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Unit 3: Responsible Tourism Marketing And Communications
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Unit 3: Responsible Tourism Marketing And Communications


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  • Note: Need to change this picture – used in another unit topic.. Should be of a brochure, flyer, etc
  • Marketing and communications typically refers to Management process – it is strategically planned and implemented. It is a process because it requires a number of steps to achieve and is typicially ongoing.Engages with various audiences – Communication requires 2 parties. Someone must “hear” the marketing message. Ma&C therefore seeks to connect with one or more target markets.Presents messages about a product – the organisation must have something to say / communicate – a “message” is requiredEncourages attitudinal and behavioural responses – in business the aim is to sell a good or service. M&C therefore aims to get consumers to purchase their product. It can also be used to elicit a specific response. In responsible tourism, this might relate to “do’s and don’t’s” in a destination
  • Advertising is any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor(Sales) promotion is a variety short-term incentives to encourage trial or purchase of a product or serviceDirect marketing uses direct communication with consumers to generate a response in the form of an order, a request for further information, or a visit to a retail outlet.Public relations &publicity- A variety of programs designed to promote or protect a company’s image or its individual products .Personal selling-Face to face interaction with one or more prospective purchasers for the purpose of making presentations, answering questions, and procuring orders
  • Tourism products and services are designed for and continuously adapted to match changing needs, expectations and budget of the target marketAccommodationAttractionTransportationRecreationShoppingRestaurant
  • Used to achieve predetermined sales volume and revenue objectivesPrice gives a product or service a perceived value in the eyes of the consumerMust be consistent, accurate and competitiveMay be adjusted for different circumstances – e.g. buying direct, commissions, net rates, and concessionsIs often regulated through management conditions – e.g. establishment of booking conditions , refund and cancellation policiesShould consider operating costs (e.g. (1)fixed costs: rent,buildings, machinery, insurances etc; (2)variable costs: wages, electricity,maintenance, stock,marketingetc), profit margin (realistic and in consideration of competition prices), and distribution network costs (commissions / fees paid to travel agents, wholesalers and tourism operators to distribute and sell the product).Other influences: demand (what are existing and potential consumers willing to pay), target markets (who will be buying the product and what is their level of disposable income), seasonality (fluctuations in business according to high / low season)
  • Where and how – is it before they leave their home region or is it in the tourism destination?Direct / distribution - May reach and sell to target marketdirect (e.g. internet) or through distribution channels ( agents, wholesalers and tour operators).Factors – purchase behaviour of TM (how do they like to buy the product normally, e.g. online, information centre, travel agent etc), costs (normally a commission is paid, so affordability can affect decisions to use distributors), and familiarty & enthusiasm (does the distributor have experience selling similar products and are they enthusiastic about the product?)Not only the location of the tourist attraction or facility but the location of points of sale that provide customers with access to tourist productseg. I-site, accommodation, cafe
  • The most visible of the 4p’sPromotional techniques aim to increase awareness and demand for productsAims to influence, inform, or persuade a potential buyer’s purchasing decisionIncludes:Advertising – print, broadcast, direct mail and the internet;Public Relations – media release, media kits, press conferences, media familiarisations, interviews and speeches;Personal Selling – trade and consumer events, sales calls, sales missions and staff training;Sales Promotions – competitions and sales incentives.Promotional mix will depend on customer profile - what do your potential customers read? Where do they go? Who influences them? etc. For example there would be little value in advertising a backpacker hostel in a business magazine, and similarly little would be gained from advertising a five star hotel in a magazine aimed at teenagers. Knowing who your potential customers are will help you chose the most effective promotion tools
  • Answer: d) 4.0% or just over 2 million peopleout of a total labour force of 51.4 million people (in 2011), ranking the sector fourth behind agriculture, forestry and fishing (48.4%),manufacturing (13.8%), wholesale and retail trade (11.6%).Source: General Statistics Office 2012, Report on the 2011 Vietnam Labour Force Survey, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam
  • Packaging is the way that associated products and services are put together to form a package deal. Core holiday components, such as transport, accommodation, meals, attractions and entertainment, can be carefully combined into a complete packaged experience, e.g. A hotel operator may develop a package that includes transport, tickets to a local performance and anevening meal as part of a total package. The operator benefits by ensuring that guests dine in-house, while customers don’t have to spend time considering their options. Packages are used to target specific markets and explore new ones - particularly during off season periods when business is slow, e.g. ‘book 5 nights, get 2 free, plus a fruit basket and chocolates on arrival!’. Ease of payment and planning – all components paid for in one transaction. Itinerary or program of events in the packages is developed by the company who has local knowledge and has tested its functionality. Less stress – satisfy travellers’ needs for security, reliability and companionship.Competitive advantage – Packages providethe customer with either greater convenience or a more competitive price.Fosters partnerships - Operators in regional areas can work together to develop attractive deals that will encourage visits to their region. Not only does each individual operator benefit by such arrangements, but the region in general benefits by greater visitor numbers and increased expenditure.
