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Globalization can be seen as a process opening up national economies and markets, leading to increased interaction between countries. One facet of this process is the temporary movement of people from a wide variety of countries and cultures, for leisure and business travel. This process impacts upon regional tourism and hospitality markets in many ways. The tourism and hospitality industry brings together hosts and guests from a variety of cultures with different characteristics, expectations, and values. To remain competitive in the global market, the industry needs to meet the expectations and needs of their customers. Therefore, it remains an important issue as to how well prepared the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia to handle this influx of peoples and fusion of cultures. In Australia, tourism and hospitality operators must not only manage and respond to the cultural differences of international tourists, but also their domestic customers. Globalization has also impacted on the composition of the domestic tourism market as this now includes multiethnic as well as multicultural migrant groups. Yet another impact of globalization has been the multicultural nature of the workforce in the industry itself. Given these factors, it is somewhat surprising that research into the intermixing of cultures in the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia is relatively neglected. This article argues that cultural understanding is an important issue for those working in and connected with the hospitality industry in Australia. It analyzes the role of culture on the tangible and intangible aspects of service that lead to satisfying the needs and expectations of hosts and guests. A survey conducted to assess the level of awareness of the need for cultural education by tourism practitioners and academics in South Australia is reported. Based on the findings of the survey, the need for cross-cultural education is discussed.
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Keywords: Australia; Cross-cultural education; Cultural understanding; Global tourism

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: University of South Australia

Publication date: 2005-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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