The tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing industries. Most of the developed and developing nations depend on tourism for supporting their economy. Being such a large industry, there’s no doubt that the structure of tourism is much more complex.
In this article, I will help talk about the major components of tourism marketing. There are 7 major components of Tourism Marketing: 7A’s which are: Attraction, Accommodation, Accessibility, Amenities, Activities, Affinity, Actors, and Acts.
Attractions can be regarded as the anticipation by the tourist of some qualitative characteristics, which the tourist wishes to experience personally. This is the principal reason why tourists travel to a particular destination. It is very difficult to travel to Annapurna base Camp but still many people visit the place because it is beautiful.
People take pride in mountains and feel satisfied knowing that they went to that area. Attractions are classified basically into four categories which are as follows:
1. Natural attractions — A favorable climate, high-quality air, land, and water, scenic beauty, flora and fauna, pristine forests, national parks, and other protected areas, snow-capped mountains, hills, valleys and rivers, hot springs, geysers, etc. For e.g. Mount Everest, Annapurna, etc.
2. Man-made attractions — The ‘built heritage’ — cities, towns, buildings, landscape, amusement parks, and theme parks, zoos, various sporting events, etc. For e.g., Kathmandu Fun Park, Jawalakhel zoo, etc.
3. Cultural attractions — Arts and culture, cultural diversity, cultural fairs, festivals, celebrations, theatre, and history/cultural museums, which depict the history and culture of a country. For e.g., Patan durbar square, manakamana, Akala etc.
4. Social attractions — Meet and interact with the locals, meet friends and relatives, and community’s “hospitality”.
“As important as the natural and cultural resources which combine to form the majorattractions, is the welcome which is afforded to the visitor”
Accommodation in the destination region is the temporary home of the tourists. Tourist needs a place to stay and relax (clean, hygienic, and well- maintained accommodation with a comfortable bed, cleanliness, and sanitary facilities with adequate hot and cold- water supply).
It is also one of the components where most of the developing countries like Nepal lag behind. A wide range of accommodation may be available at most destinations ranging from tourist lodges to five-star deluxe hotels.
Accommodations can be:
- Serviced accommodations (provide meals and housekeeping);
- Commercial (e.g., hotels-5-star, motels, resorts, inns, etc.);
- Semi-commercial (e.g., farm stays, home stays, cottages, etc.)
- Non-commercial (staying with family, relatives or friends, dharmashalas, camp grounds,etc.)
- Non-serviced (or self-catering) accommodations (does not provide meals and housekeeping)
3. Accessibility (Transportation)
Tourism ‘product’, the experience is produced and consumed at the same time. For tourism, it is the tourists (consumers) who have to be transported to the destination to experience the ‘product’ at the place where it is produced, the destination, rather than the product being transported to the consumers.
Many tourists visit multiple destinations, and tourists like to move freely about the destination — local sites and regions. It is important to have a good network of international and domestic airliners to transport tourists to the destination and in and around the destination.
A well-developed network of airports, roads, railways, trails and adequate means of safe transport (public and private) are important tourism infrastructures. Transport should be hassle-free, comfortable, safe, convenient, regular, and affordable.
Amenities are those features that are useful or which provide enjoyment, comfort, and convenience. It is also related to the facilities when the tourism business is slacking, many amenities are provided as a complementary product. Tourist amenities include food and beverage facilities, safe drinking water, good communication, local transport, proper waste, and sewerage disposal system, medical services, reliable electric power, and adequate water supply, etc.
Apart from experiencing the tourism ‘product’, tourists would like to involve in other facility-oriented recreational activities — swimming (natural or swimming pools, fishing, boating, short-haul trips, nature walks, sightseeing, shopping, etc., or would just like to sit and relax.
Established Organizations (Public and Private Partnership), Travel and Tour
Operators, Trekking agents, and favorable tourism policy, hassle-free visa, and border formalities are other important factors that contribute to the growth of tourism.
6. Affinity (Hospitality)
It is the attitude with which the service is provided. Hospitality includes performing the service with a smile, enthusiasm, untiringly, and dedication.
For example, arranging guest room supplies or serving food or beverage in a presentable manner is a part of hospitality. Many people prefer homestays because of the hospitality shown by the owners and villagers. Therefore, affinity is an important element in tourism marketing.
7. Actors (Operators)
Actors or operators play an important role in tourism marketing as they are the host place stakeholders. They are the ones who conduct tourism and play a role in the proper functioning of the tourism market. The tourism board, Ministry, Local Institutions play the role of actors in the context of Nepal.
8. Acts (Rules and Regulations)
In every aspect of life, rules and regulations bind us for the smooth running of an activity. Similarly, it also plays an essential role in tourism marketing. Acts enable the tourists to follow a certain pattern so that the guests as well as the hosts both can enjoy different aspects of tourism.