How Significant is any of 'Cultural homogenisation' to the development of the global tourism and/or hospitality industry?
The main aim of this essay is to explore the role of cultural homogenization to the development of the global hospitality and tourism industry in the acceptance of products and consumer behaviour in the different contexts. This essay will start by walk around the common character of consumers demand and consumption following discuss some key issue of perspectives on consumers demand and, more especially consumer's attitude. Consumers attitude is habitually view as a by- product of homogenization (Reisinger, 2009). Shopping and expenditure have many circumstances; the resulting consumer mentalities wield a thoughtful impact upon economic activities. Simultaneously, the wide-reaching media also can influence people spending desire. In the globalization viewpoint, the perception of cultural homogenization can be exaggerated (Pieterse, 2009), after all, the global, the national and the local characteristics of social space interlink in different combinations. Indeed, a further dimension into the geographical spectrum, cultural homogenisation could increase cultural pluralism (Scholte, 2002).
Cultural homogenization comprises the appearance of customer approaches, the uprising of local culture, the collision of elite culture and the impact of modern technology. The key point is to remember that, although a variety of firms have successfully placed themselves globally. But their products and services continue to be consumed by different people in different ways. (Asgary & Walle, 2002). It is the view of (Demooij, 2004) that in new global consumers has become increasingly similar in their values and behaviour patterns despite their national cultural characteristics. Global consumers are increasingly eating the same food wearing same brands and watching same TV programs. Another point in favour of (Demooij, 2004) is that the modern world has experienced significant cultural destruction. A high overflow of consumerism has apparently forced cultural levelling from corner to corner in the world via a multitude of global agents such as Coca-Cola, Nike, MTV, Microsoft and McDonald's (Saee, 2004).
It can be argued that the process of cultural homogenization and Heterogenization occur simultaneously at difference levels. The homogenization of the consumption patterns occurs at the international level whereas the efforts to maintain cultural uniqueness and distinctness occur more at the regional and local level. Homogenization and globalization have a tendency to be the area of elite, because the affluent and people who are wealthy can manage to pay for the products available in global markets. Wealthy, well cultured and well travelled individuals from diverse backgrounds can easily interact with the fashionable environment by help of the modern technology especially the internet. People from different backgrounds are now able to interact globally as never before. Internet makes the world smaller, more accessible and increases the level of cultural homogeneity. Although the internet does not allow people to fully understand other places and lifestyles, but it does allow people to access more information than in previous human history. (Asgary, and Walle, 2002); (Reisinger, 2009).
The understanding of the world "becoming smaller" with a growing sensitivity to cultural differences is a part of the general cultural turn, which involves a wider self-reflexivity of modernity. Modernization has been advancing like a steamroller; a fundamental dispute is whether cultural homogenization actually exists or is a fairy story or flashy public speaking. Paul& Thomson (1996) criticize it as a "globalization rhetoric" or "global aloney" their key arguments is that before 1914 the world economy was more internationalized than at present. The unquestioned cultural hegemony of the west is past. New patterns, fashions, confluences and mixtures are taking shape. Growing relationship between the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and "Chime" (China, India, and Middle East) are increasingly changing all fact of global trends. An example is the "Korean wave" in East Asia -the popularity of Korean soap Operas, movies and music - which has already peaked. At the same time growing global interconnectedness directing towards cultural standardization and uniformization as in the sweep of consumerism, an example is the" McDonaldization", a short version of this momentum. (Sturges, 2005) (Yeniyurt and Townsend, 2003)
The opinion of (Ritzier, 2004) is McDonaldization affects not only the restaurants business but also education, works, leisure, the family and virtually everywhere .it has shown every indication of an unavoidable process, sweeping through the challenging tradition of the world. McDonalds is a global icon of fast food and a symbol of cheap and convenient food. One objection to this argument is that it is not true worldwide. Many countries namely, In Russia, Argentina, as in china people pay high prices for this American ambience visit (Asgary & Walle, 2002). It might be said that though McDonaldization process increases the level of cultural homogeneity but put forth a dominating impact upon many other countries' societies. However, there is an argument that there is no such thing as a "global consumer "one cannot distinguish among European, American, or Asian consumers because of the differences in their lifestyles across continents as well as the local regional and national level. For example, although there are clear differences between the EU countries, there is also a fundamental disparity in their value systems and lifestyles (Wierengn at all, 1996). A high level of consumption generally believed to be a symbol of the good life. Also global consumer culture detects that people are strongly believe in the unlimited ability and achievements of science and modern technology (Scholte, 2002); (Pieterse, 2009).
