Marketing of Tourism Industry: Enhancing Services through Marketing Mix Elements

Marketing of Tourism Industry: Enhancing Services through Marketing Mix Elements

M. R. Dileep (Salalah College of Applied Sciences, Oman) and Viju Mathew (Salalah College of Applied Sciences, Oman)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2475-5.ch012
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Tourism, being dominated by services, has to generate tourist satisfaction which is inevitable in increasing the market share. Tourist, from the whole process of journey and engaging in various touristic activities, eventually gain an experience, often referred to as tourist/visitor experience in tourism literature. This is an eventual determinant in the tourist satisfaction and both are interrelated. Therefore, marketing is not just limited to employing certain measures and tools to attract tourists; rather it is a comprehensive approach to generate high quality tourist experience leading to customer delight as well. The inherent characteristics associated with tourism marketing make the discussion of 7 P's concept more relevant in the context of tourism, as a single composite industry and as individual industries involved in it. Against this background, an attempt has been undertaken to examine the role and relevance of marketing mix in order to enhance the competency of tourism services using various marketing mix elements.
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Tourism, a multifaceted social phenomenon, has become one of the largest industries in the world. Currently, with convincing and persuasive economic significance, it has turned to be the most preferred sector for countries and regions for diversification and development. Several millions of jobs are created by tourism every year and the revenue generated from the expenditure made by tourists in different stages of their journey is awesome. As per the latest figures released by the United Nations World Tourism Organizations (UNWTO) receipts from international tourists’ spending on accommodation, food and drink, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods reached an estimated US$ 1,245 billion in 2014 (UNWTO, 2015). Whereas destinations and governments are engaged in the process of developing and promoting tourism rigorously, people, on the other hand, are being persuaded deeply to visit and experience tourism. The surging ‘travel propensity’ and the consequential growth in demand invigorated the expansion of tourism sector widely. Of late, tourist destination countries are facing intense competition in attracting tourists and that make possible increased dynamism and innovation in the tourism sector. Tourists therefore get more and more options not only to see but also to experience.

As an industry, tourism is an amalgam of industries offering diverse products (Cooper,, 2005). Though the various industries in tourism offer different products, certain common characteristics can be attributed to each and every one of them. Though, a few products of some of the tourism industries have more tangible features, most of the products offered by the majority of tourism industries have service characteristics, predominantly. Airlines, hotels, resorts and even destinations and attractions provide intangible services that can cater to the requirements of the travelling population. In fact destinations and countries are facing stiff competition in attracting tourists who are the final consumers of the tourism sector and there is a sort hyper competitive business environment existing in the ambit of tourism. In this modern era of competition, marketing efforts are vital for attracting tourists. In order to gain considerable market share in tourism, it is important that tourism development and marketing to be blended well to explore the possibility to gain competitive advantage in global tourism market. Consumer satisfaction, to be precise tourist satisfaction, is a key factor in the competitive survival of tourism industry. The same is the case with quality of services and efficient application of marketing mix elements, which are crucial in the success of tourism industries. This chapter introduces the complex phenomenon of tourism and its nature and characteristics; various industrial elements and the service characteristics of them in general;and the way the competency of tourism services can be enhanced using marketing mix elements.

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