Profitability in Tourism: 1*100 = 100*1

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.Image

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).

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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.

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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?

Follow this and other related post on our Blog Sustainable Thinking. (https://royortiz.wordpress.com/)

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Articulo Publicado en el eBook del VII Foro Turístico Hosteltur sobre competitividad.

Roy Ortiz, Director técnico de la empresa PURAVERA; organización que se especializa en la promoción del turismo responsable para el desarrollo sostenible de la comarca de la Vera, ha sido premiado por la comunidad Hosteltur por su articulo “¿Cómo mejorar la competitividad española? Potenciemos el turismo rural.” Premio Especialización por la puesta en valor de forma rigurosa y argumentada la idea de cómo hacer competitivo el turismo rural como alternativa específica dentro del turismo. Hosteltur es el portal líder en español de noticias de turismo. Con motivo del VII Foro Turístico de Hosteltur con el tema competitividad se desarrollado un eBook donde se incluye este artículo. Os dejo link al e-book:

http://issuu.com/hosteltur_2011/docs/ebook_vii_foro_turistico_hosteltur

http://static.issuu.com/webembed/viewers/style1/v1/IssuuViewer.swf

Además os dejo link al post original en este blog donde se identifica como se podría mejorar la competitividad española si favorecemos el turismo rural y el gran potencial natural, cultural y gastronómico de las diversas regiones españolas, utilizando como ejemplo la comarca de la Vera en Extremadura.

https://royortiz.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/%C2%BFcomo-mejorar-la-competitividad-espanola-potenciemos-el-turismo-rural/

La sostenibilidad como argumento de venta – Herramientas de autodiagnóstico 2-3

Siguiendo con la serie de posts de Fitur 2012, estuve presente con PURAVERA en FITUR GREEN, espacio dirigido a todas aquellas empresas interesadas en integrar medidas de sostenibilidad en el turismo. Este año se centro en la financiación de la sostenibilidad a través del ahorro que produce en eficiencia energética.

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En este caso me gustaría hablar de la herramienta desarrollado por la Organización Mundial del Turismo – OMT denominada, Hotel Energy Solutions – HES.

Tuvimos la suerte de tener a los representantes del programa HES de la UNWTO que identificaron los objetivos y la necesidad de este proyecto para reducir las emisiones de la industria hotelera.

Algunos aspectos clave que se reconocen incluyen;

  • Los alojamientos representan el 2% de las emisiones de CO2 a nivel mundial. (PYME)
  • El 52% alojamientos están en Europa.
  • Existe un 30% de margen de mejora en eficiencia energética.

OS dejo link al canal video explicativo del proyecto del UNWTO que ejemplifica muy bien la necesidad del mismo.

Más videos en español e inglés en en Canal UNWTO http://vimeo.com/channels/237472#29033687

Para la elaboración de la herramienta se utilizaron 100 hoteles en 4 destinos diferentes, donde se incluyeron hoteles costeros, de montaña, urbanos y rurales. La herramienta se denomina E-toolkit y es el instrumento que identifica como reducir las emisiones de nuestro hotel. El objetivo de la herramienta es mejorar la eficiencia del hotel, reducir las emisiones y por lo tanto reducir los costes energéticos.

De forma básica la herramienta E-toolkit se compone de;

  • Primero hay un cuestionario que consta de 6 etapas.
  • Con las respuestas obtenidas se generan 3 informes;
    • Presentación energética
    • Soluciones energéticas.
    • Balance de carbono.
    • La herramienta E-toolkit esta enfocada PYMES ya que representan la gran mayoría de negocios por lo que podemos incorporar los datos y costes en el panel de entrada y se nos identificaran posibles tecnologías.
    • ROI (retorno de la inversión); se identifican las necesidades de inversión si son necesarias y en cuanto tiempo podríamos recuperarlas.

