Overview of Tourism Marketing
I will try to address the five (5) pillars of tourism marketing which are
It will concentrate on creative thinking and tourism information management
What is Tourism Marketing?
A role play which involve selling an itinerary at traditional approach and the other at differentiation approach. (Note: the role plays are only available on physical class trainings)
Scenario I: Advert at a road show:
5 Day Safari in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Results: no adequate sales
Scenario II: Advert at a road show:
Explore Ruaha – the Largest National Park in Tanzania for 5 Days
Results: Substantial Sales due to change of wording
Scenario III: Advert at a road show:
Special 2 Day Elephant Tracking Safari in Ruaha National Park
3 Day Kudu Tracking Safari in Ruaha National Park
Results: Optimal Sales due to differentiation
The effective tourism marketing is the one that focus on Competitive Edge services provision
Weather is done online or offline, tourism marketing is an exposure of tourism product to the expected market through direct or mass marketing approach.
What is Competitive Edge/Advantage
A gain this is made by providing the same products or services as competitors at a lower price, or at higher prices but with a greater value through product differentiation. Competitive advantage is a result of utilizing unique opportunities available in the market.
Sometime tourism services provision basing on competitive advantage is difficult, challenging and costly. While offering services on competitive edge approach is paramount, sometime looking different ways of offering services without much suffering or sacrifices are also recommended. That is where Tourism Product Differentiations come in
Tourism Product Differentiations
By differentiation we mean to repackage the same tourism product to suit different markets in terms of the following criteria
- Market by product value for money price (price can be budget, standard or luxury)
- Market by product content (Content eg a wildlife safari can include bird watching and to others cultural tours at the same price)
Markets targeting involve doing marketing by being selective to the type of clients you need to attract to your products. The targets can be local, regional or global. They can be also women or men, youths, adults or children, they can be students, they can be also government or private sectors etc
Generally these markets has no limits in categorizing since it depend solemnly on what you are selling (Tour product)
These are markets found within the country geo location where the product is being offered. Example an accommodation with its facilities found in Tanzania is offered for clients who are found in Tanzania only
Regional markets are those markets found within more than one country with similar attributes in terms of geo location, economies, culture etc. a good example of regional market is East Africa market
The global markets is no other than markets found in different parts fo the globe with no limitations of geo location, cultures, economies etc
Tourism Products and Design
Anything that you can sell to a guest is what is called a tourism product. The tourism product must have this attributes
5 Popular Attributes of Tourism Product
- Service (We always sell services even if the commodities are included like T-shirts, Curios etc)
- Intangibility (The product cannot be touched, or seen it can only be sensed and experienced)
- Perishability (It does not last long, every time the consumed product is unique and differ from the former one )
- Inseparability (You can not separate from other environmental elements like staffs, community etc)
- Inconsistency (No standardization of tourism products, consumption trend and habit of guests are not the same so are the products)
Services. The essential difference between goods and services is that goods are produced but services are performed. Tourism Products are services by nature that means they must be performed by a person who is delegated to serve the guest. Even if some of the itineraries may contain buying of curio items or doing shopping but the main selling here is the type of service you perform in order to please a customer
Intangibility: Travel products cannot be touched as they include flight experience on an airplane, cruise on an ocean liner, a night’s rest in a hotel, view of the mountains, a visit to a museum, a good time in a night club and much more. These products are experiences. Once they have taken place they can only be recalled and relished.
Perishability: Products can be stored for future sale; services cannot. Services are perishable “like a running tap in a sink with no plug”. The sale of an empty hotel room, airline seat is lost forever. Services, more importantly, the time available to experience them, cannot be stored. For example, there is only one chance to enjoy a summer vacation in 1990.
Inseparability: This means that the act of production and consumption is simultaneous and takes place in the same environment, not in the consumer’s home environment. It also means that most of the staff of the service companies have some consumer contact and are seen by the customer.
Inconsistency: A general norm is that in Travel and Tourism industry the product or the package of the tourism can be standardized i.e. for example of 2 days 3 night in so and so hotel, but the actual experience of consuming this package is highly inconsistent. There is high level of inconsistency prevailing.
