This report will critically discuss about the relationships between tourism, hospitality and events. This report will be written as follow. First, the definition of tourism will be provided. Then, definition on hospitality will also be provided. Similarly, the definition of events on the context of tourism will also be provided. After understanding the definitions, the discussion will focus on analysing and evaluating the relationships between tourism, hospitality and events.
In today globalization era, tourism is booming industry and has bright prospect into the future – as more and more people like to travel around different places for different experiences. In fact, it is recognized that tourism is today one of the largest industry in the world (Gherco & Trandafir, 2014). In Reiser (2003), it is discussed that tourism can be discussed from three concepts: the movement of people; a sector of the economy or industry; or a broad system of the interacting relationship of people and their need to travel outside their communities, and the services that attempt to respond to these needs by supplying products. For that, the definition of tourism is as follow: “tourism as the movement of people; tourism as a sector of the economy; tourism as a broad system of the interacting relationship of people and their need to travel, therefore involving a time dimension, a space dimension (people moving) and the exclusion/ inclusion of people”.
As discussed in Lashley (2007), hospitality is actually about human phenomenon involves the relationship between hosts and guests, whereby it is widely believe even in different society that there are varying degrees of obligation to be hospitable with duties and obligations on both guests and hosts. In O’Gorman (2007) however, it is also discussed that there are different definitions of hospitality by the different scholars. For example, Derrida (2000) discussed that hospitality is about inviting and welcoming the ‘stranger’ (i.e., about inviting the “other” into one’s home) (as cited in O’Gorman, 2007). However, when the discussion is on tourism, hospitality had found to be often referred to the treatment or services provided to the tourists or customers. The hospitality industry is one that relies heavily on the attitudes of the employees in servicing the customers – as it is very important for a firm to attract suitably motivated, trained and qualified employees that are able to deliver the service promises that organisations make to their current and potential customers (Barron, 2008).
Overall, event can have different meanings, such as follow: (a) something that takes place; an occurrence, (b) a significant occurrence or happening, or (c) A social gathering or activity. However, in this report, the events will be defined from tourism perspective. For this, the term events can be defined as: “events are temporary occurrences, usually with a particular theme which aim to attract people (spectators, visitors, residents, guests) to a local point of short lived, organized activity in which visitors may participate, watch, view, learn from and enjoy” (Carmichael, 2002). However, it is also important to realise that while there are special events that are short term, there are also longer term events, such as festival that originally was not created to attract tourists – although such events can also a big motivator for tourists to visit to a particular tourism destination (Veres, Clark & Golbourne, 2008). Other than that, there may also be some other specialise events functions, such as meetings and conventions for business travellers – that will also boost the tourism industry (Veres, Clark & Golbourne, 2008).
Often, in the context of tourism education, tourism is part of the hospitality (i.e. hotel and restaurant) centred education. However, that does not means tourism is fall under the broad topic of hospitality, as it is also often that tourism was and is also being taught in numerous other disciplines including business, applied economics, marketing, and geography (Gartner, 2002). In other words, while tourism and hospitality are inter-related concepts, they are not the same. Tourism is more about tourists travel to a different place, while hospitality is about treatment to the others or guests (be it they are tourists or not).
However, the importance of hospitality in tourism is very important, because it is also easy to understand that tourists would want to be treated nicely by the others when they travel to the other places. In fact, it is easy also to understand that when the tourists are treated nicely by others, they are more likely to have good impression, more happy, having more fun, have more memorable experiences and would likely to travel again to the same place or to introduce the particular place to the friends or relatives. This means that hospitality will affect tourism development.
Then, the concept of hospitality is very important in any tourism industry, because as mentioned before, how the tourists are treated will affect their attitudes and recommendations to their friends, which will be critical in affecting if a particular tourism destination will be rated highly by the tourists. In fact, when the tourist travel to a new place, they would need to stay somewhere (such as in hotel), use the public transport, interact with other people and eat somewhere (such as in restaurants). So that means that the tourists will likely use the many services provided by the hospitality industry (such as hotel, restaurants, airline and so on). In other words, the rise of tourism will also benefit the hospitality development.
