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Marketing is process in which good and services move from the concept to customers it includes product, prices, place and promotion. In that process segmentation, positioning and targeting plays critical role in developing strategy to promote the product and services according to objectives of organization. Travel and tourism refers to holiday planning and offering of transportation and accommodation services to customer by analyzing the needs and requirements that influence the business outcome of organization (Anderson. et.al. 2009). Present report will discuss the core concept of marketing for travel and tourism organization Thomas Cook that operating its business all around the globe. Report will assess the impact of marketing environment with reference to Morocco and Egypt. In the next part Marketing in Travel and Tourism Sector Assignment will analyze the importance of strategic marketing and assess the influence of marketing on society. Thomas Cook is leading travel and tourism organization of UK offering international standard services and products to customers including value added services. Organization owns number of tour operators that offering transportation services around the world. Marketing in Travel and Tourism Sector Assignment will discuss issues in prices place and product mix and apply the concept of the total tourism product for Thomas Cook. At the end, report will assess the role of integrated nature of promotion mix.
The core concept of marketing is refers to analysis and development of marketing strategic for promoting and encouraging the demand and brand image of organization to meet the sales objectives (Anderson. et. al. 2009).
According to given scenario, Thomas Cook is going to develop plan for holidays in Morocco and Egypt (Atwal and Williams, 2009). In order to develop plan and promote it in target customer groups, management requires considering the following marketing concepts that will help to develop sustainable plan that attract the customer as well as retain them for future. E.g. Thomas Cook has developed marketing plan by analyzing the needs of customers, anticipating demand of locations and desired quality of products and services according that aid to meet the satisfaction level of visitors. By following this process management of Thomas Cook is developing holiday and marketing plan to get success in business.
Needs: A need refers to something that is necessary for anticipating the expectations of individual that going to be target for meeting the organizational objectives (Anderson.et.al, 2009). Now, in the given case for the development of holiday package for Morocco and Egypt understanding of needs of target customers is essential that will help to include the services that meet the objectives of customers and influence the decisions. For example, by including services like free luggage, transportation and discount of food services for particulars hotel and restaurants at both destinations will influence the decision of customer. Moreover, Thomas Cook would provide the additional benefits for staying in resorts and visit of historical places of both locations.
Demand: This can be defined as consumer desire and willingness to pay price for a specific good or services that support the daily operations and life event. The price of product and services increase as demand and vice versa (Mason, 2011). For example, Thomas Cook will increase the demand by providing the offers like free stay in 3 star hotels or resorts at key location of Egypt and Morocco or free passes for joining the festival at both locations. This is considering as major element that requires analysing for developing the plan for Morocco and Egypt. In addition to this, Thomas Cook will offer high quality services at optimum prices will increase the demand of package. Management of company have to conduct research for demand in the market for these locations as well services that customers desiring to get from Thomas Cook.
Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is a term that used in marketing concept that helps to analyze the expectation and delivery of services accordingly (Baker and Hart, 2010). Thomas Cook management needs to meet the satisfaction level of visitors and travellers who using the services. E.g. By offering additional services like food and security and use of quality products for developing services will help to meet the satisfaction level of customers. In addition to this, Thomas Cook will provide the visit of major attractions of both nations at optimum prices to meet the satisfaction level of customers. It will be beneficial for Thomas Cook to retain the customer and improve the standard by collecting their feedback.
Products and services: Product and services are key concept of business that attract the customer and help to gain competitive advantage (Mason, 2011). According to given case, the product of Thomas Cook is summer holiday package with additional services like transportation, food and accommodation. E.g. Management have to plan the products and services according to environmental and economical conditions of both locations which will influence the demand and marketing planning. For marketing of tourism package for Egypt and Morocco, Thomas Cook will also promote the product and services that company going to offer in plan. Information about the transportation and hotel for stay and food will influence the decision of customer. For additional features in product and services Thomas Cook will provide the options of air and sea transportation to make the plan more attractive for Morocco.
Exchange of ideas: This process is helpful for organization in which management collect the data from customers that comes from different parts and develop plan by including their ideas (Hall, 2013). For example, Thomas Cook can start TV or YouTube campaign for promoting the brand by encouraging viewers and customers to share their idea about services and product of company, and the best 3 will get the free trip of Morocco.