  • Law & good practice - Complies with the laws, regulations and self-regulatory codes of practiceDecent and honest - and truthful (does not intentionally mislead the consumer)Respects accepted principles of fair competition and good business practice Is prepared with a sense of social responsibility - is based on the principle of fairness and good faith and is not unethical, offensive, or challenges human dignity and integrityRespects user privacy – privacy and use of personal details of consumers is not compromisedComplies with the laws, regulations and self-regulatory codes of practiceMoreover, responsible marketing should also consider the environment and seek to use natural resources sustainably in the delivery of promotional messages.
  • 1. Sell products fairly – as we have discussed - sell tours, holidays, activities, experiences honestly and in accordance with the law. Do not falsely mislead or take advantage of the consumer. Organisations which do not promote truthfully or fairly erode the image and reputation not only of their own company or organisation, but also the reputation of the host country or destination – increasing negative word of mouth promotion and decreasing repeat visitation which affect everyone. Often referred to as “greenwashing” – which we will discuss later.2. Inform about destinations truthfully – This is about being authentic. You should communicate to consumers about the people, culture, and environment in the tourism destination authentically so their experience satisfies their expectations. Do not for example tell consumers a people still follow traditional practices if they actually take a more modern approach. It not only degrades the people, but also makes the tourist feel disappointed and cheated.3. Raise awareness about sustainable practices – promote to the consumer what you as an organisation are doing to improve sustainability in the destination. This not only helps promote your business or organisation but also raises awareness about the environmentand social situation and encourages them to participate and also act moreresponsibly.
  • Competitive advantage: Certified “sustainable” products can gain a certain degree of competitive advantage over competition which gives an advantage in marketing over competitors who are not being responsible or sustainable. Some schemes even provide certification such as Green LotusDemand: Consumers are increasingly demanding organisations to be environmentally and socially responsible. If an organisation is acting acting responsibly then customers will be more willing to buy the product & the value of the product will be higher. Increase the likelihood of developing customer loyalty – because customers are aware of the organisation;s responsible actions through its marketing and communication they also feel like they are contributing to a good cause and are therefore more likely to remain loyal to the company or organisation.Customer satisfaction - Ensures target market and destination or product are better matched because if misleading information is provided then it leads to disappointment when it does not meet with was has been promoted to the customer.Respect: Because responsible marketing and communication includes informing visitors about how to respect the local culture and environment, visitors will interact with the community and environment in a more respectful way.
  • An activity is usually focused on the physical action, with little connection to the meaning or significance of the place in which it occurs, such as sightseeing, bushwalking or swimming. An experience, however, goes beyond an activity to provide a higher level of engagement with the sense of place and local people and a greater depth of involvement and understanding of both.To consume tourism is therefore about consumingexperiences. The tourism experience is comprised of a bundle of factors that relate to the places tourists visit and thepeople they meet. It concerns their interactions in the tourism cycle. The tourist experience is influenced by demand factors, tourist motivation, and types of tourists - and most importantly in terms of marketing and communication - issues related to authenticity, commodification, image and perception. Tourism experiences go beyond simply undertaking an activity and result in higher levels of engagement and tourists’ gaining a “sense of place”. In tourism experiences are classified into themes such as social experiencesspiritual experiences, physical experiences, aesthetic experiences, emotional experiences, audiovisual experiences, gastronomic experiences, and cultural experiences. A holiday experience will normally combine many of these experiences together (e.g. gastronomic experience refers to the tourists’ interest in eating food different to what he gets at home but often not too unusual, a cultural experience might refer to meeting and interacting with local people and learning something new or a different perspective that he/she did not have before).