Examples of tourism products
- Food and beverage
- Attractions / Destination
- Trade shows
- Events and Conferences
- Cultural Tourism
- Animal viewing
- Bird Viewing
- Sports and Games
- Landscape Viewing
- Education Research
- Volunteering and Charity
- Business Tourism
- Christmas and New Year Holidays
- City Tourism
- Study Tours
- Beach Holiday
- Political Tourism
- Day Program
- Sabbatical Leave/Holiday
- Wildlife Tourism
- Family Stays
- Health / Medical Tourism
- Honeymoon Holidays
- Relaxation and Massage Tourism
- Sex Tourism
- Historic Tourism
- Faith Based Tourism
- Photography /Photo Taking Tourism
- Advocacy Tourism
- Any other recreational, business or social interaction visitation
Describing an Attraction
It is important to give some reasons why it is unique and why tourists would have to visit the attraction. It therefore recommended for all tourguide to be knowledgeable to the attractions and be able to innovatively describe it. You will be in the safe side also if you psychologically know the customer while going to the attraction. The customer psychology skills and knowledge will help you to prepare yourself at the attraction sites
Five elements of a good tour attraction
- Quantity (It must have maximum attractions content)
- Quality (The contents must meet at optimal the needs and wants of the guest/traveler)
- Diversity (Each content must have a detailed attractions or sub-content)
- Uniqueness (The attraction contents must if possible not found elsewhere)
- Accessibility (The good attraction must be easily accessible by either road, air, railway, water etc)
Steps to Describe an Attraction
Note: no formal procedures as this depend on the event and the guests
- Know your guest(s) collect prior profile information about your guests; eg where they come from, age, work, career, family etc
- Make sure to take the tourist to the place where unique and interesting attractions can be found
- Hand over a written brief story drawn attractions, recorded etc if available – hardly one page
- Give a background information spotting out the uniqueness of the attraction over the other in nearby countries and the world at large – never lie never exaggerate
- Explain the significance of that attraction to tourist
- Explain some other events which are found during other seasons (Give the entire timetable eg Wildebeests migration, calving season, lion mating possibilities etc)
Creating The Word Of Mouth
- How Does a Tour Guide Create Word Of Mouth?
It is all about creating a point of conversation that your client will have to tell good things, excitements, amusements, adventures to their friends and family when they return home.People love to tell everyone about their holiday and travel adventures – especially when they have something funny or exciting to say. So be creative and think of something cool, exciting and different during your tour. Give the client something to talk about! They will put you in different blogs, forums and social media like Lonely planet, Trip advisor, Youtube, Linkedin, Facebook, Google++ etc
What to do?
- From the beginning think about the end of the tour, things like recommendations, top ratings and comments from your clients. This will then propel you to commit yourself increasing your creativity and innovative ideas
- Bring the client to a unique place/attraction.
- Tell funny stories of the attraction included in the tour the client could not easily read about.
- Encourage yourself, local people or tour operator to give the client a small gift. Be creative and it does not have to cost much e.g. local fruit, markups, crafts etc
- Have a surprise farewell event that will not distract the schedule of the guest, be creative on it
To be continued+++
- Tourism Product Design
- Tourism Information and Communication
- Developing a Tourism Marketing Plan
- Tourism Marketing Monitoring and Tracking
- Tourism Marketing Improvement and Redesign
- Going Global
Scenario I: Good Experience
Reviewed January 10, 2013
I knew that I would be staying in a tented camp at the Serengeti, but I did not realize quite how luxurious it would be. This place is GREAT!!
The rooms are comfortable and very clean…the beds are simply wonderful! All little necessary details are thought of (including bottled water).
The food is absolutely fantastic, as is the restaurant service. Honestly, you forget you are ‘camping’…it feels so luxurious and cosy. The dinner and the breakfast are both amazing!
The employees are nothing less than fabulous. I was truly impressed. They will do anything they can to help you. As is generally typical in Tanzania.
There are no electrical outlets in the tents. However, the ‘office’ has power bars available for charging cameras, mobiles, laptops, etc. You just need to ask.
I also loved the idea of being out in the open in the magnificent Serengeti. You can hear all sorts of animals and birds throughout the night and morning…being here really makes you feel part of the park.
I highly recommend this place. Enjoy!!