Marketing environment define as the factors which affect the organisation at a time. There are some factors which can be controlled by the organisation and are called as micro environment while there are some factors which cannot be controlled by the organisation are called as micro environment (Anderson.et.al, 2009).
Following are the key micro environmental factors that have positive and negative both kind of impact on the marketing and development of services in travel and tourism sector.
Brand name: Brand image is the impression on consumer’s mind of an organization. It has been developed through advertising and campaign with a consistent theme. In today’s business culture people go for brand name for buying products and services. Travel and tourism involves many types of risks that consider by visitors for choosing the services (Björklund, 2011). This kind of approach is helping Thomas Cook to attract the customers and persuade them for analysing the services that organization going to offer for Morocco and Egypt. Thomas Cook is leading brand in world tourism market visitors and customers just attract with brand popularity and approach organization to book holiday package.
Supplier: These people plays critical role for developing and offering of products and services in travel and tourism industry. Marketing environment consider the relationship with suppliers like hotel and transport management who will provide the basic support for developing the services and utilization of resources (Busby and Curtin. 2010). However Thomas Cook management has good relationship with suppliers that influencing the planning of Morocco and Egypt. For example, Thomas Cook has contract withy leading hotel organizations like Hilton that supplying the accommodation and food services at particular locations. This has positive impact on the planning of holidays as management is able to delivery standard services.
Following are the key macro environment factors affecting the business:
Economy: This is an important macro environmental element that majorly consider in travel and tourism activities as economical changes in different location affect the planning of expenses (Mason, 2011). According to environment audit of both locations, condition of economy at Morocco is good but the situation of Egypt is unstable as potential issues and internal terrorism has affected the economy badly (Buckley, 2012). According to current rate of currency Morocco is more costly camper to Egypt as 1 Egyptian pound equals to 1.26 Morocco Dirham. This will be more decisive issues for visitors for buying the package. The economical impact will drive the pricing structure of package as the fluctuations in exchange rate of currency influence the pricing policies of organization and affect the profit margin as well budgeting of marketing activities.
Political: In the current scenario, the government of nations are paying more attention for safety and security of local people and those who applying Visa to visit the country (Hall, 2013). The political conditions of both the countries are stable and positive towards the development of travel and tourism activities. Thomas Cook management would use the support of both governments that will impact on the processing of Visa and arrangement of resources. For developing the best plan for both destinations, it is important for Thomas Cook to review the political conditions of Morocco and Egypt and make necessary changes to provide better services to visitors.
Demographic: The demographic factor for this package is majorly income of UK people that would play critical role in sales of holiday package (Holden, 2012). The disposable income of England people is good as the package of Thomas Cook would be feasible. The high disposable income and culture of spending on visit of England population will have positive impact on the sales of holiday plan 2016 for Egypt and Morocco. For example, people of UK are investing 40% of income on travel and tourism activities.
Natural environment: This term refers to living and non-living things that have direct impact on the activities of people (Holden, 2012). The natural environment of both locations like Egypt and Morocco is pretty good for travelling as these locations have normal temperature. The culture and people of both locations are supportive. These facts would be beneficial for Thomas Cook plan for promoting the holiday package.
For travel and tourism business sector, there are many factors that are affecting the consumer decision and demand of services. Thomas Cook management requires considering the following factors that have major impact on the consumer motivation and services demand functions:
Consumer behaviour: The perception, buying process and social belief of individual influence the decision of customer about the selection of products and services for travel and tourism package offered by Thomas Cook for Morocco and Egypt (Busby and Curtin. 2010). In addition to this, economical conditions of individual also affect the buying decision of customers. E.g. attractive plan and extra benefits in holiday plan motivate target customer groups to purchase the plan. People wait for good opportunities like plan of Thomas Cook to visit new places at low budget.
