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Trends and Issues in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry


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Title: Trends and Issues in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Trends and Issues in the Tourism and Hospitality
Tourism has a connection to many other disciplines
Sustainable tourism development
A conceptual approach to sustainable tourism the
concept of sustainable development is based on
respect for the social and natural environment in
which tourism takes place. On the environmental
side there are several very important issues that
we need to be aware of.
The Big Environmental Issues
Watch An Inconvenient Truth and discuss the
issues raised in the film. Pay particular
attention to the tips provided on the inside of
the front cover of the movie that gives you
ideas of what YOU can do to help in the fight
against our changing climate.
Sustainability and sustainable development
  • What does it mean to make an activity
  • It basically means that an activity that is
    carried out today for the benefit of all involved
    can continue to be carried out indefinitely into
    the future without doing harm to anyone or
    anything involved or impacted by it.
  • The opposite of sustainability is
    un-sustainability which involves activities that
    have a very short term horizon and that involve
    excessive profit and often greed as the major
    motivations without any regard to the long term.

Sustainability and sustainable development
  • Sustainability is about striking a balance
    between the rights of humans to a decent and
    meaningful life, the right to life for all types
    of animals and for nature to be protected for its
    own sake and for the sake of all other living
    things, including humans.
  • Sustainable development is envisaged as leading
    to the management of all resources in such a way
    that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be
    fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity,
    essential ecological processes, biological
    diversity, and life support systems.

These pictures show the two alternatives Short
term greed and long term intergenerational
equity. The latter involves a grandfathers
consideration for what is best for his
granddaughter and her children and leaving the
world a better place so that they can live
meaningful and happy lives.
It was the World Commission on Environment and
Development that in its report Our Common
Future first raised the issue of sustainability
when they said that Humanity has the ability
to make development sustainable to ensure that
it meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs.
Find out what fuel sources power companies of
your country use to generate electricity.
Investigate alternative energy sources that could
be used to produce cleaner energy and discuss the
merits and potential problems associated with
each energy source.
Sustainable Tourism
  • It has long been known that there is a close
    connection between tourism and the environment
    but whether this nexus is sustainable in the
    long run has only relatively recently been
  • If we want to have tourist destinations that can
    prosper from tourism we need to shift our
    thinking away from a simple marketing approach.
  • The major issue for many destinations will no
    longer be to attract increasing numbers of
    tourists but how to manage them once they have

The report addressed the state of the global
environment and defined sustainable development
Definitions of sustainable tourism
  • In 1995 the World Tourism Organization defined
    sustainable tourism as Sustainable tourism
    development meets the needs of present tourists
    and host regions while protecting and enhancing
    opportunity for the future. In its definition
    the WTO included environmental, socio-cultural
    and economic sustainability.
  • Make optimal use of environmental resources that
    constitute a key element in tourism development,
    maintaining essential ecological processes and
    helping to conserve natural heritage and

  • Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host
    communities, conserve their built and living
    cultural heritage and traditional values, and
    contribute to inter-cultural understanding and
  • Ensure viable, long-term economic operations,
    providing socio-economic benefits to all
    stakeholders that are fairly distributed,
    including stable employment and income-earning
    opportunities and social services to host
    communities, and contributing to poverty
  • In 2004 the World Tourism Organization added
    Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous
    process and it requires constant monitoring of
    impacts, introducing the necessary preventive
    and/or corrective measures whenever necessary.

Today a variety of sustainable tourism
initiatives have emerged. These include
  • Various environmental accreditation schemes that
    certify that companies are as environmentally
    friendly as they can be. Some of the schemes
    benchmark a companys performance (for example
    energy and water consumption per guest in a
    hotel) against industry norms against the
    industry standard.
  • PATA Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee
    which encourages all parts of the tourism
    industry to conduct there activities in a
    sustainable fashion

  • Blue Flag that classifies beaches in Europe.
    Classification helps these beaches to be marketed
    to environmentally sensitive consumers
  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
    assisted international tour operators with the
    establishment of the Tour Operator Initiative
    that seeks to put pressure on the suppliers of
    tourism products to make their products
  • ISO 14001 which establishes Environmental
    Management Systems (EMS) for companies.

