Tourist Attraction Destination Marketing

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July 19, 2019
Tesco’s Stakeholders Analysis
July 19, 2019

Tourist Attraction Destination Marketing

The variety and richness of destinations around the world have played an important role in the success of the tourism sector since 1945(Cooper et al.2000). Pike (2004) defined destination as a place including continents, countries, states, villages, purpose-built resort areas which attracts visitors for temporary stay.

Destination marketing is about all the activities and processes which bring sellers and buyers together, it focuses on competitive positioning as well as responding to consumer demands. It is a set of continuous coordinated activities which is associated to distributing products to high potential markets efficiently and it involves decision making about the 4P’s, market segmentation and branding (WTO 2004:10).

The new tourist is now seeking for new experiences such as authenticity of destinations, learning about different cultures, learning about the history of the destination and understanding the lifestyle of the host community. Middleton & Clarke (2001) also pointed out the fact that the tourism industry faces new and increasing challenges nowadays which arise from the changes in environment conditions and changes in tourist behavior. Therefore these new trends must be taken into consideration when planning and marketing the destination (Cooper et al. 2000).

Murphy et al (2000) defined destination as a mix of individual products and experience opportunities which combine to form a whole experience of the visited area.

Goodall & Ashworth (1997) stated that destination marketing involves a range of stakeholders and a multifaceted product offer. There is an increasing demand for destination marketing as customer expectations are rising and competition between destinations is growing (Pike 2004, Scott et al. 2000).

2.1.1 Tourism Destination

A tourist destination is a geographical location which has the necessary components to attract tourists and meet their needs (M. Djurica & N. Djurica 2010, Pearce 1992).

A tourist destination comprises of different components which are characterized as the 4 As (Cooper et al. 2000). The 4 A’S are classified as follows (Cooper et al. 2000):

Attractions which motivate tourist to visit the destination and consist of the artificial as well as natural features or events.

Amenities which include a range of supporting facilities and services like accommodation, food, entertainment and recreation which are required by tourists at the destination.

Access in terms of development and maintenance of transport which provides the link to the tourist destination as well as the tourist attractions at the destination.

Ancillary services which are provided to customers and industry by the destination through a local tourist board.

The destination must make use of its abilities, resources and opportunities from the environment in order to create the maximum value and therefore be successful. The tourist destination can meet the needs of its consumers better than its competitors by analyzing the marketing environment (M. Djurica & N. Djurica 2010).

In the destination marketing process a SWOT analysis is undertaken so as to monitor the environment to discover opportunities and enable decision-making which will strengthen the tourist destination. A marketing opportunity represents the area of tourists’ needs as well as interests where the tourist destination has a great probability of satisfying those needs.

2.1.2 Tourist attractions

Gunn (1988) stated that tourism attractions form an essential part of tourism destinations and that they are one of the four key segments of the tourism system.

Attractions are located within the destination and they form the basis of the tourism product at the destination. A destination without potential or real tourism attractions cannot be developed into a tourism destination (Eduard Kušen 2010).

There are various forms of attractions but not all of them can be used for tourism, therefore those used for tourism purposes must be classified as tourism attractions. Tourism attractions form part of the basic tourism resources and are one of the major reasons why tourists visit a destination.

According to Gunn (1988) tourism attractions are composed of various components including tourism activities, local scenery, service and entertainment.

Inskeep (1991) stated that tourism attractions can be divided into 3 categories;

Nature attraction which consists of the environment and natural resources. Natural resources include wildlife, viewpoints, national parks and outstanding natural phenomena such as the Niagara Falls or The Grand Canyon.

Culture attraction consists of entertainments and human activities.

Unique attraction

Tourists are motivated to visit a particular destination by the information that they receive and their own motivation ‘Push’ them to visit a destination where their needs and wants can be satisfied (Leiper 1990). Smith (1996) stated that the ‘push’ factors are the socio-economic factors of the tourist as well as their motivation to travel and the ‘pull’ factors are the information received and the resources which are provided at the destination.

2.2 Destination Image

Image forms a vital part in the consumer’s process of selecting a destination (Baloglu and McCleary, 1999; Stepchenkova and Morrison, 2006). Images have a strong influence on travel behavior as it represents the destination in a tourist’s mind and provides tourists with a pre-taste of the destination. Destination image is defined as the characteristics of a destination which influence tourists’ decision to visit that particular destination (Tapachai and Waryszak, 2000).

