Destination Marketing Characteristics

Introduction

Destination marketing is an activity that is aimed at marketing a country’s tourist destinations, cities, country, and regions. Australia is one of the few countries in the world with outstanding domestic and international tourism policies. The recent ratings by corporate agencies cited Australia as the most marketable tourist destination center attributed to its public diplomacy programs. Tourism remains as one of the major contributing factors of economic growth in most countries around the world.

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In order that a country achieves its projected prosperity in the tourism sector, proper coordination and planning procedures including robust marketing strategies and initiatives should be put in place and a benchmark established to determine if there is an underperformance and corrective measures taken. (Marketing, 2009)

In today’s modern world, tourism remains a uniting factor, where the west, the Middle East, and African countries can socially interact with one another. Coupled with the fact that the world has been turned into a global village, the long and elongated traditional booking procedures have been replaced with the current digital transactions that can now be done in a matter of minutes. Different scholars attributed the current conflict to clashes in major world’s civilizations; differences in cultural as well as religious beliefs are likely to fuel the conflicts in the future generations. Tourism remains the only social activity that can bring different rivals together so that differences in opinions whether political, social or economic are solved.

Through interaction a country therefore tends to foster unity and peace. The purpose of this paper is to enhance the reader’s understanding of destination marketing by exploring critical tourism activities that need to be undertaken in order to achieve a prosperous growth of tourism in Australia. It is well understood that Australia’s brand is highly recognized all over the globe. This has contributed to this particular country accommodating the biggest number of international and domestic tourists. (Australia, 2009)

Destination Marketing Organization (Destination Marketing Service)

Our destination marketing organization in this paper is Destination Marketing Service (DMS) Destination Marketing Services is an organization that has hitherto been involved in marketing tourism in Australia for many years. Recently it received an accreditation award for having contributed overwhelmingly to positive growth in the tourism industry. DMS’s countries of operation include, France, Germany, United States, Britain, Brazil, Netherlands, Bermuda, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, China, Japan and etc. The increased technological advancement has brought stiff competition in the domestic industry as well as the in the international markets. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

DMS also enjoys a warm business relationship with the government of Australia. Over the last five years it negotiated a deal with the government to market Australian policies to the outside world on behalf of the Government. This was seen as not only an opportunity for the government but also to the organization, the broad importance was to secure new strategic competitive advantage. It is our responsibility to ensure that we achieve a maximum cooperation from our business partners and other destination marketing organizations. (Goway Travel Limited, 2009) These companies include resort, national tourist centers, hotels, and other avenues.

Robust experience and desire for excellence has made DMS to be the tourism choice thereby building our image and professional reputation to the international as well as domestic levels. There are numerous key industry players including the government agencies and the private sector. GIT Global, NTO, STOs, and NTB are some of the destination marketing corporation in this industry. DMS has a wide industry experience dating back to 1995; this has tremendously contributed to its competitive industry performance. However, DMS still needed much cooperation from other organizations. During last year’s annual general meeting a proposal was passed that DMS was to consider forming an alliance with GIT Global. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

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GIT Global has been known to be the leader in Destination Marketing Services in the country. Securing an alliance with such organization was viewed in the broad spectrum to offer the company with several strategic advantages including online marketing, financial assistance, and infrastructural development. A suggestion was also reached at that GIT Global had a generally accepted brand throughout Australia and its environs and therefore it was necessary to use some of its brand to market DMS in the local region. Apart from branding, the current information technology manager at DMS is a former employee of GIT Global. It would provide the organization with an opportunity to share rich professional and technical talent between the two organizations. (Destination Marketing, 2004)

In order to maintain good relationship with the government of Australia, it is necessary that DMS works in close connection with its agencies. These agencies were formed by the government years back to coordinate the planning activities in the tourism industry and include National tourism Board, National Tourism Offices and etc. During the peak seasons when the state facilities become constrained i.e. hotels and resorts; the government diverts visitors to the private sector. DMS becomes the only preferred choice. This and many other countless advantages like taxation systems makes it fundamental to cooperate with government agencies. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

Hierarchy in tourism industry

Tourism Organizational structure in Queensland
Tourism Organizational structure in Queensland.