Culture factors: These are the set of values and ideologies of particular community and individual that has major impact on buying behaviour (Cooper and Hall, 2010) Travel and tourism business highly influenced from the culture and belief of customers as well planed locations. If there are some issues related to values and differences in social context. In order to target the people Thomas Cook has to analyze these factors regarding Egypt and Morocco. The cultural activities and marketing of Thomas Cook will impact the marketing of package as company will use the cultural activities of proposed destination. This factor has significant impact on the marketing activities as well planning of tourism activities for target audience.
Psychological factors: For the motivation of customers and visitors offering of satisfactory services is important which encourage the customer to use the services of Thomas Cook next time as well attract other to avail tourism services for Morocco and Egypt (Mason, 2011). For example, if Thomas Cook offer the services that expected by the customers will help to retain them and influence the decision of other visitors. This would be considering major factor that motivate and encourage the customers to avail the services to Thomas Cook.
Personal factors: This term refers to elements of individual like age, lifestyle, income and occupation that have significant impact on buying process. This is considering as important factor that motivate and influence the decision of customers (Hall, 2013). Personal factors includes the age, education level and social statue of individual that plays significant role in making decision for buying the holiday plan of Thomas Cook. For example, Thomas Cook can target the high income level and people who want to experience luxury life style. This kind of approach will help to promote the holiday plan.
Social factors: This refers to life style of group of people which includes religion and wealth (Mason, 2011). For the plan of holiday at Egypt and Morocco, Thomas Cook needs to consider these factors to target the people. For example, company would use the religious factor for promoting the plan as people have chance to visit famous religious places at both locations.
Segmentation is process that helps management to divide market into multiple divisions that gives better understanding of trends and support to develop specific plan to meet the objectives (Anderson.et.al, 2009). Marketing segmentation for travel and tourism services involves different principles and factors that plays critical role in determining the standard of services and product going to be offered at Morocco and Egypt. The top management of organization is using demographical and geographical segmentation criteria for developing and offering the holiday plan for target customer groups.
Demographic segmentation: For the segmentation of package and plan, Thomas Cook will use the demographical segmentation (Hall, 2013). In this organization will segment the plan according to level of income as the package is for high and upper middle class people. This kind of segmentation will help to target the customers. For example, Thomas Cook will develop marketing plan for business and high class people.
Physiological segmentation: According to this segmentation criterion the top management of Thomas Cook will analyze the needs, value, interest and life style of target people (Buckley, 2012). For example, using this segmentation organization will develop plan to target people who like to travel and have interest to visit new places. This kind of approach will encourage the sales and customer retention policies.
Identification of customers:
Segmentation is all about identification of customer their needs and expectation of desired services and products from the travel and tourism organization (Anderson.et.al, 2009). In addition to this, organization can use Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) criteria for analyzing the safety for transportation activities to improve the standard of travelling in vehicles. This would be helpful for Thomas Cook customer to travel of tested vehicles which were safe. Use of these criteria will help to meet the high standard safety and security features in transportation. Proper monitoring of transportation measurements for all categories like air, road and sea will influence the decision of customers and help to retain them. Management would consider the income level to segment the package for upper middle class people as well as promote it as educational tour to understand the different aspects of Morocco and Egypt (Chikweche and Fletcher, 2012).
The reason organization is combining targeting, segmentation and grading is to optimize market-coverage strategy. Targeting is process to identify the potential customer groups that have capability to meet buy the product and services (Anderson.et.al, 2009). Apart from that planning of resources is essential for analyzing the gap in services and products according to needs of customer and expected return for investment. Management wants to invest on limited resources in inverse proportion to the return is expected by top management of Thomas Cook (Cooper and Hall, 2009).
