PATA | Contact

All posts in Monitoring & Evaluation

Logo from Tourism & More, Inc.

 

 

 

As of the writing of this article, Europe continues to have multiple terrorism attacks.  Tourism & More sends its prayers to all those who are victims of terrorism

No matter in what area of tourism you may be, the simple fact is that tourism is a customer-oriented business.  Without customer service, not only your marketing will eventually fail, but also the business’ viability will be in question. Good service is to tourism what oxygen is to the body. It is the lifeblood of how the industry works.Providing good customer service is often a challenge. Tourism, Many of the frontline positions tend to receive only entry-level pay. The hours are long and neither the financial nor social-psychological awards are great.   Often customers take out their frustration on these very people, even when the frontline person can do nothing or has no decision-making authority.  Thus, the people who often have the least amount of authority are often the most abused and at times most frustrated.

One of the results of these problems is that often frontline positions have a high rate of tur  The lack of training then results in poorer customer service that produces a downward spiral.

Often employers present customer service skills as a necessary part of the job or something that employees simply have to do.  Additionally, and all too often, frontline personnel in tourism are not treated as professionals and this lack of professionalism is then reflected in their attitude toward our customers.

The French have a saying: “Tout c’est dans la presentation/everything depends on how you market it”.  That statement also holds true for customer service. If we present the training as merely customer service, that often produces a “so what” attitude.  If, on the other hand, we present the same training as “life skill enhancement” then the value of what we teach goes far beyond that of a frontline tourism professional.

Change for-the-job training to life skills and we may succeed in changing the attitude of some of our more problematic employees.   When we present this training as a professionalization process used to empower our frontline personnel to make decisions that impacts the way a guest is treated, we are on the road not only to better customer service but also to happier employees.  To help you implement these attitudinal changes Tourism Tidbits suggests considering some of the following principles:

 

– Remind our frontline personnel that in life just as in tourism the key to winning over difficult people is to exhibit: Empathy, coupled with patience. Most people in life can accept that things do go wrong, but what they cannot accept is an attitude that states: “I could care less.” Hospitality is based on caring.  Work with your personnel to exhibit a healthy questioning attitude.  When we involve ourselves in the other person’s problems, we turn anger into an experience and we become our customer’s host rather than a mere employee.  Be careful not to confuse empathy with sympathy. Good customer service is always empathetic but never sympathetic.  In a like manner remember that visitors are in a new environment and often feel lost. Patience and the ability to state the same fact two or three times is a life skill that goes a long way toward personal success.

– Teach Crises come about when we have a tourism breakdown and we refuse to adapt to a new situation. Things do happen, planes arrive late, hotel rooms may not be ready, food may be served too cold or too hot.  Learning how to adapt to new situations is essential not only in tourism but also in life.  This need for adaptability means that have to allow our frontline people to make rapid decisions.  Chains of command rarely work in life and almost never in tourism.

– Just as in life remind your front line personnel that every customer is different and almost every situation is unique.  Often in life we become jaded and take the position that we have heard it all before.  In tourism, as is the case in most things in life, people want to be taken seriously, want to be heard and want to believe that their case is being handled in a unique and special format.   That means that we must learn to listen attentively and be sure that the other person understands that we are hearing their issue.  Remember that hearing an issue does not mean agreeing with it, but it does mean that we recognize the emotions of the other person.

– Communicate in a clear and calm manner.  Often problems arise when we do not say what we mean.  Avoid pronouns.  Make sure that you use clear and precise language.  Try to stay on topic and do not allow telephone calls to interfere with your problem solving.  It is essential to remind frontline people that most customers want a problem solved quickly and efficiently. They are not seeking friendships but rather solutions. In today’s world of hypersensitivity use words carefully and a joke can easily be perceived as an insult.

– Be Knowledge. One of the worst things that a frontline employee can do is provide false information.  A good rule of life is if you do not have an answer, do not create an answer just so that you can look smart of efficient.  On the other side of the equation, it is essential for management to provide frontline personnel with as much up-to-date and accurate information as possible.

All of us need to have a thicker skin and remember that a job is only a job.  In tourism as in life all of us will need to confront situations outside of our control (remember with the exception of natural complainers, that our guests are speaking to us because they have had a terrible day). This is where empathy comes into play and we remember that we have the power to turn someone’s awful day into a wonderful day.

 

 

Share

The $1.2 trillion travel industry, which moves more than a billion international travelers around the globe each year, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to cleaner, greener and more respectful travel practices, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

And with that in mind, for 2017 the organization has launched a yearlong “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” campaign aimed at educating travelers about how to reduce their environmental impact.