  • Authenticity in tourism refers to the motivation of tourists to travel in order to experience something unique or original. ‘Authenticity’ can relate to the relative integrity (the level of genuinenessor “realness”) of a place (e.g. an historical building such as a temple or pagoda), an object (e.g. a culturalperformance) or an activity (e.g. going fishing with the local fishermen)in relation to its original creation.Authenticity is however a perception held in the eyes of the consumer and in reality culture, traditions and society is a constantly evolving process. Phenomena simply are the way they are – with or without perceived authenticity, e.g. a touristmay think that a village that has electricity, satellite TVs, and modern 2 level town houses is not authentic – however for the local people this is their reality and therefore authentic.Authenticity is however, still highly connected to the marketing of tourism experiences by tour operators, travel agents, hotels, attractions and restaurants all of whom often want to promote their products as authentic (e.g. authentic Vietnamese food, authentic local homestay experience, authentic traditional performance etc).In tourism marketing authenticity also relates to ensuring the marketing of the experience is truthful with the reality. In the quest to package the most exciting and profound experiences the reality can become exaggerated and ultimately result in disappointment if the tourists’ expectations that have been created by the promotion are not met, e.g. selling a traditional homestay experience but the homestay has been developed to meet customer demands for modern comforts such as separate double bedrooms, western showers etc. While this might make many tourists happy, others may see it as not authentic anymore and be disappointed with the company for claiming it would offer an “authentic” experience.Marketers should not over exaggerate or communicate messages that do not mostly match with the reality. This will result in disappointment in the eyes of the consumer and affect the organisation brand and also that of the destination as a whole.Services nature of tourism – tourism product is an amalgam of many products (transport, accommodation, F&B etc). Because tourism is often related to the provision of a service it is open to issues of standardisation and control which can the be reflected through inaccurate marketing messages.
  • A tourism board in southern Europe used images of the Caribbean in their travel campaign, as their own beaches were not considered good enoughA large nation in Oceania presented images of a couple walking on a beach alone with a bottle of wine when all visitors to the beach must be accompanied by a guide and alcohol is not permittedA large southern European nation used the image of a woman emerging from what looks like the Mediterranean Sea in its advertisements but it was actually a Hawaiian scene with the background altered to feature an image of the country’s own coastline
  • Laczniak & Murphy developed a number of tests to help determine if a proposed marketing action is ethical in their book “Ethical Marketing Decisions: The Higher Road”. An answer of “yes” to any of the questions indicates the marketersproposed action could be unethical and should be carefully considered before implementing action.Ref: Laczniak, G.R. & Murphy , P.E. 1993, Ethical Marketing Decisions: The Higher Road, Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, MA, USA
  • Commodification of culture is about the manufacturing and selling of culture to create viable, mesmerising products that can be sold to consumers for profit instead of for the original purpose of the form of cultural expression. For example, turning a wedding dance into a dinner performance for tourists, or selling tours to visit traditional festivals and ceremonies (e.g. love markets) that were previously only attended by those who were in the process of courting to find a husband or wife.In order to fulfil tourists’ demand for perceived authenticity host populations often resort to staging authenticity – e.g. excluding modern elements from a cultural performance, constructing a traditional cultural village to look historical etc.Commodification can also result in the loss of meaning – e.g. a traditional performance normally only conducted at weddings is performed on a stage to a crowd of tourists. This makes the tourism experience inherently inauthentic because the objects are not genuine or original.In tourism promotion it is important to protect cultural meaning and significance. Staging culture for tourists’ consumption therefore needs to be done sensitively with the objective being not to lose meaning and significance to the local people. Therefore critical that the local custodians of the culture are actively involved in the development and interpretation of their culture for tourists – and are aware of the dangers.