So, it can be seen that both tourism development and hospitality development go hand in hand. They are mutually relying on each other. When tourism is developed and booming, that will benefit the hospitality industry. Then, when the hospitality industry is booming or performing well, that will benefit the tourism industry. It is therefore sometimes that someone may even treat tourism and hospitality as similar concepts, particularly that all tourism operators are actually also in the hospitality industry, because they will treat the tourists as guess and to ensure that they are satisfied – so to grow their business.
Then, events can be playing very important roles in both tourism and hospitality industry. In fact, events are actually one of the many major travel motivation or attractions for potential tourists. For example, in the paper by Stipanovic & Stojanov (2010), it is found that traditional events had become the main attractions for tourists visiting to the Zadar county. Some of these events include: The Zadar Summer of Theatre; The Night of the Full Moon; The Garden Festival; DM Millennium Jump’ and but not limited to Musical Evenings at St. Donato’s Church.
Then, events can be used as the strategy to enhance tourism development. This is because events can increasing the number of tourists, prolonging the tourist season, providing entertainment, enhancing a destination’s reputation, providing a unique experience, gaining media coverage, augmenting revenue and profits and so on (Stipanovic & Stojanov, 2010). In other words, the tourist operators can create some events to bring more fun to the tourists – so to improve the tourism development in a particular tourism destination.
However, it is also possible that tourists like to visit to some certain places to participate in existing events, such as cultural events in certain places. For this, Carmichael (2002) also discussed that a special cultural event has a number of functions in facilitating competitiveness of a tourism destination, whereby it increases linkages with the urban hinterland by attracting tourists; it temporarily increases the tourism resource base by increasing the range of attractions available; and it generates income both to the attraction and to the surrounding city functions as event visitors participate in other activities.
So, from the discussions, it can be understood that events can add attractions to further enhance the tourism or hospitality industry, of even become the main reasons creating the tourism industry in a particular place (such as when the western foreigners travel to Thailand purely to participate in Full Moon Party or Songkran). This is similar for the case on how event can benefit the hospitality industry, such as when they are business meetings or conference in a hotel, which will boost the business of the particular hotel.
Overall, from the discussions above, it can be understood that all of the three concepts, events, tourism and hospitality are different concepts. However, there are related to each other, because the development of one of the area or issue can affect the development in other issues. It is discussed that development of tourism can benefit the hospitality industry (such as hotel, airline or restaurant), and the development of hospitality can also boost the tourism industry (as people would have good experiences and therefore recommend more fined to travel to the place or to travel to the same place again in the future). This is also with the understanding that tourism is actually also one part of hospitality – as the tour operators would affect the tourist by how they treat them. Lastly, it is also discussed that events can boost both tourism and hospitality industry. This means we need to pay attentions to all of the three issues, not only in trying to boost the tourism development, or in boosting the hospitality industry.
Barron, P. (2008). Education and talent management: Implications for the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20(7), 730-742.
Carmichael, B. A. (2002). Global competitiveness and special events in cultural tourism: The example of the Barnes exhibit at the art gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Canadian Geographer, 46(4), 310-324.
Gartner, W. C. (2002). Trends in rethinking tourism education. Acta Turistica, 14(1), 13-21.
Gherco, A. V., & Trandafir, A. (2014). Tourism development in the terms of sustainable development in Romania. Economics, Management and Financial Markets, 9(1), 207-212.
Lashley, C. (2007). Discovering hospitality: Observations from recent research. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 1(3), 214-226.
O’Gorman, K. D. (2007). The hospitality phenomenon: Philosophical enlightenment? International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 1(3), 189-202.
Reiser, D. (2003). Globalisation: An old phenomenon that needs to be rediscovered for tourism? Tourism and Hospitality Research, 4(4), 306-320.
Stipanovic, C., & Stojanov, S. (2010). Importance of events in rethinking tourism development in the Zadar county. Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija. Biennial International Congress. Tourism & Hospitality Industry, 1251-1259.
Veres, D., Clark, H., & Golbourne, D. (2008). Increasing the contribution of special events to Niagara’s tourism industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20(3), 313-318.