Marketing is indispensable part of any substantive tourism enterprise. As the market is expanding, the role of marketing as a driving force in a business endeavor is also being recognized. With growing competition, organisations in tourism business have no option but to do organised and targeted marketing. An organised approach to marketing always helps, whether it is on the tour operator end or at destinations. Guides, escorts, restaurants, hotels, transporters, shops etc compete one another to stay ahead. A proper tourism marketing strategy calls for close cooperation between the government, tourism industry and the local population.
Evolution of Marketing
Marketing as a concept has evolved in the last 30 years. Development of marketing has three distinct stages: Production Era, Sales Era and Marketing Era. Marketing era arrived when organizations began producing what they could sell rather than trying to sell what they manufactured. While planning and designing a product, customers’needs, tastes and satisfaction were considered. Growth of competition prompted organisations to frame marketing techniques.
Change in traveling trends also made it necessary to adopt new approach. The emergence of long haul traveler prompted the need for marketing research which studied market trends, consumer behavior and ascertained procedure to make products which satisfied the users of tourism products. Gradual social and economic development culminated in segmentation of mass market into specialized target markets. Tackling these markets needed an approach which was in tune with new times.
Selling and Marketing
Selling and Marketing are different concepts. Selling focuses on the needs of the seller while marketing concentrates on buyers’ needs. A marketing oriented organisation focuses on customer needs and earns profits through customer satisfaction. Several organizations in tourism field are product oriented. They emphasise on the available services of products but ignore consumers’ requirements. A marketing oriented tourist organisation has a completely different approach. They offer services around the tourists’ needs.
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