Marketing in Travel and Tourism
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Marketing is a very important component in the tourism and travel industry because it enables businesses to promote and increase the sales of their products and services in different market segments. Thomas cook has been focusing on diverse marketing campaign to promote attractive and new holiday packages and other related services. In the current case, the organization intends to promote tourism packages in Morocco and Egypt in 2016 and thus, it seeks to exploit promotional mix and integrated campaign in ensuring that it reaches the largest numbers of customers.
Marketing mix is one of the main concepts of tourism marketing. It indicates the relation of product, price, promotion and place. In establishing a tourist business, there is a need to develop a service package that serves the needs of the guests. This may be in form of attractive food, as well as taking tourists to fascinating destinations. In regards to price, such services need to be priced in a manner that generates profits sustainably. Place is another key element in hospitality. Guests are interested in visiting areas that are exciting and meets or surpasses their expectations. At the same time such tourists expects that the place that they are visiting are safe and hence promoting their satisfaction. At the same time, it is important for the organization to ensure that the location of elements such as hotels is accessible (Bagdan, 2013). No matter how attractive a tourist destination may be, it may not end up attracting a high number of customers’.Identification of destinations is also critical in the marketing environment within the tourist and the hotel industry.
Another concept that needs to be considered in marketing in hospitality industry is market scanning. It is important to assess forces emanating from the eternal environment that impact on the operations of the organization. For instance, organizations operate in an environment characterized with varying levels of economic viability, political stability and social cultural norms and believe. At the same time, such firms are faced with legal restrictions and cultural challenges. Understanding these elements increases the viability of the business (Christou, 2011). For instance, firms are expected to invest in environments where the economy is fast growing, there is no political unrest, culture is being used as a source of attraction and the government is supportive of tourism.
In tourism and hospitality, it is important that organizations segment in the right manner. For instance, when opening a guest house and restaurant in Egypt, it would be important for the organization to engage in demographic segmentation in particular, the segmentation would be based on the social class and economic capability. By developing the facility in an exciting location, establishing unique services and charging highly, the organization would be segmenting on the rich who like leisure (Bagdan, 2013).
Positioning refers to the position that a brand occupies in the mind of the consumer. For instance, by establishing guests’ restaurant in countries such as Egypt, the organization would position its brand as adventure based unique tourist experience. It would position its trips as adventure without borders. This would increase the attraction of the customers towards the services provided by the organization especially those seeking high level of adventure (Bagdan, 2013). Through proper positioning, the organization would be in a position to attract as well as retain high number of customers.
Within cooks group the organization should focus on attracting tourists and other individuals with high income especially those from high income countries. At the same time, they need to arrange for tours in countries that are politically stable. Their operations should consider the social cultural setting of the destinations, ensuring that the society also benefits from its operations. Countries such as Egypt and Morocco are politically stable. Nevertheless, Egypt seems to be a better investment destination for the organization than morocco due to its economic might. Socially, the organization needs to learn the culture of those foreign destinations. In tourism cultural differences may act either as an opportunity to organizations or as a threat (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2012). Moreover, the organization may even exploit the Egyptian culture and history in its marketing strategy, using it’s as an association capable of drawing more customers on board.
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Natural disasters normally have adverse effects on tourism. For instance, the ash cloud in 2011led to cancelling or delaying of air flights, something that hindered travel of employees. Continued tsunami in some countries has made previously popular tourist destinations less popular (McCabe,2012). Tourists are now cautious of visiting areas that are highly prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Terrorism is one of the emerging challenges in the modern tourism. The acts of terror have left millions dead in various countries around the world. The emergences of Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al shabaab have made the countries to be worst hit by these challenges and thus kept off tourists from visiting such countries. It is thus evident that unless the ongoing acts of terror decline, tourists will continue evading countries such as Somalia and Syria, looking for more safe countries like Egypt and Morocco (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2012). Acts such as September 11 attacks led to worldwide decline in tourist travel by 4 million people, as compared to the previous year indicating the devastating effects that acts of terror has on tourism
Tourists consider the attractiveness of the destination before making decisions as to whether to visit such destinations or not. The service package may include tourists visiting wildlife, cultural sectors, historic sites, festivals and other elements that may be appealing in the destinations (Bagdan, 2013). This implies that a tours company must be in a position to understand the needs of its customers and the available appeals in various destinations.
