Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Research Paper on Tourism

Research Paper on Tourism

According to Pizam’s article (1982), the tourism and hospitality industry has been applauded by industrialized and developing countries for the number of jobs created. A large amount of position vacancy is generated within the tourism industry and the supported industries. As a labor-intensive industry, its contribution to employment is not only restricted to the area or country but it also provides those jobs to women, youngsters, unskilled, minorities and the socially disadvantaged who find it very hard to get any jobs (Pizam, 1982). However, the unskilled and semi-skilled workers who are directly employed in the industry are usually considered to be the uneducated, unmotivated, untrained, unskilled, and unproductive employees (British Tourist Authority, 1974). Pizam has identified the impacts related between the characteristics of modern society and the characteristics of the tourism industry on the work environment, since 1982 (Exhibit 1), but how relevant are they in today’s tourism and hospitality industry? And are there any causes that can affect employees’ performance? If yes, how?

Even though the article was written in 1982, it is a fact that the characteristics of modern society and the characteristics of the industry on the tourism and hospitality work environment are still affecting employees’ performance and their productivity today. The characteristics of the industry can be identified as internal factors and the characteristics of modern society can be classified as external factors.


Considering the individualities of tourism industry production, tourism products are intangible, perishable, variable and inseparable. Management has to operate in a very strict and close supervisory aspect. The continuity of operation requires employees to have an inconvenient pattern of working hours, for example, time shifts in the hotel and inconstant rosters for cabin crews. In this case, the nature of tourism product is a factor that interrupts employee’s personal and family life. Furthermore, seasonality of operation in the industry is one of the major factors that make many potential employees not interested in working in the tourism industry. The employers have to hire part-time workers or migrant workers due to the labor force demand fluctuation between seasons. Because the industry cannot attract the potential workers, it creates the problems of cultural adjustment, ethnic conflicts and accusation of discrimination in a workplace that affects their productivities (Pizam, 1982). However, it can be a benefit for some potential labor force such as students and housewives to earn extra income beside their own duties. For example, students can work part-time in the hotel as casual staff during their session break. These internal components still exist in today’s tourism and hospitality industry.

In addition to the internal factors that may affect employees’ performance, personal attitudes to work can be a significant driving force towards good or bad labor efficiency. In other words, attitudes to work have a positive and negative quality, which quality might transform to some form of behaviour. It is compulsory for management to be able to know the employees’ attitudes, which indicate their motivation (Riley, 2000). Everyone has different motivation; therefore, management has to look closely and spend a lot of time with the employees to find out how to motivate properly and make sure it is suited to the individual.

Beside the internal factors, the external factors are also a significant influence on job performance and are far beyond the control of the industry. There are several external factors, which are identified as major driving forces to job dissatisfaction in the tourism industry, for example, economic impacts, political uncertainties and social health.

Considering the economic impact, it could be a world economic crisis or an economic recession within the country, which would affect the work environment in the form of low wages and job redundancies. As Pizam cited “ In a majority of countries, remuneration in the hospitality and foodservice sectors is between 15% and 20% below the average for other industries (Sabolo1975, p.60)”. It is manifested that lower payment in the industry might lead to a lower standard of living of employees and an objectionable lifestyle regarding to the difficult nature of the work and the inconvenient pattern of working hours (Pizam, 1982). Due to the economic crisis, the organizations may lay off employees to cut down the operation cost, and because of this management strategy, it will put employees into risk of losing their jobs, which will definitely influence their behavior and their productivities in a workplace.

Furthermore, Political uncertainty is a significant factor affecting workers’ performance especially in today’s world for example, terrorism attacks, which have become the world’s current affairs. Since the terrorists have attacked the United States of America on September 11, 2001, people around the world are terrified to travel. It is a remarkable impact on the tourism and hospitality industry especially in airlines business. Another major terrorists’ attack was the bomb blast at Sari Club, Bali, on October 12, 2002, which 180 people were killed and hundreds were injured. The businesses in Bali, which its’ economy is relied on tourism and hospitality, have been dropped dramatically because tourists are scared to travel to Bali. Thousand of people in the industry lost their jobs. Once again the tourism industry in Bali has not yet recovered from the Bali bombing, the latest bombing attack at the JW Marriott Hotel, Jakarta has brought the decline in tourism business now to worsen, because there are no security guarantees for the tourists visiting Indonesia. The remarkable drop in tourist numbers following the bombing has been felt in low occupancy rates, which is approximately 46.89%. The 670 employees of the hotel have lost their jobs. As a result, the workers who are members of the Independent Federation of Tourism Sector Unions (FSPM) protested and called for the protection of the workers from the acts of the terrorism and for job security for hotel and tourism sector workers in a workplace (FSPM, 2003). This political instability mentioned above might happen anywhere in the world and affect tourisms’ work environment in terms of safety and job security, which are not included in exhibit 1 by Pizam.

Unless a war in the Middle East, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak (SARS) has brought the tourism and hospitality industry into crisis which started in March 2003. The impact of SARS might affect all of the world’s service industries because people start avoiding activities that involve personal contact with others due to the unclear of methods of transmitting the virus responsible for SARS. As a result of tourists’ cancellation trips, the tourism growth is sluggish which is leading to the reduction of employment. People start losing their jobs because of job redundancy strategy applied in some organizations. Remaining staff is persuaded to acquire additional skills and also accept more flexible working hours; as a result, the loss of employment affects most of the unskilled and semi-skilled staff members, as well as part-time workers including high proportions of women, migrant workers and youngsters who have difficulty finding alternative jobs due to lower skills levels (ILO, 2003).

In conclusion, according to the article written by Pizam in 1982, some of the related impacts between the characteristics of modern society, and the characteristics of the industry on the work environment of the unskilled and semi-skilled workers in the tourism industry still exist in worlds’ today; nevertheless, it was mentioned twenty years ago. However, there are some other factors that may affect employees’ work environment and lead to job dissatisfaction such as, economic impacts, political uncertainty and social health, which are new issues to the tourism industry.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Tourism writing topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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