A Study on Branding and Positioning OfAdventure Tourism Industry in India; With aSpecial Focus on West Bengal.Authors:Dr. Dev Malya Dutta, Professor at Department of Business Administration,University of Burdwan; email@example.comDr. Anindya Dutta , Associate Professor at Bengal Institute of BusinessStudies, Kolkata; firstname.lastname@example.orgSubhajit Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor at Department of Marketing,Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi; email@example.com
Abstract:With changes in the taste and preference of theinternational and domestic tourists, new areas of tourismlike eco-tourism as well adventure tourism have emerged.Adventure travel is being promoted by many countries.The branding of tourism is becoming incrediblysignificant in the context of globalization.
Aim and methodology of the study :Current study aims to study the different aspect of adventuretourism destination branding and also to identify where Indiastands in general and West Bengal in particular stand in theworld tourism market with adventure tourism brand. It alsoattempts to identify how well-planned branding of adventuretourism can indeed be a big opportunity in the days to come.Other aim of the study is to find how clear differentiatedmarketing and positioning strategies can be developed topromote sustainable adventure tourism in India in general andWest Bengal in particular with the intention of attractingforeign as well as domestic tourist on a sustainable basis.This paper is mostly based on case studies as well as reviewof the national & international tourism literature.
Keywords: Adventure tourism Branding, TourismBranding tourism, Adventure tourism, Adventuretourism in India, Adventure tourism in West Bengal
The tourism industry has gone through a sea change in number of internationaltourist arrivals: from a mere 25 million international tourists (worldwide) in 1950 to715 million in 2002. Today tourism is a major pillar to the world economygeneration over €500 billion in annual receipts, sustaining in more than 70 millionjobs and accounting for almost 4% of global GDP.Tourism is becoming an increasingly important component in the economies ofmany developing nations (Mowforth & Munt 1998; Hall & Lew, 1999; Honey, 1999;Stabler, 1997). Tourism is not only a social phenomenon; it is also big business(Malley, 2002; Cohen, 1979).As per the report of wttc.org on World Regional Tourism (2011) the directcontribution of Travel &Tourism to GDP is expected to be US $1,850 billion (2.8% oftotal GDP) in 2011, rising by 4.2% per annum to US $ 2,860.5 billion (2.9%) in2021. The total contribution of Travel &Tourism to GDP, including its widereconomic impacts, is forecast to rise by 4.2% pa from US$5,991.9 billion (9.1% ofGDP) in 2011 to US$9,226.9billion (9.6%) by 2021. Travel & Tourism is expected tosupport directly 99.048 million jobs (3.4% of total employment) in 2011, rising by2.0% pa to 120.427 million jobs (3.6%) by 2021.The total contribution of Travel &Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, isforecast to rise by 2.3% per annum from 258.592 million jobs (8.8% of totalemployment) in 2011 to 323.826 million jobs (9.7%) by 2021. Travel & Tourismvisitor exports are expected to generate US $1,162.7 billion (5.8% of total exports) in2011, growing by 6.6% per annum to US $1,789.2 billion (4.7%) in 2021. Travel &Tourism investment is estimated at US $ 652.4billion or 4.5% of total investment in2011. It should rise by 5.4% pa to reach US$1,487.9billion (or 4.6%) of totalinvestment in 2021.
The world wide changing dimensions in tourist motivation andpreferenceNot only in the product market but also in the tourism sector tastesand preferences vary. Researchers were primarily focused withoutdoor locations and it has been argued that recreation andadventure often serve different clientele with different needs,expectations, and motivations (Ewert & Hollenhorst, 1989;Schreyer & White, 1979; Schuett, 1993Now days, with the changes in taste and preference of theinternational and domestic tourists, new areas of tourism like eco-tourism and adventure tourism have emerged (WTTC/WEFA,2000). Adventure travel appears to have developed out of thebroader, wider growth of traditional outdoor and wildernessrecreation during the 20th century. Unlike other forms ofrecreation, adventure travel offers a unique opportunity in whichparticipants become more experienced and pursue extended scalesof "adventurous endeavors" ( Ewert, A., & Hollenhorst, S. 1989.)
Several countries in the world have nature-based tourismas a key component of their most important exportindustry. They are already promoting adventure tourismfor better economical impact and also doing well withAdventure tourism by proper utilisation oftourism resources and natural environments (Hall, 1989).The demand for adventure tourism comes from a widegroup of visitors, both domestic and foreign. Thesecountries include Australia, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand,Tanzania, Costa Rica, and Botswana and others.