Destination marketing services falls under destination groups.

Why it could be risky to cooperate with other key players

The decision to cooperate with other destination marketing organizations was a matter of debate. A school of thought emerged that working close with other marketing organizations could endanger the competitive strategy of DMS. It is logical that an organization can take advantage of your situation of perhaps inadequate finance, or human personnel to complicate matters for the company’s progress. This can seriously imperil major development activities. (Destination Marketing, 2004)

Again it may not be easy to cooperate if organizations have different objectives; this can be a recipe for conflicting interest leaving others crying fowl. Where this happens it becomes very difficult to maintain the relationship. For instance if DMS was to use GIT’s network cable or beach resort to accommodate its customers or perhaps website to reach its international clients, it may be unrealistic to demand unreasonable charges simply because of occasional rise in business volumes. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

Target market niche

DMS is the largest destination marketing organization in Australia and lives to provide a world class service to its clients spread all over 50 destinations in the world. DMS mainly focuses its attention to the Western and Middle East Countries with particular emphasis in the United States, United Kingdom, and China and Japan. Due to the growing competition and scars caused by the current financial and economic recession, we are now considering venturing into the African markets. The main countries of attention would include Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, and Libya. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

Rationale for Selection

According to the market research and survey conducted by Tip, an independent research and statistics organization aligned to Australia National Board, it was necessary to venture into the African market. The research found out that most Africans prefer visiting the West nations to other countries. This showed some gap between Africa and Australia. The research was also conducted on the basis of international trade where it emerged that most African markets were flooded with cheap goods from china, Japan, United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany and India. This also revealed that Australia was relatively unpopular to Africans than other nations.

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The Western Countries were found dominant with 30 percent commercial and social transactions. Studied on the basis of education, the results were not different as many Africans prefer studying in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and India. The study therefore recommended that an aggressive destination marketing policy was inevitable if a multilateral relationship was to be achieved among the African states. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

Another reason for choosing Africa was on the basis of operational costs. A study revealed that a tourist travelling from Africa to Australia would spend less than a tourist from Netherlands or Spain to Australia. This could lead to increased volume of business throughout the year. It was considered that most African States were still developing and therefore could provide Australia with golden business opportunities. Areas which were the subject of the research included development in information technology, infrastructural development, education, manufacturing, security and health. Based on the results of the research study, it was recommended that Africa forms the main market niche. (Goway Travel Limited, 2009)

Competition

As has been discussed above, the development in information technology and the organizations’ desire to achieve and sustain competitive advantage has led to a stiff competition in every business environment. Consequently organizations have been forced to constantly review their strategies and where possible look for markets abroad with an intention of capturing new untapped existing market opportunities.

This has created competitive pressures both in the domestic as well as international levels. It was found out that the under developing nature of Africa gave much attraction to other nations too. This coupled with other political factors like being the origin of the Current United States president Barrack Obama, many Western and Middle East countries have shown much interest in Africa especially Kenya. This has led to much competition. Typical countries which have shown their interest in Africa include United States, Britain, Germany, China, France, Japan, and India. (Australian Travel Emporium, 2009)

Foreign countries especially the west dominate Africa. Most of these states run quite a number of non-governmental organizations including World Relief, World Health Organizations, World Food Programs, UNICEF, UNHCR, CDC, UNESCO, USAID, and Red Cross. This has limited the participation of other countries which do not seem to offer anything to any of the African States. Most African states are poor hence poverty eradication, education, hunger and starvation, and disease control are the agenda.

