Communication (from Latin cum = with and munire = to tie and from the verb communico = to share) isn’t only a process by which information is conveyed, but it also means “to let know”, to share. Communication is then a process involving someone who wants the addressee to think about or to do something.

 The daily conversations among people and advertising or public relation are clear examples of communication. The communicative process involves human beings or anything else. Indeed, it’s the recipient who gives the message a meaning, it’s the human creative power that gives significance to everything making communication “a system” characterized by imagination and symbols.

The idea of communication implies the interaction among the different participants, that is a certain level of cooperation among them. Every communicative process functions in two directions and, some experts state, there is no communication if signs and information go one way. When someone speaks to a vast audience without being obliged to listen, a simple conveyance of signs or information takes place.

The communicative process involving human beings is then characterized by two opposite elements: on one hand the communication considered as a simple cooperation activity during which two or more people “build together” a reality and share common truth; on the other hand the mere one-way transmission of a message such as commercials or military orders. Between the two extremes various communication processes obviously take place every day in the social environment where people live. 

Tourist operators are required to be communication agents, that is people able to convey information about the products and the resources tourists can find in a specific area, aiming at promoting their accommodation and the place where they are located.

The main purpose of tourist operators is “to welcome” guests, to make them feel at ease, to use every means of communication (above all non-verbal) to express the idea that their accommodation is safe, comfortable, familiar, clean and professionally run.  

Particularly, these features will be applied to the rural tourism buildings and to the B&Bs because these structures are characterized by feelings of familiarity, a friendly relationship with the environment (the historical centre of the town in the case of a B&B) and with nature, the typical food offered – naturally prepared following the old family recipes and the local traditions. These are the elements tourist operators are asked to communicate through every means because they are what guests expect when they plan a stay in such a kind of accommodation.Oral, written, non-verbal communication skills are obviously required to the operators who will also use the necessary techniques for active listening activity. 

Oral communication aims to hide the separation of a speech into words because it reproduces a continuous sound with a rhythm and an intonation that characterize the source language.

It doesn’t follow the same rules as the written text and it is the more direct and free way of communication.

By oral communication tourist operators are able to give all the useful information to promote their own business, the area where it is located and their specific strategy, satisfying immediately the guests’ expectations. 

Another means to have a clear idea of what accommodation offers is the written communication: brochures and any kind of advertising. Indeed, through images tourists can realize more directly the features of a specific geographic area, the products offered and the general atmosphere  of a holiday to be spent close to nature.

Written communication can rely on the most advanced technologies provided by ITC. Internet communication and online reservations are essential. 

Non-verbal communication involves every aspect of a communicative process that isn’t linked to the semantic level of the message conveyed, that is the literal meaning of the words forming the message itself. In the non-verbal communication the relationship between rural tourist operators or B&B hosts and their guests goes beyond the words and is based on body movements, face expressions, rhythm and volume of the voice.

In this context, then, the efficiency of a message relies only in part on the literal meaning of the words and the typical elements of the non-verbal communication deeply affect how the message itself is received.

Feelings of familiarity and the willingness to satisfy the guests’ expectations create a communicative process that goes beyond any written or oral text.

Active listening skill is based on empathy and the ability to accept others. It is also based on a positive approach to people, characterized by “an environment where a person feels understood” without being judged.

Rural tourist operators and B&B hosts are able to listen to their guests’, collecting every kind of information about the situation. They realize that silence helps to understand each other and the true listening activity is always new because it conveys something that isn’t already known.

They will be able to identify with their guests and be empathetic with them, trying to understand their point of view and share, as far as it is possible, their feelings. The operators are asked to be sure of their ability to understand both what the guests say and how they interact, giving them the possibility of making questions to improve the reciprocal understanding and let both parties feel at ease.

The tourists who decide to spend their holiday in a rural tourism accommodation or at a B&B look for a closer relationship with the place chosen as their destination.

They want to discover the culture, the language, the traditions of the host country to have an exchange that is an important way of personal and cultural growth and at the same time to enjoy the new territories ready to be discovered.