Baloglu and McCleary, 1999 stated that destination images consist of the perception of respondents and their affective evaluation of the destination. The way the tourists feel about the destination and the physical attributes are very important in determining a destination’s image (Echtner and Ritchie 1993). The tourist’s choice for a destination depends on his or her image of the destination (Baloglu and McCleary, 1999; Chon, 1991; Goodrich, 1978; Hunt, 1975; Mayo, 1973; Mayo and Jarvis, 1981; Woodside and Lysonski, 1989).

According to Gunn (1972) destination images consist of 3 stages: Organic, induced and modified induced images. Organic images consist of information about a destination such as newspapers, books and radio which are developed over a long period of time (Jenkins 1999). Induced images are formed through a destination marketing program such as magazines and brochures in order to attract tourists. The induced image can be modified through the actual experience of the tourist at the destination it is therefore considered as being modified induced images.

Gartner (1989) highlighted the fact that destination image plays a very important role in the success of a destination as a tourist is likely to look for the destination with the most favorable image.

A tourist destination consists of different attractions such as cultural attractions and mountains therefore a tourist can develop multiple attitudes towards the different attractions for example a tourist can find mountains appealing and have a negative attitude towards cultural attractions.

Therefore marketers must identify the positive images held by tourist and work on those receptive target markets.

2.2.1 Destination attractiveness

Pearson (1979) defined destination attractiveness as the degree to which the destination meet the expectation of its visitors in terms of food and accommodation, natural beauty, cultural richness, recreational opportunities and other amenities.

Attractiveness is the summation of impressions, ideas and beliefs about destinations based on information from various sources (MacKay and Fesenmaier 1997). Attraction is the ability of a destination to deliver individual benefits and according to Gunn (1994) it constitutes the vitalizing power of the tourism system. Ferrario (1979) highlights the fact that there are factors which cannot be classified as attractions but which plays a vital role in the attractiveness of a destination such as the exchange rate, political stability and infrastructures.

According to Buhalis (2000) destination attractiveness plays an important role in the competitiveness of a destination and encourages people to visit a destination. Attractiveness can be measured by studying the different attractions or by studying the perception of those attracted by them. However Hu and Ritchie (1993) stated that a destination is attractive only if the visitors of that destination feel that it is an attractive one. Therefore weighing the destination attractiveness according to its tourism resource base has little consequences (George 2005). A technique which is commonly used to measure destination attractiveness is to list the resources found at the destination and seek their importance and ratings from tourists in defining the attractiveness of the destination.

2.3 Marketing Strategy

Planning plays an important role in tourism marketing. It includes the determination of goals, the identification of the time limit as well as how to achieve these goals and identifying the persons responsible for the realization of the different tasks (M. Djurica & N. Djurica 2010).

It is important to understand the needs of consumers and the proceedings of competitors as it contributes to the increase value of tourism services and products and it helps tourist destination to keep existing customers while acquiring new ones which will have a good effect on the profitability of the destination (M. Djurica & N. Djurica 2010)

Marketing strategies should be effective and efficient and this implies doing things right.

For a marketing strategy to be effective and efficient it should ((M. Djurica & N. Djurica 2010):

Identify specific goals of the destination.

Identify the resources necessary to achieve the goals set

Include a complete assessment of the marketing environment

Focus on ways to deliver a superior value service.

Marketing strategies consist of segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Segmentation is to identify different groups of tourists at the destination and try to understand their needs and wants (M. Djurica & N. Djurica 2010)

Targeting is about choosing which segment the tourist destination will offer its services and products. It helps to identify the needs and unique characteristics of the tourist to be satisfied. It helps in the planning of the marketing mix and acts as a reference point for marketing decisions. It also helps in understanding the competitors as it helps to detect those having the same target market and helps in better understanding the changes and development in the needs of the target market (Cooper et al.2000).

Target markets can be based upon many factors such as age, sex, geographic location, visitor type, income levels, socio-economic groups, purchase attitudes and behavior and benefits sought.

Positioning is to identify competitive advantages so as to position the tourist destination better than the competitors on target markets.

2.3.1 Marketing Mix

According to Kotler and Armstrong (1996) the marketing mix is a set of marketing tools which work together to impact on the marketplace and is the most important concept in modern marketing. The marketing mix is under the management’s control and refers to decision-making related to the 4 P’s (Cooper et al.2000)

The concept of the 4 P’s was introduced by Mc Carthy (1978) based on the term offered earlier by Borden (1965) regarding the marketing ingredients. The 4 P’s are classified as: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

For a marketing mix to be successful the target market must be clearly defined as it dictates the various ways to use the mix. The target market is an important element to model the marketing mix so as to meet the needs of the customers in order for them to judge the product as a superior one compared to that of competitors.