When we discuss issues of sustainability and
sustainable tourism some important questions need
to be asked. These include
  • What does a tourism destination want to maintain
    (sustain) in the long term?
  • The culture and the life-style of local people?
  • The local natural environment?
  • The local economy including jobs?
  • At what levels does the government want to
    sustain tourism at the destination?

  • This leads to the question of how many tourists,
    from which part of the world a destination want
    to attract.
  • More tourists are not necessarily better and many
    destinations are now looking to attract fewer but
    higher spending tourists.
  • What is the connection between sustainable
    tourism and the broader social, cultural and
    economic development of the destination?
  • Is it possible that in an effort to achieve
    sustainable tourism we may put other sectors such
    as agriculture under threat by encouraging people
    to leave the land and to get involved in tourism?
  • These are difficult questions to answer and each
    tourist destination will have to come up with its
    own answers.

  • When we talk about sustainable tourism
    development we also need to ask whether there are
    limits of growth for tourism and where these
    limits are. Questions that should be asked
  • What is the optimal/best level of tourism at any
    given site or destination?
  • Have we already exceeded the carrying capacity
    at certain sites and should tourism activities be
    excluded from certain places?
  • Do we need much stricter rules and regulations
    for visiting sites?
  • Do we need to install reservation systems for our
    most treasured natural and cultural sites?
  • We use such systems for cinemas, theatres and
    sports events but not for visits to beaches,
    mountain sites or many cultural attractions.

There are no easy answers to any of the above
questions because they will depend very much on
the local situation and on how tourism is handled
on the ground. Policies set by governments set
the guidelines for tourism development and how
tourism is managed at a destination will make the
difference between success and failure of a
There is no doubt that if tourist destinations
want to be sustainable, that is successful in the
long term, they will have to maintain or improved
the environment in which tourism takes place
while at the same time taking the needs of the
local population into full consideration. Tourism
that only benefits the tourists is unsustainable.
Look at some of the above questions and discuss
with your class mates what some possible answers
could be in Thailands tourism context.
Protection of World Heritage
Following the end of the Second World War, there
has been increasing international concern that
precious cultural and natural heritage sites
around the world were vulnerable to threats from
wars, natural disasters, environmental
catastrophes and industrial development.
This worldwide awareness has led to the adoption
of the famous Convention Concerning the
Protection of the World Cultural and Natural
Heritage by the General Conference of United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) at its 17th session in
Paris on 16 November 1972.
World Heritage refers to various kinds of
heritage sites that have undergone evaluation and
have been approved by UNESCO to be inscribed in
The World Heritage List, according to the
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage.
At present, World Heritage is classified into
five categories Cultural Heritage, Natural
Heritage, Mixed (Cultural and Natural) Heritage,
Heritage of Cultural Landscape and Oral and
Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Travellers an often select from a diverse range
of modes of transport. Depending on where they
are traveling to they can walk, cycle, or use a
car, coach, ship, train or aircraft. The various
forms of transport have different impacts on the
environment. Obviously walking and cycling have
the least negative impacts on the environment
because no fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) are
burned and hence no green house gas emissions
Towards sustainable tourism
The current model of mass tourism means that
success is measured in increases in tourist
arrivals from one year to the next. If there is
no, or only a small, growth in visitor numbers
the destination and its managers are seen as
having failed in their duty.
We need to move away from such a thinking that is
only focused on quantity to one that is based on
quality. Not how many visitors we attract but how
they are treated, what experiences they have at
our destination will matter most. Of course how
positive their economic impact on the destination
is also needs to be considered.
To maximize the positive benefits and to minimize
the negative environmental impacts we need to be
aware of the consequences for a tourist
destination when additional people visit. More
tourists generate more income and employment for
residents but more people also can put severe
pressure on a destinations natural, social and
cultural resources.
Tourism development can have many impacts on the
environment. As visitor numbers rise there will
be an increase in
All these aspects need to be evaluated and
planned for before a destination can become
  • We now know that the more people visit a
    destination the greater the impacts will be. So
    we need to ask ourselves what can be done to
    manage a tourist destination in a way that it is
  • We need to discuss the obstacles that stop
    destinations from becoming sustainable.
  • There is also a need to establish guidelines for
    sustainable tourism development that limit the
    damage we do to the environments.
  • Measures require that destination managers first
    get an understanding of the limited capacity that
    all sites have to accommodate tourists.
  • This concept is usually referred to as the
    concept of carrying capacity.