Example II: Wonderful Tanzanian Safari
Date of Trip: September 2011
In September we went on Safari with Africa Dream Safaris. This was a private safari with a couple of our close friends. We flew KLM to Amsterdam and thence to Arusha. We were met just after deplaning by the ADS representatives and escorted through all the arrival formalities. We were rapidly on our way to luxury hotel the company had ready for us that nite. Early in the next AM we were escorted to the small Arusha airport and flew up to the Kogatende airstrip near the Mara River at the northern border of Tanzania. Our driver met us with the private LandCruiser and we were off for the 8 days/nites of our safari. Within minutes we were surrounded by wildlife and seeing animals and sights we had hoped for. We rapidly got used to seeing ourselves close by wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and various antelope. We saw many lions, leopard and cheetahs as well as other predators. Each day brought additional sights and adventures. We stayed in very nice tent camps and the food and facilities in these camps were excellent. Especially nice were Buffalo Springs Tented Lodge and Swala Tented lodge(in Tarangire). We stayed in two Lemala tented camps and these were quite comparable to each other. The Lemala Ngorongoro is inside the gate of the park and allowed us rapid morning access to the Ngorongoro crater. Our guide/driver had an excellent personality and was helpful and instructive. The vehicle was comfortable and had a refrigerator. The top was a roll top rather than pop top used by most of the others. Our daily adventures were at our leisure as the schedule was entirely ours. We usually left early and had a picnic lunch returning to the camps for dinner. A twilight game drive from Buffalo Springs was an outstanding experience. Much activity goes on in the twilight and at night and is worth trying to experience. We took thousands of photos and many minutes of video. Having a ‘superzoom’ camera and an HD video camera with large optical zoom were wonderful ideas. We brought those as well as a semipro DSLR with 300mm zoom and all got heavy use and wonderful results. The HD camera brought back incredibly sharp motion images and the still photos by all the cameras were great. Having the 20X or greater zoomability on the point and shoot cameras was very useful.
For clothing we wore travel shirts and pants that breathed and were rapidly wash and dry. The clothes would easily dry overnite. Large brim hats and sunblock were essentials.
At the end of the trip we were escorted back to the Kilimanjaro Airport for our flight back to Amsterday and home. The safari was one of the best travel experiences we’ve had. While the private safari was more expensive than group safari’s that are available, it allowed us more freedom to arrange our days to our own interests. We highly recommend this experience to nature lovers and photographers.
Scam Travel Agent – Avoid (Name Hidden)!!
Jul 01, 2009, 7:04 AM
I just returned from safari and climbing Kili in Tanzania, a horrible experience due to (Name Hidden).
DO NOT USE (NAME HIDDEN), run by a man named (Name Hidden). This man is something of a scam artist and you will be very lucky to return home without being scammed in some capacity.
The following incidents happened to my partner and I:
- After climbing Kili, (Name Hidden) (the owner), called our guide, screaming and demanding more money. We had already paid in full, using cash. However because (Name Hidden) had never used our deposit to book our huts (as he said he’d done), he was apparently charged an extra $120.
Instead of explaining this extra charge, he immediately resorted to screaming, without explaining anything more than it was extra for the hut booking. When I continued to ask for more information as to how the fee had accrued, he threatened me and said he was coming to where we were with "his people" and that we’d better have the money ready. We fled, terrified.
- After paying $580 in full for a safari (Lake Manyara, Ngorgoro Crater, and Serengeti) which included camping, food and park fees, our guide’s credit card was rejected at Lake Manyara due to insufficient funds in the account. Our group of 6 people ended up having to pay our own entry fees into the park (totaling $210) after waiting around for 3 hours being promised the money was coming.
- (Name Hidden) was meant to book and pay for our hotels before arrival. He did no such thing. Consequently, we had to pay cash for our hotels upon arrival. No problem so far. However (Name Hidden) then demanded to be "paid back" for the hotels despite never having booked or paid for them. He finally relented after we showed him receipts for every hotel, but still wanted to "reimburse" us later.
- Our airline lost our bag. (Name Hidden) saw this as yet another profit making opportunity and tried to charge us an exorbitant fee for retrieving it.
- The guide’s credit card was also rejected at Kilimanjaro, resulting in a 1.5 hour wait before we could go. At least this time, money somehow magically went into the account, unlike on the safari.
The food is pretty pathetic- tiny portions and no meat. Although this is the least of your problems, as after the other problems you incur, you’ll be happy if you get fed at all.
(Name Hidden) is struggling to stay solvent, and therefore they are going to get more money out of you than you agree one way or another. I sincerely wish that I had paid a little more, and not had my holiday ruined. Please, please spread the word and use our bad fortune to protect yourself/your friends.
Response no. 1
Wish I had seen this earlier. We just returned from Tanzania last month (October 2009), and did a Kili climb and safari with (Name Hidden). Although we didn’t get scammed as much as you did, we did have some unpleasant experiences with the climb and in our dealings with (Name Hidden). However, the safari went off pretty well, although like your experience the food was pretty bad. I just posted a critical review of (Name Hidden), but, like I said, at least we had an enjoyable safari. Perhaps we were lucky in that regard.