Vinitha Kannambroth, Regional Head – IFM Operations, Embassy Services Pvt. Ltd.
By Vinitha Kannambroth, Regional Head – IFM Operations, Embassy Services Pvt. Ltd.
Experiential tourism has transformed the way travellers explore and engage with destinations, seeking immersive and authentic experiences that go beyond the ordinary. In this dynamic landscape, facility management emerges as a silent yet powerful force shaping the very essence of experiential tourism. Millennials and Gen Z are generations known for their tech-savvy nature, desire for flexibility, and prioritization of experiences over material possessions. Workcations, which combine work and leisure in a single trip, can be particularly appealing to these generations for several reasons such as remote work adaptability, desire for experiences, networking, health and well-being. From crafting eco-friendly lodges nestled in pristine natural environments to curating captivating cultural experiences, facility managers play a pivotal role in creating spaces and moments that transform vacations into extraordinary memories.
Facility Management’s Contribution to Sustainable Tourism
The Indian tourism sector is increasingly committed to environmental sustainability, drawing in eco-conscious tourists by implementing energy-efficient lighting, heating systems, water conservation measures, and waste management programs. As the tourism sector contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, facility management becomes crucial in incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels and optimizing resource usage, implementing waste reduction, and recycling programs, and creating an environment that resonates with both tourists and the tourism sector alike. With local sourcing, facility managers are not only helping local economies and providing employment opportunities within the community but also fostering meaningful connections between travellers and the indigenous products and people of the region.
Crafting Immersive Experiences
In the quest to meet the demands of experiential tourists, facility managers are at the forefront of designing and maintaining immersive attractions and accommodations. Clean, well-maintained hotels, resorts, transportation hubs, workcations and tourist attractions enhance the overall experience, leaving a lasting impression on travellers. Through strategic planning and effective management, facility managers ensure maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness, safety, and comfort, ensuring that travellers feel pampered and secure throughout their stay. Facility managers can facilitate interactions between tourists and local communities, fostering an understanding of local customs, traditions, and sustainable practices. This engagement adds depth to the experiential tourism journey and benefits both travellers and residents.
Facility management plays a multifaceted role throughout a tourist’s journey, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience. Before travel, facility managers oversee the maintenance of transportation hubs, including airports, bus terminals, and train stations, to ensure cleanliness, safety, and comfort. During travel, they manage onboard services on cruises, trains, or buses, guaranteeing passengers have comfortable seating, clean restrooms, and access to dining and entertainment. In the exploration and activities phase, facility managers maintain tourist attractions, such as museums and theme parks, to ensure safety and a pleasant experience. Accommodation-wise, facility managers in hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals focus on creating welcoming environments, and overseeing housekeeping, security, and guest services. In dining experiences, they ensure restaurant cleanliness and food quality. Finally, post-travel, facility managers at airports and terminals facilitate passenger disembarkation and baggage handling. Throughout the journey, an increasing emphasis on sustainability sees facility managers implementing eco-friendly practices, such as waste reduction and energy efficiency, aligning with eco-conscious tourists’ preferences.
Preserving Heritage and Upholding Standards
Preservation of historical landmarks is another key facet of facility management in the Indian tourism industry. Facility managers ensure that these heritage sites are not only preserved but also protected for future generations by adhering to regulations and standards. The upskilling and privatization of the facility management sector have further boosted the Indian tourism industry’s ability to provide high-quality service. Properly trained and equipped staff are better able to meet the needs of visitors, enhancing the overall visitor experience.
Facility management plays an indispensable role in experiential tourism, helping to create unforgettable adventures and contribute to the goals of sustainable tourism in India. From developing eco-friendly accommodations to preserving historical landmarks and ensuring compliance with standards, facility managers are instrumental in shaping the landscape of experiential tourism. As tourists increasingly seek destinations committed to green tourism values, the facility management sector is revolutionizing the Indian tourism industry, making it more immersive, sustainable, and memorable for travellers from around the world. With the synergy of facility management and tourism, India is poised to offer unique and unforgettable experiences to every traveller who embarks on its shores.