However DMS must intensify its destination marketing policies so that it matches other nations in this region if Australia is to be fully represented. Since DMS is the largest and leading destination marketing organization in Australia, there is no doubt Africa would be a common place in Australia and the vice versa. (Australia, 2009)

Destination’s VFR. Discussion

The company has segmented the visiting Friends and relatives model into two. Those who come to Australia in order to do business and visit friends and the second category are those who come for holidays and choose to visit their friends and relatives. DMS offer different services to the two groups. Category one would consist of visitors mainly from South East Asia who would come to visit their friends and relatives as well as do business. DMS makes such preparations as arranging for their accommodation in hotels and avenues from where they can meet their friends and relatives upon arrival. The second category consists of mainly Europeans who combine their holidays with visiting of friends and relatives. DMS organizes for them a variety of accommodation together with their relatives and friends. (SlideShare, 2009)

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The rationale behind this segmentation is to ensure that each and every visitor achieves the world class service in her first and subsequent visits made to Australia. It was also very easy to tackle a particular client target with most convenience and sufficiency. However there was a greater emphasis on the VRF program as many industry players were still reluctant to adopt. This would provide DMS with a strategic competitive advantage. (Australia, 2009)

DMS’ Website

The competitive nature of tourism industry has meant that organizations advance their information technology systems. This has resulted into aggressive and massive widespread of internet marketing. Through internet marketing, organizations are able to reach international clients fast and efficiently. DMS’s website should bear the following characteristics so that it achieves the desired personal marketing polices tailored to different market segments as described by the organization. (Destination Marketing, 2006)

Security

While accessing the web customers should be assured of their security. There is sensitive information relating to individual clients that should never be under the light of intruders. A good web should protect clients’ sensitive data by restricting access to only genuine clients. This would ensure integrity and confidentiality. (Australia, 2009)

Completeness

A destination web page should be able to operate in such a manner that when a client clicks through a search result becomes the end of that research. This will be able to provide customers with the most convenience and reduce their time spent in making such enquiries. Most webs designed around the world are complicated and are sometimes difficult to use. Destination marketing web should be easy and simple to use by all customers. Destination marketing pages in the web should be able to provide customers with great results in the search engines and also contain pages which the company can use as a platform for selling products and services. (SlideShare, 2009)

The website should be able to accommodate a marketing strategy that capitalizes on search engine optimization for new pages that provide both arriving and anticipated customer requirements are. This will ensure that DMS achieves the highest customers’ satisfaction by designing a web that reflects the needs of clients and not what the organization thinks about the customer behavior. Destination marketing page should be tailored to meet the needs of the specific client targeted audience. By having many people referring to a particular place every now and then the web becomes the only choice. This will ensure that DMS web search engine becomes a resource catalogue. (Olton, 2009)

A good web page should be able to provide customers with the ability to create exceptional WebPages that are modeled to satisfy the increasing web traffic. This means that DMS should make a radical shift from the traditional search engine optimization to a modern search technology. It’s the responsibility of DMS to ensure that the web search engine is not only optimized but also deserves to loyal customer who would be confident enough whenever they get access to DMS web site. Indeed, a web that has absolute answers to their ever vexing queries. (Destination Marketing, 2006)

Critical Market segment to DMS

The growth of tourism in Australia has been promoted by the peoples growing desire to visit different features in Australia. These can be divided into the following segments; Aussie Coastal Lifestyle, Australian Journeys, the food and wine industry, Aboriginal Australia, major cities, the geographical nature of Australia, and outback Australia. The above segments are important to DMS. By segmenting the tourism into the above, it will be easy for the marketing team to pay attention to each and every segment.

