Service quality in tourism and hospitality is intimately connected to human resources, which can be cultivated by enhancing workforce skills through training. This chapter probes challenges faced by the expanding tourism higher education in Mashhad, Iran. This growth, partly related to the current or potential development of the industry, is also associated with the general growth dynamics of Iran’s education system. As such, it may have an insufficient connection to the requirements of the job market. The study utilizes results from two focus group sessions organized with educators and tourism service providers in Mashhad. The findings reveal limited practical training, weak instruction, inappropriate course contents, and lack of motivation to have aggravated the gap between higher education and industry needs.
A simple strategic marketing framework is developed based on responsiveness to purposes of travel. It entails identifying purposes of visit associated with a specific destination for potential tourists, shaping tourism development policy decisions based on them, and attracting tourists by directly fulfilling their wishes. Its focus is on what a destination can already offer and is contributory to short- to medium-term tourism development. A structured recognition of purposes of visit is suggested − encompassing 16 categories across four focus areas. To demonstrate the approach, generic strategic action plans are provided for each category. The framework is further applied to Iran, a country associated with a range of attractions as well as certain restrictions.