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Travel and tourism sector is the most dynamic sector these days. People are moving from one place to another as they have access to pleasant places, and information has been disseminated regarding the specialties of various locations. The success of travel and tourism industry is entirely dependent on the season and the preferences of the customers. The travel and tourism industry is very broad which includes lots of other sectors such as restaurant, hospitality, guide, tour operator and so on (Mehmetoglu and Normann, 2013). They all work together in a well-integrated manner to support the travelling and tourism purposes of the customers.
Here in the current scenario, a healthy discussion about the travel and tourism sector, with reference to Thomas Cook, has been done in an appropriate manner. It is clear that there are various concepts and principles within the travel and tourism sector, and all those fundamentals have been explained concerning marketing. Further, the role of marketing within the travel and tourism sector has been discussed so that the management could be improved. Proper light has been shed on the marketing mix elements with respect to the travel and tourism sector. At last, out of various components of the marketing mix, the promotional mix has gained more priority in current research. Overall, the current report gives consideration to both broad as well as narrow aspects of marketing related to travel and tourism sector.
The core concept of the marketing for the travel and tourism includes understanding the nature and demand of the customers. It is clear that the marketing has one main motive, it is to disseminate the information about the product and services that company provides to its clients. The tourism planning must be done while giving special consideration to the marketing motives. It is the most significant element and without understanding the demand and the needs of the customers, the organization can never prepare any kind of tourism campaign as it might become unsuccessful with respect to appealing the customers. Thus, the very first concept is that the customers must be at the focal point while planning any tour. Further, the destinations that have selected should also be feasible in various ways. The seasonality, security, internal environment, culture, traditions are those factors out of which if anyone of the aspects went against then, it would affect the success of planned tour. In Morocco and Egypt, the security issues must gain priority by the tour operator. The marketing could be failed, and negative results could be experienced by the company (Novelli, 2013).
Most importantly, customer satisfaction is the ultimate objective of the marketing within the travel and tourism sector. The marketing focuses on the result which is essential for the benefit of tour and company. Without customer satisfaction, it is impossible to ensure the success of the business. Therefore, the destinations must have the potential to appeal people and must have such arrangements so that the tourists could feel satisfied after the trip or tour to Morocco and Egypt. At the same juncture, it is essential to understand that the dimensions of marketing are changing very rapidly. It is needed to design more strategic decisions. Without aligning with the changes in the external marketing environment, Thomson Cook can never succeed in targeting the potential customers. The competitive edge could never be gained. Therefore, these are certain core concepts of marketing for the travel and tourism industry (Raina and Agarwal, 2004).
The marketing environment includes the variety of aspects within it. It is an enormous and broad terminology that has relevance with all the factors that can affect the business and its associated elements. It is mainly a mix of two environments, micro and macro environment. Both these environments have their impact on entire travel and tourism industry.
Thomas Cook can witness various kinds of impacts of the marketing environment. Due to the change in the policy of any country, the tour could become highly expensive, so the company needs to understand that uncertainties are part of this business. Ahead, it is also possible that suppliers or other associated parties could act as stubborn parties, and Thomas Cook may found itself stuck with the change in plans or forced sudden arrangements (Anheiser, 2011). Thomas Cook is a tour operator, but it does tie-ups with hotels and restaurants and airlines as well. Thus, the marketing environment includes all these associations. The company has to select their tie-ups in a proper manner as the change in customer behaviour could be experienced. Therefore, it is another element that can put its impact on Thomas Cook.
With respect to the tourist destinations, high demand could be created as the tourist may like the place and could appreciate the local culture as well social phenomenon. Thus, it could create a larger market for the tourist destinations. The people can publicize the attractive elements of the Morocco and Egypt. The appealing tourist areas, culture, food, scenic beauty, and the behaviour of people, competitive rates, and luxury and so on; all these aspects could become the parameter to judge the Morocco and Egypt. It may bring change in lots of aspects like the local economy could boost, and the social exchange could bring positive changes in the local culture. Hence, these are certain possible impacts of the marketing environment on the cited organization and selected tourist destination (Beaver, 2005).