Political stability of countries is a key determinant of whether visitors will visit a certain country or not. Many tourists receive advisories from embassies in their countries regarding the state of political stability and security in their countries. For instance, many tourists avoid countries at war such as Syria(McCabe,2012). In other cases, they keep of countries that are highly invested with terrorists.
Various approaches are employed in market segmentation. Through demographic segmentation, the market is dividend in terms of age, race, gender and economic status among other elements. In tourism and hospitality industry, such segmenting is very important. For instance, through effective segmenting, firms are in a position to access the desired customers. Facilities aiming at attracting cloud of ordinary citizens are likely to target the mass market (McCabe, 2012). This would result to provision of cheaper services to consumers.
Strategic marketing planning is the process in which an organization plans, implements and develops an effective and smart strategies that can be used to market goods and services offered by an organization. In addition, its essence can be comprehended fully by understanding the entire process involved in developing the plan. There are three main processes involved in strategic marketing planning and these are segmentation, market profiling if each segment and formation of strategy.
Segmentation is the process in which a market is subdivided into different parts and is usually based on market characterics, geographic location, and demographic features. Examples of segmentation are psychographic segmentation, geographic segmentation, behavioral segmentation and demographic segmentation (Kotler, 2012).
Marketing planning profile, undertaken for each segment is prepared after the segmentation process. In this second process of strategic marketing planning, the potential revenue profile is analyzed based on the profitability and market share potential. In this phase, the manager will analyze the attributes of each market segment in relation to the nature of the products, and will thus select the most suitable market segment that a firm can concentrate on in order to attain quick growth (Middleton, 2009).
The final stage in the process is the formation of strategy. The strategy formed is premised on the market segment. On the basis of the market segment that has been selected, the management is in a position of preparing a strategic plan. However, there must be sufficient valuable information or input for the strategic marketing plan to be developed effectively by the organization; otherwise Thomas Cook may be subject to adverse performance that would eventually result in monetary and non-monetary losses. In this case, it is imperative for the organization to collect enough information and ideas about the target market so that it can effectively come up with a good strategy to market the products and services (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2012).
When the contemporary corporate world is analyzed, the existing market research and information acts as the basis on which managers make strategic decisions. It is the responsibility and the duty of Thomas Cook’s top level management to undertake market research on an ongoing basis so as to easily comprehend the market dynamics and the changing needs of the customers and guarantee that the employed tactics and strategies advance the goals and interests of the business (Woodside, 2011). In addition, with apt market research, the management of Thomas Cook will be aware of the consumers’ behavior and hence focus on any market shift and changing trends. Carrying out marketing research on consumer behavior on routine basis will enable to understand the products that clients prefer each time and hence, the company will be able to adopt the products and services accordingly(Middleton,2009).
Market research and information will enable Thomas Cook to understand the competitor profile in the market and more so in the Egyptian and Morocco market. At the moment, the travel and hospitality industry is attracting many players, both established and upcoming thus competition pressure has been high. Therefore, understanding the competition profile in the market through research will offer the organization to develop competition strategy that can be either cost based or based on differentiation (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2012).
Undertaking market research is vital in understanding the cultural dynamics of the market and is instrumental for Thomas cook to develop cultural intelligence to assist it engage positively with the market. When the organization understands the cultural dynamics including the growing micro cultures, it will be in a position of customizing its promotional tactics to ensure that they are friendly with the market and that products fit specific markets (Middleton, 2009).
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Marketing does not only assist the organization to connect with the customers through promotions and information sharing, but has a direct effect on influencing the members of the society to make purchasing decision. Advertisements and other forms of promotions influence the lifestyle and thinking of the people and hence, organizations have the responsibility of delivering honest and ethical information in the society. For example, an advertisement about a specific product used in a given activities may influence more people to engage in that specific activities(Kotler,2017). For instance, an organization which advertises and sales farm machinery may influence people to engage more in agriculture activities which would have been different had there been no machinery or related advertisements.
