Can we meet expectations of tourists?

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Namik Čolaković, prof. dr. ekonomskih nauka
Namik Čolaković

The basic component that affects the level of quality is the expectations of tourists, who will feel satisfied only if the perceived quality exceeds their expectations, but also feel dissatisfied if the quality of a service is below expectations. Tourists expect to get the best possible quality for their money and the basic standard of tourist services is satisfied tourist, and by ensuring its satisfaction, stability of sales and profit in longer term is achieved.

Tourist image is a harmonious mix of technical and functional components of the service.

The technical component is measurable and, for example, the quality of a hotel room or a meal that is served at the hotel restaurant is considered by it. Functional component means delivery mode and refers to people participating in the provision of services. A well-designed functional component can be amortized by certain technical deficiencies, but if the quality of the hotel staff is not at the expected level, even the perfect technical quality can be obstructed by dissatisfaction of tourist consumers.

Certain research in the tourism sector focused on tourists’ complaints, and results showed that 44 percent of those dissatisfactions were related to the technical component, and 56 percent to the functional ones, or to employees in tourist industry. This leads to conclusion that the construction of quality in tourism is possible only with the maximum engagement of both management and employees and continuous education that should help better communication in the person – to – person relation.

Although in hotels, each guest has the opportunity to fill out a particular form with impressions of staying; only rarely they do it. Internet capabilities have completely suppressed such a classic approach and tourists dominantly use different online platforms to get information and tips for planning travel and vacation, but also to express their own impressions on these trips at the same time. Only one of these platforms at the monthly level has more than 400 million visitors. All this has made it possible to create a ranking list of hotels, where, apart from the price, the experiences of ordinary tourists are used as influential parameters, the quantity, quality and frequency of these experiences. This way helps tourists to get to know more about the offer and make a decision about the choice of hotels, attractions or restaurants, and guest reviews are excellent feedback for hotels about tourists’ satisfaction with the services provided.

However, all this also has its negative side, as some guests try use negative reviews and comments to get cheaper services, sometimes even free. It should be noted that, besides individuals, there are also specialized companies dealing with adjustment of comments, which makes the boundary between managing online reputation and false commentary very low.

Namely, open platform is difficult to control and having gained the experience, hoteliers already have adopted procedures for communicating with blackmailing clients, and one of the ways of preventing such attempts is to actively participate through responding to comments. Every criticism at the beginning is accessed as if it was well based and the problem is solved, if possible. Good reviews and timely response to negative comments have a great impact on the occupancy and performance of the hotel’s business.

Some studies have shown that hoteliers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still lagging behind in understanding the significance of online platform in relation to foreign hotel chains, although hoteliers seriously treat some of them. Strong growth of tourist arrivals and overnight stays in Bosnia and Herzegovina has certainly been largely driven by an online platform, which in turn contributed to improving the overall business results, but we should certainly expect and mention not well-intentioned online “commentators”. Before they appear, if they are not already present, adequate preparation of the hotel and all accommodation providers must be carried out, which must certainly include the experience of developed countries in the fight against this. Nevertheless, everything comes down to a summary that we need to make an effort around the tourist …