Strategic marketing planning refers to analysis of current marketing trends and activities to develop the plan that help to meet the determined objectives (Mason, 2011). For given scenario, it is important for Thomas Cook to analyze the issues and supporting factors to make change in the marketing plan of new holiday package. For that following models and tools have been used:
Table 1: SWOT analysis
Thomas Cook is oldest travel and tourism organization of UK
Highly standard quality services and products
Nearly 100 destinations covered
Experienced business staff
Integrated services and marketing approach
High prices of travel and holiday package of Thomas Cook
Lacking in customer services
Thomas Cook is lacking to maintain high quality customer services
Tomas Cook can implement online booking for combined tour package
High demand of travel and tourism
Good economical conditions for Thomas Cook to expand business
Large area of services
Local and international tour firms
Lack of quality staff is bigger threat for Thomas Cook
Environmental conditions and level of pollution is creating threat for Thomas Cook
Political and security issue of nations
For that strategic planning, organization will work on the weakness to encourage the existing approach of organization. Review of pricing strategy and utilization of resources is required more concern about the developing the plan and meet the organizational objectives. However organization has good understanding of marketing function as well process to attract customer by pitching on the needs of target customers (D'Esopo and Almquist, 2011). This is helping Thomas Cook to increase the market share and gaining the attention of customers by meeting their needs and satisfaction level. Moreover, management has to consider the opportunities that tourism sector has high demand and using the online services for offering the information about the prices, places and products that Thomas Cook going to offer in holiday plan for Morocco and Egypt.
Political factors: The rules and regulations of national government for Visa and tourism activities have significant impact on the business process of organizations like Thomas Cook (Hall, 2013). In the current state political conditions of Egypt is not better as ISIS group is influencing the government decisions that needs to consider by management for developing the plan. In addition to this, political conditions of Morocco is far better then Egypt which have full support of national government to promote the tourism activities.
Economical factors: The economical conditions of both destinations are quite good as rate of currency exchange is low and process of exchanging funds is easy (Mason, 2011). The level of income and expenditure on travel and tourism activities of people is increasing with time which is beneficial for Thomas Cook 2016 holiday plan.
Social factors: The style of living for both destinations is different from other as cultural and social living standard will create issues for travel and tourism organization to handle visitors (Holden, 2012). However the relations of management with local suppliers like hotel and transport vender for both destinations are healthy which support to overcome the impact of social factor.
Technical factors: In current scenario, technology has changed the process of booking and collecting information about the places (Mason, 2011). For communication and offering the information about the changes and other functions of travelling plan would be share with digital and social media. This is cost and time effective for Thomas Cook and visitors.
Legal factors: The law and norms for both countries are different that could affect the on-going activities of organization for utilization of resources and access of local property. Moreover, tax will be the major legal issues that faced by Thomas Cook at Egypt.
Environmental factor: The current conditions of environment is not in favour of world as air and water pollution is increasing with the time and creating barrier for governments and travel and tourism organizations (Holden, 2012). Thomas Cook management requires to concern over the environmental issues to develop sustainable plan that meet the requirements.
For the evaluation of current trends and possible alternatives of developing the marketing plan for travel and tourism activities SOSTAC model have been used (Hall, 2013). For Thomas Cook it is as follows:
Situation: The current situation of market and travel and tourism are in favour of Thomas Cook. People are looking for attractive plan and package to visit new place. The brand image and good customer retention policy of Thomas Cook will help to attract the customer across the globe.
Objectives: The major objectives of Thomas Cook are to gain profit and expand the market size. For that, organization is offering high quality products and services by analyzing the needs and demand of target customers.
Strategy: In order to make utilize the opportunity organization is using digital and online marketing strategy which is useful for creating awareness. Moreover the management is using direct marketing and personal selling for promoting the plan.
Tactics: For the improvement of sales organization is interacting with the customer by offering 24*7 support and information. Management is using these tactics to retain the customers.
Action: Organization has prior booking of air and road transportation as well as accommodation and food services this will help to develop smooth going and standard services. Moreover, it will give the better control and evaluation of services and product at both locations.
Control: For monitoring and control, top management has appointed the local and centre level staff members who will look after the quality of services and take insight into process.
Marketing research and information sharing is essential element for Thomas Cook to develop understanding about the culture, economy, environment and political conditions of planned destination like Morocco and Egypt. This information will help the marketing managers to make changes in the pricing, services and products that company will offer during the holiday tour. Market research is helpful for analyzing and forecasting the conditions about the places that will support to improve the effectiveness of holiday plan in terms of security, use of resources and prior booking of services like food and accommodation that best suit the needs of customers. For example, organization analyzes the possible conditions that would affect and influence the products and services quality and cost. This will help to develop plan that meet the expectation of customers (Buckley, 2012)
Market research can be performing by using the past experience, feedback of customers and survey of target market. Additionally, organization can use the reports of market analysis regarding the trends and demand of tourism plan that customer expecting from travel organization. By collecting and using the data about the particular destination and target customers will help manager to forecasting the demand of holiday plan and arrangement of resources like transportation, accommodation and food facilities that according to needs of customer and desired level of services (Hall, 2013). E.g. management requires performing prior research about cultural, political and economical elements of both nations that helps to make changes in holiday plan accordingly. This kind of approach is going to be beneficial for Thomas Cook to offer customized services that suit the current conditions of Morocco and Egypt.
