Growing concern over the negative impacts of tourism during the 1990s led eventually to the concept of sustainable tourism or sustainable tourism development. Such development should:
use environmental resources in a way that maintains their essential ecological processes and helps to conserve a regionís natural heritage and biodiversity;
respects the sociocultural authenticity of host communities and conserve their built and living cultural heritage;
contribute to intercultural understanding and tolerance;
ensure viable, long-term economic activities which will, in turn, provide economic benefits to everybody, especially to local people;
create stable employment and generate income-earning opportunities and social services for the host communities.
From this, we can see that sustainable tourism development is not just a response to the negative environmental impacts of tourism, but to sociocultural and economic impacts, too.
Sustainable tourism is not the same as ecotourism or green tourism. Ecotourism aims to provide tourists with the chance to understand a natural or cultural environment without permanently altering it. Green tourism is essentially the same in its aims as ecotourism, but the term green is used to create a contrast with white tourism (skiing and winter sports) or blue tourism (sea, sand, and sun). Sustainable tourism is far more wide-reaching concept than either green tourism or ecotourism, and is one that seeks sustainability in all aspects of tourism, from the management of city centre hotels or the recycling of aircraft cabin waste from tourist destinations in the Antarctic.
A wide range of national and international, private and public sector bodies such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO) or the World Travel and Trade Council (WTTC) have issued guidelines as to what constitutes sustainable tourism. Thus, it is felt to be possible for providers of mass tourism such as tour operators to be eco-friendly. A key concept in determining sustainability is carrying capacity. This term refers to the maximum number of visitors a tourist destination or attraction can support without any lasting negative effects on the host community.
THE FRONT DESK
Hotel employment falls into two broad categories: front of the house and back of the house. Jobs in the front of the house include management, the various jobs at the front desk, accounting, sales and promotion, baggage handling, car attendants, and special services. Jobs in the back of the house include food and beverage preparation and service, housekeeping, laundry and valet service, engineering, and maintenance.
The front desk is the counter where the guests register, pick up their keys and mail, request information, deposit their valuables, and pay their bills. It is also called the reception area.
The front desk is located in the lobby of the hotel. The lobby is the public entrance area that gives access to the guest rooms, restaurants, bars, shops, and other facilities in the hotel. For the convenience of guests, the front desk is almost always located near the hotelís main entrance.
The front desk jobs include receptionists, concierges, bellmen, porters, doormen and other employees. Many hotels have one or more assistant managers at the front desk. Their jobs may include greeting important guests, sorting out problems with reservations, or handling routine complaints.
The primary job of front-desk personnel is to take care of the check-in and check-out procedures and to provide helpful information to the guests in order that their stay in the hotel may be comfortable and convenient.
In the eyes of most customers, the front-desk employees are the representatives of the hotel. Their ability to work smoothly is an important factor in the success of the hotel.