Product

In the tourism industry a product is an intangible service (Wikipedia) and products developed should meet the satisfaction of the target market (Cooper et al.2000). The product mix consists of service, quality, range, brand name and features and benefits.

Service is related to the level of service to be offered and quality is related to the decisions about quality standards and implementation of assurance method referring to level of performance of facilities and staff. It is very important as it creates a reputation for the quality of the product and service offered. It is necessary to decide upon the range of products to be offered and how each fits in the product mix.

Pricing

The pricing policy for tourism products and services is related to the performance of the future demand for the products and services. The pricing of tourism products should take into consideration the seasonality of demand and the fact that tourism products and services are perishable. When deciding upon pricing policies competitors and reactions of consumers must be taken into consideration.

Place

Place is related to distribution. There is no transfer of ownership for tourism product, and services are simply consumed or rented. A distribution system is required for the products to be accessible and available.

Promotion

It is the mix of communication activities used to influence consumers in choosing a product or service. Building the brand image and product awareness is very important in the promotional efforts. A promotional campaign should create awareness through information and provide knowledge about the product or service and creates a favorable customers attitude towards the product. According to Cooper et al.(2000) advertising and sales promotion are the types of promotion which are mostly used.

Advertising is any paid type of non-personal communication through the media such as newspapers, travel guides, magazines, television and radio which details a product which has an identified sponsor (Cooper et al. 2000)

Sales Promotion consists of any activity which offers an incentive to stimulate a desired result from potential customers, sales force or trade intermediaries (Cooper et al. 2000)

Personal Selling is obtaining benefits through means of telephone or face-to-face.

2.3.2 Brand image

According to Keller (2003) a brand is a product which adds other dimensions that differentiate it from other products and is designed to satisfy the same needs. Branding is the most important component of a destination’s marketing plan (Kania 2001). The goal of branding geographic locations is to create awareness about the destination and link associations in order to create a favorable image to attract visitors as well as businesses (Keller 2003).

The destination itself can be considered as a brand constituted by the image of the combined services, experiences and goods which are available to tourists (Buhalis 2000). Residents are very important in ensuring the consistency of the destination’s image therefore they should be actively involved in the process of destination branding as they form part of the destinations marketing mix (Howie 2003).

Some advantages of branding are that it creates awareness and loyalty and the drawback is that it is expensive to create and maintain.

2.4 Beach Quality

Beaches link the sea and the land and face many threats which can be classified as man-made threats or natural threats. Man-made threats can be oil spillage and natural threats can be erosion. There should be proper planning in order to manage environmental impacts and attract tourist.

2.4.1 Importance of Beaches

Beaches are important for recreational and leisure activities and provide marine habitat for many species. Beaches are the main factors for attracting tourists and locals to coastal areas. Tourism is highly dependent on the environment be it natural and man-made and the natural resources constitute of seas, beaches, mountains, forests and lakes.

According to the World travel and tourism council (1998) beaches are the largest factor in travel and tourism. Beach tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism and is also known as coastal tourism and according to Hall (2001) coastal tourism appears as popular as ever.

For example, Florida is highly dependent on its 825 miles of sandy beaches as they are Florida’s primary tourist attraction and bring substantial economic benefits to the country (Florida department of environmental protection bureau of beaches).

Coasts account for most tourism activities and are therefore the most important resources of maritime regions (Dragicevic, Klaric, Kusen, 1997). Beaches can be classified as stone slab beaches, pebble beaches and sandy beaches which are located in lagoons are highly valued. Islands are also important resources of maritime regions as they have a high power of attraction (R. Knezevic 2008). Islands are highly valued environmentally and are preserved areas, according to Mikacic (1995) they represent the strategic potential of the tourism trade.

Seawater is a resource which attracts tourists. There are various chemical and physical properties like salinity, temperature and transparency which determine the value of seawater as a tourism resource. The movement of seawater such as tides and waves is also important as it impacts on guest behavior. The cleanliness of seawater is another important factor in determining its value as a tourism resource (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

Carribean tourism usually takes place on the coast and are classified in the 3S category that is sun, sea and sand tourism and according to Patullo (2005), Potter et al.(2004) and Strachan (2002) the Carribean islands tourism industry does not go much beyond the 3S. The Carribean islands have not done much to attract ecotourists or heritage tourists.