Para más información visitar su web www.hotelenergysolutions.net

Esta herramienta esta enfocada a PYMES y nos permite conocer los consumos energéticos y los posibles ahorros mediante el uso de tecnologías mas eficientes. Se nos aportan diversas herramientas para identificar y mejorar la eficiencia de nuestro alojamiento. Hemos hablado del E-toolkit pero también tenemos acceso a la escuela de la energía (formación), fichas técnicas, publicaciones, videos o E-folletos, entre otros.

Por ahora los cuestionarios están en inglés y francés pero se esta trabajando en la versión española. Por ahora el proyecto se fundamenta en la mejora de la eficiencia energética pero esta previsto incluir; Residuos y Agua, en futuro próximo.

OS dejo un video del programa en ingles que ejemplifica de forma visual el objetivo del proyecto.

Hotel energy solution English video: ¿Que es? http://vimeo.com/29033687

Videos: recomendaciones:

http://vimeo.com/33273043 español

http://vimeo.com/33150522 ingles

Sabías que; ¿Existe un 30% de margen de mejora en eficiencia energética en el sector hotelero?

¿Conoces herramientas similares enfocadas a alojamientos para mejorar la eficiencia energética?

PURAVERA presenta su proyecto en el Foro Emprende 2011.

PURAVERA ha estado presente en el FORO EMPRENDE 2011, celebrado el 29 y 30 de Noviembre en el Palacio de congresos “Manuel Rojas” de Badajoz. Este año se desarrolla bajo el lema “Es tu Momento” y es el mayor encuentro entre emprendedores y empresarios de Extremadura.

Aprovechado la asistencia hemos participado en la creación de un video promocional en “180 segundos – Presenta tu proyecto en público”. Hemos establecido contactos con diversos empresarios y emprendedores de la región en el evento de “Speed Networking”. Hemos estado en la Mesa de debate de Emprendedores y Entrega de premios a la Excelencia Empresarial, donde hemos conocido a empresarios extremeños de reconocido prestigio y su experiencia emprendedora; cómo han superado las dificultades, la gestión en sus empresas para una mejora continua, entre otros.

 

Además hemos participado en el Twitt Ideas, donde hemos compartido nuestra experiencia y vivencias y hemos recibido aportaciones muy diversas y con una perspectiva diferente que es lo que se buscaba. Además hemos podido consultar en la biblioteca publicaciones sobre tendencias, financiación, franquicias, casos de éxito…

Finalmente hemos podido asesorarnos sobre las convocatorias de ayudas para nuestros proyectos de consultoría y hemos podido reunirnos con business angels, asociaciones de desarrollo y grupos de inversión a los cuales les hemos planteado nuestras oportunidades de inversión responsable en la comarca de la Vera.

Os dejamos el video que hicimos en la jornada para dar a conocer nuestra empresa! Espero que os guste. A continuación os dejamos link al video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E80VaTc92bc&feature=related

How to improve the Spanish competitiveness? Promote the rural tourism

With this post I want to emphasize that although Spain is known worldwide as a destination for sun and beach, we all know that there is much more to offer. As an example I will use the region where my company “PURAVERA” is located and will identify and define a strategy that puts us ahead in the race for competitiveness in the globalized world we find ourselves today. I work in the Extremadura region of the Shire la Vera. (“Comarca de la Vera”)

This is some data on the area:

  • Climate: Situated on the south side of the mountain range “Sierra de Gredos”, microclimate causes temperatures are not as extreme as in the rest of the community.
  • Natural Richness: The Shire has 47 natural river gorges and over 100 streams, a variety of habitats, environmental protection areas and a very important diversity of birds.
  1. Extremadura is the community with more miles of coastline with fresh water.
  2. Caceres is the Spanish province with more forest land.
  • Historical and Cultural Heritage:
  1. Of the 19 villages in the region there are 5 declared of historicical and artistic value.
  2. There are remains of the many civilizations that have settled in the past. Roman roads and bridges, castles of the Knights Templar, Celtic hill forts, Neolithic caves, among others.
  • Millenary cooking recipes (Gastronomy) and high quality products.
  • Low population density: Extremadura (1 million inhabitants) is the size of the Netherlands (16 million inhabitants)

