Tourism Marketing Segmenting Indian Tourism

A M Sakkthivel
Faculty- Marketing Area
Department of Management Studies,
PES Institute of Technology
E-mail :

Dr. Bishnu Priya Mishra
Reader in Management
Regional College of Management

    Tourism Marketing "enables a country to invite guests spanning across different cultures, traditions, customs, countries to visit their country, to enjoy their rich culture, heritage, places sculptures, cuisines, hospitality, entertainment, arts and architectures, by creating exiting experience through leisure and entertainment for commercial".
    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

    Segmentation Process

    1. Segment the Potential countries
    2. Segmentation of the tourists from the countries

      a. Developed Countries
      b. Developing Countries
      c. Under Developed Countries

    3. Segment the visitors in SEC (Socio-Economic Category) and their nature of visits

      a. Under SEC

        i. Upper class
        j. Middle class
        k. Lowe class

      b. Under Nature of visit

        i. Business executives
        j. Leisure travelers
        k. The delegate
        l. Religious travelers,
        m. NRI visiting homes
        n. Fans for sports
        o. International air line crews
        p. International ship carrier crews
        q. Heritage travelers
        r. Travelers for arts & architecture
        s. Travelers for Mountain sports
        t. Travelers for Wild life camps, bird sanctuaries
        u. Beach strollers
        v. Interest groups etc.

    4. Segment the locations according to the above the segmentation of travelers

Targeting Process

          1. Classify the locations according to the visitors requirements
          2. Select the target group of visitors
          3. Focus the target group of visitors with the USPs' of locations

Positioning Process

          1. Develop USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for all tourism locations

      a. Mountain sports
      b. Wild life camps
      c. Heritage place
      d. Sprawling beaches
      e. Arts & Architecture etc

          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
    2. Targeting Domestic 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.

    • International/Domestic Airlines
    • Local Transportation
      • i. Rail Transport
        ii. Road Transport
        iii. MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit Systems in Major cities)
        iv. Inland Water Transport, if any

  • Hotels/Resorts/Restaurants
  • Government i.e. to provide safety, taxation policies, visas
  • Health Industry i.e. to ensure  the hygiene requirements
  • International and Domestic travel agents
  • Ministry of Tourism, ITDC, STDCs  ie Industry watch dogs
  • International and Domestic promotional organizations (Private sector , Sector-wise, State-wise)
  • Unemployed educated youths i.e. to be trained to set up Tourism guide/information stations
  • Telecommunications sector and Information Technology

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.

A M Sakkthivel
Faculty- Marketing Area
Department of Management Studies,
PES Institute of Technology
E-mail :

Dr. Bishnu Priya Mishra
Reader in Management
Regional College of Management

Source : E-mail October 6, 2004




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