Tourism Marketing – Segmenting Indian Tourism
A M Sakkthivel
Tourism industry is the largest employment generator of the world. This is the only industry which requires less or no investment, yet generates billions of foreign exchange to the country's exchequer. Many small nations viz. Singapore, Srilanka, Malaysia, Thailand etc. woo millions of foreign tourists and bag billions of foreign exchange. India, albeit, the country houses rich tourism locations, yet, figured in the bottom of the rank table in wooing foreign tourists. Considering the above facts, the marketing of tourism plays a vital role in any country's agenda. Tourism proved to be world's biggest industry, generates massive employment opportunities and revenues as well. It is unlike, other marketing concepts, it needs a well-planned integrated approach, because, it is marketing of a country. Positioning and promotion are twin eyes, which are to be emphasized more, in the minds of international population. It is integrated with leisure, entertainment, transportation, communication and all service sectors. Traditionally, the job is usually done by a Government to promote the country.
The whole process has to be revitalized and a full-fledged marketing process to be undertaken. The same old STP (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning) Process can well be used in this marketing.
It is a hybrid of services/products marketing. It is a marketing of nation.
STP Process – Tourism Marketing
1. Segment the Potential countries
a. Developed Countries
3. Segment the visitors in SEC (Socio-Economic Category) and their nature of visits
a. Under SEC
i. Upper class
b. Under Nature of visit
i. Business executives
4. Segment the locations according to the above the segmentation of travelers
1. Classify the locations according to the visitors requirements
1. Develop USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for all tourism locations
a. Mountain sports
2. Design proper strategic plan to promote the locations among domestic and foreign tourists
The Marketing of tourism may be classified in to two broad categories
1. Targeting International visitors
The former brings massive foreign exchange and latter helps the equal distribution of their disposal income to imbalanced sectors. Since, it is a integrated marketing, various industries have bearings n and from Tourism Marketing. It is a coherent, collective approach. The public and private sector participation is required for the success of this marketing. So far, the efforts of the Government proved to be not very fruitful, this lucrative industry can be privatized for better promotion and growth. First, we shall classify the players/participants of tourism marketing.
i. Rail Transport
This marketing caters to attract international and domestic tourists. Main emphasis is to provide to woo international visitors. It was expected to bring 5 millions by the year 2000, but, actually 2.35 millions visited in India in that year (Economic Times, 2001), showing unhealthy trend in meeting our targets. This target is very attractive in context to foreign exchange earnings.
To conclude, India possesses every thing. The rich cultural heritage,
sculptures, sprawling deserts, highest mountains, palaces, temples, delicious cuisine, rare mixture of life style etc, which makes it a 'Cross Cultural Paradise' stays on 'Unity in Diversity'. The Government and private sector need
to work earnestly and with a commitment to develop India, a most attractive tourism destination in the world. The author touches all the facts and figures, option of marketing, strategies and techniques to woo international
visitors and also to encourage domestic tourism. We have all, yet we may the drive to work. We should not miss this massive golden opportunity, like we miss for past 53 years. It is a time to review, analyze and to act.
Source : E-mail October 6, 2004
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