Digital Marketing Strategies for Accessible Tourism

Digital Marketing Strategies for Accessible Tourism

Fernando Florim De Lemos (Instituto Politécnico da Guarda, Portugal), Dina Vieira (Colégio Internato dos Carvalhos, Portugal) and Tânia Pinho (Instituto Superior Politécnico Gaya, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9783-4.ch004

Abstract

This chapter addresses the applications of digital marketing in the construct of communicational practices aimed at target audiences that have some physical, motor, psychological, or other disabilities, who require additional information or specialized advice to fully comprehend all elements involved, when planning/deciding to travel. Throughout the text there are several references of the conceptual framework, as well as several examples of case studies that highlight some of the practices used in diversified contexts, using digital tools as privileged means of intervention in the different dimensions required to support the so-called accessible tourism.
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Background

In the current globalizing world, incessant technological development involves a new approach to tourism, rendering it essential to create an online presence. Consequently, digital marketing has been transforming the strategic position of organizations in the tourism industry by changing their efficiency, differentiation, operational costs and response time, and also stimulating radical changes in the way they operate and distribute products. While on the one hand this form of marketing benefits customers by allowing them to have more information at their disposal, in a simpler and more economical way, on the other hand, it also allowed, for example, organizations to reduce costs, bureaucracy and paperwork associated with the product marketing.

The development of technology and the evolution of marketing are inexorably linked, and the existing match involves creating mutual benefits. As technologies emerge, evolution and innovation occur in the marketing processes, and as new concepts of marketing emerge, they lead to more advanced and different forms of communication; it is within this context that digital marketing is created and is continually being recreated. As Kingsnorth (2016, p. 290) pointed out “one of the key benefits of including social in your digital strategy is therefore clearly the volume of users, but equally important is the ability that the main platforms provide to target advertising by sophisticated demographic factors such as age, location and even interests”.

As referred by Baltes (2015, p. 111) “many companies are interested in the increase the use of the content marketing tool in their marketing policy, as they notice the limitations of the traditional marketing communication strategy, as well as the huge opportunities brought by digital marketing”.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Incapacity: The inability of an individual to do something because of a medical condition. The incapacity can be permanent (definitive condition of labor, social, or human capacity limitations) or temporary (temporary incapacity that makes it impossible to perform certain tasks).

Universal Design: Is the design and composition of a barrier-free environment so that it can be used by all people regardless of their age, physical limitations and disabilities, in the most independent, usual and natural design possible.

Assistive Technology: Products, equipment, and systems that include assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

Accessible Tourism: Concept that integrates the adaptation, comfort and quality of tourism services and products for all (seniors, tourists with physical or social limitations, and can be extended to people with temporary difficulties or without disabilities/incapacities).

Digital Marketing: Strategy developed and implemented by companies using the Internet as a marketing tool with the aim to expand markets, to promote products (goods and services), and assisting in the development of a better segmentation of consumer market.

Usability: It’s a term that refers to the ease of access and/or use of software or website, allowing users to achieve specified goals, with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.

Disability: A physical or mental condition (or a combination of both) that impairs a person’s movements, senses or activities, restricting their ordinary activity.

Web Accessibility: Websites, tools and technologies conceived and developed in an inclusive way, aiming to ensure that all users have equal access to information and functionality by eliminating any barriers that prevent interaction or access to websites by people with disabilities.

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