Market information provides the valuable data about the trends, events and behaviour of customers that would be collect through implementing CRM system. This information system will gives the power to store and use data to develop sustainable plan for summer holiday in Morocco and Egypt. The top management of organization is always try to offer innovative and quality services, for that analysis of information provided by customers and supplier will help to design customized services. This information system provides real time information and facility to collect the feedback of stakeholders. Additionally, Thomas Cook can use market information for effective promotional techniques that attracting the customers.
Thomas Cook marketing and advertising has significant impact on the customers and target society that helps to motivate the existing and new visitors to use the products and services of organization (Holden, 2012). Impressive and creative marketing approach of Thomas Cook is helping organization to increase brand image, positioning and targeting of potential customers. According to personal observation following are the key influences of marketing on society:
High price: The prices of products and services of travelling and tourism is high that have significant impact on the marketing and promotional activities of Thomas Cook. Critics charge either that there are too many intermediaries, or that intermediaries increase the cost of services that influence the prices as well marketing process (Hall 2013). In addition to this, differentiated products cosmetics, detergents, toiletries include promotion and packaging costs that can amount to 40 per cent.
Awareness: People follow the trends and tag lines that used by organization might not affect the belief and values of individual or community. Thomas Cook is creating awareness by using the creative aspect of marketing to influence the decision of society (Kusluvan, 2011).
Job opportunities: For marketing and promotion of brand organization requires skilled and creative staff members who can develop marketing activities according to market trends (Mason, 2011). This influences the society as it support to increase job opportunities which is beneficial for young professional. Moreover, guide and other experts also recruit by organization that has positive impact on society.
Cultural difference: The major issue that has been identified which have negative impact on the society is presentation of belief and value in different manners. The marketing of Thomas Cook will hamper the local value and activities of society.
Personal issues: The market approach of Thomas Cook would affect the personal values and belief of individual (Mason, 2011). As organization is going to use religious factor for promoting the holiday plan will influence the personal factors of individual. Top management has to consider this factor which has significant impact on society.
Government tax: The national government of UK has applied tax for marketing activities which would influence the cost of marketing plan of Thomas Cook. The higher cost of marketing activity will affect the profit margin of company as well social responsibility process.
There are various activities need to be undertaken with respect to promotional mix concerning product and services. There activities such as sales promotions, direct marketing, online promotions, integrated communication, advertising, etc. has been laid down by business for carrying out their systematic promotional mix. Promotional mix refers to process that helps companies to convert the people into customer by using the different methods using traditional and online tools (D'Esopo and Almquist, 2011). In order to carry out promotion of summer holiday package Thomas cook can undergo promotion by online website channel as it helps in integrated communication and advertisements. It is going to make the campaign popular in all areas of segment and will keep the consumer satisfied. Business is going to carry out their online promotion using social media, E-mail etc. This is going to enhance awareness among individuals in a most significant manner.
Advertising is being defined as paid type of communication that used for offering the information attracting the customers by Thomas Cook can use the following for promoting the tour packages:
Personal Selling: In this process Thomas Cook can persuade the potential customers to buy the product by communicating the product details personally. The objective of the seller is to make the buyer understand the advantages of the product (Atwal and Williams, 2009). By using this method organization directly interact with potential customer and try to convert them as loyal customers. For personal selling organization will target the business organizations that gives holiday package to staff members. Egypt and Morocco holiday package this type of advertisings would be beneficial.
Direct Marketing: This is a method in which communication channels like radio, television and newspaper are used. Thomas Cook can also use promotional letters, street advertising, catalogue distribution, fliers etc (Chikweche and Fletcher, 2012). The role of this marketing is to offer the information to large audience and gain competitive advantage through targeting large areas. For that organization uses print ads, brochures and creative TV ads on leading channels to capture market.
