Enhancement of South African Tourism and Hospitality within the Supply Chain: The Case for Barter Membership
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Author: Eyal Eckhaus, posted on 6/17/2010 , in category "eCommerce"
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Abstract: The recent global economic turmoil has raised major concerns for the tourism sector. At the same time, global experts claim that tourism may be a key for overcoming the economic downturn and play a vital role within the green economic new deal, while at the same time promoting intercultural dialogue. Relatedly, one of the most attractive strategic options for businesses as the economy goes into recession is barter. Executive summary of Eckhaus and Bates (2009).

Executive summary of Eckhaus and Bates (2009).
The recent global economic turmoil has raised major concerns for the tourism sector. At the same time, global experts claim that tourism may be a key for overcoming the economic downturn and play a vital role within the green economic new deal, while at the same time promoting intercultural dialogue. Relatedly, one of the most attractive strategic options for businesses as the economy goes into recession is barter.

The tourism industry and global recession
The tourism industry is a global growth business  employing 200 million workers worldwide. Tourism is the world’s largest generator of wealth and employment. A well-planned and developed tourism industry positively affects society as well as the economy, contributing to the host country's standard of living since successful tourism requires public security, political stability, and solid telecommunication, roads, and electricity infrastructures. Recently, economists attach greater importance to tourism, as it is a key income generator.
Since international tourism business is highly vulnerable to economic crises, major concerns are emerging, since international tourism has suffered from the global recession. On the other hand, since tourism is resilient on the long-term and affects many other sectors in the economy, it deserves special consideration thanks to its potential to stimulate post-crisis recovery.
There are several types of tourism: medical or healthcare tourism, ecotourism or green tourism, business tourism – attending meetings, conferences, exhibitions and promotion events – and sports tourism – participating in or observing sporting events.

Barter
Globalization has highlighted the advantages of international countertrade as means of economic development. One of the major forms of countertrade is barter, the fair exchange of goods or services between two businesses, often providing financial and marketing benefits for both sides. Barter is increasingly becoming an attractive option for businesses as the economy goes down.
Barter has many advantages as it enables companies to save money and hold onto cash reserves. It can be a good solution for excess inventory, vacant office space, or limited distribution, while goods or services are paid for effectively at their cost value.

Barter and Tourism
One of the many areas in which barter can be shown to ensure effective results is tourism. Barter tourism has been proven successful among tourist organizations as well as between countries. An important tool that has emerged and supports the expansion of barter tourism is barter trade exchange that acts as a broker for goods and services, with thousands of clients that provide multiple business needs, thus providing their members with greater bartering opportunities than they could find themselves, as well as protecting trade with rules and regulations. A major advantage of the barter exchange is that they id does not require even trade, enabling the accumulated credit from trades to be use for purchasing other different items. Nevertheless, though the exchange network’s can be quite advantageous, we must remember that is requires a sign-up fee of between $300 and $600, a transaction fee of 12—15% of trade value, and the value of trade dollars received must be included in the gross income for tax purposes. Moreover, although barter is a cashless transaction that removes the need for hard currency generation, it is still used rarely and only when difficulties arise.

Summary
The tourism industry is well suited to the business online community model, which allows businesses to communicate with their customers and participants to exchange ideas. With the recent boost in the exposure to e-tourism technology, and online barter exchange networks in particular, it is clear that the industry may use these online opportunities not only to survive the worldwide downturn, but also enjoy the web potential to support this most valuable industry.
  

Adapted from:

Eckhaus, E. and F. Bates, Enhancement of South African Tourism and Hospitality within the Supply Chain:  The Case for Barter Membership, in Proceedings of CMT2009,the 6th International Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, 23 - 26 June 2009. Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.


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