Concept of industrial tourism
By definition, the tourism industry represents all forms of industrial workshop visited by tourists, students, professionals or individuals. It is becoming increasingly common and is attracting more and more visitors. Indeed, several companies are already introducing these daily activities in their monthly expenses. Whereas, most students plan in advance the programs of visits to factories to practice their theoretical studies.
Most of these explorations are not free and visiting hours are usually fixed in advance. The costs of visits are considered some valued information (useful for each industry) and not all companies are willing to give exhibition hours to visitors even for payment in return. These offers may be samples of their products, tasting their produced food stuff, or authorizing visitors to test operate their plant equipments. In addition, these plants administrators have their definite reason to plan specific hours to prepare for what they want to perform before the visitors and to conceal their production data they want to keep secret.
Many manufacturing sectors are affected by this type of tourism, but the most dynamic are agro-food manufacturing and handicrafts. For example, we find the manufacturing plant of the Mauritius Phoenix Breweries, makers of the famous Mauritian beer who have their formula and their recipe kept unchanged from the first day of operation. They provide a tour of 60 people on average every hour and offer adults the opportunity to taste the beer of their establishment despite their service is free. We can also take the example of the great workshop Cornille-Havard, in France, producing bells in a modern way using the technology of computer. They receive a large number of tourists every year and their visiting cost is 3.35 euros per each person.
However, there are still other companies that are very famous in the organization of free visiting hours to the public and to their clients to visit their factories. We have another example of the Rance Energy power plant, in France, producer of electricity and represented in trade by the EDF, which alone hosts over 200 000 visitors each year and thus takes a place among the most visited industrial sites in the world. There is also the Airbus site that offers a tour bus with professional guides for only 9 Euros an hour and offers its customers the panels and models showing the manufacture of aircraft.
So, the tourism industry is not for only few sectors, almost all economic activities were launched into the breach. In fact, all have received the benefits they could draw to open the doors of their factories to the public.
The benefits of Industrial Tourism.
For businesses, visits by the public in its workshops are proving to be a relevant and enjoyable way to become known. While the objectives of these tourists are not directly in the interest of the industry in question since their first goal is simple curiosity, but these needs have discovered a very effective advertising impact for the company. This applies to EDF, which by opening its doors to the public who wants to have the wrong idea about the job, immediately perceived an increase in its customer base and thereby increase its turnover. In other words, the communication to the public enables companies to develop their brand image and customer loyalty.
For the public, the tourism industry can acquire new knowledge. Indeed, the fact of entering the heart of the action responds to many questions: how does a manufacturer make the ink of a pen? Where does one find the materials to produce porcelain plates? What are the steps and procedures to produce wine or other soft drinks? Furthermore, it is also a way to guide young students about what they want to do in their life, level of study they should attain to achieve the profession of their dream.
But the tourism industry also has a positive effect on regional and national levels. Indeed, by agreeing to inform the public about the technology and economic heritage of the region, an industry of a region is another challenge to do better. This type of healthy competition does not kill the company but the push to always improve
Finally, realizing that globalization is a forced direction, companies in all areas are encouraged to connect with the global economic order and not to remain a laggard.