The mindset of consumers is dynamic, and it is to acknowledge that there are various factors which have a direct relation to the consumer motivation. Thomas Cook needs to understand that without gaining a hold on such aspects it is impossible to attract the customers. The major aspect is related to reasonability, price, and affordability. The customers should be targeted for the tourist destinations with such plans that they can afford. It is something that affects their motivation level at large scale. Other than the price, consumer decision-making process is largely affected by the security aspects. The customer’s motivation can go down if the country has no social security and there are no arrangements for the proper security of tourists. The disturbed social scenario creates trouble in attracting the customers. Additionally, the tourist destination must have the appealing aspects that can have positive effects on the clients and their decision-making process (Bhatia, 2002). The kind of services which a tour operator is providing is another element which can also show its positive impact at the customer motivation. It is an extremely significant factor that must be taken into special consideration. The demand could be increased with proper facilities and attractive services. Hence, these are certain factors that affect the consumer motivation and demand in the travel and tourism sector.
There are various elements of the entire marketing planning process that strengthen the plan and allow the company to achieve the marketing objectives. Out of different components, the market segmentation is the one which has a huge level of relevance with the success of marketing planning (Campbell and Craig, 2008). Thomas Cook needs to understand that without segmenting the market it is impossible for service sector to get hold on the market and shaping the consumer decision-making process positively. It is clear that the market segmentation is a process in which company segregates the market on the basis of demography, geography and most importantly the behavioural and psychographic characteristics. These segmentations are further divided into the subcategories like income, attitude, lifestyle, age, place, area or region and so on (Stokes, 2006). Here, the company identify the potential of different segments of the market and create the plan accordingly. The major principle of market segmentation is to understand the nature of the market and then creating such product or services which can further create the demand for the product or service. The market segmentation is a very basic element or activity into entire marketing planning process. It establishes the foundation or layout for the purpose of supporting further activities. Thomas Cook also needs to divide the market so that the potential customers could be targeted well for the holiday visit to Morocco and Egypt. Through marketing segmentation, the company can provide the details about the customers on which company is targeting. Thus, other activities, like elements of marketing mix, could be determined accordingly. For instance, if the company is targeting the child segment, then the pricing needed to keep low and promotional strategies will also be different. Therefore, the marketing planning has strong integration with the core activities i.e. marketing segmentation (Swarbrooke and Horner, 2012).
The strategic marketing planning is essential with respect to strengthening the brand image of the company and the decision-making process as well. It is clear that the strategic marketing provides the clear vision to the company about the situations and conditions that could arise within the business environment (Cole, 2003). Through strategic marketing, the company can rely on various researches that can enable them to get results about the market. The SWOT analysis is the major strategic marketing planning tool that can allow Thomas Cook to understand the available opportunities and possible threats within the market. Through this management tool, the company identifies its strengths and weakness as well. It could enable the cited organization to channelize the positive aspects in the right direction. The major importance of strategic marketing planning tool is that the company can ensure its sustainability. In the case of uncertain and frequent challenges, the mentioned business entity could be in a position to handle the hurdles in an appropriate manner (Talwar, 2006). Thus, these are major significant aspects of strategic marketing planning that could be availed by Thomas Cook. Additionally, the tourist area life cycle is another model that can provide the situational analysis about the Egypt as well. The company could understand the growth potential of the area with respect to tourist region. The attractions and weak aspects could be identified. Through strategic marketing planning, Thomas Cook could be in a position to gain the competitive advantage as they rely on strategic management models. Gaining the market leadership is another importance strategic marketing planning. The objectives could also be achieved within the stipulated period if the strategic marketing planning is efficient and result oriented. (Dettwiler, Lindelof and Lofsten, 2006).
