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Collingwood is major center for tourist attraction in Toronto Canada. The center has a huge number of ski resorts as well holiday resorts amongst a plethora of various tourist attractions. Collingwood has along history of tourism recreational leisure since the beginning of the century. The area hosts tourism activities on alpline skiing facilities in Ontario, parks, water activities boating fishing and hunting among a host of other activities. Collingwood has gone significant transitions as a tourist center; the tourist resort has experienced various changes and developments. Dravo (2004) notes that one major differences between modern day Collingwood and the Collingwood of the past is the growth in the backpacker tourism which has seen remarkable growth in water activities. This paper focuses on some of the dynamics of the tourism industry in Collingwood in an attempt to characterize its development within its macro-economic environment.
“The contribution of this "leisure industry" to the regional economy has been profound and there are many indicators which suggest that its importance will grow. Examples include the recent boom in windsurfing (e.g. retail sales, instruction schools, races), construction of high- and lowrise condominiums both on the shoreline and adjacent to the ski hills, construction of retirement communities, proposals for new marinas, transformation of a major alpine ski resort into a private club, increased purchases of rural properties for second homes, conversion of second homes into permanent dwellings, and so on” (Paul F in Sager, 2005)
The previously cited scholar continues stating that the growth will result in both positive and negative environmental impacts in biophysical, economic, and social terms. “The situation is exacerbated by other changing societal characteristics, particularly in terms of work and leisure: shorter working weeks, "flex-time" work schedules, earlier retirement, longer vacations, multi-season leisure activities, and so on” (Paul F in Sager, 2005)
Research has shown that many tourism firms in Collingwood have particularly employed transformational models in tandem with the demands of the rapidly changing and growing economy and the tourism market. Some tourism firms which have relocated their headquarters to Collingwood for strategic reasons are pushing the sales acceleration strategy in golf course, skiing and streamlining, hunting and various other tourism business ventures. One director states, "There seems to be a developing trend in the business approaches of tourist firms where in companies move their businesses and technical evolutions to setting up production bases, it clear that the central strategy is to start by focusing on occupying the huge tourism market first.”
It also ascertainable that tourism firms have also paid considerable attention to the culture factor and hence modeled their strategies to run in tandem with the various culture dynamics. Barney (2001) envisages that some tourism firms face a few cultural barriers in conducting global business. He notes, "It depends on how culturally sensitive a product or service, some companies in Collingwood transcend cultural barriers easily while others do not. Leisure activities for example such as eating out would have cultural barriers to their free and unlimited movement although of course cultural barriers do affect the types of products that might be shipped within a country. In others words a parcel service is the same in Canada as it is in Argentina. "
The PESTEL Framework
The PESTEL framework presents a feasible and formidable framework of assessing and examining the macro-environmental factors that influence structures operating within the environment. (Dosi 1988) Various factors impact directly or indirectly on the operations, functions and structure of an organisation among other things. The PESTEL model comes in handy in the examination of these factors by enabling the categorisation of the factors to draw lucid distinctions among them. The frame work has been implemented to characterise the dynamics and aspects of the tourism industry in Collingwood Canada
PESTEL framework offers the following categorisation of macro-environmental factors. Key understanding also entails that factors of direct and indirect influence to business establishments (Tourism firms in Canada) shapes the competitive forces and profitability strategic thrusts.
Political Factors- These relate to extent to which political ideology and governments interventions impact on how the economy is run. Political ideological frameworks have a significant bearing on economy models and structure which has further bearing on the business organisations.
Economic Factors-This category in PESTEL Framework entails elements such as interest rates, tax changes, exchange rates, inflation GDP growth etc. Changes in these elements have pervasive effects on business organisations and such elements have to be factored in the strategy formulation and implementation.
High interest rates are normally viewed as investor-unfriendly since they imply that it will cost more to borrow money. From another angle a highly valued currency thwarts exporting endeavors owing to high foreign currency prices. High inflation destabilises the economy as it triggers wage demands pressures while on the other end a growing national income increases demand for products and services.
Social Factors- The social fabric and changes obtaining in it in any community or market have critical implications for business organisations. One example of this can be drawn from the consideration that the UK population is largely considered to be ageing and this has upped costs of companies focusing on pension payments for their personnel since their employees are living longer.
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Social Factors (Culture) and Tourism
There are varying perspectives on what the term marketing entails, implies and means. Nonetheless mainstream definitions of marketing acknowledge that marketing must be perceived as an ongoing process of spearheading success stratagem of organisations through the feasible forms of promoting the products and/or services that a particular organisation is supplying to its target service market.
In contemporary marketing theoretical and philosophical frameworks more considerable definitions of marketing are those which are have significant slant and emphasis on consumer orientation and satisfaction. In contemporary marketing dispensation the marketing definitions offered by scholars like Philip Kotler have been widely adopted. Adcock (Opcit) on the other hand presents an inclination to the harmonization of the core marketing variables as the crux of the definitions of marketing.
Various definitions have been offered on what is perceived to be strategy in business. Johnson and Schools (1998) define strategy as the pathway and functional thrust of an entity for long-term time frame. According to the scholars the thrust would enable the company to accomplish its goals through the setting of resources and operations within a challenging set of circumstances in the objective of supplying clientele needs and meeting all stakeholder expectations.
The scholars in this definition are building on the notions of long term organisational goals. The concepts also entail focus on the specific markets in which the businesses entity has to be focusing on as well as business activities that the entity will be involved in such environs.
