Human Resource Management and Sustainable Tourism Development: A Conceptual Analysis from an Academic Perspective

Human Resource Management and Sustainable Tourism Development: A Conceptual Analysis from an Academic Perspective

Mohinder Chand Dhiman (Kurukshetra University, India) and Ashish Dahiya (Central University of Haryana, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch020
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Research on human resource management (HRM) practices and sustainable development has increased in the tourism management literature over recent decades. Scholars suggest that commitment-based HRM practices contribute to the sustainability of the firm; however, prior research puts little emphasis on the conceptual relationship between sustainable tourism development and commitment based HRM practices. This chapter opens the black box by examining the role and contribution of HRM in achieving sustainable tourism development in India. The findings of the study suggests that the new HR competencies required for achievement of sustainable tourism development and the applicability of HRM pervades every aspect of doing business and needs to be embedded across an organizational all levels, becoming an ongoing change process. Subsequently, tourism innovation activities enhance destination performance, emphasizing their determinant role to achieve sustainable tourism development in the digital age.
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Today, tourism industry has acquired a pivotal milestone globally as a source of earning foreign currency and generation of employment (World Tourism Organization, 2014). According to UNWTO Tourism Towards 2030, the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide is expected to increase by an average 3.3% a year over the period 2010 to 2030 (see. Figure 1). Over time, the rate of growth will gradually slow, from 3.8% in 2012 to 2.9% in 2030, but on top of growing base numbers. In absolute numbers, international tourist arrivals will increase by some 43 million a year, compared with an average increase of 28 million a year during the period 1995 to 2010. At the projected pace of growth, international tourist arrivals worldwide are expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2020 and 1.8 billion by the year 2030. Interestingly, International tourist arrivals in the emerging economy destinations of Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean Europe, the Middle East and Africa will grow at double the pace (+4.4% a year) of that in advanced economy destinations (+2.2% a year). This indicates that the arrivals in emerging economies are expected to exceed those in advanced economies by 2015. Further, in 2030, 57% of international arrivals will be in emerging economy destinations (versus 30% in 1980) and 43% in advanced economy destinations (versus 70% in 1980). Thus, the strongest growth will be seen in Asia and the Pacific region, where arrivals are forecast to increase by 331 million to reach 535 million in 2030 (+4.9% per year). The Middle East and Africa regions are also expected to more than double their arrivals in this period, from 61 million to 149 million and from 50 million to 134 million respectively. Europe (from 475 million to 744 million) and the Americas (from 150 million to 248 million) will grow comparatively more slowly. Ironically, this faster growth has a profound impact on the global market shares of Asia and the Pacific (to 30% in 2030, up from 22% in 2010), the Middle East (to 8%, from 6%) and Africa (to 7%, from 5%) will all increase. However, Europe (to 41%, from 51%) and the Americas (to 14%, from 16%) will experience a further decline in their share of international tourism, mostly because of the slower growth of comparatively mature destinations in North America, Northern Europe and Western Europe. Further, WTTC (2013) forecasts indicate that in the coming decade, Travel& Tourism to provide a total of 74.5million new jobs, 23.2 million of which will be provided directly within the sector. The contribution of Travel & Tourism to the wider economy is expected to rise from 9.5% in 2014 to 10.3% in 2024. These facts have expected to growth in tourism demand from emerging markets, and a rising importance of Travel & Tourism in overall consumer spending. However, Asia remains the fastest growing Travel & Tourism region in the long-run, while Russia and Turkey will be integral to boosting long-run European growth. Thus, these figures highlight that tourism is arguably the world’s largest and fastest growing industry and that has virtually embraced all aspects of human society.

Figure 1.

UNWTO tourism towards 2030

Sources: UNWTO (2013)

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