Tourism and Travel Marketing
Tourism is a major industry throughout the world today. It embraces activities ranging form the smallest sea-side hotel, for example, to airlines, multinational hotel chains and major international tour operators. The concept of tourism marketing comprises of:
·Identifying and anticipating consumer demand (and desire) for tourism products and services
·Developing a means of providing products and services to fulfill these needs
·Communicating this to the consumer, thereby motivating sales, consequently satisfying both the consumer, and the organization‟s objectives. Krippendorf says, “Marketing in tourism is t execution of business policy by tourist undertakings whether private or state, owned at local, regional,
national and international levels to achieve the optional satisfaction of the needs of identifiable consumer groups and in doing so achieves an ap
Burkart and Medlick opine, “Tourism marketing activitie extended by National Tourism Organisation and / or tourist enterprises at international, national and
local levels to optimize the satisfaction of tourist groups and individuals in view of sustained tourism growth.”
In view of the above, the following points emerge regarding tourism marketing:
·Tourism marketing is a process of creating a product or providing a service.
·Tourism marketing comprises fact finding, data gathering, analyzing (marketing research), communication to inform and promote (Promotion), ensuring and facilitating sales, selection of marketing planning (distribution), coordination, control and evaluation (marketing planning and auditing), developing professionally sound personnel (people).
·Tourism marketing is an integral effort to satisfy tourism and more so, it is a device to transform the potential tourism into the actual tourism.
·Tourism marketing is the safest way to generate demand, expand market and increase the market
·Tourism marketing is a managerial process to promote business.
Through market planning, segmentation and marking research, a tourism marketing mix can be developed to achieve the tourism organization‟
In tourism marketing segments may be categorized according to age, frequency of travel, education, occupation or income. Other bases for segmentation of tourism and travel markets include –
·Purpose (of trips –business, vacation, convention, social/family);
·Psychographic (where behavioral aspects of motivation are used); and
·Benefits (where the benefits being sought by the consumer are the key variable).
The tourism marketing mix
The marketing mix refers to the blend of ideas, concepts and features which marketing management put together to best appeal to their target market segments. Each target segment will have a separate marketing mix, tailored to meet the specific needs of consumers in the individual segment.
The tourism product is a non-material intangible thing. The following service are included in the product mix for the tourism industry:
·Accommodation: one star to Five star, Cottages.
·Transportation: Airways, Railways, Roads, Sea-ways
·Recreation: Theatre, Club, Park, Music
·Restaurant: Western, Chinese, Indian, Others.
·Shopping: Artistic, Handicrafts, Handloom, Books, Garments, Jewellery.
Branding plays a very important role in tourism marketing. Car rental firms, hotel chains and airlines, in particular employ tremendous efforts to ensure that their name is widely recognized and synonymous with quality, value or some other characteristic. Travel agents and tour operators depend on reputation to a large extent, and so it is imperative that they have a strong, recognizable identity. The main reason to build brand loyalty is to encourage repeat business.
In the tourism industry, the pricing decisions are found critical and challenging since it is a multi-segment industry. When a tourist proposes to visit a particular place, the total cost on his/her travelling includes the expenses incurred on transportation, accommodation, communication or so.
In the pricing decisions, the product or the service mist of the tourist organizations is found important. This makes it essential that the tourist organizations set prices in line with the quality of services to be made available to the customers.
Pricing policy decisions will be directed by strategic objectives. If the objective is market penetration then prices must be set very competitively to appeal to the largest possible number of potential consumers. If, on the other hand, a firm is pursuing a niche strategy, catering for the luxury market in high value, exclusive tourism services, then prices should reflect this promotion and advertising can be used to differentiate the product on an exclusively basis and premium prices may be charged.
The tourist professionals while making the pricing decisions are required to think in favour of discounting price. The different forms of discount, such as discounting for cash payment, price reduction for quality, trade discounts, trade allowances, seasonal discount, distressed stock and similar discount tactics are the options.
Distribution management is concerned with two things –availability and accessibility. If tourism marketing management is to be certain that their products and services are both available and accessible to the target market, they must design a channel strategy that will be effective.
Some tourist organizations deal directly with the consumers; some other organizations utilize more than one method of distribution. The middlemen are the four operators and the transport operators who buy services like hotel rooms, seats in the aircrafts, railways, arrange chartered flights and sell the same either to the travel agents or even directly to the tourists. Airlines, for example, sell tickets through travel agents, and sell seats on flights to tour operators, whilst also operating direct marketing by offering travellers the opportunity to make reservations through their own banking offices.
The tourist organizations take up the responsibility of informing, sensing and persuading the potential tourists. The marketers need to use the various components of promotin to increase the number of users. The advertisement helps in providing important information to the actual and potential tourists. Its coverage is so wide. It essentially follows the AIDA principle of attracting the attention, arouse interest, create desire, and stimulate actions. Advertising is aimed to create the awareness of the travel offers available on a resort and its attractions to influence their business decisions.
Another dimension of the promotion mix is publicity which focuses attention on strengthening the public relations by developing a rapport with the media people and getting their personalized support in publicizing the business.
Sales promotion through brochures, point of sale displays and even video cassettes plays a very important role as advertising. In a tourism industry a travel company offers to their clients compliments such as flight bags, wallets for tickets and foreign exchange and covers and passport. The hotels offer a number of facilities like shoe shine clothes, first aid sewing kits and shampoo. Further, the clients also get fruits and flowers in their rooms. There is not doubt that almost all the promotional measures
generate goodwill and add values to the product.
Personal selling: The travel and hotel business depend considerably on the personal selling. The development of travel and tourism has been possible due to well educated and trained sales personal. People: The tourism industry depends substantially on the management of human resources. The travel agents and travel guides play an important role and therefore the management of people helps in developing their credentials to deliver goods to the tourist organizations.