Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in a way that benefits the organization and its stakeholders.
It involves the interaction and interrelationship among consumers and producers of goods and services, through which ideas, products, services, and values are created and exchanged for the mutual benefit of both groups.
Marketing is an art and science which involves product, place (where people like to sell, which location and how do you want to sell). In marketing, only
the product and place are not adequate. We also have to make the appropriate pricing as per cost and satisfaction. Cost is related to the host whereas satisfaction is related to the guest. The more a guest gets satisfaction, the higher a host can place their price.
Tourism product is tangible but the service or related activities are intangible. There are two kinds of tourism market known as domestic tourism market and international tourism market. In the context of Nepal, the domestic market, for example, the Thamel area of Kathmandu, lakeside of Pokhara, Sauraha, Lumbini can be advocated as a domestic market. Also, places such as Everest, Dolpo, Langtang, Kanchangunja can also be used as domestic markets.
Talking about the marketing approach of tourism, it can be studied in terms of pre-preparation of the market and the marketing phase. The pre-preparation of the market can be analyzed in terms of Corporate analysis, Market research, and Market segmentation. And the marketing phase can be studied in terms
of Product formulation, Pricing, Distribution, and Promotion.
Pre-Preparation of Market
1. Corporate Analysis
It is one of the important factors in the marketing approach of tourism. It analyses organization and their strength and weakness. There should be knowledge about the situation of other companies or vital competitors.
They should never be underestimated no matter how small or big and also, understanding the mission, goals, and objectives of the organization is equally important. We should acknowledge the goals and objectives of the competitors and formulate ours in a way that is beneficial for us in order to gain profit.
2. Market Research
In order to do the marketing, research is a very useful aspect. Market research is the systematic collection of information on the supply and demand for tourism products. We need to collect information for the market from the demand as well as the supply side for tourism products.
Here, tourists are on the demand side whereas host or hotel owners are
on the supply side. The basic understanding of why do tourist come, their age group, characteristics should be worked out scientifically for fruitful market research.
3. Market Segmentation
The process of isolating just who your most likely customers are is termed as market segmentation. If we try to run a market by dumping everything in a basket, then we cannot get success.
Segmentation refers to the process of dividing the total market of all possible
consumers into segments and the concept is based on the premise that consumers with similar needs and wants will also have other characteristics in common such as education, income, and lifestyle.
A market should be divided into a possible segment which could be on
the basis of geographical division (for e.g. specific market can be allocated in Syangja, Pokhara, etc.), demography where it can be segmented in terms of age group, academic background, etc.
After segmenting a market, we can study where there is most profit and which is more viable, and in terms of these aspects, we can approach there.
4. Product formulation
Product formation is one of the aspects of the marketing approach of tourism. We should be able to discretely provide the information of what we are exactly trying to offer.
For example Attraction (scenery, beaches, historic buildings, events, etc.), Amenities(accommodation, meals, service, entertainment, recreational facilities, etc.), Accessibility(ease to reach physically to target destination or ease to purchase the products by tourists) and Image (emotion aroused by the attractions and facilities offered, such as rest, recuperation, sunshine, excitement, satisfying food, comfort, romance, sex-these are the emotions and feelings the tourist operator is selling).
We should be able to say which of the components we are trying to provide. Lastly, the product should be advertised through paper, devices,s and digital media.
It is one of the important aspects of marketing. Pricing should always be appropriately done as it affects the selling of our products. Pricing of a product and the satisfaction of a guest are interrelated.
They show a direct relationship. When there is a higher satisfaction among
the tourists, the pricing can be increased accordingly and vice versa. However, the cost and pricing of a product don’t always follow specific rules.
When there are intangible products, we have to sell the said products even at lower prices. For e.g., the hotels around Pokhara now offer their room at just Rs. 1500 even though they used to be rented at Rs. 4000 before the pandemic.
Successful tourism marketing requires that the customer can easily purchase the product at a place where he/she is shopping for tourism. Distributional places should be as much as attractive.
The extension (brochures/information) is important in tourism product distribution. The shopping place, selling point, agent (Rafting, travel et cetera) should be in an easy place.
Also, skill and art are necessary while booking or for a reservation of a place because the distribution also depends on how well you can sell a product.
Promotion is one of the factors which is very important in the marketing approach of tourism. The promotion provides target audiences with accurate and timely information to help them decide whether to visit your community or business.
The information should be of importance and practical use to the potential or existing visitor and also accurate. Advertising your product is really important during the promotion.
Sales promotion such as initiating different kinds of schemes like offering a complimentary drink as soon as the guests arrive, gala dinner also results in the positive promotion of a product.