Branding and Positioning in connection with tourismdestination Image upliftment According to Jack Trout (1969)“Positioning is not what you do to the product; it’s whatyou do to the mind of the prospect. It’s how youdifferentiate your brand in the mind. Positioningcompensates for our over communicated society byusing an oversimplified message to cut through theclutter and get into the mind. Positioning focuses on theperceptions of the prospect not on the reality of thebrand.”Since then in marketing, positioning is the method in whichmarketers are struggling to generate an image or identity for aproduct or a brand within mind of the target market. What mattersis how prospective buyers perceive the product but that willarticulate relative position of competitors.
Michael Porter in his book The Competitive Advantage ofNations he has told that Classical theory of international tradepropose that competitive advantage resides in the factorendowments that a country may be fortunate enough toinherit . Factor include land, natural resources , labor and thesize of the local population .this is obvious in tourism sectorthe countries can enhanced there brand image and identity byfull potential utilization of their natural resources and inherenttourism capital .It has been seen that without the proper focus the tourismdestination branding is not possible the above sensation of theis prevailing that .The most important part must be thestrategic positioning of the tourism destination in front of theinternational tourism market.
If we stand for everything we stand fornothing this is true in marketing. Relativeposition of competitors is being created withthe distinct image which is build upon amarket specific uniqueness or corecompetency.
Destination Positioning and ImagePositioning is one of the most effective component of tourismmarketing also .The aim of positioning is to generate a distinctiveposition in the minds of potential customers(Hotel-online, 2000 andReich, 1997:287-288).The sum of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a person has of adestination (Crompton, 1979).A set of cognitions and affections that represent an entity to anindividual (Mazursky and Jacoby, 1986).A mental representation of an object or place (Fridgen, 1987).The visual or mental impression of a place, a product, or anexperience held by the general public (Milman and Pizam, 1995).
Tourist Vs Positioning-Image-Branding ofDestination Visitor Destination Perceptions Positioning Image Images Branding Product Destination Marketing Development Choice
Travelers’ images of destinations play an important role indestination choice.“Image differentiates tourist destinations from each other and is anintegral and influential part of the traveler’s decision process” (Balogluand Brinberg, 1997).One of the reasons is the intangibility of destinations. Theycannot be sampled or tested out before the purchase like mostproducts.
The Destination Branding Process Source: ETC/UNWTO Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding, 2009
Brand at the Core of all Marketing Activities Tom Buncle - Yellow Railroad
The Destination Brand Benefit Pyramid What is the essential natureLevel 5 and character of the brand?Level 4 What does value mean for the typical repeat visitor? What psychological rewards or emotionalLevel 3 benefits do people get by visiting this destination?Level 2 What benefits to the visitor result from the destination’s features?Level 1 What are the tangible, verifiable, objective, measurable characteristics of the destination?
The Destination Brand DevelopmentModel What is the essential nature & character of your destination? What Makes the Destination Stand Out from Everywhere Else?How would the Destination like to beseen and described by its mainaudience How Do they Feel about the Place?What do visitors like to see anddo? What influencesbusiness/investments decisions Tom Buncle - Yellow Railroad
Successful Cases of destination brand buildingDubaiDubai has grown very aggressively in many sectors including tourism where Dubai leads theregion with innovative and modern multi-billion dollar projects like Palm Island, Dubai Internet City. Dubaiis properly using strategic positioning midway between Europe and Far East has supported this tourismgrowth.SwitzerlandTourism is an important industry for landlocked Switzerland and the Swiss Alps provide a dramatic backdropfor a variety of adventure activities. In fact, this landscape is a key motivation for tourists to visit. Switzerlandhas a long history of tourism, with records of hotel nights being kept since 1934 (Swiss Federal StatisticsOffice, 2009). Mountain tourism activities, located in some of the least industrialized areas, are reflected in thetourism slogan “Get Natural”.New Zealand: Tourism is a very important industry in New Zealand, where international tourist expenditureaccounted for US$ 9.5 billion or 18.2% of New Zealand’s total export earnings and 8.7% of total GDP.Tourism employs one in ten people in New Zealand. The yield of the average tourist is high, because for themajority of the world it is a long-haul destination, which inherently includes a higher spend per tourist. 1.6million international tourists (or 63%) and 11.1 million domestic tourists took part in nature-based activities in2008 (Tourism New Zealand, 2011).The branding of New Zealand, “100% Pure (You),” also presents anadventure and nature-based image.IsraelIn 2010, Israel swapped places with the Slovak Republic claiming the 1st spot in the ATDI for developingcountries. Despite the volatile security situation, Israel is not considered unsafe by adventure travel experts.Furthermore, it has excellent infrastructure and natural and cultural resources. The Ministry of Tourism has agoal of attracting 5 million tourists and continues to market to various segments, especially the culturaltraveler. The Ministry of Tourism has launched a “100 Years of Green,” campaign (Israel is one of twocountries that has more trees today than it had 100 years ago) which encourages travelers to travel moresustainably[S1] and promotes green initiatives throughout the country.
