Prod Ser Man Exam Dec 07 Inc Gline Ans

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  • 1. Tourism Product & Services Management Examination Dec 2007 WITH GUIDELINE ANSWERS Time Allowed: 45 minutes. Instructions Answer ONE question from a choice of three below: • IN ENGLISH • In the format of an ESSAY. All questions carry equal marks. German/English and English /German Dictionaries are permitted. Q1. “Tourism is less of a traditional ‘product’, rather more of a ‘service’, and perhaps, more correctly, an ‘experience’. This very fact renders managing Tourism experience delivery and quality exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, because the ‘experience’ is a personal one unique to and defined by each tourist. The Tourism manager is simply not in control of all elements of the tourist experience.” de Frohberg, Araminta (2007) Discuss. Guideline Answer. Students should systematically dissect the Q in order to identify key instructions and phrases upon which to focus. Taken together this should produce a solid structure for the answer. These key features to be discussed are: • Tourism as a product and/or service and/or experience • Difficulty in managing tourism service / experience quality • Experience is user-defined (not produced) • The Tourism manager’s lack of control of the elements of tourist experience In order to achieve this students should draw and expand upon their knowledge of the unique characteristics of Tourism: • Perishability • Intangibility • Inseparability of service delivery and consumption • Variability of service quality – given the human interactions involved precludes perfect replication. • Lack of trialability prior to purchase (inc. sale by description and buyer ‘collects’) Systematic consideration of the above should enable students to conclude that even though Tourism involves some products being produced and consumed (food for instance), overall, looked at from the supplier’s point of view, he is providing a combination of things which amounts to a range of services, whereas from the consumer’s point of view he is extracting and deriving his individual Tourism experience from these services. Managers can influence the choice of customer (research and marketing), the consumption context (design), the service outputs (training) but the outcome remains the province of the tourist.
  • 2. Q2. “Companies are forever seeking to develop and sustain ‘competitive advantage’. At its heart this means successfully matching the capabilities of the organisation to the opportunities presented by an ever-changing business environment…and consistently doing so more efficiently, effectively, economically and quickly than the competition. Most organisations have a good idea of their internal capabilities but are often desperately lacking in relevant and reliable information concerning critical changes in the business environment and unsure of what the impacts and implications of such information are when they do have it.” Cognito, Ann (2007) Discuss, giving particular consideration to ways and means by which Tourism organisations can monitor, analyse and evaluate changes in the business environment and the potential opportunities arising therefrom. Guideline Answer. Students should systematically dissect the Q in order to identify key instructions and phrases upon which to focus. Taken together this should produce a solid structure for the answer. These key features to be discussed are: • Defining ‘Competitive Advantage’ in terms of its development and sustaining. • Matching capabilities to opportunities • Context of an ever-changing business environment • …more efficiently, effectively, economically and quickly than the competition • Organisations lacking reliable information on external environment changes • Organisations lacking the ability to analyse and evaluate external change in order to predict impacts and implications and produce a strategic response • Particular consideration of:- • ways and means of Tourism companies monitoring, analysing and evaluating change • how Tourism organisations can identify strategic and tactical opportunities arising from the above. Students should define Competitive Advantage drawing upon the work of Michael Porter and subsequently utilising models such as Porter’s 5 Forces … Generic Strategies and Ansoff’s Growth Vector Matrix. Students had also considered my own model of matching internal capabilities with external opportunities and could use this most profitably in this context. All students had worked in groups to consider Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic and Political changes and the opportunities and threats these pose for Tourism businesses. We had considered at length a case study of the development of the Low Cost airline model and the strategies of such operators and counter-strategies of the traditional operators. All such material belonged in this answer. Students should also consider the research and Management Information Systems functions within organisations and the need for managers to have their own personal information access points (Intranet, Professional Associations / conferences and trade fairs etc…..).
  • 3. Q3. “Tourism organisations have used new developments in information and communications technology over the past 15 years to change business models, extend markets, lower cost structures, improve quality, personalise products/services and remove intermediaries from the distribution chain. Inevitably there have been winners and losers in this technology-driven race ……and the race isn’t over yet….” Serah-Serah, Kay (2007) Discuss, illustrating your answer with examples from the world of Tourism. Guideline Answer. Students should systematically dissect the Q in order to identify key instructions and phrases upon which to focus. Taken together this should produce a solid structure for the answer. These key features to be discussed are: • New developments in ICT since (1992) and their role in: • Changing business models • Extending markets • Lowering cost structures • Improving quality • Personalisation / customisation of services • Removing intermediaries from the distribution chain • Winners and losers (past, present and future) • Give Tourism examples The above headings could be developed usefully with illustrations such as: • The low-cost model (egs airlines / outsourcing etc) • The www acting as a relatively low cost global distribution system with low minimum efficient scale. • Broadband connectivity enabling fast transfer of large volumes of information in a variety of formats – a boon to an industry which is information intensive and sold by description. • Dynamic online packaging of holiday components by consumers (as opposed to the offer of fixed package content). • Direct selling by end suppliers (airlines / hotels). Travel Agents becoming their own online Tour Operators … and vice-versa. • Winners: • New online intermediaries: Expedia / Tavelocity / Opodo etc • Online low-cost operators: EasyJet / Ryanair et al • Agri-tourism consortia • Losers: • Flag carrier airlines: BA / Air France (too big and slow to respond – hampered by legacy systems, contracts and intermediary relationships • Mid-size tour operators and travel agents (too big to be niche/specialist… too small to go multi-channel /mode) T. Jolley 05.12.07