The strategies could never be framed until and unless the organization has sufficient amount of information about the market. It is to acknowledge that gathering the market intelligence is essential as it helps in understanding the market trends and the taste and preferences of the customers could also be identified easily. For the same purpose, the role of market research is very huge (Tsiotsou and Ratten, 2010). Through market research, the company could be in a position to gather the detailed information about the various aspects of business environment. Through research, managers can get knowledge about the consumer behaviour as well. It can help managers in assessing how customers have selected the tourist spots in recent times and what were the major areas that have emerged as main tourist destinations. Therefore, managers can take the necessary decisions accordingly. It is significant to understand that without proper research, the development of organizational strategies is just like wasting the efforts without any goals or knowing the right direction (Halbert and Ingulli, 2014). Hence, it is another significance that the managers can deal with the dynamism of the business environment. Other than effective decision making, improvement of the facilities and services could also be introduced through effective market research. As mentioned above, the customer’s taste and preferences could be understandable through proper research. Thus, the managers of Thomas Cook can assess the demands of clients and can include them in their packages. It could make the tour more attractive and appealing. Further, forecasting about the future demand could also be predicted by the managers. It is the most significant aspect which must be availed by the managers of cited organization (Youell, 2000). Through forecasting and future demand measurement the company can make proper arrangements in advance. It could provide a competitive edge as well. Hence, these aspects could be treated as most relevant elements of market research and information in the travel and tourism sector.
Marketing has an enormous impact on various participants of the society. Other than the tourist destination and the company itself, marketing tactics have its effect on the society. Marketing plays a significant role in boosting the societal aspects in every way especially in the travel and tourism sector (London, Hart and Kacou, 2011). The major positive impact could be faced with the customers. Through proper marketing, the customers get the right kind of information about the packages and travel and tourism industry. It educates them about the variety of options available to them, and they can focus on selecting the right option for them. Thus, it is clear that the marketing has opened the doorways to select about of various available opportunities. The decision making for the tourists has become easier. Further, through marketing, the tourist destinations become popular (Schaefer, 2011). Thus, the residents of such destinations get the employment, and their economy gets a boost. It has an enormous impact on employment generation for local people and could be treated as a most positive influence on the society. The company shows the positive aspects of a particular tourist destination and people got attracted which is good for the growth of local economy. More people could show their interest for that tourist destination. Ethical consumerism could be promoted if the marketing has been done in an appropriate manner. They become free and can choose freely as per their wish and affordability. However, certain negative aspects could also be faced as the companies may ignore the ethical aspects and can influence the customers in the wrong way (Jeffs, 2008). It is something that could be treated as a negative element in the society.
The major issue with the product is that the company might face trouble in understanding the demand of the customers. It is clear that the market is full of customers who have different taste and preferences. So it is impossible for the company to fulfil the demand of all the customers. Thus, the problem of formulating such product or service that could appeal all categories of customers could be problematic for Thomas Cook (Sharp, 1991). Ahead, the major problem with the product and services is that it must be unique and innovative so that a high number of customers could be attracted.
The major problem with the place is that the company needs to ensure that customers should get easy reach to the enterprise. Thomas Cook can also rely on the physical address, and other than this the website could also be launched. The helpline numbers could be arranged along with the tie-ups with other agents and third party providers (Trott, 2008). The major problem is to eliminate the big distribution channels. In the case of Thomas Cook, there are no such issues related to including the multiple stages into the distribution.
Pricing is the most problematic and challenging area for the cited organization. Wherever any company arranges the tour, then they have to focus on a variety of aspects. Accommodation facilities, arranging for the transportation, food facilities and many more, all these facilities and services must be included in the package (Solomon, Russell-Bennett and Previte, 2013). Thus, adopting the ideal pricing strategy could be problematic. Here, the issue is related to act as a link between the associated businesses and customers. The reasonable pricing is required to be set along with ensuring own profit. Hence, the pricing decisions could be treated as a major issue for Thomas Cook.
The importance of service sector mix is huge for the travel sector. They provide services to the customers, so they have to rely on the service mix more than anything. Here, it is to acknowledge that the service sector mix includes three additional aspects which are physical evidence, process and most importantly the people (Vieceli and Valos, 2000.). Here, it is clear that the expediency of this service sector mix is huge for the Thomas Cook as well. The physical evidence includes the logo or the identity of the company. It may include the tagline, punchline and the physical office of the enterprise. The travel sector must have the appealing hold on the physical evidence so that the people could identify the brand just by its physical identity. Thomas Cook is a big brand, so it is easy for them to focus on physical evidence. Further, the process is another very significant element of the service mix. Through a quick process, the customers can get swift and fast services (Kourteli, 2000). Additionally, through a quick process, the company can form tie-ups that are beneficial and could deliver the facilities to the customers. Arrangements must be made within the stipulated period. For the same purpose, the process needs to be fast and quick. At last, people include the sales team and other tourist fellows who work with the Thomas Cook. Guides and local representatives need to have good communication skills. They must have proper knowledge about the place or region. It helps tourists to understand the destination in a good manner. Thus, these are major significant aspects of service sector mix for the travels sector (Chikweche and Fletcher, 2012).
