Marketing the tourism is one of the most challenging tasks since it does not involve any kind of products it is purely a service (Brown, 1981). Marketing of tourism is related with certain decisions which need to be taken regarding the marketing strategies which a company needs to adopt in order to do its business in the market. The marketing decisions involves mainly four steps: Situation analysis, market segmentation, selecting target customer segment, deciding marketing mix and then finally market auditing which involves the evaluation of the marketing programmes which has been performed by the company (Czepiel, 1980). The most important steps in the marketing of tourism is market segmentation and selecting the target customer segment in order to decide the marketing mix for that target customer segment.
Product/Service in tourism
The offerings for customers in tourism are services offered by the tourism operator. Since these are services so some of the important characteristics of the services are as follows (Berry, 1964);
- Perish ability: Services are produced and consumed simultaneously so services are termed as perishable and hence they can’t be stored for later use of the customer.
- Inseparability: Services require consumer participation in the process without consumer services can’t be delivered this aspect defines the inseparability of services.
- Variability: Services are variable in nature it means that the services vary over every production cycle of the service. In other words they can’t be made as it is again and again.
- Intangibility: Services are activities and can’t be seen. Hence since they are not visible so services do not have any features and can’t attract customers it so marketing efforts are required for marketing the services.
The marketing mix elements which are generally 4P’s also get changed in the case of tourism (service marketing) there are mainly 7P’s in service marketing which are (Borden, 1964):
- Product: The experience provided by the services is the product into services.
- Price: The cost incurred by the customer for consuming those services forms the price for the customers.
- Place: Place tells the distribution or medium through which you are obtaining the services and availability of that distribution media.
- Promotion: It defines the marketing communication process to attract the customer and give them the message marketer want to give to them in order to make them aware about his services offered.
- Physical evidences: Physical evidences in the service marketing are the touch points which a customer got exposed of while taking the services from the service provider.
- People: People in the service marketing are very important as they are one of the main sources of long term customer relationship and overall customer satisfaction for the service provider.
- Processes: Processes in the service marketing defines how exactly services are being processed by the service provider to their target customer segment.