Marketing of Tourism Services –

The Travel and Tourism Industry is the Lifeblood of many states around the country including – Florida, California, New York and Nevada, to name a few

INTRODUCTION:-

Tourism occurs when you leave your normal surroundings where you live and work to go to another environment to engage in activities there, regardless of how close or how far it is. You are a visitor, and what you do while visiting is tourism. Individuals and organizations at your destination promoted those activities through advertising or other forms of marketing.

Tourism involves travelling to relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated natural areas with the specific objects of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild flora and fauna, as well as other existing cultural and historical aspects.

A visit with a motto to know these areas is nothing but tourism. Places of tourist interest are numerous and of varied nature.

Tourism is a service sector which earns a substantial foreign exchange to developing countries.

Tourism Marketing is done by offering a variety of Holiday Packages through tour operators.

To make the tourism a great success one has to take advantage of the modern technology to full extent.

Marketing of Tourism Services include mainly the services sold to domestic and foreign tourists.

In Tourism Marketing, the seller market and promote a destination.

It deals with all the ways that help in creating the need amongst the potential tourists about a particular destination.

Once a destination is sold to a customer, everyone who is providing some service in relation to tourism gets benefited.

Tourism marketing has distinct characteristics from other marketing plans. Because tourists are temporary, they are exposed to an area’s goods and services for shorter periods. But tourists are counting on having a good time, so marketers should consider strategies that appeal to the emotions, such as treating kids to a memorable experience. Tourism-dependent businesses rely on other organizations: One example of leveraging this dependence would be a musical venue offering discount coupons for meals at a nearby restaurant.

Categories of destination that can be marketed:-

Places of tourist interest are numerous and of varied nature-

·        Religious Tours.

·        Adventure Tours.

·        Leisure Tours.

·        Group Tours.

·        Shopping Tours.

·        Tours to enjoy artistic Natural landscape.

·        Places of Archaeological and historical importance.

·        Pilgrimage centres,

·        Sanctuaries, national parks, hill resorts and sea beaches, etc

Characteristics of Service Marketing:-

Service marketing has four characteristics, they are:-

·        Intangibility ie. Cannot be touched are viewed,

·        Inseparability of Production and consumption,

·        Perishability, ie. unused capacity cannot be stored for future use,

·        Heterogeneity (Variability) ie. Services involve people, and people are all different.

Components of Tourism:-

Tourism has many components comprising-

·        Travel experience

·        Accommodations

·        Food

·        Beverage services

·        Shops

·        Entertainment

·        Aesthetics and

·        Special events.

·        Sightseeing.

Tourism Marketing Plan:-

Every marketing effort should begin with a plan, and tourism marketing is no different. The marketing plan is your road map and details the attractions in your area. It forces you to set a budget on your promotional spending.

At the end of each tourism season, you can use your marketing plan to set goals and make changes for next year.

For example, if revenue at one attraction did not meet expectations, perhaps it needs product development — some upgrades to make it more appealing to visitors — or better advertising.

Branding of Tourism:-

The basis of any successful marketing strategy is an inspiring brand that speaks to the specific key drivers of the target market. With all of the diversity of niche and source markets, knowing and understanding who to target and how to target them is vital to success. Tourism brands, whether related to a single business or entire destinations, communicate an important message to potential visitors.

The ancient histories of Egypt, the romance of Paris, and the cultural richness of India, are all defined and communicated through brands, promoting the strengths and advantages of the destination. The brand creates the first impression that will inspire further exploration by the consumer.

Tourism branding process uses market and competitive analysis, image audits and the development of key messaging to create a powerful sense of place. The end result is a brand that speaks to potential clients through design and messaging that meet both the needs and dreams of the traveller.

Branding involves name, design, logo, tagline etc.

Examples of Branding of places-

“When you are tired apply Kerala it’s a tropical place”

“Bhubaneswar – the temple city”

“Madhya Pradesh – The Heart of India”.

“Malaysia truly Asia”

“Paris – the city of love” etc.

                  Things to be considered while marketing tourism services:

  1.  The tour operators or tour designers must highlight the destination in its full potential.
  2. He must promote the tour package by adding pictures and details in a creative way in pamphlets and grocers.
  3.   The tour package seller must keep in mind the specific needs and wants of customer this may include travel, food preference, stay category preferences, number of days to be covered, special arrangements for kids etc.
  4.  The tour packages must be priced with valid justification for every penny the customer is being charged.

In tourism marketing customer satisfaction and delight are the most important factors to be considered because customers experiences laydown the foundation of the future of purchases.

Marketing Strategies for Tourism Marketing:-                           

                                         

PRODUCT

Product in Tourism is basically the experience and hospitality provided by the service provided.

