Changing Trends in the Hotel Industry in Ireland and Internationally Assessment

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¶ … Hotel Industry in Ireland

Introduction- As the 21st century unfolds, we are told that the world is embracing globalism -- a key change in the economic, political and cultural movements that, broadly speaking, move the various countries of the world closer together. This idea refers to a number of theories that see the complexities of modern life such that events and actions are tied together, regardless of the geographic location of a specific country (political unit). The idea of globalism has become popular in economic and cultural terms with the advent of a number of macro-trade agreements combined with the ease of communication brought about with the Internet and cellular communication. The tourism sector, however, is rapidly evolving during this initial part of the 21st century. There are major changes in technology, for certain; but also of demographics: an aging population, gender role changes, economic issues, greater market for developing countries, etc. One country that has experienced both a large number of economic changes as well as a new approach to tourism is Ireland.

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Ireland, an island in the northwest of Continental Europe is politically divided by the Republic of Ireland, holding about 5/6th of the island, and Northern Island, part of the United Kingdom. The area has a population of almost 6.5 million; about 4.6 live in the Republic. There has been much civil unrest in the area throughout the 20th century, especially during the 1960s until the 1990s. Much of this subsided, mostly for economic reasons, following an agreement in 1998, since both joined the EEC earlier. The Ireland phenomenon literally changed the country. It was one of the most impoverished countries in Europe while it was a part of the United Kingdom and for decades after independence. This was partially due to economic protectionism, but economic liberalism from the 1980s resulted in extremely rapid expansion, particularly from the mid-1990s to 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger Period. This of course spurred tourism as well. The global financial crisis beginning in 2008 tended to end this era of rapid growth, and contributed to some economic downturns in tourism as well (Central Intelligence Agency 2011; Work and Wealth for All 2008).

TOPIC: Assessment on Changing Trends in the Hotel Industry in Ireland and Internationally Assignment

Tourism in Ireland- As might be expected, the long, rich culture and the pristine green beauty of the Island engenders a great deal of tourist interest. Ireland, in fact, receives about 8 million tourists annually, eith the large percentage coming from Great Britain. There are a great deal of prepackaged tours, most of which pair with inns and other lodging facilities to enhance the experience. There are crusises, both local and longer; sustainable tourism, different geographic areas of focus, and even medical tourism in which patients from other countries receive procedures at a fraction of the cost than in their home countries. There are also quite a number of organizations that help to provide resources for those involved in the Irish tourist industry, as well as promote certain activities. One agency, for instance, estimates that after the 2007 pinnacle for touism, there will be about a 5% per annum growth well into the 2015-16 season (Faite Corporation 2011).

Tourism revenue in Ireland peecked in 2007, and was the lowest in 2010 that it had been in years. Most arrived from Britain or Europe via air, most rented housing, and most were engaged in tours or cross country walking and most were in Ireland on Holiday or to visit friends and relatives. Most travellers used information from the Internet or Guidebooks to plan their trip; some used friends and family or other promotional literature from public and private sources. The primary reasons for touring Ireland are listed below, with scenary and the people forming the largest percentage.

(Failte Ireland 2010).

Hotel Industry in Irleand and Globally- Globalism is often typified by the rapid movement of people, goods, services, and informaiton worldwide. In many countries, in fact, the hospitality sector is the focal point for concepts of globalism to take root and prosper. Tourism, in fact, has become the world's largest export industry, and involves larger and larger number of cross-border transport of people and ideas. The hospitality industry is one of the worlds largest employers and may even be one of th elargest non-bank traders of foreign currency. It also remains a focal point for local society, and is at the very center of the transfer of ideas and cultures. Many scholars agree that the tourism industry helps bring people together into a global community; and in those countries that have trade imbalanes, help balance out revenue within developing naions. Globalization has literally changed the hotel experience worldwide. The larger number of destinations, the ability for many developing countries to rebuild an infrastructure based on global tourism, and the large amounts of information available via the Internet make the hotel organization key to the competitive nature of the industry as a whole. This is accomplished by expanding globally, being sensitive to local traditions, and hire the best and brightest from the global marketplace (Cline 2009).

Evolving trends in Hotel Industry in Ireland- Despite the upturn in tourism numbers from 2007, even by 2010-11 the hotel industry in Ireland faces some grim issues and widespread competition for the tourist dollar. The Irish Hotels Federation, for instance, conducted a survey in Summer 2010 and found that almost 88% of those surveyed were concerned about the viability of their business and whether they could weather out 2-3 more years of declining revenues. There are four areas needing attention in the Irish hotel industry: local authority rates, operating costs, the strength of the Euro, and wages. Local rates are quite high, on average 1000 Europs per room; operating costs are shared by all other sectors, but particularly hit hotel owners hard when revenues decline; the strength of the Euro is beyon any individual control, to the only real area upon which to focus are wages. In 2010, minimum wage was 8.65/Europ per hour. A person working full time gets less than 16,000 Euros per annum. Most feel that although this is one of the only areas of controllable costs, asking this level of worker to give up wages is quite unfair, particularly with the prerequisites and type of industry dollars and clientel one is expected to serve. The only possibility for those hotels without deep pockets, then, is to try to work with the government and tourist agencies to find grands and ways to mitigate the situation -- while tourism rose by 70% since 1996, the hotel room rate averaged over 150% increase -- causing tourists to seek other alternatives (National Women's Council of Ireland 2010).

The large luxury hotels, Hilton, Carlton, Clarion, etc., have a bit more padding and reserves for issues like Ireland faces, largely due to their partnership with other agencies and locations in high-traffic areas. The Hilton, for instance, has partnered with the European Carbon Trust to focus on energy and sustainability to both reduce costs and make consumer choices greener. Carlton and Clarion follow suite, since in the hospitality industry one succeeds or fails based on customer satisfaction -- and in a highly competitive market, sometimes it is the smaller things, or perceptions that change the difference between success and failture (Stanley 2009). Clarion luxury hotels not only locate in prime strategic areas, but offer shopping and holiday services as built in packages; lower price fairs to and from Dublin, and specific vacation and/or trade show, sporting events (e.g. Rugby Clubs, etc.). They try to stay competitive by offering convenience and extended levels of cusomter service, not just in Ireland, but globally. This is perhaps the biggest difference between the competitive levels of hotels and who is succeeding -- the large multinational hotels with service in most parts of the world are able to spread the risk/reward; while the smaller hotels with less rooms are sometimes unable to adequately compete (Choice Hotel Group 2012).

Pestle Analysis -- Ireland

Political

Economic

Social

Technological

Environment

Legal

Stability in political issues has improved the Irish situation over the past 20-30 years. Ireland now has a stable government, the issues of terrorism are not part of the normal paradigm; and the political process is far more democratic.

Because of the scarcity of coal and iron, Ireland did not have the same robust Industrial Revolution as England. It was not until the late 20th and early 21st centuries, after political unification and economic growth that Ireland began to really prosper.

Ireland has become a mecca for immigration to help spur the economic growth in technology, medicine, and tourism. Social tensions have lessened, and yet the Irish culture is a driving mecca for much of the tourist industry.

Ireland has eight universities and a number of Institutes of Technology. Low rents and access to less expensive power options caused a number of high-tech firms to relocate to Ireland in the late 1990s and early 21st century; medical tourism is also on the rise.

Tourists often cite Ireland's pristine environment as… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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