  • Redeveloping places to make them more attractive for tourist consumption - Seemingly ‘undesirable’ elements of places are removed and the fabric of the urban environment is ‘enhanced’E.g. a ‘cultural village’ that is completely newly constructed in the image of a traditional village from the past.Creating staged and reshaped traditional performances for tourists - Reshaping a traditional cultural performance to fit with the interests of the market.E.g. shortening a performance to fit the time constraints of a tour, removing dance elements perceived as boring or confronting, performing a sacred funeral dance or wedding performance to a tour group etc. Merging new cultural elements into the performance such as different clothing, adornments, face paint, music etc.Adaptive reuse of historical buildings without interpretation - Restoring historic buildings for uses which they were not intended may help to preserve the built heritage but in the absence of any interpretive aids it can obscure any meaningful historical understanding of those buildings.E.g. an historic place of worship is converted into a bar and nightclub, or an historic home of a significant person in time is turned into a restaurantSale and / or reproduction of artefacts of cultural or spiritual significance as souvenirs – Selling historical objects of cultural significance as souvenirs to tourists results in the loss of historical heritage and gradual erosion of historical links with the past (“cultural amnesia”). Reproduction of culturally or spiritually significant objects as souvenirs eliminiates original meaning and significance. E.g. in Papau New Guinea traditional red coral shell necklaces had value as an object of traditional but today is being sold to tourists as necklaces – taking the necklaces out of the trade ring forever.
  • Greenwashing is considered to be a problem because it contributes to consumer scepticism of all green claims, and diminishes the power of the consumer in driving organisations toward greener solutions for manufacturing processes and business operations. Knowingly misleading consumers about a product or service’s environmental practices or benefits for own gainCauses: Sector enterprises collectively consume a high degree of energy and water and produce a high degree of wasteHighly unregulated nature of the global travel and tourism industrySector comprised of high number of small and medium size enterprises creating significant competition and need to differentiateShifting consumer awareness and expectations of business to be environmentally and socially responsible Effects: Erosion of public trust of tourism eco-labelsReputational damage both at the enterprise level and whole sectors like hotels, airlines, cruises and car rentals.
  • TerraChoice’s “Seven Sins” for the travel industry is the result of a recent conducted at a Sustainable Tourism Conference in Bermuda in 2011 organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization. During the conference delegates identified what they termed the “Seven Sins” of the travel industry.  The exercise saw delegates thinking of examples of greenwashing in destinations, transportation and accommodation.  Here are a few examples of the “green travelling sins”:The hidden trade-off – A claim suggesting that a product is ‘green’ based on a narrow set of attributes without attention to other important environmental issues. A hotel states that it uses solar panels for water heating, but the property has no water conservation program. They are therefore, depleting the communities’ water table making the tourism operation unsustainable in the long-term. No proof – An environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification.   Many restaurants and hotels claim to serve organic food. However, they don’t state from where it is sourced.  They may also claim that towel re-use is good for the environment, but they seldom provide evidence of how this is measured, especially if housekeeping changes them daily anyway!Vagueness- A claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer.Tourism is about connecting people to beautiful places and it is mostly centered on nature, history and culture. To promote these locales, claims are often made about them being natural, pristine, and well-preserved. It does not mean however, that these areas are being protected or initiatives are being implemented to mitigate the impact of high tourism volume.Worshiping false labels – A product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists (fake labels). There are hundreds of global tourism eco-labels, certifications, accreditations, guidelines and codes of ethics that are adopted by destinations, hotels, transportation and attractions. The lack of an easily recognized certification such as Fair Trade can lead to the impression that the tourism product is certified “green” when no proper information is provided as to how it is achieved and audited.Irrelevance - An environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally preferable products. Mega cruise ships spend a lot of time and money to collect recyclable plastic, paper and glass, but since they are unable to store it in the vessel, they often unload this cargo in ports with no recycling facilities where the waste ends up in a landfill. Although there are programs to build recycling facilities in the ports of call, if the final destination of the recycled material is not stated, it may give a false impression that the cruise ship has fully reduced its waste impact. Lesser of two evils: A claim that may be true within the product