The Concept of Carrying Capacity
  • Carrying capacity has been defined as The
    maximum number of people who can use a site
  • without an unacceptable alteration in the
    physical environment and without an unacceptable
    decline in the quality of experiences gained by
  • without an unacceptable adverse impact on the
    society, economy and culture of the tourism area.
  • We have to be aware that this concept is not
    always an exact science and that visitor number
    limits established should only be used as
  • There are several types of carrying capacity.

Physical Carrying Capacity
When no more people can physically fit into a
space its physical carrying capacity is reached.
Theatres, cinemas, or sports stadia are examples.
To increase physical capacity a new venue may be
need to be built. You can also think about
capacity on an aircraft. If all seats are
occupied the plane has reached its physical
carrying capacity.
Ecological Carrying Capacity
The ecological state of the site must be
maintained, or where possible, enhanced. Sites
vary and detailed environmental assessment is
needed to establish carrying capacities.
Socio/Cultural Carrying Capacity
This refers to the acceptance of tourists by the
local population. The level of acceptance depends
on previous experience and benefits that tourism
brings. People who benefit from tourism such as
those who own shops that cater to tourists or
those who are employed in the industry tend to
hold more favourable attitudes towards tourism
than those that are not involved with it at all.
One way to minimize the negative impacts that
tourism may have is by educating visitors and
tourists about what they can expect of each other.
This souvenir seller in Ubud, Bali is trying to
benefit from tourists and hence will have a
positive attitude towards them if they buy his
Psychological Carrying Capacity
Crowding is one of the problems that can be
brought on by the presence of too many tourists
in a place. Some people and nationalities are
more tolerant of crowds than others. In Hong Kong
people are so used to huge crowds of people that
they dont worry much if tourists add to the
congestion. In other countries such as Australia
that have low population densities even the
presence of a few additional people can be
perceived as intruding on the life-style of the
How tolerant locals and tourists are of crowding
will depend on the site. During the annual Hong
Kong Rugby Sevens tournament, spectators will
tolerate crowded conditions at Hong Kong Stadium
because crowds are part of the party atmosphere.
When going for walks on the beach Western people
tend to want to have their own space and they do
not appreciate if there are too many other people
Socio-cultural impacts of tourism
Closely linked to some of the points raised above
are the socio-cultural impacts that can result
from tourism. With this in mind the United
Nations World Tourism Organization has developed
a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. This code
was adopted at the WTO General Assembly in 1999.
The code states
Potentially negative impacts
  • Overcrowding of sites used by local people
  • Distortion of local customs by adapting them to
    tourist consumption
  • Effects on local language English words
    replace local ones
  • Demonstration effect-perception that all
    tourists as wealthy which can lead to envy of
    tourists material goods. If tourists carry items
    such as cameras or an I-Pod many locals may also
    desire these. If they cant afford to buy the
    item they may resort to theft or robbery to
    obtain it from the tourists who are perceived as

  • Loss of traditional industries replacement of
    agriculture with tourism. There is a danger that
    agricultural land is converted to tourism use and
    that farmers leave the land to get involved in
    the tourism industry at the expense of producing
    food for consumption by local people and
    tourists. This may lead to food shortages and/or
    the need to import food at higher prices.

