Customer satisfaction in tourism is greatly influenced by the way in which the service (hospitality) is delivered and the physical appearance and personality of the business. It is critical that these elements be communicated in the best possible manner to convince people to come and experience what your business or community has to offer. Equally important is the ability to generate repeat business because of your efforts. Thus, tourism marketing becomes the method to reach potential visitors. It is a vital part of tourism management and can be done effectively and well, with sophistication and tact, or it can be done poorly in a loud, crass and intrusive manner. Remember that to do an effective job in tourism is to:
1. Adopt a strong customer orientation which includes regular research and assessment of their needs, wants and attitudes;
2. Allocate sufficient resources and time to tourism marketing;
3. Assign formal responsibility for marketing to one person or department;
4. Develop and regularly update a marketing plan.
6 Steps for Developing an Effective Tourism Marketing Program:
Step 1. Inventory Of Attractions And Accommodations.
Step 2. Assessing Current Marketing Efforts
Step 3. Market Research
Step 4. Target Market
Step 5. Determine Tourist Motivators
Step 6. Developing Promotional Goals
The primary way the majority of your prospective clients are going to find out about your travel lodge, tour, agency or destination offering is through what people read about you in your written marketing communications. What and how your travel brochures, web site, tradeshow displays, advertising, even what your promotional videos, phone message, letterhead, etc. communicate about your tourism products can be worth 100's of $1,000's in increased arrivals and sales.
The conventional ways of looking at consumer behavior - especially in tourism and leisure - are becoming outdated. No longer (if they ever were) are the purchasing habits of the leisure customer predictable by labeling a group as a segment of the market and describing it with average characteristics. More and more, marketers are turning to tailored and targeted marketing to individuals. This is now possible through new technology with sophisticated database management systems and immense amounts of historical and purchased information (lists) on individual preferences and purchase behavior. This trend is particularly appropriate for tourism marketing since there is a world of paradoxes in leisure behavior.
Sameness and diversity and security and risk taking seem side by side. Some accountants sky dive; people eat at McDonalds for lunch and a four-star restaurant for dinner; take luxury BMW to the self service petrol pump; trade a large investment portfolio through a discount broker; visit Hawaii and never go in the ocean. Leisure lifestyles, in particular, are inconsistent, contradictory, and individual.
This multi-profile customer is difficult to motivate by traditional institutional means.
The challenge of database marketing for tourism is strategic. A market of individuals, individually addressable and open to interactive communication, threatens the very existence of established marketing techniques and trade relationships. The economics of large scale production favors large firms with strong brand identities. The economics of customer information favors a generation of smaller, flexible firms with healthy firm-to-customer relationships. The future lies with firms who can use the new two-way channels of communication to create customer based relationships, reaching across a whole range of travel, leisure, and financial services products and resting on honest and intelligent dialogue.
Here are the major tenets of the database travel marketing:
Past consumer behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
A purchase is simply one event in a customer's life. To figure a customer's true worth, you have to calculate lifetime value.
Customers are more important than non-customers.
Certain customers are more important than other customers.
Customers are likely to share certain characteristics.