In general the experience has to be expressed in such a way that the tourists see a value in them.

In tourism marketing a destination is sold and promoted using its unique characteristics.

This is done through effective and balanced tour packages which can be customized or general for all.

The product element in tourism market will include a variety of service like travel ticket, hotels, sightseeing, travel transport, meals etc.

In tourism marketing the product is promoted on the basis of all the unique characteristics of destination including monuments, temples, food, natural landscape etc.

In case of tourism it is important to focus more on tangible elements like tourist places, food, shopping, hotels etc.

Product includes Tour Packages and its features and the services they are providing.

New Products’ Development Process in Tourism Marketing –

The tourism activity is marked by a strong competition and frequently environmental changes, thus tourism organizations must be permanently preoccupied on the process of innovation and new products creation.

In tourism marketing this process can be more risky because, generally, the budgets are higher, the users are heterogeneous, and the market is unstable.

The goal of this paper is to show some important aspects concerning the process of the new products’ development in tourism.

FOR EX- Tour Package of Thailand includes;-

Perfect Thai Getaway (5 Nights)

  • ·        Economy Class Airfare on Jet Airways.

(Delhi – Bangkok – Delhi)

  • ·        Nights Accommodation in Pattaya.

(Hotel- Nova Platinum)

  • ·        Nights Accommodation in Bangkok.

(Hotel- Kingston Suites)

  •    5 Breakfast + 4 Dinners + 2 Lunches
  •     (Lunch & Dinner at Indian restaurant with fixed menu)
  • ·        Coral Island tour (max 4 hours)
  • ·        Pattaya City tour (max 3 hours)
  • ·        Alcazar show in Pattaya
  • ·        Underwater World tour at Pattaya
  • ·        Full day Safari World tour with Marine Park & Lunch at Bangkok
  • ·        Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
  • ·        Visit to Golden Buddha & Reclining Buddha
  • ·        Siam Park City tour with Lunch
  • ·        Airport Transfers
  • ·        All tours & transfers on Seat In Coach (Shared) basis
  • ·        All taxes
  • ·        Visa on Arrival (extra charge)

Starting from-

Rs.45999

Promotion

It means promoting the tourism services, tourism packages generating awareness to the potential customers through various media channels.

Like other services, the promotion should address, the accurate and timely information helping to decide whether to visit target audience, the image to be created for the organization, objectives, budget, timing of campaign, media to be selected, and evaluation methods.

Generally tourism marketing or tourist destinations are promoted with the help of an effective mix of communication strategies.

These elements include:-

·        Advertising

  • It is done through print media like magazine, newspaper, posters, and pamphlets.
  • Through telecast media like T.V, Radio, Internet, Web Marketing, etc.
  • The purpose of advertising in tourism marketing is to spread mass awareness among the public.
  • For ex- Singapore and Malaysia attractive packages on DPaul.com

On Magazine

Visit in the land of Meghalaya

Five remarkable waterfalls which you must visit when you embark on a journey to this unforgettable land-

1.  Langshiang (Meghalaya) – 1106 ft – 

2.  Nohkalikai (Meghalaya) – 1099 ft – 

3.     Nohsngithiang Falls (Meghalaya) – 1033 ft –

4. Kynrem Falls (Meghalaya) – 1001 ft –

5. Vantawng Fall (Mizoram) – 751 ft – 

By displaying pictures of these place and description the advertisement of that place can be done.

Sales Promotion

  • It is one of the most important elements used in promotion mix for tourism marketing.
  • In majority of tour packages it offers sales promotion tools like discount, premium, free nights, free foods, sightseeing, coupons, and other attractive offers are used to boost up the sales.
  1. Discount– to give a cost reduction on tour packages, hotel charges etc.

Ex– Book now & get Discount upto Rs.7,000/ on Thailand Package.

2.  Extra features – to give bonus features without charging them extra.

Ex– Get Prepaid SIM Card, Travel Insurance, Delhi Dare Devil Lounge Card (Lounge Access + On going Meals + Soft Drinks/ Hot Beverages).

3. Free nights– to give extra free night of a place for free.

Ex– 1 night extra in Kuala Lumpur for free.

4.   Coupons– to give coupons and vouchers for particular activity and food

Ex– Universal studio lunch coupon, Breakfast and dinner vouchers,

Sentosa island premium coupons etc.

 PRICE

The price of the tourism services depend on business and target market objectives, cost of producing, delivering and promoting the product, willingness of the target, prices charged by competitors offering similar product/service to the same target markets, availability and prices of substitute products/services, and economic climate.

In case of tourism marketing, tour packages are priced significantly on the basis of demand and supply mechanism, services include in package and destination for which the package is designed.

Also in many cases tour packages are priced as per the industry and in some cases customized pricing is followed depending upon the facilities chosen by the customers.

To create an edge in the market many tour companies adopt differential pricing under which they give the customers are the most reasonable prices.

Pricing factors:-

·        Competition

Find out what your competitors are charging. Competitors’ pricing strategies influence the maximum rate at which your product can be sold.

·       Demand

Demand for your product is generated by both existing and potential customers. Make sure you understand market demands and their impact on rate. Consider what can be added to your product to improve sales without sacrificing profit.

·        Target markets

Determine which markets you intend to target – domestic (intrastate or interstate), international (western/eastern or both). Research your target market in relation to product needs, price sensitivity, length of stay and disposable income.

·        Seasonality

Determine the fluctuations in business between high and low seasons.

The tour packages price include

·        The price of travel, associated facilities and services like gym, spa, sona etc.

·        Accommodation

·        Local transport

·        Sightseeing.

·        Guide service

·        Meals

Pricing Strategies

  • Price Penetration – Penetration pricing includes setting the price low with the goals of attracting customers and gaining market share. The price will be raised later once this market share is gained.

Ex- DPaul packages started their Singapore package at the rate of 30,000 after gaining market share they raised their priced from 30,000 to 39,000 because of hign demand.

  • Premium pricing – Premium pricing is the practice of keeping the price of a product or service artificially high in order to encourage favorable perceptions among buyers, based solely on the price. The practice is intended to exploit the (not necessarily justifiable) tendency for buyers to assume that expensive items enjoy an exceptional reputation, are more reliable or desirable, or represent exceptional quality and distinction.

Ex- Dpaul is offering Singapore-Malaysia package at the rate of Rs.89,000 but the colourful packages offers the same package at the rate of Rs.70,000 since Dpaul is a more recognised brand customers may prefer the Dpaul package despite the high pricing.

  • Odd pricing – In this type of pricing, the seller tends to fix a price whose last digits are odd numbers. This is done so as to give the buyers/consumers no gap for bargaining as the prices seem to be less and yet in an actual sense are too high, and takes advantage of human psychology.

Ex- Hong Kong package cost is Rs.49999.

  • Market-oriented pricing – Setting a price based upon analysis and research compiled from the target market. This means that marketers will set prices depending on the results from the research. For instance if the competitors are pricing their products at a lower price, then it’s up to them to either price their goods at an above price or below, depending on what the company wants to achieve.
  • Seasonal Pricing – Using a mix of pricing throughout the year to cover low, high, and shoulder seasons is a standard way for tourism businesses to cater for differing levels of demand due to the time of year. Typically these will be the same date periods each year but may also apply for school holiday dates and for local events where the dates vary each year.
  • Last Minute Pricing – A common method for accommodation suppliers to fill those last minute gaps in inventory availability, last minute pricing is basically discounting daily prices according to forward bookings and promoted on last minute booking websites.

                      Physical Distribution/Place

(Location and Accessibility)

The place and time in tourism is providing directions and maps, providing estimates of travel time and distances from different market areas, recommending direct and scenic travel routes, identifying attractions and support facilities along different travel routes, and informing potential customers of alternative travel methods to the area such as airlines and railroads.

Tour Packages are distributed and sold widely and mainly through tour operators operating at small and local levels or at very wide and national levels.

Such packages are also sold by state and central level government agencies.

To promote some unseen and untapped destinations.

Another way of distribution is direct booking on internet by the customer himself.

Some hotels and resorts also sell tour packages directly and indirectly to the customers.

Distribution Channels

1.    One-Level (Direct) Distribution Channels:-

·        Simplest form of distribution, no intermediary between supplier and customer

·        Most tourism suppliers utilize one-level distribution channels

·        Purchase directly from the supplier

·        World Wide Web is increasing the direct availability of information and purchase

·        Airlines encouraging the use of the Web and ticketless travel

2.    Two-Level (Indirect) Distribution Channels:-

  •   Intermediary between tourism supplier and tourist
  •   Most common form of tourism supplier
  •  Travel agencies are the department stores of the travel industry
  •  Improving service delivery through cooperative systems

. Global distribution system (GDS).

. Computer reservation system (CRS).

3.     Three-Level Distribution Channels:-

  • Add another level of intermediary such as tour operators to low-level channel
  • Some travel agencies have entered tour packaging business.
  • Tour Operators – Purchase tourism services in bulk and then mark up the price and resell in packaged form.
  • Consolidators – Consolidators buy excess airline capacity and resell at discounted prices.
  • Travel Clubs – Travel clubs perform similar function for their members plus offer discounts on other tourism services.

People

  • People is the centre for Tourism. It is more a human intensive sector.
  • For hospitality and guest relations it is very important to focus on people.
  • It also plays a vital role in quality control, personal selling, and employee morale.
  • People form another very important element in tourism marketing after the destination.
  • People element includes all those individuals, groups and agencies who make a tour package complete by offering their services.
  • The attitude performance and behavior of people involved matter a lot in success and failure of tourism marketing.
  • People involved in tourism services are:-

. Seller

. Customers

. Travel agents

. Tour operators

. Sales team

. Production team

. Finance and account team

. Research team

. Tour companies

. Transport companies

. Hotel companies.

Physical  evidence :-

It is a very important factor for the travel and tourism industry. This marketing p is important in 2 distinct ways:-

  •  As the environment in which the sales takes place – when the purchasing of the product is taking place, however the customer cannot be sure whether they will enjoy the product or not. In the meantime their expectations and emotions are influenced by factors like layout of the room, the furniture, noise level, temperature, lights and other factors like the brochure of the company. In case of customers who by electronically the appearance of the website is the physical evidence.
  • The environment where the product is consumed  – In the travel industry where the product is being experienced s particularly important in securing repeat business thus extensive facilities that prove to be physical evidence are provided to lure and woo the customer. The tangibles include flat beds in business class, Wi-Fi connection in hotels, customized meals on board, hotels providing laptops on request, internet access as complimentary for the corporate packages.

In Tourism the physical evidence is basically depends on travel experience, stay, and comfort. Here, the core product is bed in case of stay.

The primary physical evidence in tourism marketing include the tickets written to a details, bills,, mode of payment, mode of travel, hotel rooms, and finally the facilities which a customer physically and actually uses.

Understanding the customer’s needs and expectations from the holiday or business tour whichever he or she is opting for

Execution of the planned itinerary is the most critical one. As a company has committed something and this is the time when the customer is actually experiencing the entire product and if any one of the commitments don’t materialize then the zone of tolerance is affected and lot as it is already low because the customer on a tour whether leisure or business expects perfection.

Process 

The process in Tourism include:-

  1.  Trip planning and anticipation,
  2.  Travel to the site/area,
  3. Recollection,

Trip planning packages – The trip planning packages include, maps, attractions en route and on site, information regarding lodging, food, quality souvenirs and mementos.

Segmentation Process :-

1. Segment the Potential countries

2. Segmentation of the tourists from the countries –

a.      Developed Countries

b.     Developing Countries

c.      Under Developed Countries

3. Segment the visitors in SEC (Socio-Economic Category) and their nature of visits –

a)     Under SEC –

·        Upper class

·        Middle class

·        Lower class

b) Under Nature of visit –

. Business executives

. Leisure travellers

. Religious travellers,

. Heritage travellers

. Travellers for arts & architecture

. Travellers for Mountain sports, wild life camps, bird sanctuaries.

4. Segment the locations according to the above the segmentation of travellers –

Targeting Process –

·        Classify the locations according to the visitors requirements

·        Select the target group of visitors.

Positioning Process:-

1. Develop USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for all tourism locations –

  • Mountain sports
  • Wild life camps
  • Heritage place
  • Sprawling beaches
  • Arts & Architecture etc

2. Design proper strategic plan to promote the locations among domestic and foreign tourists.

Examples of some travel operators agencies are:-

THOMAS COOK

                                             Cox and kings

                                                            Dpaul

 

Thomas cook group

Thomas Cook Group plc. is a British global travel company.

Originally known as Thomas Cook & Son it is founded by Thomas Cook, a cabinet-maker, in 1841.

It is the second largest travel company in Europe and the UK.

The group owns a number of tour operators, as well as charter airlines based in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Scandinavia.

Thomas Cook also owns the scheduled airline Condor and booking website Hotels4u.

Thomas Cook Group operates in five main divisions, UK, Central Europe, German airlines, West Europe and Northern Europe.

Thomas Cook was a sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games. As one of the UK’s biggest and most popular providers of package holidays, Thomas Cook was appointed to provide “affordable and accessible” holidays and accommodation throughout the games.

Thomas Cook India is one of the leading tour and travel operators to book holiday packages.

Thomas Cook offers variety of holiday packages and services.

In India, New Delhi their offices are located in Ring road, Nehru place, Saket etc.

Customers can also book their packages online (http://www.thomascook.in/)

It provides both international and domestic holiday tours and packages.

Student travel, business travel etc,

Provides various featured and services in their packages like flight transfer, hotel accommodation, food, all transfers, taxes, sightseeing, activities, coupons and vouchers at reasonable prices.

It is spreaded across the world.

Domestic packages and destinations in India include –

Kerala, Goa, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Himachal Pradesh etc.

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