Many tourists travel for the 3S, for example St.Lucia and Barbados are destinations where the traditional sun, sea and sand tourism is typical and therefore these destinations focus on the 3S in order to attract more tourists. There are many sea activities such as fishing, rowing, rafting, kayaking and canoeing which attract tourists to a destination (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

In many coastal areas, beaches are subjected to strong human activity and this raise the need to evaluate beaches and have quality criteria in order to classify them.

Tourism can have both positive and negative impacts on the natural resources of a destination.

2.4.2 Negative impacts of Tourism

Tourism development requires supporting infrastructures which have a negative effect on the environment especially on the coastal, marine, terrestrial ecosystem and potable water resources (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre)

Most of the impacts of tourism are the results of improper management of waste water or liquid waste. The tourism industry has a negative impact on the environment in terms of solid waste generation, sand compaction which results from the usage of beaches by tourists and vehicles and physical damage to corals from boat anchors (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

Pollution is another negative impact of tourism. The tourism industry generates a lot of waste which has indirect as well as direct impacts on the environment. Solid waste generated by the tourism industry also includes garbage which is generated by ships and pollution travels with sea current. Plastics play an important role in the deterioration of the marine and coastal environment and also in the death and maiming of marine animals. Beaches are polluted with cans and broken glasses which are disposed on the beach and which can injure tourist as well as local residents (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

One of the main impacts of the tourism industry is liquid waste. The tourism industry generates a substantial amount of untreated liquid waste from hotels, oil spillage from cruise ships and chemicals from golf course which are disposed in the sea. For example in Barbados, hotels which are situated on the coast have highly contributed to environmental degradation (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

There are also pathogens which are introduced into the sea through sewage which are not adequately treated and this could be dangerous for both tourist and locals who use these beaches. The viruses and bacteria which are introduced in the sea can also be harmful to corals and prohibits their growth (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

Petrol used in recreational vehicles and the decomposition of bottles and tins increase the level of toxicity in the sea and is therefore harmful to wildlife and aquatic plants. The construction of tourism facilities along the coast generates dust and particulate matters which may have a negative impact on the marine environment and may also cause noise pollution.

Wilkinson (1989) stated that the concentration of resorts and large infrastructures along the coast destroys the beaches as well as mangroves and pollutes the lagoon through sewage dumping, sand mining and dredging. Mangroves are cut down to be used in the development of hotels.

Pollution of beaches has led to the closure of many beaches in recent years for example in the 1980s more than 80 million tons of garbage was gathered during the annual beach clean-ups.

The main environmental impacts of tourism on beaches are generated through erosion, congestion and pollution. Pollution as well as erosion can be the result of tourism activities but they are not the sole consequence of the tourism industry.

Overcrowding of beaches leads to sand compaction and can be harmful to aquatic plants and marine creatures. Beach lights also affect marine creatures and acts as pollution.

Most of the negative effects of tourism are due to inadequate planning. Tourism activities can degrade the environment but it can also contribute to an existing environmental degradation due to residents’ undertaking.

2.4.3 Positive impact of tourism

However tourism helps in the conservation of natural areas as well as biodiversity. The development and implementation of new technologies can help to minimize tourism environmental impacts and extend the conservation of natural resources (Reginald I Burke Carribean Policy Development Centre).

2.5 New Forms of Tourism

According to the World Tourism Organization (1999) there are key market segments which are growing in importance such as: eco-tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, space tourism, cruise market and thematic tourism.

The ‘experience seekers’ are a new segment of international tourists who are looking for unfabricated locations, natural location, eco-experiences, indigenous cultures and more interesting types of accommodations as ecolodges, bungalows or cabanas. The experience seekers want to experience spiritual growth, active sports and nature (EDSA et al. 2005).

Agarwal(2002) and Sedmak et al.(2008) also highlighted the fact that 3S tourism is becoming obsolete as the tourism industry is increasing and caters for new market segments.

2.5.1 Ecotourism

According to Hector Ceballos – Lascurain ecotourism is travelling to uncontaminated or undisturbed natural areas with the objective to study admire and enjoy the scenery and its flora and fauna as well as the past and present cultural aspects of these areas (Weaver 2006) whereas David A. Funnel (2003) defined ecotourism as being a sustainable form of tourism which is natural resource-based and which focuses primarily on learning and experiencing about nature, and which is managed in such a way that it is non-consumptive, low-impact and locally oriented. It occurs in natural areas and contributes to the preservation or conservation of such areas.

