1) Find an example of a Hotel that incorporates ethics and culture into its brand.
2) Discuss the different areas culture is incorporated into the business.
3) How is ethics incorporated?
1. Refer to www.geert-hofstede.com or other websites on culture and find: a) three examples of countries with high Indulgence b) three examples of countries with high Restraint.
2. What would you need to be mindful of if you were establishing a Hotel in a) the countries with high Indulgence b) the countries with high Restraint
Cultural attributes of a country can be a very good marketing tactic to attract tourists.
1. What cultural components would you include if your Hotel were to organise a festival to showcase the cultural diversity in a chosen location (country) for domestic and international visitors?
2. Discuss which aspects of culture you would use to attract the most number of customers and tourists.
3. Develop a brief marketing strategy based on these cultural components.
Part A: Ethics and Culture
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is an example of a hotel that incorporates ethics and culture into its brand.
An organization’s culture can be defined as the underlying mindset of an organization. The culture of an organization shapes and influences the attitudes and behavior of the people working in an organization towards customers, and how the organization complies with ethical rules. A company having a good corporate culture will also have a good ethical conduct. One can start a good corporate culture by developing the values of those who work in a firm and ensuring that these values are implemented in practice. Culture gives an organization an identity as well as determines through a company’s vision, values, norms and language. According to Schein, culture can be defined as a personality or character of an individual that will be reflected in a group. As a matter of fact, the underlining factors like behavior is also responsible to influence the culture. In this context, one has to keep in mind about link between the personality and character embedded into the behavior of an individual. Henceforth, the role of the culture is to guide and identify the behavior of a group with the help of shared norms. Culture is driven by the leaders of a company and is incorporated into the business through a myriad of processes and reward systems.
All companies include ethics into business. It can be argued that there are four types of ethical issues in this regard, that is, the supply chain, the local community of the tourism destination, the workplace and customers. “There may be concerns about forced labour in the supply chain, or exploitation of migrant workers in the workplace for example; or local people may - often rightly- perceive that they have little or no share in the economic benefits of tourism, while bearing a disproportionate burden from environmental degradation. As far as the workplace safety and hazards are concerned it can be argued that there should be no practice of forced labor in the supply chain management. As a matter of fact, it is also essential to prevent any kind of exploitation regarding the exploitation of the migrant workers. Furthermore, the environmental issues are also intertwined with this” (Mason 2015). By 1999, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) advocated various principles of ethics related to tourism with the intent to curtail the adverse impact of tourism on the tourism industries. The hotel industry is coming together and assuming a united approach to human rights and business ethics by incorporating human rights risk mapping, training of employees and ensuring that the local population of the tourism destination is also benefitted. The global hospitality industry can incorporate ethics into the business by supporting the Youth Career Initiative and many international companies are giving their support and appreciation in this regard. The Youth Career Initiative entails a six month education program wherein the disadvantaged young people aged between 18 and 21 are given practical training on various hotel management activities and services. Besides this, these people also get to make an informed choice about their careers thereby enabling them to enhance their social and economic opportunities. The Youth Career Initiative thus tackles the major threats and challenges of unemployment, poverty, social exclusion and economic exploitation among the young disadvantaged people.
Part B: Intercultural Differences
A company which focuses on ethics is Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. This resort was going to install a code of conduct by 2009. As a matter of fact, in order to check the regulations whether working properly or not, the company officials visit 150 suppliers in order to check the employee related issues like wages, health and safety and environmental practices. In addition to this, practices like training hotel skills in local schools can also be an important aspect in this regard.
Embedding ethics into business enhances a company’s employee relations, public image apart from garnering profits for the company.
The three countries with high indulgence are the United States, Australia and Mexico. The three countries with high restraint are Egypt, China and Russia.
Countries with high Indulgence scores have few constraints on the pursuit of fun and enjoyment in life, while countries with high Restraint, restrains these pursuits of fun and enjoyment with strict social customs and practices. In the United States of America the pursuit of fun and enjoyment extends to the workplace unlike in China, where people are more formal, strict, disciplined and restrained at the workplace. Therefore, while establishing a hotel in a country with high Indulgence like in The United States of America, companies have a free hand in building a hotel and offering a plethora of services to its customers for leisure purposes, unlike in China where the society is a lot more conservative and hence the opportunity to provide activities for leisure is limited. Since indulgent societies have leisure ethic as opposed to work ethic as is prevalent in countries with high restraint, a person setting up a hotel in The United States of America can offer a wide array of services to its customers for leisure, unlike in China where a company has to think twice before starting a service to offer enjoyment and leisure as the society in China has a high restraint and is a lot more conservative than societies with high indulgence. Also, people in indulgent societies enjoy sports as opposed to people in high restrained societies, and therefore while establishing a hotel in an indulgent society, one can provide various types of sports to its customers which however cannot be done while establishing a hotel in a highly restrained society like China.
The cultural components that I would include if my hotel were to organize a festival abroad to highlight the cultural diversity for domestic and international visitors are an art exhibition since Australia has some amazing painters whose works are displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest gallery. I would also organize a performance in my hotel as they have at the Sydney Opera House, which includes opera, theatre, classical music and ballet. I would also try to rope in some very popular singers and request them to perform at my hotel just as they do at the Enmore Theatre in New Town for the enjoyment of the guests residing at my hotel. I would also host a literary festival at my hotel where there would be book launches and where I would invite famous Australian authors to come and interact with the audience just as they do at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. I would also host a film festival in my hotel wherein the works of famous Australian directors would be screened. I would also hold an exhibition displaying over three thousand artefacts celebrating the cultural life of Australian Aborigines and last but not the least I would make a documentary displaying the vast scenic beauty of Australia, the wildlife of Australia and the myriad hues of Australian culture thereby offering people an insight into the beautiful country that Australia is and urging them to come and visit Australia.
Part C: Cultural Influences in Different Economies
I would use films, music, theatre, adventure sports, dance, art and the beautiful scenery because these tools and techniques are very helpful to attract maximum number of target customers and tourists to Australia.
It can be argued that the marketing strategy coupled with the cultural factors of Australia would include aboriginal tourism, culture and heritage. Many tourists come to Australia to see the Aborigines of Australia and experience their history, culture and heritage. The Aborigines are the native people of Australia and people around the world come to Australia to see the art and culture of the Aborigines, which is very popular and a subject of study. Their art and culture is based on ancient stories centered on the “Dreamtime” the period in which indigenous people believed the world was created. It can be argued that these stories are very old with transcended into generations after generations without changing its flavor in terms of paintings, stories, songs in order to safeguard ancient aboriginal tradition and customs.(Tacon 1989).
Australia is also a country of festivals displaying its rich cultural heritage. The Falls Festival in Marion Bay, Australia has a line- up of stellar performances, the Cygnet Folk Festival held in the town of Cygnet is a premier folk festival, featuring folk and world music performances and African dances. Mofo is another festival which is held in summer showcasing music and arts featuring an eclectic line up of world class artists. The Festivale, held across the second weekend in February brings together Tasmanian food, wine, arts and performance and wine master classes are also held. The biennial 10 days on the Island festival, is Australia’s only state wide multi – arts festival that is held in Tasmania. Each festival has more than 200 international and local events held throughout the state showcasing arts, music, theatre and comedy. The Festival of Voices held each year in July features workshops, international acts, songs etc.
Thus Australia is a melting pot of cultures and these cultural components of Australia makes the country truly diverse and enriching.
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