“Global tourism is really big business … but sustainable tourism still only represents a small fraction of the global industry,” said Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO, which declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

According to the UNWTO, tourism generates an estimated 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and tourists consume much more water while on vacation than they do at home. With the number of global tourists expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, issues such as waste generation at resorts and on cruise ships, overfishing on coral reefs to feed visitors and the impact of the ballooning global travel industry on local cultures is cause for concern, the organization said.

Thus the UNWTO is working to inspire a sea change in the travel industry, a message that appears to be resonating with some travel companies that have responded by committing to changing the way they do business.

 

Read more here. 

 

By Michelle Baran from Travel Weekly

 

Share

A report from CDP finds that S&P 500 companies with sustainability strategies are outperforming the other companies on the index. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

 

Analysis of S&P 500 companies finds that corporations with sustainability strategies outperform others on the index

A new report by nonprofit CDP, released Tuesday, provides some of the first evidence of a link between business leadership on climate change and a company’s profitability.

The study, which coincides with the climate talks in New York, finds that S&P 500 companies that build sustainability into their core strategies are outperforming those that fail to show leadership.

Specifically, corporations that are actively managing and planning for climate change secure an 18% higher return on investment (ROI) than companies that aren’t – and 67% higher than companies who refuse to disclose their emissions.

The findings could help answer the long-debated industry question of whether sustainability undermines or improves financial results. Read more on how sustainable corporations perform better financially here.

From The Guardian by Jo Confino.

Share

By sharing their knowledge and their passion, the diving industry has recently guided the development of nine brand new “Green Fins How-to-videos”, designed to guide business managers how to easily implement the Code of Conduct and to show divers exactly what they should expect from an environmentally friendly dive centre.

They will be completely free for anyone to see and to use; you don’t even need to be working for a Green Fins member! Just follow the Green Fins website, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to become part of the community and see sustainable diving in action!

Video #9: Eco Friendly Cleaning Tips for Diving and Snorkelling

This video aims to show dive centre owners and/or managers simple ways in which harmful discharge can be reduced by replacing chemical cleaning products with environmentally friendly ones.

 

Video #8: How To Make Reusable Tank Caps

This video outlines the issue of using masking tape to separate tanks and provides a very simple solution to dive operators shown as a step to step guide on how to make their own tanks caps. A long-term and sustainable solution.

 

Video #7: Implement Good Garbage Management Practices

This video aims to provide management and staff with simple guidance points on how they can properly manage their garbage so that it does not contribute to the global problem of marine debris.

 

Video #6: How to Use Alternatives To Anchoring

This video aims to show dive centre management alternatives for the use of anchors. Anchoring can devastate fragile marine ecosystems in a matter of seconds, to avoid the impact on the marine environment the video shows alternatives that can be easily implemented in different locations

 

Video #5: Guiding Divers Towards Best Environmental Practice

This video aims to provide management and staff with simple guidance points on how an instructor or dive guide can correct customer behaviour underwater for best environmental practice. By clearly understanding what behaviour can cause damage to the environment and how it can be corrected, instructors and guides can help their guests protect coral reefs.

Video #4: How to Give an Environmental Boat Briefing 

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe that your actions could change whole ecosystems but divers on boats have the potential to do just that. Throwing trash, cigarettes or food waste into the ocean can poison marine life and change their behaviour. The new Green Fins How-to-video shows dive guides and managers how they can include simple, environmental reminders in their boat briefings to help divers protect the ocean and their favourite marine life.

For this year’s World Oceans Day, Green Fin asked their top members to answer the question “What do you do to protect the oceans? “

 

Video #3: Implementing Good Garbage Management on Boats

Divers travel far distances to see the most unique marine environments, they wouldn’t like to dive on a polluted ocean. As we all know, marine debris is one of the biggest problems oceans are facing and the diving industry can have a big environmental impact if no measures are taken. For this reason, the new Green Fins How-to- video covers this problem by providing practical solutions to dive centre owners and managers on ways their in boat practices can have less or no environmental impacts. By implementing these simple tips and making it clear to your staff and guests, you will be part of the solution, not the problem!

 

 

Video #2: How-to-Manage Underwater Photographers

The second Green Fins How-to-video shows divers the threat they can pose to marine life when taking a camera underwater and how dive guides and instructors can support customers to be responsible photographers. Divers rely directly on the health of the marine environment. So it’s the responsibility of the diving community to do everything within their power to protect what they love.

 

 

Video #1: Pre-Dive Environmental Briefings

The first Green Fins How-to-video showcases one of the most important things a dive centre can do to protect the ocean it depends on. It outlines exactly what a dive guide should say to inspire divers to be responsible right before jumping in the water.

The Pre-dive briefing is the perfect opportunity to learn more from their guides about how they can protect the environment, becoming a steward for the ocean and a stronger member of the diving community.