Make a list of all the positive and negative
impacts you think that tourism has in the part of
destination where you live. Compare these lists
with those created by your class mates.
Sex and Tourism
One of the often mentioned negative impacts of
tourism is the perceived increase in prostitution
at some tourist sites. It must, however, be
remembered that sex and tourism covers a wide
spectrum ranging from romance to commercial
exploitation of women and children. The book Sex
and Tourism Journeys of Romance, Love and Lust
by Thomas Bauer and Bob McKercher (The Haworth
Hospitality Press, New York, 2003) covers the
topic well.
Sex and Tourism
The authors argue that there is a spectrum that
ranges from the positive/mutually beneficial
encounters such as people on honeymoon or young
people participating in a singles only cruise on
one end to commercial sex tours, trafficking of
women and children for prostitution and child sex
tourism at the other, darker end of the spectrum.
It is important to note that there is a big
difference between sextourism which implies a
commercial transaction and sex and tourism
which can take many forms.
Sex and Tourism
While sexuality is a perfectly normal human
activity that goes on at home and away from home
(as tourists), it is the commercial side of sex
that tends to be highlighted and that is often
shown in a negative light.. The images are of
mostly young and female prostitutes from poor
regions entertaining older and rich
foreigners at destinations such as Bangkok or
Sex and Tourism
In some countries (for example Holland and
Germany) prostitution the provision of sexual
services in exchange for rewards (usually cash)
is a legal activity. It is conducted as a
business and sex workers are subject to taxation
and regular health checks. In other jurisdictions
prostitution is illegal but it still goes on but
Sex and Tourism
The message is clear sexual activities between
consenting adults who agree to participate out of
their own free will whether paid for or not
have been going on since time immemorial and such
activities should not be condemned solely on
moral grounds. When it comes to the exploitation
of children for sexual purposes the message is
equally clear it is totally unacceptable and
such acts must be prevented at all costs and
offenders must be prosecuted.
Start a discussion with other members of your
class on the pros and cons of legalizing
Globalization and its effects on tourism
Globalization is essentially a process by
which an ever tightening network of ties that cut
across national political boundaries connects
communities in a single, interdependent whole, a
shrinking world where local differences are
steadily eroded and subsumed within a massive
global social order. It is facilitated by the
rapid movement of people, information , money and
ideas around the globe.
How is globalization felt in the tourism context?
We can think of several ways which include the
  • Commodification and trivialization of local
    cultures everything takes on a practical and
    commercial (for money) aspect

Money is king!
  • Americanization through McDonalds , KFC and

McDonalds fast food outlets can now even be
found on islands in the South Pacific such as in
  • Homogenization all cities of the world look the
    same. Experiencing the diversity of building
    styles, dishes and cultures was once a main
    reason to visit cities. Today as one travels
    around the world one finds that many airports,
    hotels and cities are more or less the same
    this takes the fun out of traveling.

Welcome to New York, London or Paris? No, welcome
to Beijing.
  • Free flow of money around the world where it can
    earn the highest rate of return on investment
  • The location of manufacturing shifts to where
    wages are the lowest at the expense of local
    people. Souvenir production is an example whereby
    Australian koala toys are manufactured in China
    or where coconut souvenirs sold in the Maldives
    are made in Bali.
  • Small scale operations are bought out by bigger

  • Most of the economic restructuring (change in
    ownership) is in the interest of big business not
    in the interest of the public and of the local
  • The Hilton Hotel Corporation was recently sold
    to an investment fund that is primarily
    interested in a high rate of return on its
    investment for its shareholders and not in the
    wellbeing of guests, local people, and employees
    or in corporate social responsibility.
  • Multinational companies such as CNN present
    consumers with their idea of the truth behind
    the news. They tell us what is important and what
    is not. They show us places we should want to
    travel to
  • National Geographic brings the worlds most
    exotic travel experiences to our living room and
    we become armchair travellers. This raises the
    question whether we still have to travel to
    places when we have already experienced them
    on our flat screen TVs.

Globalization is felt particularly in less
developed countries, many of which see tourism
as an important development option. Unfortunately
developing tourism can require that poor
countries have to take out billion dollar loans
to build the necessary infrastructure for tourism
development and this can be a problem because
they may not be able to pay back their debts.
Airports, roads, hotels, restaurants and theme
parks may be built but they are of little use to
locals who cant afford to fly or stay in those
Tax concessions (tax holidays) are often provided
to outside developers to provide them with
incentives to develop tourism infrastructure such
as hotels in developing countries. By allowing
developers not to pay local taxes for the first 5
or more years they are depriving the local
government and hence the citizens of revenue but
often no infrastructure would be build if such
concessions are not offered.
International tourists demand international style
hotels, food and drinks and hence developing
countries have to import up-market building
materials such as marble from Italy, food
(oysters from Australia) and drinks (Scotch
whiskey) from abroad which means that much of the
tourism earnings flows abroad. This is called
leakage because the money leaks out of the local
economy and it cant be used to benefit local
Leakage in the Maldives
The Republic of the Maldives is a low lying
island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main
source of income is tourism.
  • What is a net loss for Maldives is a net gain for
    those countries where the remittances of those
    workers make an important contribution to their
    families survival and hence also to the economy