Tourism is one of the world's largest multinational economics activities .it involves the greatest flows of goods, services, and people on the surface of the earth, and it is therefore the most visible expression of globalization, Although the role and share of tourism in international trade is rising significantly the rapid speared of information technology has improved the efficiency of the industry operation as well as the quality of services provided to customers .it has also generated increased demand for new travel services (Reisinger, 2009).The development of sophisticated websites has allowed for the direct dissemination of travel information to potential clients. The internet has made travel products globally accessible at much lower cast. As a result customer demand has become more technology and internet -driven. From the post -modernist investigation (Williams, 2002) argues that tourism and hospitality organizations have to forget traditional marketing theory and market segmentation, instead, they should provide variety, and updating offering, so that people can consume as their wish without reference to a standardized expectation. Example of globalization in the accommodation sectors have included hotel corporation and chain creation, joint venture, franchising, management contracts, and consortia of independent hotels major international hotel groups included intercontinental Hotels (The united Kingdom) Accor (France) and cendant, Marriott, and star wood hotels and resorts (united states )these hotel groups are involved in various countries worldwide (Inter Science Wiley.Com, 2007). For example, Marriott international managing 1300 hotels of different brand world wide with the access to 40 new markets (Scholte (2002); (Reisinger, 2009).
Globalization in the retail sector includes partnerships, integration, and franchising Tour operators and travel agencies entered into partnerships and or integrated with hotels, charter airlines, retail distribution and cruise companies. American express developed a range of products in various sectors of the industry. Numerous studies suggest that a global tourist does not exist (Reisinger, 2009). Very different people live in the different countries of the world; they have different culture and behaviour patterns. For example, Asian consumers cannot be clustered in to one group because Japanese differ from, similarly there are differences among European consumers: German consumes differ from French. Because there are these cultural differences among consumers from different countries, the marketing mix also changes to suit the national characteristics.
According to Scholte (2002) Globalization is the process of incorporating people into a single world. The world is becoming a "global village". Today's, Globalization is not just about modernization or westernization. It is about an amplification of worldwide economic, socio-cultural, political and environmental relations. These relations link distant places in a such a way that what is happening locally is determined by what is happening globally (Saee,2004). Accesses to the knowledge and the knowledge itself have become the important factors determining the standard of living, beyond the labour and capital of production. Knowledge generates new ides, turns them into commercial products and services, and increases revenues and incomes of those who know how to use it. Unfortunately, not all nations and economics can benefit yet from globalization developments in new information technology, and access to knowledge (Houlihan, 1994).
Cultural homogenisation is perceived by some as discriminatory and moving against human rights. Critics of globalization claim that globalization brings "An increased polarization of the world in favour of the stronger economics" Poorer countries become dependent on activities in major economics such as United States. The gap dividing rich and poor nation is rapidly increasing. Rich and powerful nations have capital and technology, poor and power less nations do no have access to capital and information technology (Saee,2004). Some behaviour that the process of globalization has led to a culture heterogenization. Heterogeneity is developed through an increasing emphasis on local cultural elements such as languages, religion tradition food, shared history, or the role of family. However, the method of cultural heterogenisation is restricted, global foreign brands, theme parks, films, and television programs have different meaning and impact in the world. The western cloths, soft drinks, cigarettes, liquor, films and books that flooded eastern and central European countries significantly differed from the ethnic clothing and foods and thus were not always popular on the local markets (Pieterse, 2009).
Hybridization is an answer to the cultural differentials of ethnic and nationalist polices because it takes as its point of departure precisely. Hybridization reflects a post-modern sensibility of cut'n'mix, contravention. It represent in Foucault's term, a "resurrection of subjugated knowledge". It also goes under various aliases such as syncretism, realization, message; Global localization and local globalization make, first, an empirical case: that processes of globalization, past and present, can be adequately described as process of hybridization. Terrorist incident in Bali, The war in Iraq, the economic crisis, and the corporate scandal such as Enron, Leman Brothers, has made people anxious about security and survival. Evidence quoted by the impacts of war and terrorism is significant. Between October and November 2002, visitors to bali dropped by 60 percent. in the UK holiday booking were down 20 percent In February 2003 on the previous year, as a consequence British Airways intended to discard 13000 jobs by March 2004 (Mullins, 2004).
To conclude, the tourism and hospitality industry is people based, this is an industry run by people and for people. The real potential for the tourism and hospitality companies lies in their people. Cultural homogenization process has opened new opportunities for developments in hospitality industry and has facilitated growth in tourism through developments in technology and products. (Peric, 2005). (Demooij, 2004) argued that in global consumers has become increasingly similar in their values and behaviour patterns. (Demooij, 2004) beliefs can be supported that but (Hatch & Schultz, 2003)) argue that there is no such thing as a "global consumer " (Reisinge, 2009) argues are similar to(Richardson,2004) that a global tourist does not exist, different people live in the different countries of the world; they have different culture and behaviour patterns. Richardson, (2004) is certainly correct when he says that consumer's behaviour lying on different contexts.
The opinion of (Ritzier, 2004) is McDonaldization affects virtually everywhere and has shown every indication of an unavoidable process. It is a global icon and symbol of cheap, convenient food but (Asgary & Walle, 2002) argued that, this could be in the United States but not true worldwide. There is no doubt that the process of cultural homogenization has been strengthened by the rise of the internet and other information technologies, companies such as Yahoo , Microsoft , Google , and Motorola have become more important cultural icons like McDonalds and Coca -cola. Finally it can be said that global market is shrinking through globalization and fact that multinational companies are becoming commonplace due to the fundamental reason. Businesses are coming face to face with a multicultural workforce structure in order to obtain competitive advantage. (Dana et al.2008); (Pieterse, 2009); (Reisinger, 2009); (Oliver, 1999)
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