Divers rely directly on the health of the marine environment. So it’s the responsibility of the diving community to do everything within their power to protect what they love. These videos will show you how.

 

 

 

Share

 

What happens on vacation stays on vacation, right? Well, if you’re talking about the impact of your vacation footprint, almost the exact opposite is true. We’ve partnered with Harrah’s Resort SoCal to share some surprising stats about how you’re expending energy on your trips ― and exactly how you can make a difference the next time you travel.

 

Read more by following this link. By HuffPost Partner Studio.

Share

image_0

Courtesy of Ecova

Corporations with a global view are taking seriously their role as leaders in climate action.

With COP21 and COP22 serving as launch pads in the fight against climate change, corporations with a global view are taking seriously their role as leaders in climate action. Despite uncertainty here in the United States, businesses are forging ahead with plans to achieve deep emission reductions and to implement strategies to mitigate climate change risks — not only to protect the environment, but to strengthen business resiliency and the global economy.

Read more on how major international events have led to action. By Jana Schmidt

Share

In case you didn’t know, apparently there is a shortage of sand in the world. Since sand is used in a variety of industries, ranging from construction where it is used in mortar, plaster, concrete, asphalt, as well as being used in the pharmaceutical industry, safe to say that it is a very important resource.

This is why over in New Zealand, a report from AdWeek (via Geek) has revealed that a company called DB Breweries has launched an effort to help with the sand shortage. How, you ask? By asking customers to drink more beer, and to put their empty beer bottles through specially-built machines, where those bottles will be crushed into a sand substitute.

Read more on how drinking beer can help the increase of sand. By Tyler Lee

Share
image001

Reduce your holiday carbon emissions

 

Did you know that one long haul return flight can produce more carbon dioxide per passenger than the average UK motorist in one year?

You can follow these easy steps to lower your carbon footprint during the holidays. Make the best of your experience and help to save our planet:

 

  1. Before you leave:

Pack light. The more weight that trains, planes and automobiles have to carry, the more fuel they use – and this means that the volume of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere also increases. Before you leave home, remember to unplug all your electronic devices and avoid wasting energy. Unplug your TV sets and turn down the temperature setting in your refrigerator. Check out the PATA Responsible Business Travel Guidelines for more tips.

 

  1. Watch what you eat:

Food transported from somewhere else increases your carbon footprint drastically. Dine at local restaurants or buy locally produced food in supermarkets. There is no need, for example, to consume foodstuffs imported from Europe when you are visiting Japan.

 

  1. Choose a sensible, energy friendly location:

A central location usually means more convenient access to public transport. Using public transport not only saves you time and money but it adds to the authenticity of your experience and allows for spontaneity.

 

  1. Offset your footprint:

Contribute to carbon-offsetting programmes and other energy saving initiatives. A carbon offset is a credit for greenhouse gas. More information about carbon offsets may be found here.

 

  1. Stay at home

The stay-at-home vacation! Explore your own city by visiting museums and other attractions that appeal to out-of-town visitors. Perhaps it’s time to hone your sporting skills or simply spending time with your friends and family in your own environment. Use your holiday budget to reinvest into your local community. Keep your carbon footprint to a minimum – and have lots of fun at home!

 

By: Christoph Wegener / PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Share

by

ioannis-pappas-gstc-conferennce-athens-2016

Dr Ioannis Pappas, CEO of Green Evolution SA, Member of the Board and Country Representative of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, is an experienced professional engineer, with over 25 years of work in several fields of science, focusing on sustainability for tourism, energy and environmental efficiency in infrastructure and buildings, auditing or advising in standardization of companies and technological implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation methodologies.

His company, Green Evolution S.A. is an advisory company in the fields of environment, energy and carbon finance. With respect to sustainable tourism in particular they assist interested entities to implement sustainable tourism through consulting, training and functional support, in the design, management and implementation of tourism projects with sustainability in order to create long term benefits for destinations and local communities

In this interview Ioannis Pappas speaks with Anula Galewska about challenges of tourism development in Greece and reviews the sustainability efforts of the Greek tourism industry.

This article is part of the interview series with Speakers of the GSTC Conferences in Suwon, Korea and Athens, Greece held in October and November 2016.

 


GSTC’s Regional European Meeting took place in Athens, Greece in November 2016. To view presentations from the past conference and learn about upcoming GSTC events, visit GSTC website.

Click here to read more on the original article by Travindy.

Share

Estimating the Benefits of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

shutterstock_57935716

EPA and other federal agencies use estimates of the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) to value the climate impacts of rulemakings. The SC-CO2 is a measure, in dollars, of the long-term damage done by a ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a given year.  This dollar figure also represents the value of damages avoided for a small emission reduction (i.e., the benefit of a CO2 reduction). By U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Read more.

Share