The perspectives are also touching on the aspect of how the business entity must do better than other business organisation operating in the identified areas. This brings in the important factor of competitiveness.
“The strategic processes in the development of the Collingwood tourism industry have been a holistic procedure with all the requisite variables in place. By extension strategy formulation has brought in the variables, concrete and abstract, such as personnel, capital, assets, etc into consideration. On broader scale, strategising for most Collingwood firms has premised the business idea within the precincts of broader operational framework that constitutes external factors which may be aspects around the business capacity to compete. Strategising will also bring into consideration the views, values and anticipations of the stakeholders with direct and indirect influence over the tourism entities.” (L, Reynolds, 2004)
Strategic decisions are thus the long-term direction of an organisation, they will try to search for strategic fit with the changing business environment and make valuable decisions towards the organisation in order to fulfill stakeholder expectations. In short, a strategy of an organisation is affecting its operational decisions and determining an organisation's future and profit in a certain extent. In this sense a feasible strategy plays a crucial role in an organisation. And this is the reason why this research is focused on the strategy aspect of the tourism companies since that has a significant bearing on determining the profitability and attractiveness of the tourism industry in Collingwood Canada.
The PESTEL framework also comes in fitly in the collation and analysis of data derived from probed tourism firms in Collingwood. On the socio-political dimension of the Framework the Canada economic and market landscape can be viewed as an emerging play zone for the business global players. This remarkable phase has also been characterised by the modeling of business regulatory framework to be more conducive and accommodative for global trade and tourism firms as Canada seeks to consolidate its position in the global economic and political pedestals. Such transformations have pervasive implications for business entities as outlined in Legal framework dimensions of the PESTEL Framework.
As demonstrated in the foregoing; social dynamic of PESTEL model is of particular essence in exploring multi-dimensional strategies of tourism firms especially in culturally diverse and distinct markets like Canada. The model presents that social factors such as culture are invaluable to any attempts aimed at conducting holistic analyses of scenarios. Successful tourism firms in Collingwood have demonstrated dynamism and factoring cultural variance and modeling their business practices in line with cultural expectation set in the Canadian business environs. The notable significance of the PESTEL framework in characterising Collingwood is the legal framework aspects that seek to illuminate an organisational aspects and environment from a legal and regulatory perspective. It is noteworthy on this dimension that the regulatory framework in Canada with regards to tourism has provided for the growth of Collingwood as the a major player in the tourism industry playfield although other regions in Canada are relaxing the tourism laws to create working platforms for the establishment of typical tourism industry.
Leonard-Barton (1995) notes that the concept of globalisation is particularly inalienable when exploring the Collingwood tourism industry given the number of global players in that industry. Globalisation is a popular phenomenon nowadays. It can be described as the process of social, political, economic, culture and technological integration among countries around the world. S, Overman (2003) states that tourism firms as contemporary ventures that seek scale economies in response to the opportunities hand threats posed by the global marketplace using strategies of worldwide integration and coordination.
Porter’s Model and Global Tourism Strategy
To fully characterise some dynamics of the tourism industry in Collingwood, applying Porter’s theoretical framework, is has been essential to take a thrust at featuring of some gathered insights on the closely tied domains of business strategy. This is in so in cognisance of the significance that this aspect has on the dimension and dynamics of and business firm or industry attractiveness and profitability. Porter has clarified that for diversified and versatile business establishments companies the first key issue in corporate strategy is the selection o industries is the selection of industries where in the entity should compete. These would a direct business son various business entity strategy levels such corporate, business and operational strategy levels.
Porter has advanced in his model that an unattractive industry in one in which all the forces , micro , and micro as detailed in his five forces framework, work in collaboration to drive down the profitability of the industry. In this premise, attractive industries are those where all the forces work in coherence to propel the profitability of the industry. In light of the foregoing, data obtained from the qualitative and quantitative research thrusts leads to the classification of the Collingwood tourism Industry an attractive industry basing on its upward profitability trend established through the application on Porter’s five forces model.
Further research must be conducted to bring into comparison the features and behaviors in the native and foreign precincts of tourism firms in light of framing up ways in which these can be assisted. Current and precedent studies on tourism firms are bereft of thrusts focusing on various entrepreneurial and business processes of tourism firms in the global sphere. More studies need to be done to explore dynamics and factors like sponsorship; marketing and human resource management challenges and dynamics of the tourism firms in Collingwood.
Precedent studies on the strategies of tourism firms in Collingwood focusing on the environmental factors have been largely descriptive in nature. There is need for more empirical inquests into the subjects relating to the actual role of environmental aspects in influencing tourism firms. In conclusion it can be stated that the salient of the previous studies on the strategies of tourism firms have been generic in their regard of tourism firms as homogenous entities. Preceding studies have failed to draw lines between types, size, entry strategies among other distinguishing factors of the tourism firms as these lay significant bearing on the shape, functionality as well as short term, medium term and long term pathways of the tourism firms.
Some significant changes that have come to Collingwood as a tourist resort center are developments triggered by the phenomenon of global warming and climate change. These have caused the attraction center to be closed when temperatures are mild. Bianchi, P (2001) notes that global warming has actually affected the tourism industry tremendously considering that the mild spell actually shortens the winter season which is idyll for tourism. The tourism center has been developed and enhance with some modern ways of enhancing tourist experiences. There are photographic displays on early Maori History, the fire ravaged Collingwood. The ultra-modern display is use to drive tourism. Despite the current crippling global economic recession practitioners in Collingwood are positive that the tourism center will continue to experience growth despite all odds staked against tourism in Collingwood.