category, but that risks distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole. What emits less carbon, a car, a train or a plane? According to EasyJet’s ads, their planes! Apparently the assumptions used to make these claims were erroneous and EasyJet was reprimanded by the UK Advertising Standard Agency for false advertising. Bottom line is that all of these forms of transports are powered by non-renewable energy and it ultimately comes down to relative choices about which option is less harmful to the environment.Fibbing: Environmental claims that are simply false. According to TerraChoice this is the least committed sin. The delegates sincerely wanted to believe that no tourism business would willfully mislead the public. Then we thought that the process of trying to prove a lie is so time consuming and costly that we may never know anyway
  • More satisfied visitors and fewer complaints: Tourists are more likely to have an experience that matches with the expectations that have been developed as a result of marketing and promotion messages leading to greater satisfaction and fewer complaints about expectations not being met.Enhanced reputation: Being authentic and accurate is strongly connected in the eyes of the consumer with being honest and truthful which creates a positive reputation of the organisation and destination in general and be a competitive advantage.Increased sales and income: More satisfied visitors will typically lead to longer stays, more repeat visitations, and positive referrals to family and friends, and as a result generate increased sales and income.Fewer negative social, economic and environmental impacts: Being accurate and authentic in marketing means the tourists who decide to visit the destination will fit more closely with the experiences and products being sold to them creating fewer adverse impacts on the culture, environment and economy.
  • Authenticity in marketing requires an understanding of the core products and services and the most commonly held experience that they may create in the minds of the target market. Authentic marketing begins with asking:•What do we as a government or organisation believe about our tourism products and experiences? – e.g. we have great hiking experiences in pristine jungle, we have vibrant cultural heritage etc• What is the function, meaning and importance of the local culture and environment that we are promoting? – e.g. the jungle is the traditional hunting ground of the local people who have looked after it for thousands of years, the temple is a sacred place of worship of a significant ancestor• What ideal or set of ideals do we want to be known for as an organisation and destination? – e.g. socially minded: respecting and promoting the local culture, working with the local people to develop cultural tourism products, OR environmentally friendly: treading lightly, promoting environmental conservation• How will we deliver those ideals? – e.g. reflecting ideals in all facets of marketing (e.g. using recycled paper for environmentally friendly company, OR using local products and employing local people etc for a socially minded company)
  • For tourism destinations, organisations or attractions that are implementing sustainable practices it is important to not only communicate what is being done to the tourist in order to enforce or change behaviour so that it is sympathetic to the sustainability activities being implemented by the organisation / destination, but also to further extend the efforts that have been made by raising awareness and educating visitors on why sustainability matters so they can internalise it into their own thinking and behaviour as well as pass it on to others. If an organisation acts sustainably but does not let anyone know (communicate it) then there is an “opportunity loss” - people will not be aware of what is being done and therefore will be less likely to undertake supportive actions which they might have done had they been aware of the local sustainability issues. E.g. a town has a problem with street children souvenir sellers and is working with an NGO to help bring them an education and get them off the streets but the guests in the hotel are not aware of the problem and purchase products from the street children further entrenching them in street selling and denying them an education. Moreover, many of the visitors to the hotel are interested in supporting such a cause and would be willing to donate if they were aware of opportunities that are available.Marketing sustainability also has direct benefits to the tourist - such as allowing them to feel they are active participants in positive change, as well as for the organisation which can hope to gain an advantage over the competition.
  • Keep it Real is an approach for organisations and destinations that are acting sustainably to let their customers know about it – and enjoy it. The Keeping it Real approachrecognisesthat authenticity makes customers’ holidays more fun and their business trips more pleasant. The approach was developed as a result of organisations and destinations that are acting sustainably being too shy to tell their customers, for fear it’s not relevant, or that it will be misunderstood. This has been true even of organisations that have achieved sustainability awards and certification but whostruggle to know how it can be used to best effect. The approach is based upon the basic principles of understanding who you tell, for what purpose and through which channels, and more importantly that you know what you’re saying is really worth shouting about.