The idea of total tourism product is that whatever customer witness during the particular visit to any particular tourist destination. It includes the tour operators, airlines, restaurants, hotels, accommodation facilities, local culture, language and food and local people. These all are the part of the total tourism product. It is clear that the company is required to understand that the travel includes the overall experience, and it has an enormous impact at each and every kind of business. Being a tour operator, the effects of total tourism product is immense on Thomas Cook. They make partnerships and arrange the programs. Thus, it is their responsibility that all the arrangements should deliver high-level satisfaction to the customers (Baker and Hart, 2007).
In the case of Thomas Cook, they are providing the package to Egypt or Morocco, so the food, local culture, people, and security are the factors which could be included in the total tourism products. Thomas Cook requires that there must be proper arrangements for the transportation as well so that the expectations of the customers could be met out. Price and shopping areas are also the part of total tourism products. In the current scenario, it could be stated that while developing the product or service it includes various aspects and Thomas Cook needs to design the whole package in very careful manner. The product differentiation is required as it enables the company to gain leading edge on the competitors.
Providing the best place to the customers is not sufficient enough, the cited tour operator has to ensure that overall experience must be excellent and awesome (Hamilton and Webster, 2012). The customers should get once in a lifetime experience, and it is something that makes the tourism activity successful. Thus, Thomas Cook needs to focus on these aspects while applying the total tourism products.
The promotional mix is helpful with respect to establishing the brand name among the customers. Thomas cook can never sustain in the market if the promotional mix strategies are not strong. The role of the promotional mix is immense in ensuring that all the marketing strategies must be implemented within the market properly. The promotional mix is the best tool to disseminate the product feature and information to the customers so that the selling ratio could be increased for the particular product or service (Mehmetoglu and Normann, 2013). Thomas Cook can inform people about the main and attractive features of their product and services. In the current scenario, Thomas Cook needs to rely more on the promotional mix to attract the customers and to educate them regarding the tour package of Morocco and Egypt. The nature of promotional mix is directly associated with creating the brand value and developing certain kind of perception about the company and its offered services. Thomas Cook could target a high number of people as the promotional mix has the capacity to target people personally, or mass reach is also possible. Thus, the promotional mix must be designed in a proper way so that its benefits could be availed. It is integrated well into the pricing strategy as the prices could be disseminated. Additionally, it is well integrated to product mix as the features of the product could be explained to the potential customers. Most importantly it has a link with place mix as well. Through promotional campaigns, the offers or the availability of product or services could also be provided. The cited organization can inform potential customers about the pricing and the offers to visit Morocco and Egypt. Thus, it is well aligned with various activities of the marketing mix elements (Solomon, Russell-Bennett and Previte, 2013).
Here, in order to promote the tours to Morocco, two activities of the promotional mix could be practiced by the organization. These two activities are advertising and sales promotion. The impact of these activities could be immense on achieving marketing objectives and in making this holiday trip a successful one.
Therefore, in this way, the promotional campaigns for the Morocco trips could be developed.
Thus, on the basis of above discussion it could be stated that the travel and tourism sector is a very complex phenomenon and work on the complex structure. It includes many industries. Each and every industry is interrelated and has a strong impact on each another. It is to acknowledge that the travel and tourism sector needs strong marketing plan so that the customers could be attracted very easily. The major marketing mix elements for the travel and tourism sector are the service sector mix. Due to the service mix, the significance of experience and satisfaction is immense within the travel and tourism industry. The decision making within the travel and tourism industry could be taken appropriately with the help of appropriate research and sound information. It provides details about the market and customers. Overall, marketing plays a significant role in ensuring the growth of travel and tourism sector and Thomas Cook needs to implement the marketing strategies in a particular manner.
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