Are you actively engaged in the tourism industry? Does your company have an impact on the tourism sector? Before you respond, consider this: do you or any of your team members regularly interact with the public, and could these interactions potentially influence how people perceive our area?
A few years back, some friends from out of state came to visit. During their stay, they explored our local area and made significant purchases – at least, significant by my standards.
However, after their shopping spree, a couple of my friends’ daughters realized that the items they bought didn’t fit properly. Unfortunately, they were scheduled to leave before they could return to the store for refunds or exchanges. So, they turned to my wife for assistance.
About a week later, my wife returned to the local store to handle the refund/exchange. To her disappointment, the store clerk refused to accept the return.
While my wife had the receipt, the clothing was missing its tags. We understood that the store had its own return policies, and we didn’t take issue with that. What did trouble her, though, was the attitude displayed by the clerk during the entire process.
“It felt like she considered dealing with me a major inconvenience,” my wife remarked. “And there wasn’t anyone else in the store, so it’s not like I was preventing her from making a sale.”
This situation made me wonder, “What if this had been a visitor to our area?” The unfortunate reality is that if my wife was treated this way, it’s highly likely that other visitors have faced similar treatment.
In an area that’s experiencing a tourism boom, we all have a responsibility to provide the best possible experience to our visitors. We should be mindful of how our employees answer the phone, handle complaints, or behave in public.
Ultimately, if someone has a negative experience in our area, they’re likely to share it with others. Repeated negative experiences can harm our flourishing tourism industry.
Whether we like it or not, we are all connected to the tourism business. Our actions and behavior will, at some point, impact the industry.
Perhaps the most effective approach to tourism is to treat everyone as guests, not mere visitors. When a visitor arrives, it’s often unexpected. However, when someone is a guest, you’re prepared for their arrival with a warm and welcoming attitude.
We can never be certain if the person on the other end of the line is a guest or not, so it makes sense to treat them as such. After all, isn’t that the essence of hospitality?
Until Next Time…