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The word eco-tourism is much in vogue these days, yet it was a concept that was literally ‘invented’ barely two and a half decades back in a region of southern Mexico. While the world debates on sustainability in Paris, the Yucatan peninsula can safely bask in the glory of completing its own silver jubilee of celebrating sustainability. In the 1980s, Cancun used to be the major budget tourist attraction in Mexico, yet many Americans got disillusioned by the fact that it was turning into another Miami. One Mexican Miguel Quintana Pali along with three others, stumbled upon a piece of land towards the north of Tulum in the Yucatan where they developed their own sort of eco-tourism destination. The term itself was coined by another Mexican named Hector Ceballos Lascurain. While a number of traditional environmentalists were displeased at this concept, it was eventually realized that they had to work in tandem with the tourism industry in order to derive maximum benefits. This place was then named as Xcaret and today is a popular yet sustainable tourism destination that has generated numerous tourism jobs.Tremendous natural beauty is combined with heritage protection to ensure this place remains a top destination.

To commemorate fifty years since the formation of the ASEAN bloc, governments at respective countries are planning to integrate tourism sites across member nations by 2017 when the golden jubilee completes. In 2006, such a circuit had been planned to link Borobudur in Indonesia to Angkor Vat in Cambodia including several spots famous for Hindu-Buddhism heritage tours. Tourism consulting provided by Association of Indonesia Tours and Travel Agencies (Asita) feels that industry players are waiting eagerly for the governments to finalize the plans. It has also been realized that expecting 12 million visitors simply for heritage may not be feasible for one country and when foreigners travel to the region, they prefer to cover several destinations together. Thus, member nations will all benefit if they leverage each other’s cultural capital.  

Travel companies used to be ahead of the curve in gauging customer preferences. Travel and tourism was the first industry which made copious records of customer travel trends and developing loyalty programmes accordingly. The retail industry was the one which caught up best and has now marched ahead. That is where the travel industry needs to pick up on. Digital marketing is something which travel firms are not doing effectively. Travelers require greater level of personalized attention and itineraries must be customized accordingly to preferences. Offers must be tied up to spending patterns.

Within the broad gamut of medical tourism, business innovations abound and one aspect that is gaining currency is the concept of air ambulances. While a typical medical tourist travels to another country to receive medical care, some of the high end clients might rather wish to get similar treatment while onboard often on long flights. India, Israel and Ireland are some of the countries that are getting active in this field. US based REVA has good experience in this field having transported American and Canadian clients to places such as Mexico, India, Brazil, Thailand and the UAE. South Africa’s Surgeon is another leading player to conduct the same. The UAE is emerging as another hub due to medical facilities established at Abu Dhabi and Dubai, thus generating numeroustourism jobs. The major players are aware of the market impacts if such measures and innovations prove successful.

Technology is playing an increasingly crucial role in the art of corporate training. As per market researchconducted, around 77% of companies in the US are organizing e-learning based training programmes for employees. Among the biggest advantages of this system, is that large number of people can get access to a session simultaneously fostering further collaboration. The learning can also be delivered and monitored from a central point thus ensuring uniformity. Remote access software also provides advantage of high security as well as ease in troubleshooting. 

The Harvard Business Review has created a matrix which pits each individual’s orientation and focus areas to determine the person’s positioning as a thinker. The idea is to develop teams within organizations that are compatible not only in doing terms but also in terms of thinking. On the big picture or macro orientation, there exist four categories. The Explorer generates creative ideas and is good at business innovation. The Planner designs effective systems. The Energizer is good at mobilizing people to action. Then the Connector interlinks all by building and strengthening relationships. On the micro or detail orientation there exist four further cells. The Expert seeks objectivity and insight while the Optimizer is concerned about improving productivity and efficiency. The Producer wishes to achieve completion and momentum. Finally, the Coach wants to cultivate people and potential. Each of the employees in a firm will fall among either of the categories. 

Tourism consulting provided by the World Travel and Tourism Council has stated that more than 50% of Spain’s service exports stem from the travel and tourism industry alone. In fact nearly a sixth of Spain’s GDP also derived from the same. Tourism jobs account for more than double the employment opportunities provided by financial services. This trend is set to grow as the industry is poised for a growth of upwards of 2 percent and policies are being shaped in order to cater to the same.

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