With this post I just want to launch a personal reflection, I’m no expert on profitability or revenue management strategies, I am just a rural tourism worker who has knowledge of sustainability issues and that bases my business strategy on corporate social responsibility.
When I think of profit first thing that comes to mind is that Spain has always been one of the countries with more visitors worldwide, along with countries like France, the U.S., UK or Italy, *among others. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism). The problem is that when we look at the revenues generated by the large number of tourists we realize that we are not getting all the juice; the full potential of the large number of tourists coming to our country; and more important, that repeat year after year thanks to good customer service and quality of life that we offer.
When I visited other European countries I’ve noticed that prices of accommodation, transport, activities, restaurants and others; are usually more expensive than in Spain, while the quality offered is the same or even lower in many cases. A seemingly simple solution that would lead us to improve profitability at the national level would be to adjust prices in the quality offered.
It is clear that there is the eternal debate and it’s something the companies associated with my reservation center say; “if I raise the price I will lose customers” to which I usually respond “It’s the same to earn a euro with 100 customers than 100 euros with 1 customer”
(Having clear that the quality of service and products should be treated according to their price. We must focus to a tourist who is willing to pay more).
In the past few years, Spain has entered a “price war” that in my humble opinion only makes us go plugging holes in the sinking ship. We know that Spain is international kwon and recognized for its tourism quality. From my own experience I have collaborated with specialized tour operators (adventure travel) who do not know my destination (Shire of la Vera – Extremadura) but I managed to work with them thanks to the great reputation that Spain has and is something that we must work towards.
What I want to convey is that it’s time to put the Spanish tourism industry where it deserves.
- We have a diverse natural and cultural heritage and great potential.
- A renowned cuisine, unique products and high quality.
- We have a tourist infrastructure that could even consider even excessive.
- We offer high quality accommodation and diversified.
- Quality of life and great customer service acknowledged worldwide.
- Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Spanish economy, directly and indirectly.
- Our highly experienced professionals and well trained guides.
- We offer a very good security for tourists and visitors.
It’s time to use the tourism sector as the driving force (engine) of development, creation of skilled jobs and position ourselves as a world leader in quality and sustainability.
We are seeing a clear shift in consumption patterns and there are innovative tools and new technologies that bring us anywhere in the world at minimal cost. Spain is currently in a critical situation like many other countries and it is time that we push what we do best, and let us develop the resources and culture that makes millions of tourists repeat our destination year after year.
I return to the title phrase:
“It’s the same earning 100 euros with a client that 1 euro with 100 clients”
I would go even further; as fewer tourists;
- It means less pressure on the territory.
- Less impact on natural environments.
- Less impact on the historical and artistic heritage.
- Less need to increase tourism infrastructure.
- Be able to better serve visitors.
- It allows us to focus on improving the quality and sustainability.
- Preserve our culture and put into value.
- Promote the development of tourism specialists.
- Increase skilled employment.
- Position as reference for tourists worldwide.
- Find new market niches new tourists who want something more and are willing to pay.
- Move to the new tourist looking for unique experiences, learn about the culture and customs of the places you visit, enjoy nature and who is willing to pay a little more for it.
- Create a model of sustainable tourism development that lasts over time and puts into value the place, culture, nature and local wealth.
I leave this thought:
Is it possible to increase profitability through focus on quality tourism and based on attracting responsible tourists; by them we mean those who seek to know the nature, culture and cuisine of a region putting them into value its resources?
Do you think Spain can become a world leader in responsible tourism?
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