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Will the advent of a more responsible type of tourism lead to the convergence of today’s highly diversified tourist offers? . Presentation by Maud Tixier Professor ESSEC Business School Paris-Singapore Best Education Network Think Tank VIII June 24-28, 2008 Izmir - Turkey. Introduction.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Will the advent of a more responsible type of tourism lead to the convergence of today’s highly diversified tourist offers?

Presentation by Maud Tixier

Professor

ESSEC Business School

Paris-Singapore

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

introduction
Introduction

Tourism is influenced by trends that result in a more responsible kind of tourism, involving both supply and demand.

  • A more responsible form of tourism

This responsibility encompasses all the partners involved in the tourist offer as well as the environment (nature and heritage).

  • The evolution of customer demand

The customer rides the wave of sustainable development either to follow a trend, or through genuine awareness.

  • The response of tour operators

Among specialist tour operators, the offer is fragmented, eclectic and hard to decipher on a market, which only represents 1% to 2% of the global market.

Traditional tour operators embark upon more responsible operations while they are accused of much wrong-doing.

The problematic of this research is hence to foresee whether the tourist offers of traditional and specialist tour operators might in the future converge.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

methodology
Methodology
  • Supply in responsible tourism from traditional and specialist tour operators compared according to the acknowledged sustainability criteria (social, environmental, economic) and according to sub-criteria pertaining to each of their components.
  • Focus on the offer in island and desert resorts of the Mediterranean basin.
  • Analysis of 10 specialist tour operators and 18 traditional tour operators.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

results for non specialized agents
Results for non-specialized agents

- Environmental criteria

a. architectural heritage

Unesco tours by Jet Tours

b. integration into the landscape

c. protection of the nature, wildlife and flora

d. conservation of energy resources

very vague announcements/no tangible initiatives

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

slide5

Results for non-specialized agents

- Social criteria

a. wages of local employees and their working conditions

- recruitment and training of local guides and employees

- purchases

b. safety of employees and customers

c. interaction between local and tourists

-respect of local cultures and traditions

- prostitution

d. positive social impact

- training locals for management positions

e. some tour operators are not much involved or absent. Some may even have a negative socio-cultural impact

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

slide6

Results for non-specialized agents

- Economic/financial criteria

a. no financial transparency

b. economic spin-offs for the local population

c. customer satisfaction not mentioned

d. the economic and financial criterion of sustainable tourism is completely under-invested by the traditional tour operators among the surveyed firms

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

results for non specialized agents7
Results for non-specialized agents
  • Non-specialized agents

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

results for specialist tour operators
Results for specialist tour operators

-Environmental criteria

a.architectural heritage

b. natural heritage, protection of the environment

hiking

c. management of rare resources

-Social criteria

a. encounters and interaction with the locals

b. respect of local cultures

local cooking or gastronomy

c. supporting the local economy

working with natives while embracing sustainable development

d. partnerships

- Economic criteria

a. economic spin-offs for the locals remain vague

b. financing local projects

c. transparency

d. customer satisfaction

in part linked to the price of the holiday

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

slide9

Results for specialist tour operators

  • Specialist tour operators

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

comparison of the communication of tour operators
Comparison of the communication of tour operators

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

comparison of the communication of tour operators11
Comparison of the communication of tour operators
  • The non-specialized tour operators

◦ communicate better about the environment

◦ not as well about social aspects

◦ badly about financial aspects

The best scores were obtained by Accor, Thomas Cook and Club Med. The best and the most balanced on all three criteria is Accor group.

  • The specialist tour operators

◦communicate far better about the social aspects

◦ not as well about the environment and the financial aspects

The best scores were obtained by Allibert, La Balaguère, Arvel and Chamina

  • Comparison

◦ specialist tour operators prevail on the social aspects

◦ the non-specialized communicate better about the environment

◦ finally, the economic and financial aspects are much better handled by the specialist tour operators

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

discussion
Discussion

Initiatives undertaken are still far too tokenistic

image-impacting initiatives aimed at appealing to the customer rather than selected in the framework of a global responsible stance.

There is among traditional tour operators a growing responsible approach

this stance hinges for the time being more on well-understood economic interests than on a purely responsible commitment.

The implementation of systems of control and labels seems necessary in order to prevent the multiplication of declarations in principle and to promote genuine sustainable initiatives

Among the specialist tour operators as well as among the traditional tour operators, one notes a great diversity

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

a context favourable to their convergence
A context favourable to their convergence?
  • Among non-specialized tour operators

- acceleration factors

The conventional tourism players have in many cases rallied to responsible tourism.

Demand on the part of customers compels them to adapt to the trend.

The evolution of agencies towards more proximity, more conviviality should render them more apt to sell the type of holiday that is today commercialised by specialist tour operators.

- slowdown factors

Corporate logic impresses on traditional tour operators criteria of profitability that are hard to reconcile with holidays hinging on the partnership between local players and associations.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

a context favourable to their convergence14
A context favourable to their convergence?
  • Among the specialist tour operators

- slowdown factors

The first concern regards the « productivist » logic of conventional networks, unrelated to the development of host regions.