Sales promotion: The objective of the sales promotion is getting the organisation response from wholesalers’ and retailers. This is an important activity to improve the customer demand. Thomas Cook provides discounts to the consumers over festival for promoting its products (Maccannell, 2010). In addition to this, this is an indirect communication which can be used by Thomas Cook to promote the products by using channels like Print advertisements, advertisements in Television, Radio, Billboard, Broachers and Catalogues, Direct mails, In-store display, motion pictures.
The summer campaign initiated by Thomas cook towards Morocco and Egypt is seen to be a campaign for promoting their travels and for building larger base for their consumer. Business can undergo best strategies for undertaking their promotions and for being successful in their working. In this respect it can be said that activities such as advertising and public relation will be best aspects that business must lay down focus upon for the promotion of summer holiday package of Thomas cook. Personal selling would be better promotional strategy for Thomas Cook which will help to influence the sales in target market using the telephonic and mailing tools. By offering the information through these tools will increase the trust and customer relations with existing and new customers (Hall, 2013). Moreover, promotion can be undertaken using media channels such as televisions, audio: radios, etc. These are economical way of promoting business promotion as it also cut downs the overall cost of advertisement of Thomas Cook (Buckley, 2012). Following are the key objectives that going to be fulfilling by using the proposed strategy:
To expand the market size.
To improve customer services.
To analyze the market trends and use of resources.
To maintain the relation with customers.
To offer customized services.
On the other hand, public relation helps out business in evaluating the perception of behaviour concerning their preference of products and services. By using this, strategy for increasing the sales for tourism package will be beneficial as people get influence with the communication and privilege offered by organization (Baker and Hart, 2010). This kind of activities will help to encourage the demand of holiday package for Egypt and Morocco. Thomas Cook summer package promotion activities can be undertaken by events organizing, information spread using new channel, making individual aware with respect to product and service. Even public opinion can be gathered and product can be melded as per their preference for enhancing its overall effectiveness and Thomas cook profitability.
Personal selling is defined as a promotional technique in which one salesperson use various techniques and skills for building personal associations with other party which results as both parties are gain values. In order to meet the objectives of gaining competitive advantage and increase the sales of holiday plan personal selling strategy is beneficial for Thomas Cook. Company will use it by collecting information about needs of potential customers and offer the package according to their requirements. This kind of approach will aid Thomas Cook to meet the determine objectives more successive manners.
From the Marketing in Travel and Tourism Sector Assignment it is being considered that marketing plays critical role in development of business and attracting the potential customers. Marketing in Travel and Tourism Sector Assignment has explained core concept and marketing environment for Thomas Cook to develop holiday plan for Morocco and Egypt in summers of 2016. Moreover, report has provided information about the strategic marketing concept for Thomas Cook and discussed importance of market research and information as well as influence of marketing on society. At the end Marketing in Travel and Tourism Sector Assignment has explained promotional mix and sales promotional planning for developing the business process.
Books and Journals
Anderson, J. C., Narus, J. A.,and Narayandas, D. 2009. Business market management: Understanding, creating, and delivering value.
Atwal, G. and Williams, A. 2009. Luxury brand marketing–the experience is everything!. Journal of Brand Management. 16(5). Pp.338-346.
Baker, M. and Hart, S. 2010. Product strategy and management. Harlow, England: FT Prentice Hall.
Björklund, M. 2011. Influence from the business environment on environmental purchasing—Drivers and hinders of purchasing green transportation services. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management. 17(1). Pp. 11-22.
Buckley, R. 2012. Sustainable tourism: Research and reality. Annals of Tourism Research. 39(2). Pp.528-546.
Busby G. and Curtin S. 2010, Sustainable Destination Development: The tour operator perspective, International Journal of Tourism Research. John Wiley & Sons, London
C?toiu, I., Vrânceanu, D. M. and Filip, A., 2010. Setting fair prices–fundamental principle of sustainable marketing. Amfiteatru Economic. 12(27). Pp.115-128.
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