I guess many like me when you first arrive in Extremadura may not believe it, but all these facts are correct. In Spain there are many regions that share many features with this region and for one reason or another do not have a crowded tourist development. Spain has a history full of different civilizations, with a natural heritage worthy of preservation and visited; a rich and varied cuisine, excellent transport infrastructure and security more than demonstrated, among many other aspects

We in the region of the Shire of la Vera decided to go for adventure tourism in order to improve the competitiveness of the destination. Understanding the term as any trip that is associated with outdoor activities or historical heritage, which will help preserve local culture and promote the development of the region. (Sustainability as a premise)

I leave you link to a post I made some time in the community on the occasion of the World Summit Adventure Tourism.

https://royortiz.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/shire-of-la-vera-is-an-ideal-location-for-adventure-travel-%E2%80%93-scotland-summit-2010-day-2-meetings/

The aspects that I consider key to improving the competitiveness of these destinations include:

  1. Coopetition – Cooperate to compete as a destination in the globalized world.
  2. Differentiation – Find the niche that best suits our destination.
  3. Participation – All interest groups, public institutions, local action groups, local development associations, business groups, research centers, general public, among others.
  4. Valorization and conservation of natural resources – we must not forget that nature is a tourist resource and must be strengthened and preserved.
  5. Development and social cohesion – that the ideas come out of the local population and thus endure over time.
  6. Training – Identifying best practices and have qualified personnel.
  7. Innovation – Keeping track of the strategy and incorporate appropriate measures of innovation and training. Reinvent ourselves again and again.

I am sure that this potential on natural and cultural tourism resources are present in many Spanish territories so the idea is that each zone enhances its aspects and resources that make it unique.

We focus in this new market (adventure tourism, responsible, sustainable) which is clearly increasing. I leave you link to a post which has developed a study of this market:

http://rural-accommodations.blogspot.com/2010/10/adventure-tourism-research-and-trends.html

I think every day more are more people realize that we have exceeded the consumption level and that if we continue with this trend we will have no planet. There are more and more associations of responsible consumers who seek products directly from the vegetable gardens and are willing to pay a little more knowing that this money goes directly to farmers. Every day there are more people that care about the behavior of firms and how they operate, fair trade is booming and moving greater numbers each year. Most companies that are in stock exchange have memories of sustainability and CSR policies (better or worse but every day more). Every day the market of sustainable or responsible tourism is greater and tourists looking to meet new destinations and want to immerse in the culture and learn about the natural heritage.

I leave you link to a post where we can see some examples of success stories:

http://rural-accommodations.blogspot.com/2010/12/creating-demand-for-sustainable-tourism.html

In my opinion it could significantly improve the competitiveness of the Spanish market if we promote rural tourism focused on different and unique experiences, preserving the natural heritage and place value on local resources. Besides well-structured rural tourism can not only help improve the competitiveness of the Spanish market thanks to the attraction of other niches but can be used as an engine of development in remote areas without losing its character, natural resources, cultural and historical.

Do you know places where they could develop a similar strategy to this?

Follow this and other related post on our Blog Sustainable Thinking. (https://royortiz.wordpress.com/)

Land Stewardship in rural touristic areas.

With this post I would like to propose a management model for rural touristic areas that integrate all stakeholders and interest groups to promote environmental and social practices to develop and position the destination as a benchmark for sustainable tourism.

What is land stewardship?

According to Xavier Sabaté Expert Group Promoter of the Xarxa de Custodia del Territori (XCT) of Catalonia, the first network in Spain for Land Stewardship:

“The essence of land stewardship is the work of many people from different backgrounds which pursue a common goal; to conserve biodiversity, the most outstanding landscapes of our country, and the associated cultural heritage”

The first private entity of land stewardship arises in 1899 – National Trust (NGO) buys 2 acres of “Wicken fen” to retain some endemic plants. This is the first of many examples in nature reserves managed by NGOs. Born for land conservation, development and international cooperation. In Spain it starts later with the “Declaration of Land Stewardship of Montesquiu” www.custodia-territorio.es (Inventory land stewardship initiatives. State Land Stewardship Forum. Spain already has 130 custodians of the land, 1,336 agreements). Recently the land stewardship is being promoted nationwide with the Law 42/2007 – Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, and there are various aids programs at European level, among others.

