Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Integrated Tourism- Why you should combine your regions marketing efforts

Links between tourism and local and regional resources, activities, products and communities are key success factors for integrated tourism development

The increasing communication options in recent years have contributed to the clutter the world is experiencing today. This has made it important for marketers to integrate their marketing communication and break through the barrier of noise to reach the target market (Torberg, 2003).

Marketing overload is causing regions to have to shout even louder, which consumers resent, therefore warranting greater interaction in promotion (Keller, 2001). Integration of separate areas helps provide a uniform message where these areas are not competing with one another it is addressing the problems faced in marketing an intangible product (a destination). This is due to the high bargaining power of travellers, whereby a greater area offers more tangible justifications (what Brittany does not have, Normandy might).

Tourism organizations may need to go beyond coordinating their own operations around a certain event or practical goal; they may want to develop a joint strategy or common set of strategies for working collectively toward a shared purpose. In this collaborative relationship, each person or organization wants to help not only themselves but also their partners, to become better at what they do.

Tourists are located to places in the hypothetical space where natural or cultural resources and stay in these places provided that the density of tourists in these places is not greater than a given threshold (congestion) and the local host-community members are in favour of tourism development. Otherwise, they move to another place. If a new tourist cannot be assigned by the algorithm to any place that satisfies his/her expectations, it is assumed that he/she leaves the area and does not return. Hence the negative effects of congestion. Therefore by integrating areas this limits the risk of congestion.

Fyall and Garrod (2004) used the term coordination and described it as a process whereby two or more organizations create and/or use existing decision rules that have been established to deal collectively with their shared task environment. The central coastal area of Western Australian demonstrated a clear gap between State level policy and regional-level implementation.

Western Australian Nature- Based Tourism Strategy is based on the principles of sustainability, and the document recognises the Central Coast Region as part of a zone of opportunity for nature-based tourism development. However, local regions although explicitly aware of issues, and the solutions they recommended were predominantly aligned with the strategy, they felt they had insufficient recourses to implement them. While an element of competition was emerging.

Coordination was therefore necessary to avoid duplication of resources between the various government tourism bodies and the private sector, as well as to develop effective regional tourism strategies. The use of Co-ordination in promotion budget allowed for much more efficient advertising, in particular the use of a single ‘champion’ creating synergy and ultimately increasing tourist footfall.

Competition or Cooperation?

Krackover, 2007, studied competing Amish Country tourist associations, concludes it is essential to have some umbrella messages sent out about the area. He also noted people will be more prepared to travel if you offer a bigger picture because people are more concerned by the cost of travel since the recession. By collaborating regions you provide more of a compelling argument to travel. “The entire area must compliment itself”.

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