Supply Chain Management in Extreme Tourist Destinations

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 2448 , Published on 15 June 2014
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White snow covered peaks glowing like gold with the sun rays falling on them!

An ocean of golden land with mirages of beautiful oasis' and trees!

Blue oceans, white sandy beaches, clear skies and wonderful sounds of waves crashing against the shore.


These are some of the most common locations where people venture out to spend a vacation with their loved ones, friends and family. A place where they can enjoy beautiful scenery, eat quality local food, take rest and get rejuvenated, and have wonderful memories to take along. However, as easy as it may sound, vacationing at some particular tough terrain and far away inaccessible locations is a major challenge for the hospitality industry. And one of the most important and difficult tasks is to manage resources and effectively manage supply chain without compromising on customer experience.


Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, Evgeni Dinev


High altitude tourist locations in places like the Himalayas in India, Alps in Europe etc are a great place for attracting tourists who come to see snow, do adventure sports and run away from hot city weather. However, it is a major challenge for hosts to welcome customers and ensure for their stay. One of the biggest challenges is facing the tough geographic terrain where travel is tough due to steep terrain, bad roads, heavy rainfall, low visibility etc. Bring basis things to these places for customers like food and drinking water is a big challenge. During heavy snowfall and off-seasons, the lodges and hotels are vacated, and on returning back, they might be compromised due to bad weather. Hence to restore and prepare for customers calls for a big task and systematic supply chain planning.


A similar experience is seen at other locations like desert locations like places in Sahara desert, remote islands or secluded beach resorts, wildlife sanctuaries and dense rain forests or other attractive places which do not have access to basic things like food, drinking water, basis room amenities, cooking gas etc. This causes a big stress and headache to the hospitality industry because if a customer leaves disappointed, he or she will create a negative image and cause a bad word of mouth.


Hence it becomes critical to manage supple chain in locations which face adverse weather conditions or difficult inaccessible terrain.


A very important way by which the hospitality industry ensures efficient supple chain is by proper storage and warehousing of non-perishable goods, and ensuring optimal utilisation of the goods. As for perishable items, an effective way of good supply chain management is to associations and tie-ups with local transport agencies and tourism vehicles. Tourist vehicles carry tourists everyday to these locations. Hence, if there is a healthy understanding, then these tourist vehicles can carry a decent amount of food like vegetables, salt, eggs etc everyday, which can be fresh when served to the customer. Also, they can help in bringing items of urgent importance like medical utilities, medicines etc within a day's notice. Thus, maintaining a positive relation between hospitality industry and travel tourism, there can be a win-win situation for both, thereby ensuring good customer satisfaction.


People all over the world are always fascinated by the beauty of nature and love travelling to destinations across the world. This in turn creates a world of opportunities for the local population who can use the tourism as a source of livelihood. But ensuring excellent customer satisfaction, especially in tough terrain tourist spots, calls for an effective street-smart supply chain management!



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