Cases on Adventure tourism success :The growth of adventure tourism can be seen everywhere. Many countries have spent considerable timein developing adventure tourism brand which leads them towards success. Here are a few examples ofsmall countries that have done it well in this sector.Botswana is also one of the top 10 performers in adventure tourism sector which is representing thedeveloping nations. In 2007, the number of international tourist arrivals was 1.45 million with earningsof US$ 546 million. In 2008, the number of international tourist arrivals was 1.5 million with earningsof US$ 553 million. In 2009, the number of international tourist arrivals was 1.55 million with earningsof US$ 442 million. In 2009, it has represented 3.2 % of the total international tourist arrivals in Africaand secured 1.5 % of the total African tourism earnings.Kenya is also having strong Adventure tourism sector. In 2007, the number of international touristarrivals was 1.68 million with earnings of US$ 972 million. In 2008, the number of internationaltourist arrivals was 1.14 million with earnings of US$ 762 million. In 2009, international touristearning was US$ 807 million. In 2009, it has represented 2.8% of the total African tourism earnings.Tanzania has been long in Adventure Tourism sector to attract international tourist. In 2007, thenumber of international tourist arrivals was 0.69 million with earnings of US$ 1,199 million. In 2008,the number of international tourist arrivals was 0.75 million with earnings of US$ 1,289 million. In2009, the international tourist earnings were of US$ 1,260 million. In 2009, it has represented 4.4 % ofthe total African tourism earnings.Adventure Tourism is a very significant element of Nepal tourism. In 2007, the number of internationaltourist arrivals was 0.52 million with earnings of US$ 198 million. In 2008, the number of internationaltourist arrivals was 0.5 million with earnings of US$ 336 million. In 2009, the number of internationaltourist arrivals was 0.51 million with earnings of US$ 371 million.
Adventure Tourism in Indian and comparative study with othercountries :The Adventure Tourism Development Index (“ATDI”) (2008) produced by ATTA,George Washington University and Xola Consulting ranks 27 Developed and 164Developing Countries. In the rankings, the UK is positioned 4th in the list of DevelopedCountries (Scotland is not ranked separately) achieving the highest scores for SustainableDevelopment, Infrastructure and Entrepreneurship. Switzerland (1st), Sweden (2nd) andNew Zealand (3rd ) were the countries ranked above the UK. Other ranks of some countriesare Costa Rica 13th, Slovenia 15th ,Poland 16th ,Belize 17th ,Singapore 24th ,Fiji 29th ,Mexico33rd Brazil 36th , Saudi Arabia 44th ,Qatar 46th ,Jamaica 48th ,Cuba 49th , Namibia 53rd,China 59th, Thailand72nd , Philippines 74th, Kenya 79th, Zambia 83rd, Nepal is ranked 67th ,Sri Lanka is ranked 92nd Vietnam is ranked 98th Where India is ranked 99th within 164Developing Countries dealing with Adventure Tourism .The problem of Indian tourism is that it still believes in the age-old of concept of siteseeing. And hence keeps on highlighting the Charminar, Golkonda Fort, Red Fort, TajMahal etc. But the world has left behind this concept of bus-tourism and moved ahead.They want to actively participate in and feel the thrill of going to a new place.Now the question is can India grow up to the new development of adventure tourism? Yes surely it can. India has full of resources which are required for adventure tourism butit is not fully utilized. “Marketing of Adventure Tourism product can create betterenvironment for Indian tourism growth” by considering this several initiatives have beentaken by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu Himachal Pradesh,Jammu and Kashmir and North-East to boost up adventure tourism
Cases from Indian in connection with adventure destination brandingand promotionAndhra PradeshIn the year 2001, the Andhra Pradesh tourism development corporation (aptdc) has introduced Adventuretourism in a big way as the part of state tourism action .The main Adventure tourism activities are para-gliding, rock climbing, rapeling and river crossing at araku valley. Andhra Pradesh has won theNATIONAL TOURISM AWARD 2008-2009 from Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, for mostinnovative adventure tourism Activity for Sea Kayaking Expeditions, Snow Leoplard Adventures ,adventure tourism at Haritha Hill Resort, Horsley Hills. Andhra Pradesh has also won the national levelTourism competition and got Best state Rest of India – second Prize in 2010 from Ministry of Tourism,Govt.of India.Andhra Pradesh, considered the “Essence of Incredible India”, has great diversity andrichness of tourist destinations. The State Government agencies have ensured that tourism infrastructure ofgood quality is available at all the destinations for the benefit of the visitors. There are 10 waysideamenities which are considered to be a model in the country. Creation of new infrastructure andaugmentation of existing infrastructure were taken up at 19 tourist destinations during the year 2009-10.Madhya PradeshMadhya Pradesh has won Best state Rest of IndIa – First prize in 2010 from Ministry of Tourism, Govt.ofIndia. Madhya Pradesh is known as the heart of incredible India not only because of its geographicallocation but it is also a home of heritage, culture and wildlife. State has touched new heights during theyear 2009-10 with an annual revenue growth rate exceeding 25% in consecutive years. The performanceon the tourist infrastructure development front is even more striking. The utilization of central grants,quality and pace of construction activities, computerized monitoring and project management systems arehighly appreciable.The highly creative promotional campaigns on TV, Radio and in the print media have also attractednationwide attention. Formation of a land bank and framing of Tourism Policy for attracting privateinvestment, the State has again taken the lead in doing pioneering work.