Above water bungalows provide exclusive
accommodation in the Maldives
Poverty alleviation through tourism
Poverty is still a very serious problem in many
parts of the world. One of the United Nations
Millennium Goals is to substantially reduce the
number of people who live in poverty and tourism
has been called upon to play its part in this
effort. There are different levels of poverty
ranging from extreme to moderate. Extreme poverty
is often defined as applying to people who live
on less than 1 US per day. One thing is clear
There is nothing romantic about being poor as
is sometimes shown in destination photographs of
some African countries.
Often it is assumed that people in rural areas
are the poorest but this may not necessarily be
the case because as long as people have access to
land they can sustain their lives by growing
their own food or by raising animals. People who
live in urban slums are the poorest of the poor
because they have no access to land to sustain
their lives. All they can sell to make money is
their labour. Because they are mostly unskilled
they have a hard time in getting jobs because
they have to compete against often much higher
skilled city residents.
Creating employment or self-employment
opportunities for poor and unskilled peoples is
one of the fastest ways that tourism can assist
in reducing poverty. Here are a few examples
Gardening and luggage handling (Nepal)
Self employment business opportunities (Nepal)
Making carpets that tourists buy as souvenirs
Silk production in Assam, India is another form
of employment and revenue generation for local
Development of tourism products to assist in
poverty alleviation
The tourism product is made up of many components
including transport, accommodation, activities,
amenities, food and services. The challenge is to
develop products that meet the needs of the
tourists while at the same time assisting in
poverty alleviation. A range of products can
conceivably be developed including attractions,
tours, packages, guiding services, shopping,
entertainment and information provision.
Products can be developed from two perspectives
The first question that needs to be asked,
however, is whether local people genuinely want
tourists to visit and if so at what intensity?
Sometimes people may appear poor to outsiders but
they may be content with their lives because they
live in strong communities where they enjoy full
family and social support and hence they may not
need additional income from an activity that
involves outsiders. If they do want tourism we
have to ask what he poor need to know to enable
them to participate in tourism. What assistance
do they need so that they can benefit from
tourism and how can provide this assistance?
There are some potential difficulties and
Potential Difficulties
Potential Barriers
Potential Barriers
Children working in tourism
Employing children, in particular young children
in the various sectors of the tourism industry is
a double-edged sword. On the one hand it is very
common for restaurants or small, family owned
guest-houses or hotels to require children to
contribute to the economic well-being of the
family by performing some tasks in the business.
This is not necessarily a bad thing since
children who grow up in the familys hospitality
business will have a very good understanding of
the operation of such a business and this may
well lead them to become successful restaurant or
hotel owners when they grow up.
There are many examples where children who have
worked in the family business from an early age
have later taken over the running of the business
when their parents are ready to retire. Such
practices are not restricted to the hotel and
tourism industry but can be found on most farms
in the world and in small shops, in particular in
Chinese shops.
At the same time the opportunity exist for young
people who do not have family connections to a
tourism or hotel business to be given the
opportunity at a relatively early age to perform
certain small task such as maybe cleaning the
beach or assisting with other cleaning duties or
as messengers in a hotel. Such employment
opportunities can be particularly important when
they are provided in some of the least developed
countries where employment for the young and poor
is often difficult to obtain. By earning some
money they can help their families to survive.
While the above noted scenarios are positive,
there is also a darker and more exploitative side
to childrens employment in tourism. Often
children are made to work in the hospitality
industry without appropriate care, wages, working
hours and work conditions. They may even be
forced to work in this industry against their own
free will and at the expense of their schooling
and health. Such practices need to be prevented
wherever possible but unfortunately they are
often tolerated in countries where poverty levels
are still very high.
Trends and issues in Hospitality
Hospitality can be defined as the reception and
entertainment of guests or strangers with
empathy, kindness, and an overall concern for
their well-being. It is at the heart of all
tourism and without providing a friendly and
welcoming environment for visitors, tourism
cannot develop successfully.
Trends in the accommodation sector
  • One of the most basic requirements for tourists
    is the need for clean and secure accommodation.
  • This can range from luxury hotels with full
    services to motels, guest houses, backpacker
    lodges, youth hostels and camping facilities.
  • Because people are different and have different
    reasons for travel they also have different
    accommodation requirements.
  • The accommodation of business travelers is
    usually paid for by their employer and hence they
    are more inclined to stay in up-market, more
    luxurious hotels whereas the more prices
    sensitive leisure travelers who pay for their
    trip themselves may prefer more affordable and
    therefore also less luxurious places to stay.
  • In particular young people who travel around the
    world as backpackers for long periods of time,
    sometimes years, do not want to spend a lot on
    accommodation. They prefer to spend their money
    on activities and experiences instead of on