Destination managers, governments, private companies, research organizations, individuals and entities linked to conservation, are increasingly convinced that we should join forces and cooperate in designing destinations and more important to manage them. In the past this work had been centralized in the government but in today’s time with so many competing interests and influencing many stakeholders is necessary a consensus and a joint strategy.

We must combine the best features of each agent, private company with its dynamism and rapid response to new challenges. Administration as a moderator and promoter of global strategies that are agreed on and are long-term, the NGOs and the general public with their social and environmental report to identify problems and solutions.

At the end of this mechanism the aim is that destinations are better managed and are structured to the potential offer and the capability of the destination in order to not over exploit the natural and cultural resources of the area. The threshold carrying capacity of the destination should not be exceeded.

Do you think this methodology designed to parks and nature reserves should be used for managing rural tourism areas with high environmental and cultural value?

Do you think the Shire of la Vera (Caceres-Spain) could become the benchmark for sustainable tourism through its management through Land Stewardship?

Custodia del Territorio en zonas rurales

Con este post me gustaría plantear un modelo de gestión para zonas rurales donde se integren todos los agentes y grupos de interés para poder promover prácticas ambientales y sociales para desarrollar y posicionar el destino como referente en sostenibilidad.

¿Qué es la custodia del territorio?

Según Xavier Sabaté experto del Grupo Impulsor de la Xarxa de Custodia del Territori (XCT) de Cataluña, primera red de Custodia del Territorio en España:

“La esencia de la custodia del territorio es el trabajo conjunto de muchas personas de colectivos diferentes, y que persiguen una meta común: conservar la biodiversidad, los  paisajes más sobresalientes de nuestro país, y el patrimonio cultural asociado”.

La primera entidad de custodia privada surge en 1899 – National Trust (ONG) compra 2 acres de “Wicken fen” para conservar alguna plantas endémicas. Esta es la primera de muchos ejemplos en reservas naturales gestionadas por ONG. Nacen para la conservación del territorio y cooperación al desarrollo. Inicios en España “Declaración de Montesquiu de Custodia del Territorio” www.custodia-territorio.es (Inventario Iniciativas custodia del territorio. Foro estatal custodia del territorio. España ya cuenta con 130 entidades de custodia del territorio, 1.336 acuerdos). Además recientemente se está fomentando a nivel nacional la custodia del territorio con la Ley 42/2007 – Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad, y existen diversas ayudas a nivel europeo, entre otras.

Los gestores de destinos, las administraciones, las empresas privadas, organismos de investigación, personas y entidades vinculadas a la conservación; estamos cada día más convencidos que debemos aunar esfuerzos y cooperar para diseñar destinos y más importante para gestionarlos. En el pasado esta labor se había centralizado en la administración pública pero en la era en la que vivimos y con tantos intereses contrapuestos e influenciando a tantos grupos de interés es necesario un consenso y una estrategia conjunta.

Debemos combinar las mejores características de cada agente, la empresa privada con su dinamismo y rápida respuesta en nuevos retos. La administración como moderador y continuador de estrategias globales y consensuadas de estrategia a largo plazo, las ONG´s y público en general con su denuncia social y ambiental para la identificación de problemas y soluciones.

Al final con este mecanismo lo que se pretende es que los destinos estén mejor gestionados y se estructure la oferta a la capacidad del destino y no se sobreexploten los recursos naturales y culturales de la zona.

¿Crees se debería trasladar esta metodología diseñada para parques y reservas naturales para gestionar zonas de turismo rural con gran valor ambiental y cultural?

¿Crees que la Comarca de la Vera podría convertirse en referente de turismo sostenible mediante su gestión a través de Custodia del Territorio?