Different market segments require different market approaches and therefore it will be easy to tackle every segment. Again there are some market segments that attract a large number of tourists and it may be very important to devise proper strategy that will ensure a considerable resources are appropriately put in place to ensure that DMS gets a maximum returns from that particular market segment. (Olton, 2009)

Queensland

This is an estate in Australia which is located on the north-eastern region of the mainland continent. It is the Australia’s second largest and the third most popular after South Wales and Victoria. The uniqueness of Queensland is that it contains some of the oldest historical sites of Australia’s most indigenous people in the world including Torres Strait Islanders. (Olton, 2009)Some of the features that make this place to be more attractive include the following:

Geographical features

These include sunshine Coast, Gold coast, Bunya Mountains, Great diving Range, waterfalls, Carnarvon Gorge, Whitsunday Islands, and finally Hinchinbrook Islands. (SlideShare, 2009)These features attract most tourists who are mainly interested in observing adventuring.

Climate

The area experiences major two types of climate i.e. low rainfall and hot summers. These are further subdivided into five main categories according to temperature and humidity. (Nearer to nature, 2009) Hot humid summer found along the far north and coast, warm humid summer along the elevated hinterlands and coastal south coast, temperate warm summer, cold winter etc. favorable whether conditions promotes sun bathing and beaching activities which become the center of focus in tourism.

Wildlife

The Gold Coast popularly referred to as Australia’s Theme Park Capital has several major countries leading national parks and museums. These include the sea world, movie world, Dream world, wet ‘n’ Wild, White Water World and etc. wild life parks here include Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, David Fleay wildlife Park, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, and the Brisbane Forest Park. (Hall, 2007)There are also sunshine coasts which play instrumental role in the tourism sector. They include underwater world, Australia Zoo, etc.

Main visitors (People)

The main visitors in this region consist mainly of Europeans and South East Asians who occasionally come to visit their friends, business purposes or for recreation. Queensland continues to receive the highest number of tourist’s year in and out.

The nature of Australia

This segment continues to attract many tourists who visit Australia year in year out. The great Australian geography including its scenic beauty, forests, rivers, the barrier rifts, landscape, and many others have contributed to an overwhelming tourism activities in the region. Visitors come seasonally as far from Netherlands Spain, Germany, Africa, Asia, and the United states. The DMS needs to focus on this segment as it remains the major center of attraction. On other hand DMS it will lead to increased revenue as the number of tourists soar up. (Hall, 2007)

Aussie Coastal Lifestyle

This market segment was created by the Australia’s department of tourism and mainly focuses on the lifestyle of the people who stay along the Great Australian Coast. It mainly attracts local and domestic tourists. Formerly there was a group that was formed to champion the aspiration of this segment. It would be a great deal for DMS to target clients from this segment since it forms the basis for visiting friends and relatives’ tourism. Most Australians occasionally travel across the country to visit the coastal settlement. (Tourism Australia, 2007)

The food and wine Industry

Australia is widely known for its food and wine manufacturing industry. This segment though it attracts only adults who are over the drinking age, still remains as one of the tourism units that attract tourist most in Australia. DMS should focus on this particular market segment since it boosts the shopping tourism. It’s through this that the organization can market the organization to other major countries of the world. (Nearer to nature, 2009)

Conclusion

Destination marketing remains a strategic way through which a country can market itself to the outside and hence contributing to economic growth by bolstering up tourism activities. A well coordinated and aggressive marketing policy would ensure that the targeted results are achieved. Taking into consideration the competitive pressures from the world both domestic and international, destination marketing organizations should be able to devise new approaches to marketing if competitive advantage is to be achieved both in the long term as well as in the short term period.

List of References

Marketing. (2009). Destination Marketing. Web.

Australia. (2009). Introducing Australia. Web.

Australian Travel Emporium. (2009). Web.

Goway Travel Limited. (2009). Travel Ideas. Web.

Destination Marketing. (2004). eMarketing. Web.

Destination Marketing. (2006). Online Marketing Strategy. Web.

SlideShare. (2009). Tourism Destination Marketing Part 2. Web.

Olton, L.V. (2009). How to develop an Effective Destination Marketing Plan. Web.

Tourism Australia. (2007). Aussie Enthustiatics. Web.

Hall, E. (2007). Nature Based Tourism. Web.

Nearer to nature. (2009). Web.

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