Although advertisements and marketing promotions have been praised for raising awareness about products that are beneficial to the society and are usually undertaken with utmost ethical considerations, there are cases in which they have had negative impacts in the society(Christou,2011). Marketing can create a negative image in the minds of the consumers which could directly impact on the performance or reputation of the company. For instance, alcohol manufacturers have been accused of unethically luring young people to engage in binge drinking by stating that taking alcohol make them great and successful , but in reality, it harms their health(Goeldner & Ritchie,2012).
From this point of view, organizations need to analyze clearly how their advertisements can influence the market before launching them especially if they carry dire ethical consequences. Hence, adopting responsible marketing is vital in making the society better and every organization must consider it their corporate social responsibility (Middleton, 2009).
The travel and tourism industry is growing at unprecedented fast rate and thus, a large number of tourism destination and tour packages have emerged. Therefore, marketing mix plays a crucial role in assisting businesses in the industry attains much success. In this case, there are several issues relating to marketing mix that affect the dynamics in the industry and the principle ones are price, place and product (Kotler, 2017). Thomas Cook needs to take into account this marketing mix in order to attain competitive advantage in various tourism destination centers in Egypt and Morocco.
In most cases, customers are highly price sensitive and hence, they compare prices of the products and services offered while talking into consideration their features and quality. Pricing of products and service comes out as a major challenge to Thomas Cook and hence, the company has to be vigilant on the prices that it sets in relative to what the competitors offer(Verma,2010).
Product is the most important component of the marketing mix of any organization and is instrumental in fulfilling the wants, preferences and needs of the customers. Customers have different needs and desire that create major challenges to markers and organizations in general in selecting suitable products that suit a specific market. In this case, Thomas Cook has a responsibility of ensuring that it offers the best services and products while simultaneously considering the cultural attributes of the market in order to attain a competitive edge over its rivals (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2012).
Place entails putting the right product in the right place within the right time. In this case organization especially those in the travel and tourism industry select an ideal location that they can use to concert the potential customers into actual, customers in order to attain its goals. Thomas Cook utilizes the online platform such as email and social media alongside other electronic communication to provide information about the tour package to customers and undertakes some transaction using these forms of media to ensure that the customers effectively access their products and services (McCabe, 2012).
Promotion as an element of the marketing mix ensures that information about the products, the relevant prices and where they products and services can be accessed reach the target audience. In this case, any business that intends to gain an upper hand in the travel and tourism industry must strive to promote itself ardently in order to develop a strong brand (Verma, 2010).
The service sector comprises of a number of advantageous factors that are essential for the tourism and travel industry. Basically, marketing of the services offered by the firm have interwoven relationship and main consist of processes, people and the physical evidence.
In the travel and tourism sector, strategies and tactics play a key role in retaining the customers in the business for a long time. In this case, proper process is being pursues by the company and this consist of effective control, controlling and organizing of different activities it undertakes to ensure that quality is provided to the target customers(Goeldner & Ritchie,2012).
People are the most important aspect of the tourism and travel industry. The contemporary market is highly demanding and intensive since people have varied expectations, either the employees who are the driving force in the core activities of the organization, the customers who are the end users of the services and the products and other stakeholders who contribute differently to the success of the organization (McCabe,2012). Therefore, it is imperative for Thomas Cook management to analyze the needs and requirement of its people and come up with services that are alluring and acceptable to a large pool of people.
The services offered in the tourism and tourism is intangible in nature and hence, it is vital for organizations in the industry to showcase the information about them to customers so that they can develop a good perception towards the destination. Basically, the element portrays the environment in which different packages are offered to the customers and hence, Thomas Cook should make sure that the packages provided are attractive and positioned according to the needs and preferences of the end users (Kotler, 2012).
Total tourism has been successful in developed nations such as the United Kingdom and is expanding at a high rate in terms of the number of people employed and the total market share and hence, Thomas Cook can leverage on it to create a large market niche in Egypt and Morocco. The notion of total tourism guarantees that every component of the expectations of the customers is met and that they attain maximum satisfaction so that they can develop long term relationship with the firm. When the demand in the tourism and travel sector is taken into account, Thomas Cook offer several packages in the Moroccan and Egyptian market all the year round with emphasis placed on during summers so as to attain maximal customer satisfaction in the possible way(Bagdan,2013). In addition, other attractive packages used in enhancing the promotion of the products and services are transport services, accommodation services and eateries.