KeralaKerala has won the Best state: Rest of India – third prize in 2010 from Ministry ofTourism, Govt.of India ; national Award for Most Innovative Adventure Activity-International Paragliding Championship, for the year 2007-08 from Ministry of Tourism,Govt.of India; Gold Award 2010 for Best Website Pacific Asia Travel Association(PATA). Acclaimed by National Geographic Traveller as ‘one of the ten paradises of theworld’ and chosen by BBC as ‘one of the ten unforgettable things to do before you die’,Kerala is India’s only tourism Superbrand. Blessed with a rich bounty of naturalattractions and some of India’s best social indices, what makes Kerala the destination fortomorrow is its focus on sustainable tourism. Stringent quality control, planneddevelopment, conservation and preservation efforts… Kerala’s stress on sustainability isperfectly complemented by innovative marketing and promotional techniques, helping itevolve into a paradigm for ‘responsible tourism’. Tourism offers Kerala the bestalternative to meet its objectives of reducing unemployment and kick-starting economicgrowth. It has also become the perfect tool for enhancing the environment, preserving theState’s culture and heritage and distributing economic development throughout the Statewith no environmental setbacks.Jammu and KashmirThe state of Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as an ideal destination in India foradventure tourism, with the Tourism Department of the state bagging the ‘best adventureand golf tourism award’ at an international conclave at Shimla, Himachal Pradeshrecently.It has started campaign ‘PLAY IN PARADISE’ and ‘MEET IN PARADISE’ to promoteKashmir as an ideal golfing and conferencing venue along with Jammu and Ladakh.
Adventure Tourism Resources in West BengalWest Bengal is home to some of the best national parks in the country. The distinctclimate and topography of West Bengal helps in keeping the diversity of flora and faunaflourishing. The national parks of the state not only are wildlife resources, they aresurrounded by some of the most exotic locations, which make a trip to these parks value.The most famous beyond imagination is the Sunderbans National park. Earned recognitionfor the Royal Bengal Tigers, it also is the largest Mangrove forest in the world.Most states in India are fortunate to have one hill resort, but West Bengal the gateway tothe Eastern Himalaya. A land of infinite attraction with breath taking views ofKanchanjunga, bewildering variety of flora and fauna, colourful festivals, bush green teagardens, inching adventure spots, laundry trekking rocks, perfect solitude. All this makesthe East Himalayas your chosen destination.Trekking in the Darjeeling Hills began almost a century ago. In fact, the first organisedtrekking route in India was established here along the Sangalila range. The most popularof treks is the one through high altitude areas across the Singalila range in Darjeeling.Trekking in Ajodhya Hill (in Purulia district) or camping in Biharinath hill can bring thehardcore untamed adventure feelings.Beach Activity holidays in Junput , Shankarpur , Sagardwip , Frazerganj, Digha or the tripto Bakkhali can also create the ample scope of adventure and stimulation for the tourist.Other major excitements of National Park In West Bengal can be huge with JaldaparaWildlife Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger Reserve. Dooars, is the habitat of the rare one-hornedrhinoceros, the mighty bison, the spotted deer, the barking deer, huge tuskers, fearsomewild boars and a variety of birds and animals. Elephant safaris can be enjoyed at theSanctuary.
Adventure tourism can indeed be a new potential dimension to enhance thetourism industry in West Bengal as well in India to increase the GDP aswell as employability; it is possible because world tourism growth inmodern time is changing in different ways. The change in the life style andthe change in the motivational factor of the visitors, as well as varying targetgroup attractiveness creating the better opportunity for the growth ofadventure tourism. In this study we have identified that adventure tourismcan be marketed to different niche segments. It is high time that WestBengal, as an adventure tourist destination should do the needful to achieveits full potential, since the tourism sector in West Bengal has thedissatisfactory growth in respect to Indian overall tourism sector growth.
tourist-product strategy matrix for identifying growth opportunitiesModified from: Ansoffs Matrix the Harvard Business Review (1957),Zeithaml & Bitner 1996,p- 201)
Strategic Marketing Planning for the Adventure Tourism Industry in West Bengal
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