ENSURING QUALITY OF TOURIST PRODUCT

ANA POPOVIĆ
MARINA STANOJEVIĆ

 

Abstract

Tourist product is specific for its complexity – its constitutive elements derive from extremely fragmented supply embodied in numerous links of value chain. Tourists identify that product with suppliers of all elements of the product, but also with the destination itself, as the surrounding in which the consumption takes place. Having in mind all-inclusiveness of tourist product and numerous subjects involved in its creation, it becomes clear that quality management in tourism is very complex.
Quality of tourist product, usually defined as the perception of the level to which the tourist’s expectations are fulfilled, shouldn’t represent the luxury or exclusiveness, but should be available to all the tourists. This requirement is specifically important nowadays when economic crisis affects tourism and all connected sectors, tourists’ discretional income is decreasing and financial determinants are becoming dominant in deciding about travelling, creating ‘fertile soil’ for possible abuse and violation of tourists’ consumer rights.
Tourists’ satisfaction that influences future tourist demand depends on fulfilment of their expectations from the whole product, so vertical integration and collaboration of all stakeholders in value chain is necessary. Ensuring satisfaction of the employees in tourism is of crucial importance because it directly influences satisfaction of consumers. Considering that tourism sector is labor intensive, employees have irreplaceable role in introducing new management concepts, such as integrated quality management, in tourism sector. It is of the crucial significance for managers to recognize the fact that employees’ performance has strong impact on achieving high-level customer satisfaction. The aim of this paper is to point out the necessity of an integrated approach to tourist product quality assurance, with the focus on ensuring employees’ satisfaction.

 

Key words

tourist product, quality, integrated quality management, customer satisfaction, employees’ satisfaction

 

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