Quality Assurance and Project Management

Jul 16 2016   4:29PM GMT

Quality Management Initiatives in Tourism Destinations by UNWTO

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

Quality management

Tourism is a multi-sector ecosystem by default. There are heterogeneous components involved in it. Due to it was and still is vulnerable in many aspects like market turbulence, economic crises, rapidly changing dynamics, and so on. But still, it has managed to stand firmly against the global economic crisis in a better way as compared to other sectors. In this process of evolution, a number of sectors were relaunched. It helped in faster recovery. These were the ideas shared by Anca Pavel-Nedea, President of the National Tourism Authority of Romania at the opening of UNWTO (United Nations World Travel Organization) Conference on Quality Management in Bucharest, Romania. As discussed in the previous post, the conference had its prime focus on ‘destination quality’ as a next step to ‘product/service quality‘.

Quality Management Initiatives

Some new quality management initiatives and best practices were showcased in coastal destinations, spa/wellness destinations, protected areas, urban destinations, and cultural heritage destinations. If we go a little back to its origin, probably the credit goes to 103rd UNWTO Executive Council Meeting that was held in Malaga last May. It was during this meeting a proposal was tabled by Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness. It was concluded and approved that the Quality of Tourism Destination has to be defined in an objective manner. The process, so defined, should imply the complete satisfaction of all tourism product and service requirements, needs and expectations of the tourists. And it must happen at an acceptable price but without any compromise to safety, security, accessibility, infrastructure, hygiene, communication, public amenities, and all such services. All this work under the umbrella of ethics, respect, and transparency towards the cultural, human, and natural environment.

Overall, it was decided that the Quality Management Initiatives in tourism destinations must focus on following agendas keeping factors mentioned above:

  • The destination’s image and positioning should be improved on a regular basis
  • Capacity enhancement
  • Better business prospects
  • Better and more cohesive business environment involving the tourism stakeholders
  • Regular assessment of planning and management strategies
  • Improvement in legislation framework
  • Direct benefits to the local communities
  • Reduction in Cost for the operators
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