Wallace and Pierce suggested that ecotourism should address six principles (T. Dimoska, J. Kocevski 2010):

It should involve a type of use which minimizes negative impacts on the environment as well as the local community.

It should stimulate the awareness and understanding of an area’s cultural and natural system and should involve visitors in issues regarding those systems.

It should contribute to the proper management and conservation of protected areas as well as other natural ones.

It should maximize the involvement of the local community in the decision-making process on a long-term basis.

It should bring economic benefits to the local community which complements rather than replacing traditional practices.

It should provide local people with opportunities to visit natural areas and learn more about the wonders that tourists come to see.

There are two types of ecotourism: hard and soft ecotourism however Weaver and Lawton stated that there is a third type of ecotourism being structured ecotourism (Weaver 2006).

Benefits of ecotourism (Wearing et al. 1999, Gaul 2003):

-It encourages the understanding of the impacts of tourism on the cultural, human and natural environment.

-It ensures a good distribution of costs and benefits and improves the living conditions and comfort of local people.

-It generates jobs for the local community either directly in the tourism sector or in the different support sectors and improves the education of the local people.

-It motivates profitable domestic industries and helps to pay the conservation of archeological sites and historic buildings.

-It generates foreign exchange and injects capital in the local economy.

-It diversifies the local economy and involves all the segments of the society in the decision-making process.

-It encourages the improvement of local communications, basic infrastructures and transport, and it creates recreational facilities which can be used both by tourists and locals.

-It helps in monitoring, assessing and managing the impacts of tourism and developing strategies to minimize negative impacts.

-It revitalizes the elements of traditional culture and improves knowledge about animal behavior and distribution.

-It encourages the protection of flora and fauna.

2.5.2 Cultural and Heritage Tourism

According to Tomljenović (2006) Cultural tourism is about journeys which include visits to cultural attractions outside a person’s normal environment with the aim of acquiring new experiences and knowledge in order to satisfy the cultural needs of an individual.

Cultural heritage tourism is travelling to experience activities, artifacts and places which represent authentically the history as well as people of the past and the present (National Trust for Historic Preservation) Heritage tourism sites are made up of historic, natural and cultural resources.

The need for knowledge and culture motivates tourists to travel as they want to combine leisure and knowledge. Different lifestyles and cultures are key motivations for tourists to experience (Hussein Alhroot et al. 2009).

According to the National Trust Fund there are 5 principles for cultural heritage tourism to be successful:

Collaboration among the different partners.

Finding and Fitting what the area needs to do and can do in terms of cultural heritage tourism through local circumstances.

Making sites as well as programs alive as tourists want to discover the human drama of history.

Focusing on authenticity and quality.

Protecting and preserving traditions, landscapes, buildings and special places which attract tourists.

Benefits of Cultural Tourism:

It can provide a vehicle for cultural exchange and understanding as it can provide a tourist with a mix of educational experiences and entertainment of other communities.

It encourages preservation and conservation of heritage sites.

It revitalizes craft industries and traditional buildings.

It generates local development and economic activities and therefore diversifies the local economy. Cultural and Heritage tourists stay longer at the destinations and spend more money than the other types of tourists as they have the profile of being more educated and having higher incomes.

It promotes community pride in cultural identity and enhances collaboration between the local community and organizations

It creates jobs as well as new business opportunities and improves the standard of living of the local community.

2.5.3 Adventure tourism

Adventure tourism is an outdoor leisure activity which generally takes place in an exotic, unusual, wilderness or remote setting and it involves some unconventional means of transportation and is associated to high or low levels of physical activity (Maria Heneghan Fact Sheet No. 55 2006).

There are various activities which fall under adventure tourism such as kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, Trekking, Wind surfing and so on.

Adventure tourism can be classified into 2 categories: Soft and hard adventure

Soft adventure is a type of adventure which requires little or no experience and is low risk that is it is safe and does not require excessive physical efforts. Some examples of soft adventure are biking, camping and walking.

Hard adventure is a type of adventure which requires more physical efforts and consists of a high element of risk. Some examples of hard adventure are mountain biking, mountaineering and white water rafting.

Benefits of Adventure tourism:

It injects money into the local economy and creates jobs for the local community.

It motivates people to become more environment-friendly and to be aware of the importance of the environment.

It supports the local community

It helps in the creation of entrepreneurs.

There are also other types of tourism which are emerging like medical tourism. However the number of visitors and infrastructures which are needed to support these various forms of tourism can put a major strain on the different resources which attract visitors (National Trust for Historic Preservation). Therefore there should be a good planning and management of the different forms of tourism