Preserving one’s specificity is also a concern.

- acceleration factors

Lack of professionalism of the practices.

On the customer level, the lack of a sustained customer flow, poorly identified products; therefore the necessity to look for competent partners, to set up the offer network, to broaden the customer base.

« Lite sustainable travel » winning over all operators.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

solutions conclusion
Solutions/Conclusion

The specialists are considering both opening sustainable tourism agencies and forming partnerships with conventional agencies as well as other possible alliances.

The « real gap » that exists according to the specialists between their propositions and « the awareness » that conventional tour operators have of them may no longer be as unbridgeable when both intervene in the same field.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

appendix 2
Appendix 2

28 tour operators/players specialized in responsible tourism

Two media: catalogues and the internet 2006-2007

Areas to protect : islands and deserts in the Mediterranean basin

  • Internet sites surveyed
    • Chamina Voyages - www.chamina-voyages.com
    • Saïga - www.saiga-voyage-nature.fr
    • La Balaguère: group hikes and travel
    • La Balaguère: independent travel - www.labalaguere.com
    • Arvel* : association of 18 tour operators - www.arvel-voyages.com
    • Allibert - www.allibert-trekking.com
    • Vagabondages - www.vagabondages.com
    • Explorator - www.explorator.fr
    • Voyager Autrement - www.voyager-autrement.fr /www.vacancesbleues.fr
    • Déserts - www.deserts.fr

*Arvel members: AFS, ANAK, Amitié Franco Touareg, Association de Gestion du Village, Dana, Babushka Adoption, Caritas Turkey, CECAL, CICDA, Dana Cooperative in Jordan, Croq’Nature, Jangalekat, Jambi Runa, La Burle, Les Enfants de Recas, Médecins du Monde, Parrainage Lyon Madagascar, Rhône Jamuna Helambou, Xuan-ADV-Centre de protection des enfants de Danang.

  • Catalogues studied
    • Chamina, Voyages, Winter 2006/2007.
    • Saiga,2006: Greece, Italy, Corsica, Sardinia. Other islands : the Azores, New Caledonia, the Reunion Island.
    • La Balaguère,Randonnées et voyages individuels, summer 2006: Corsica, Porquerolles island, Port-Cros island, Crete, Karpathos island. Other islands: Madeira, the Canaries, Lanzarote, Cap Verde, the Reunion island.
    • La Balaguère,Randonnées et voyages en groupes, summer 2006, winter 2006/2007: the Balearic islands, Sardinia. Other islands: the Azores, Lanzarote, the Canaries, Madeira, Santo Antao, Cap Verde.
    • Arvel, summer/autumn 2006: Cyprus, Cyclades islands, Paros, Crete, Cres island - Croatia, Sicily, the Canaries, the Balearic islands, Malta.
    • Allibert, Le monde à pied, 2006 : Ischia, Capri, Crete, Cyclades, Cyprus, the Balearic islands. Other islands : the Canaries, the Azores, the Reunion island.
    • Vagabongages, La Rando en France, 2006: Corsica.
    • Explorator, 2006, Other islands: Cap Verde, Madeira.
    • Vacances Bleues Voyager autrement, 2006, Other islands: Cuba.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

appendix 3
Appendix 3

Conventional general public tour operators/players

Two media : catalogues and the internet 2006-2007

Areas to protect : islands and deserts in the Mediterranean basin

  • Internet sites surveyed
    • Thomas Cook -www.thomascook.fr
    • Accor - www.accor.com
    • Club Med - www.clubmed.fr
    • Austral Lagon - www.austral-lagons.com
    • Directours - www.directours.com
    • Fram - www.fram.fr
    • Héliades - www.heliades.fr
    • Jet Tours - www.jettours.com
    • Marsans - www.marsans.fr
    • Nouvelles Frontières - www.nouvelles-frontieres.fr
    • Pierre & Vacances - www.pierreetvacances.com
    • Voyages-SNCF - http://agence.voyages-sncf.com/daily/jump/tourisme-responsable/ecovoyages.aspx)

Six further tour operators/players consulted offer no information:

    • Opodo - www.opodo.com
    • Last Minute - www.lastminute.com
    • TUI - www.tui.fr
    • STI - www.stivoyages.fr
    • Merilia - www.merilia.com
    • Look Voyage - www.look-voyages.fr
  • Catalogues studied
    • Jet Tours, Les circuits et croisières, summer 2007, p. 10 and pages describing the UNESCO tours.
    • FRAM, FRAM catalogue, summer 2007, FRAM commitments p.8 and 9.
    • Héliades, Randonnées pédestres, summer 2007 catalogue, Grece and the Greek islands, agritourism, p.3.
    • Nouvelles Frontières, Spring summer 2007, Paladien Hotels-Clubs, p.4.
    • Directours, (no paper catalogue since 2000), internet site www.directours.com, pages Edito and Qui, quoi, comment ?
    • Marsans, catalogue Caraïbes, Amérique Latine, May-October 2007, p.4.

Best Education Network Think Tank VIII

June 24-28, 2008

Izmir - Turkey

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