Greening of accommodation
  • Inline with the previously discussed trend
    towards a more sustainable tourism industry,
    accommodation places are also increasingly trying
    to be more environmentally friendly in their
    designs and practices.
  • In many hotels around the world the guest now
    finds notices in the bathroom that encourage them
    to indicate if they do not want their towels and
    sheets changed daily.
  • This is a measure that helps save water and
    reduces the pollution caused by the discharge of
    detergents into the sewage system.

  • Guests are also encouraged to turn off lights and
    air conditioning if they are not needed and in
    many hotel rooms electrical appliances and
    lighting can only be used after a key card is
    inserted into a slot that is located near the
    entrance to the room.
  • Once the card, which also opens the room door, is
    removed, the electricity to the room is cut off
    thus avoiding any unnecessary energy consumption.

More personal boutique styles of accommodation
  • Commercial accommodation places tend to be large
    with many rooms and facilities but a recent trend
    is that experienced travelers are seeking
    smaller, more personal accommodation facilities
    such as boutique hotels, small guest houses,
    home-stays or eco-lodges.
  • Such facilities usually have more limited
    facilities but they provide guests with the
    opportunity to be in close contact with local
    people who own or operate such facilities.

Hotel Branding
There are many different hotel brands in the
world. A brand is essentially the name of a
product, in this case hotels, that is recognized,
trusted and valued by the consumer to deliver the
services required in the expected fashion. The
table below shows the top 20 hotel brands, the
number of hotels they operate and the number of
rooms they control. As the industry is expanding
these numbers are constantly changing.
Hilton is one of the most recognized hotel brands
in the world.
Top 10 Hotel Brands in the World as of January 1,
2008 Rank Hotel Chain Number of hotels
Number of Rooms 1 Best Western 4
035 308 636 2 Holiday Inn 1 382 256
775 3 Comfort Inns Suites 2 467 188
596 4 Marriott Hotels Resorts 520 188
544 5 Hilton Hotels Resorts 511 176
523 6 Express Holidays Inn 1 808 156
531 7 Days Inn of America 1 883 153
333 8 Hampton Inn 1 490 147 326 9 Sheraton
Hotels Resorts 399 138 878 10 Super 8
Motels 2 081 128 587
More than just sleeping and eating Integrating
accommodation, dining, entertainment casino
gaming and shopping is a new trend that
recognizes that people who stay at a hotel or
resort want to be able to participate in a
diversity of activities during their stay. Gone
are the days when a hotel was only a place to
The Grand Canal at the Venetian Resort in Macau
provides guests with an indoor boating experience
that simulates a real canal ride in Venice,
Trends and issues in the restaurant and food
services sector
Food is a necessary and often enjoyable
component of the tourism experience and the
challenge for the hospitality industry is to
provide good quality and healthy meals in a
pleasant setting.
Trends and issues in tourism and hospitality are
constantly subject to change. As societies change
so will trends in the tourism and hospitality
industry. Many trends are subject to what is
fashionable at the moment while other trends and
issues emerge from wider issues in society souch
as a greater awareness of environmental
protection or the increased concern about health.
Companies that operate in the tourism and
hospitality industry are required to keep their
eyes and ears open and to constantly scan their
environment for emerging trends so that they can
meet the requirements of their customers. This is
an ongoing process that never ends. As students
of these fields we need to do the same so that we
keep up-to-date with developments that impact on
our industry..
  • END