may seek to end the touristic relationship in cases where the tourism brokers may want to interfere with the domestic political set up or with the affairs of the local institutions.
For purposes of furthering their political agenda, the guerilla fighters may at times intentionally flout the terms of touristic agreement. Also, incase their terms of contract are not honored, metropolitan centers may either restrict or terminate the flow of tourists to a given region. Just like other social relatiionships, the host-guest relationship entails various levels of agreement and understanding that should be agreed and acted on if it be to be sustained. Both the nature of tourism and the condition of strangerhood define the terms of relationship between the tourism guest and host.
A tourist is on a leisure mission meaning that he is bent on toying and experiencing the world rather than shaping it. Some tourists may perform more utilitarian roles if they were to pursue goals that were uniquely touristic (Smith, 1989, p. 44). Put in another way, the tourist plays, takes a rest or undergoes mental enrichment as others serve. As a result, the nature of activities specified in the touristic agreement separates the tourist from those who serve him.
A nation of hotel-keepers completely adopted to service may comprise the hosts like it is the case in Switzerland, although what continues to separate them from the guests is the work-leisure distinction. Despite the fact that they may come from similar cultural backgrounds, the differences between work and leisure still define the differences in the basic attitudes that are brought to their relationship.
In summary, what may enhance or separate the relationship between guests and hosts is the fact of strangerhood, distinction between work and leisure and any other cultural differences. A feasible tourism contract is supposed to not only to take notice of these facts but also have a provision of handling with them. The guest is not expected to undergo adaptations that may require them to be involved in the host society’s essential life (Smith, 1989, p. 46).
Specific Characteristics of the Guest-Host Relationship
First, it is a short term relationship. The tourist is around only for a few days or a couple of weeks. Thus any relationship being built may be superficial unless the guest frequently goes back to the same resort and is accommodated. Second, guests are pressurized to enjoy a diversity of experiences within a short time spell. Thus any delays with regard to this may really vex them. Hosts may also capitalize on the same.
Third, local people normally segregate tourists, causing them to spend time with fellow tourists. They may therefore mostly meet those working in the tourism industry rather than others. Fourth, the relations between guests and hosts are often formalized and planned. They tend to lack spontaneity. Finally, the host-guest relations are naturally unequal and imbalanced. This is in terms of both materialism and power differences. Since the hosts are perceived as servants, the guest tourist has the power to impose their will on them (Swarbrooke, 1999, p. 73).
The host-guest relations are those that connote the interaction between tourists from developed nations and the local people in developing countries. Generally, what defines this relationship includes the fact of strangerhood, cultural differences and the work-leisure distinction. The unique aspects about host-guest relations is that they are transient, guests have pressure to utilize the many resources shortly, segregation between local people and tourists, the relations are formalized and planned, and finally, the relations are imbalanced and unequal.