Term Paper: Hospitality and Travel Marketing

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TOURISM / HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL MARKETING

In recent years, the comprehensive atmosphere of tourism has undergone extensive changes worldwide in comparison to tourism during decades of the past. The traditional face of tourism has been exposed to numerous acts of terrorism, and even more recently, historical natural disasters. Although these recent tragedies have significantly altered tourism, the tourism and hospitality sector nevertheless remain as one of the largest components of the global economy. Even in recent years, the growth rate of tourism supersedes that of most other goods and services. As a result of this rapid growth, the profile of tourists has changed as consumers apparently have become more experienced, more demanding, and more likely to treat tourism purchases in very much the same way as they do any other item of consumption (Baum & Moudambi, 1999). The globalization of communications transport and technology has also created a new environment for tourism's economic and social planning. This has led to new tourism policy formulations and recommendations both by and for tourism professionals. This paper will discuss a comprehensive understanding of such elements of tourism as outlined above.

The World Tourism Organization (WTO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, is the leading international organization in the field of tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and practical source of tourism; in 2005, the WTO's membership is comprised of 145 countries, seven territories and more than 300 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. According to the World Travel Organization (WTO), the defining feature of tourism is not the product, but the purchaser, or the tourist. The WTO defines tourism as the composition of the activities of persons traveling to and staying places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. The total sum of this activity can be seen as the tourism product. According to the WTO, sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisioned as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, aesthetic, and social needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems (Unescap.org, 2005). Travelers are individuals that make trips of any kind, however, travelers engaged in tourism are visitors.

Past research has indicated the importance of the role that marketing plays in tourism. Marketing is a continuous, sequential process through which management in the hospitality and tourism industry plans, researches, implements, controls, and evaluates activities designed to satisfy both customers' needs and wants and their own organization's objectives (Morrison, 2003). To be most effective, marketing requires the efforts of everyone in an organization and can be made more or less effective by the actions of complementary organizations (Morrison, 2003). The concept of marketing has undergone different stages, however, the core principles of marketing have remained the same. For example, managers act on the belief that satisfying customers' needs and wants is first priority. The manager then converts the customers' needs and wants into sales. It is the manager's responsibility to make sure that the customer is satisfied, and value is not always associated with the price. Hospitality and travel marketing must also take into consideration the people, packaging, programming and partnership.

According to Morrison, the hospitality and travel environment consists of two sets of factors; marketing strategy factors and marketing environment factors. The marketing strategy factors represent the organization's marketing mix, and the marketing environment factors are events completely beyond the direct control of the marketing manager. Some examples of marketing environment factors are competition, legislation and regulation, economic environment, technology, societal and cultural environment, and organizational objectives and resources. There are relationships between hospitality and travel organizations which influence how marketing is done in the industry. This is because hospitality and marketing depend on one another.

Thus, the tourism system can be described in terms of supply and demand; tourism planning should strive for a balance between demand (market) and supply (development) (Unescap.org, 2005). The context of this supply and demand must be carefully monitored and managed, taking into consideration the political, social, and cultural factors in the visitor environment. Tourism is also one of the world's largest and fastest growing industries. For example, in 2000, there were 699 million international tourist arrivals throughout the world, an increase of 7.4% over the preceding year and international tourist receipts reached U.S. $476 billion, a 4.5% increase from 1999 (World Tourism Organization, 2005).

The supply and demand side of tourism can be seen to be linked by flows of resources such as capital, labor, goods and tourist expenditures into the destination, and flows of marketing, promotion, and experiences from the destination back into the tourist generating regions (Unescap.org, 2005). Transportation provides an important link both to and from the destination. For example, the international transportation network is an important system that binds the economies of numerous countries together. A strong and efficient transportation system is one that provides businesses with access to materials and markets, and provides people with access to goods, services, recreation, jobs, and other people. Transportation contributes 11% of the United States' gross domestic product, amounting to approximately $950 billion (National Atlas.gov, 2005).

The U.S. transportation system can be discussed as an example of a transportation system in the context of tourism. This system carries over 4.7 trillion passenger miles of travel and 3.7 trillion ton miles of domestic freight generated by about 270 million people, 6.7 million business establishments, and 88,000 units of government (National Atlas.gov, 2005). The system comprises of 3.9 million miles of public roads and 2 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines, networks consisting of 120,000 miles of major railroads, over 25,000 miles of commercially navigable waterways, and over 5,000 public-use airports (National Atlas.gov, 2005). This vast system also includes over 500 major urban public transit operators and more than 300 ports on the coasts, Great Lakes, and inland waterways.

In the tourism industry, there are several different modes of travel commonly used. Public transportation includes a variety of multiple-occupancy vehicle services designed to transport customers on local and regional routes. Historically, the initiation of relatively inexpensive air travel in long-distance markets and the widespread availability of the private automobile for shorter trips generated new travel patterns and drew passengers away from railroad travel. Currently, air travel is the fastest growing mode of transportation, becoming ever more popular and frequent. The growing pervasiveness of air travel can be seen by the increasing numbers of people who have flown on a commercial jet: less than 50% in 1975 compared with more than 80% today (National Atlas.gov, 2005).

In order to measure the economic structure of tourism, the concepts of supply and demand must be considered. Examples of economic data within this scope is tourism expenditure by households and non-residents; tourism expenditure by business and government; total output of tourism related activities; employment in tourism related activities; and numbers of visitors. Tourism has a significant effect on economic and social planning, as cooperation between local attractions, business and tourism operators is essential given that one business or operation can be directly affected by the performance or quality of another. Models of partnership must be explored in the areas of planning, management, marketing, and funding for tourism ventures (Unescap.org, 2005). Tourism also has become one of the world's most important sources of employment. It stimulates enormous investment in infrastructure, most of which also helps to improve the living conditions of local people (Baum & Mudambi, 1999). This is because tourism provides governments with substantial tax revenues. Additionally, most new tourism jobs and business are created in developing countries, helping to equalize economic opportunities and keep rural residents from moving to overcrowded cities.

According to the WTO, intercultural awareness and personal friendships fostered through tourism are a powerful force for improving international understanding and contributing to peace among all the nations of the world. However, there are also negative aspects of tourism, as affected by poor economic and social planning. This is because tourism can have a negative cultural, environmental and social impact if it is not responsibly planned, managed and monitored. Therefore, guidelines have to be established for any type of tourism operations, including requirements for impact assessment. There must be codes of practice established for tourism professionals at the national, regional, and local levels. Additionally, the management and use of public goods such as air, water, and common lands should ensure accountability on behalf of users to ensure these resources are not abused (Unescap.org, 2005).

In tourism, there are also a few different types of planning. Long-term marketing planning, also known as strategic planning, involves planning the marketing effort for a period of three or more years into the future (Morrison, 2003). Short-term marketing planning, also known as tactical planning, involves planning the marketing effort for a period of two or fewer… [END OF PREVIEW]

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