Promotional mix is instrumental in enhancing the brand loyalty of the organization and ensuring that information about the products and services reach the customers in the right way and at the right time. In this case, it is important for the marketers to develop apt marketing mix that will give their services and products an edge over the competitors (McCabe, 2012).The promotion mix involves a combination of varied products and services provided to the customers and are usually premised on the requirements, expectations and preferences of the customers. In order to attract and retain customers, which is vital for promoting long term goals of the company, there are several promotion mix that are undertaken (Bagdan,2013).
One of the aspects of promotional mix is advertisement. Thomas cook advertises its services and products through different platform and these are online and through conventional media. Under the online platform, the organization advertises through marketing websites, its own website and the social media. The social media offers an interactive avenue through which customers can interact with representative about the company and hence, they are in a position of getting first hand information on the services and products that are available, how they can access and pay for them and raise any other inquiry and concern in relation to what the firm offers (Morrison,2009).The conventional advertisement is done through the magazine and television and is more appropriate to the middle age groups that do not easily access online advertisement platforms. Generally, advertisement employed by Thomas Cook aims at promoting the business overtures of the organization, plays a key role in developing a unique brand image in the market, ensures that the satisfaction level of customers in a specific target market are upheld and shores up the positive customers in relation to products and services offered while simultaneously connecting with customers (Harris et al, 2005).
Thomas Cook employs personal selling in its travel plans so as to lure customers by developing personal relationship with them. Through personal selling, the firm is in a position of easily determining the preferences and needs of individual customers and hence develops the services and products while positioning them accordingly (Kotler, 2012).
Integrated campaign for promotion has been set by Thomas Cook Management in relation to the promotion of summer 2016 holidays in Morocco and Egypt. There are several steps that are followed in this case.
In the first step, the business is required to get the requisite knowledge in relation to the target market so as to develop the appropriate promotional campaign. In this case, the business is required to launch market research in order to determine the cultural setting of the market and the regulations before launching any promotional campaign. This step is instrumental in collecting relevant data and information about the target market so as to offer the necessary products and services that satisfy the preferences and needs of the customers while at the same time seek for the best channel of channeling the information to the customers in regards to the products and services (Bagdan,2013).
In the second step and after making an analysis of the target market, Thomas Cook is required to develop an appropriate and effective advertisement channel so as to create a positive relationship with the users of its products and further attract the potential target audience (Milligan,2012).
In the third step, Thomas cook is supposed to come up with an integrated plan that is essential for the business that is based on its promotional campaign so that the requirement of the tourists are fulfilled in the right manner and within the appropriate time(Harris et al,2005).
When developing the integrated campaign, it is important that appropriate content is incorporated with relation to detailed information of the packages that it offers so that it can be well understood by the target audience. The factors that should be considered are the cultural background of the market, the social economic status, the demographic characteristics such as age and gender to ensure that the message is alluring to different market segments for it to maximally derive benefit from the market(Kotler,2012). Further to this, the message should be presented in the most appropriate format to further enhance how customer understand the market and ensure that the integrity of the information is upheld.
In the last step, it is important for Thomas Cook to incorporate team work which is vital in offering the human synergy for best results to be realized. Coordination of work is vital in decision making processes as the best points of views will be considered, errors will be easily detected while the strengths will be used to combat weaknesses and hence, the best promotional strategies will be attained. In addition to this, the evaluation of the integrated campaign should be undertaken constantly to ensure to determine weaknesses and hence address them and analyze how the opportunities in the market can be used to counter the threats and challenges that may occur in the implementation process (Milligan, 2012).
Basing on the analysis, it is evident that travel and tourism industry attracts a large number of customers and therefore, an organization has an opportunity for further growth if it adapts its marketing strategies in an efficient way. Thomas found is found to undertake effective operation throughout the world as a result of apt marketing mix and therefore, adopting the best marketing practices offers it positive prospects for gaining a large market niche in Egypt and Morocco.
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