  • Most consumers care, or at least want to know that they are not doing harm. But this does not mean they will act differently (i.e. price, convenience / location, habits in purchase behaviour and brand loyalty can inhibit change to a new more sustainable tourism product and will almost always come 1st in the minds of the consumer). However, when all of these are equal amongst competitors, sustainability values and actions differentiate a product.In order to communicate any kind of message an intended recipient of the message needs to be identified. Whilst marketing sustainable and ethical practices can be delivered to any market since there is generally increasing awareness and concern for the sustainable practices in organisations and destinations, to be of most relevance, three key market segments shouldbe considered, with sustainability messages adjusted for each:Ethical seekers”: Seek out green holidays as a continuation of their lifestyle. While not large in number, “ethical seekers” are vocal and loyal and want to learn about the sustainability aspects of the destination products, services and experiences that they undertake.“Just want to switch off”: Want a simple, uncomplicated break from their daily lives and responsibilities making issues of sustainability of little interest or value in their decision-making. Communication of sustainability should be “behind the scenes” and focus on how it improves their experience. “Feel good factor”: By far the largest market segment, this group takes an interest in sustainable tourism through the travel press, but usually only due to the point of difference it brings. Whilst not strongly committed to act, simple sustainability messages that clearly demonstrate benefits can result in favourable actions.
  • Before any marketing of sustainable principles and practices is undertaken it is important to clarify what the objectives are. While the mix and importance of objectives will vary between actors, some of the most common objectives include:Raise awareness and change behaviour: Another key purpose of communicating sustainable messages is to multiply the impacts of the sustainable practices that are already being implemented and get tourists to support your efforts by increasing their understanding about negative impacts of tourism and the benefits of changing their behaviour to be more socially, economically and environmentally sensitive. To raise awareness and change behaviour messages should be clear about what needs to be done, be positive about the direct benefit of taking prescribed actions, and identify who the beneficiaries of change are.Allow tourists to feel good about doing the right thing: By selecting a tourism business or supporting an attraction that is implementing sustainable principles tourists become active participants in positive change which makes them feel like they are doing a good service to the community, economy or environment, and reinforces that they have made the right decision.Increase visitation and / or sales: Offering an experience or product that is sustainable can be a point of difference with other organisations, destinations and attractions and can therefore help drive increased visitation and / or sales. Moreover, it meets growing consumer demand for organisations to implement good corporate social responsibility. However, when promoting sustainability credentials it is important that the link between sustainability and consumer benefits is clear. Moreover, it is critical that what is being promoted is genuine and truthful to avoid the negative associations of “greenwashing” (see below).
  • Give return benefits for changing behaviour - If you want change (e.g. purchase local, respect local customs, recycle), give something in return. Need to motivate and be positive. If messages are not inspiring it will be hard to convince the consumer to change behaviour.Ensure instructions are specific (what exactly do you want them to do / be aware of), demonstrate how actions will result in a clear positive impact (link actions to specific positive outcomes), explain how they (the customer) benefits, only mention sustainable options(do not promote non-sustainable practices!)
  • Consumer appreciation regardless– Telling consumers about your green credentials will not lose you customers. It willmake them feel good knowing that they are “doing their bit.”Communicate how you have taken care of business – Consumers will feel good about their purchase if you can demonstrate how you have taken care of the need to be more sustainable – leaving them to enjoy the benefits.Make sustainability easy - Customers feel good (or less guilty) facing easy choices. Promote easy sustainability options such as methods to make charitable donations or promoting sustainable holiday options (e.g. public transport options, where to recycle etc.).Key: Ensure sustainable options promoted are ‘good’ choices that have positive impacts. Ensuring you explain why the options are both better and more sustainable.
