module specification

LT5026 - Service Excellence for Tourism (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Service Excellence for Tourism
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
 
3 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
216 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Visitor management case study (2500 words)
Coursework 30%   Quality assurance scheme review (1500 words) + professional conduct reflection (500 words)
Coursework 30%   Social media strategy analysis (2000 words)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

‘Service Excellence for Tourism’ investigates practices and strategies used in managing exceptional relationships between customers and service providers. Consistent delivery of high quality service in tourism and travel industries increases customer loyalty, businesses reputation and competitive advantage, hence the module focus lies in the exploration of three aspects of excellent service delivery: visitor management techniques, quality management and digitalisation of service.
The aim of the module is to provide students with understanding of the importance of service excellence, including reflection on their own professional conduct practices, and equip them with analytical ability to assess and improve service delivery.

Syllabus

Syllabus is split into three parts, aligned with module’s learning objectives and refers to visitor management, quality management and digitalisation of service.
Introductory part will discuss the need for and the concept of visitor management in the light of the increasingly common issue of overtourism. Essential concepts of carrying capacity and limits of acceptable change will be followed by the review of visitor management techniques aiming at influencing tourist’s behaviour: both, in terms of controlling demand and flows of visitors and altering visitors’ behaviour. Hard and soft measures of visitor management will include discussion on the role of technology in visitor management and management of different types of visitors (e.g. families, children, disabled). LO1


An emphasis in the second part of the module will be placed on quality management strategies related to product and service quality, including TQM, SERVQUAL and VAQAS. A range of quality codes, quality assurance schemes and certifications existing in tourism and travel industries will be discussed, in the light of customer service concept. Finally, the role of human resources and professional conduct will be reviewed in relation to tourist experience. LO2


Final section of the module will refer to the relation between tourism and digitalisation debating characteristics of digital customer/tourist and the impact of technology on marketing communications, especially customer relationship management (CRM) concept and related aspects of managing company’s reputation and complaints management. Content, social media and mobile marketing techniques will be explored in the perspective of travel and tourism industries as leading tools used to gain customer’s engagement. LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

In each assignment students have a freedom to choose the object of study, such as case study, certification/quality code and company. This allows for personalisation and alignment of subjects to diverse cohort of students.
Understanding of the importance of service excellence has very practical dimension in tourism and travel as service industries, but also in education. For students, an academic course is a route to develop not only knowledge, but also personal qualities, standards and professional conduct in relation to studying as their work commitment and other students and staff as collaborators. Students will have an opportunity to review their code of professional conduct in this business environment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Audit and appraise visitor management techniques and measures in the light of sustainable management principles
2. Debate the benefits and challenges of quality management implementation in the tourism and travel industries, and reflect on how this applies to their own development of professional conduct practices
3. Demonstrate critical understanding of digital marketing processes and practices, and ability to use this knowledge to review tourism industry providers’ digital strategy

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy combines three independent assignments, all personalised to suit student’s preferences.
In the first assignment, students need to choose a London-based (fieldwork required) case study, where after compiling information on the visitor management techniques and measures undertaken in the chosen case study, they discuss the compliance of observed practice with sustainable management principles.
For the second assignment, students select quality certification, assurance scheme, code of conduct or (eco)label from the tourism and travel industries and discuss opportunities and challenges to businesses trying to implement chosen quality scheme. In the additional reflective piece, students are asked to reflect on personal professional conduct practices demonstrated during their study and consider ways of development.
Final piece of coursework asks students to analyse social media strategy employed by preferred tourism or travel industry provider, in order to suggest recommendations for more efficient utilisation of digital marketing processes and practices.
Assessment tariff alignment: L5 (30 credits) max. 7500 words
• Visitor management case study (2500 words)
• Quality assurance scheme review (1500 words) + professional conduct reflection (500 words)
• Social media strategy analysis (2000 words)
Total word count: 6500 words

Bibliography

Core Text:
• Albrecht, J. N. (2016) Visitor Management in Tourism Destinations, CABI.
• Buswell, J.; Williams, C.; Donne, K.; Sutton, C. (2016) Service Quality in Leisure, Events, Tourism and Sport, CABI.
• Chaffey, D.; Smith, P.R. (2015) Digital Marketing Excellence, Routledge.

Other Texts:
• Eagles, P., McCool, S., Haynes, C. (2002) Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Planning and Management, WCPA Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 8, IUCN.
• Manning, R. E., Anderson, L. E. (2012) Managing outdoor recreation: case studies in the National Parks, CABI.
• WTO (2017) Practical Guidelines for Integrated Quality Management in Tourism Destinations – Concepts, Implementation and Tools for Destination Management Organizations, World Tourism Organisation.
• WTTC (2017) Coping with Success: Managing Overcrowding in Tourism Destinations, McKinsey & Company.

Journals:
• Annals of Tourism Research
• International Journal of Arts Management
• International Journal of Tourism Research
• Journal of Sustainable Tourism
• Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
• Journal of Travel Research
• Journal of Vacation Marketing
• Service Industries Journal
• Tourism Management
• Travel and Tourism Analyst

Websites:
• Visit Britain Corporate: https://www.visitbritain.org/
• European Commission Digital Tourism portal: