Marketing in travel and tourismMarketing can be defined as an organizational function and a set of processes for communicating, creating, implementing and delivering value to customers and for managing customer-business relationships in a way that will benefit both the organization and the stakeholders involved.
Such processes succeed in moving people closer to making a decision to purchase and facilitate a sale. In the long run, these processes will anticipate, identify and try to satisfy customer requirements successfully and profitably. Marketing is important in travel and tourism industry. Before one starts up a business, market research has to be done to know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats available. Market segmentation is important when carrying out marketing in this sector. This is because it leads to improved image of the organization or product. When marketing is done efficiently it leads to increased sales and more profits are reaped by the organization.
It gives the business competitive advantage over the other businesses. When marketing is well carried out it means customers will be more satisfied with the services offered since their changing needs will be met. Marketing helps to change the attitudes to products and services being offered. The Business Chosen in Travel and Tourism IndustryI will start up a company dealing with Chinese jewellery. In my company we will make quality jewellery and accessories. These will include bangles, chains, necklaces, rings, earrings, watches etc. These products will target tourists in china. The company will be situated at a tourist site.
This will enable fast accessibility of the goods by tourists. The products will also be distributed to other tourist destinations through intermediaries.Factors Affecting Marketing in Travel and Tourism IndustryCustomer TypesIn marketing, one has to consider the customer types being targeted. Products and services in travel and tourism industry usually target different customers. In marketing, the different types of customers are identified and treated as different segments. The customer segments available in travel and tourism industry include; age-specific groups, the independent travellers, package holiday makers, business customers and leisure customers.
This means that the marketing strategies carried out targeting the adolescent tourists may not work for the aged ones. The customer segment affects when the marketing should be done. For instance, marketing done for the packaging holiday makers may still be efficient if done seasonally. Unlike the business customers which may require continuous marketing. The leisure customers may be targeted through video and Television programs that are captivating while brochures work well for business customers.The Length of Stay of TouristsThe length of stay is also an issue affecting marketing in the travel and tourism industry. There are tourists who stay for shorter periods like two to three days. Some stay for a season like the summer season only.
Others stay for long periods ranging from one year and more. This highly affects marketing strategies implemented by business men. It is very hard for business men to do marketing targeting tourists who stay for very few days or hours. Marketing done targeting tourists who stay for long periods usually has got great profit returns.Changes in Tourist’s DestinationChanges in places customers choose to visit highly affects marketing in the travel and tourism industry.
Customers can change the places they choose to visit due to various reasons. For instance, social change leads to new tourist places emerging. When the places become no longer fashionable, the tourists will always change their destination to another place. The places tourists visit can change due to under investment and underdevelopment of these sites. A tourist destination where growth is planned by authorities always makes the tourists to resort to other places. When the customers change their destination it affects marketing.
Usually correct marketing is done at the right place where customers are. When customers relocate it means efforts are wasted. Much research has to be done to know their next destination. For example travel agents have to have first hand information on changing tourist destination.Variety of ActivitiesThe variety of activities the customers engage in will always affect marketing in travel and tourism industry.
Tourists engage in activities like swimming travelling for adventure, swimming, holding conferences and meetings, sun bathing, shopping, and visiting game reserves, museums and parks. This variety of activities influences marketing done by businessmen. This is because they have to market products and services that are on demand by tourist’s .When the right products and services are marketed, and then good profits made are in return.Marketing MixDeveloping a marketing mix for a business is very important for any business. In my business, I will have a company dealing with Chinese jewellery goods. In developing the market mix I have to consider the price of products, place, product and promotion. Place MixThis involves ensuring the goods are in the right place where customers can easily access them.
I will target different tourist sites in China.Channels of DistributionIn my business I will use both direct and indirect channels of distribution. In the direct channel I will have the company situated at tourist destination and sell the jewellery direct to the tourists. Through this channel I will easily know the tastes of the tourists like the quality, colour and design of jewellery they prefer.
In the indirect channel, I will use wholesalers to reach the customers in other places or tourist destinations. The wholesalers will then sell to retailers at these sites. The wholesalers will rely on information given by retailers on what the customers like. Through these channels I will be able to reach many customers in different places.
In my business I will use multiple channels of distribution since they are more reliable. I will have a number of intermediaries because they help in distributing the goods faster .I will try to avoid intra channel conflicts by carrying out market research on the distributors first.How I Will Decide Upon a DistributorI will find out whether the distributors policies, image and strategies are fit with my products. If they are, then I will use him but if they are not I will seek others. I will also want to know whether the distributor is familiar with my target market or segment. In my case, I will be targeting business and leisure customers of all ages.
I will seek to know whether the distributor has prior training in the work or not. Whether he has any experience in the work, where he worked and for how long. This knowledge will help me choose my distributors. These are some of the channel intermediaries that I will use;RetailersI choose to use retailers as intermediaries in my business for various reasons. This is because the retailers have got a much stronger personal relationship with the customers. They sell directly to the tourist customers. Normally retailers stock many other strong brands and this attracts tourist customers to their shops. They can easily offer credit to the customers because of the personal relationship they have with them.
WholesalersI choose to use wholesalers in my distribution because they break the bulk. They sell the goods to retailers in smaller packages. Wholesalers are good distributors because they take up some of the marketing responsibilities. This includes making posters and brochures promoting the products in the market. They also help reduce contact cost between the producer and the consumer like customer service costs. They also take up ownership title on the goods.InternetI will use this as another channel intermediary.
Through the internet I will reach a wider scope of audience. This is because it has no geographical limitations. The set up costs of using the internet are low. I will have a website where the tourists can access more information about the company.Price MixIn developing the price mix, I will consider market skimming, market penetration, competitive pricing, promotional pricing and discounts. In developing the price mix it is good to consider the products life cycle.Penetration PricingThis is where I will set the price of the jewellery products slightly lower than other products to gain the market share. This will be done at the introduction stage.
IntroductionWhen the product will be in the introduction stage this is because at this stage there are very few competitor in the market. This is because at this stage there is no pressure for immediate profits.  GrowthI will use the price skimming method to set the price for my products at this stage. The high price tends to attract heated product competition. At this stage other similar products start getting into the market in. I will try to have favour of the customers by selling the products at a price that will bring in great profits. This price will be slightly higher than the competitor’s. I will ensure that the products at this stage are of better quality than other competitors.
MaturityAt this stage, sales tend to stabilize after experiencing growth at decreasing rate. There is high price competition. This is where the market reaches saturation. At this stage there are poor margins which make producers exit the market .Will lowers the price so that it is at the same level with other competitors.
At this stage I will do more promotion.DeclineThis is the stage when better quality products are in the market, the demand declines. During this time I will lower the price compared to other competitive prices.DiscountsI will give discounts on large quantities purchased to attract customers.Product MixI will deal with jewellery and accessories goods .This includes things like earrings, bangles, necklaces, cufflinks, watches, and rings among others. This variety of products is on high demand by tourists in China.
The products will be in different colours designs and quality. This is meant to attract tourists of the middle and high class status in the nation. I will also do product branding that is unique to the products and will influence fast market penetration.
The branding will catch the customer’s attention. The jeweller products will be very well packaged. The products life cycle will go through the following stages; introduction, penetration, maturity, decline then withdrawal stage.
I anticipate that the penetration stage will take a long hence influence high profits. Promotion mixCommunication process:Source: Medication Management Product (2007)Whichever media is used in promotion, it should pass across the message to the target group. The sender must always seek for the feedback from the target customer.I will use various ways to promote my products. One of the ways I will use to advertise is through brochures. The brochures will be in different varieties, sizes and colours. I will also advertise the jewellery products through magazines, posters, letterheads, folders, displays, videos and CDs.
This will show the type of products sold, the prices and places they can be found.The company will also have a public relations officer to promote the company’s image. Will also have sales promotions where customers will be given discounts on large quantities purchased .Direct marketing will be done by employing direct marketers. Personal selling will be included. These promotion strategies will lead to increase in sales.Market ResearchFor any business to be set up, market research has to be done first.
This helps in knowing the business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats available in the market. Research helps to know other social, political, economic, and technological factors that may affect business. There are various ways of sourcing information before starting up a business. Research can also be done when the business is already running. Primary and secondary research can always be used. Primary research methods include the use of questionnaires, focus groups, observation and even personal interviews. Secondary research can be done using existing internal and external data.
Literature SearchThis is secondary research. This is an inexpensive way of getting information. This includes using newspapers, company literature, magazines and internal company information .This can also be sourced from the company’s website. For instance a starting up hotel industry, one can use another hotel’s research material to know prices, products and also other competitors in the marketFocus GroupThis is primary research carried out to know people’s ideas and attitudes. This involves choosing a group one wants to deal with.
They are usually gathered and the moderator leads the discussions. This method is usually used to test new ventures like new products in the market. This enables the researcher know the customer’s concerns maybe on the quality of the productsPersonal InterviewsThis enables the researcher get comprehensive information.
This involves person to person. The researcher has to ask the respondent questions. He then notes down the answers .This might be quite expensive. The advantage is that in depth information can be sourced. This method is highly limited because the information is highly subjective. Such information can never used to represent views of certain population.
QuestionnairesIn the questionnaire method, research questions are written down. They are given to respondents to answer. The questions are better when they are short structured. They should be direct and not ambiguous. This method can be used to get information from a large population. These methods can be used for market research in travel and tourism industry.Examples of promotional material for my business are shown below; internet website and a poster inviting customers to an expo.
FLENGEN JEWELRYOrder, purchase and get your jewellery onlinejust a click of a mouse! @www.flenjenjewel.com POSTERCHINA EXPO 2006GOLD AND SILVER JEWELS EXPO 2006CONTINENTAL BUILDING, BANGHOK28TH MAY, 2006WELCOME ALL.ConclusionMarketing in travel and tourism industry is important just like it is in other sectors. There are various issues that affect marketing in this industry. This includes change in customer destinations. Business men need to carry out extensive research before setting up a business. This enables them know competitors in the market and customer expectations among other things.
The marketing mix enables the products to reach consumers at the right place. Efficient promotion means are used and goods sold at the ‘right price’. Various research methods can be used to get information. This includes use of focus groups, personal interviews and questionnaires. Marketing in general leads to increased profits in any business.ReferencesDibb, S.
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