  • Differentiation – Promoting sustainability credentials helps differentiate from business competition or destinations that are facing sustainability issues.Communicating about sustainability helps you get noticed as you are offeringmore than the others. Sustainability can attract more customers and sales than by raising prices. According toVisitEngland, there are more examples of increased occupancy and lower seasonality through using sustainability creatively, than there are about higher prices. This is good news for the service sector, where managing occupancy has a more significant impact on your bottom line than charging more at peak periods. Promote discounts or additional benefits for behaving sustainably - Customers like to know they are getting a bargain – so showing that behaving sustainably gives them either a discount or additional benefits is likely to be attractive. E.g. cafés giving a discount (and others putting money in a charity pot) for regulars that bring their own mug – this saves the business on disposable cups and gains a loyal customer.Design sustainable packages for your low occupancy or usage periods or services that can generate more money in high seasonLow season sustainability options, such as:Develop a seasonal activity calendar place on website and emphasise what’s there in low seasonPromote products such as food and herbal medicine from the local area and encourage visitors to come back to restockDevelop interesting natural and cultural events, activities and packages for the low season to create demand during quieter times
  • If not done well, communicating messages of sustainability can seem to tourists like they are being lectured which is not what they want when they are on holiday, or alternatively messages might come across as being overly apologetic, which can reduce consumer confidence. Messages that are communicated therefore need to be carefully worded in order to get the desired response from the audience. Examples of different approaches in effectively delivering sustainability messages include:
  • Key elements in effectively communicating sustainability messages: Make it fun and participatory: Sustainability should not be boring. Turning messages into interesting facts that tourists can relate to can help bring it to life. Moreover, opportunities to make learning about sustainability interactive can create a fun learning experience and reinforce learning.  Show empathy: Instead of making cold, corporate messages, more personal connections should be used to communicate sustainability principles and practices by explaining to the customer or visitor that like them, you are concerned for the well-being of the community and environment, and are therefore doing what you can to minimise negative impacts and maximise positive impacts.  Make it special: Turn sustainability requests of customers and visitors into positive experiences instead of apologising for requesting visitors to alter their behaviour. Look at the benefits of sustainability and thread into key messages. For example, using local guides means visitors can “hear it from a local”, using local organic produce on a menu means customers are getting “the very freshest ingredients of the region”.
  • Thread messages throughout the current communication channel and examine new opportunities.In particular, the following channels should be considered:Certification: If official sustainable certification has been achieved then this should be used to communicate to the audience about the sustainability principles and practices that are being put in place. Certification certificates and logos can be displayed in a range of places such as the reception / entrance, in guest books (for accommodation), on websites, in promotional leaflets and literature, and in advertisements.Press: Gain media attention and features in newspapers, magazines and websites by putting together press releases that highlight sustainable practices that are being implemented and are of interest or benefit to the general public. The articles that are then written can then be placed on the organisation website or displayed in windows and walls to further generate attention about the good work being done.Website: Let the public know about sustainable principles and practices being implemented through the organisation website. A section on sustainability policies can be created and messages further integrated throughout the website text, for example, descriptions of goods and services should incorporate sustainable approaches and the benefits that consumers will get.Social media: Setting up one or more social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can help further deliver sustainability messages. The tone on social media should be informative, direct and less formal.Print media: As with the website, any print media that is used to promote the organisation, destination or attraction such as brochures, newsletters and flyers, should also incorporate messages about sustainability making sure to link to the benefits for consumers.
  • See next slide for information
  • The slide can be converted into a handout or remain as a slide.The story behind the ESRT boothESRT participated in the Vietnam International Travel Mart Hanoi 2013 by having a booth in the exhibition hall. The aim of the booth was to raise awareness about responsible tourism. The ESRT booth was designed completely out of cardboard and constructed by a local creative team. The booth was laid out with an entrance and exit to control visitor flow as well as create a structure for the learning process. On the floor is a pathway for visitors to follow (known as the “Responsible Tourism Pathway”). On the walls are hand drawn images of the beautiful Vietnamese landscape and its people. Starting in the Mekong Delta in the South, the path progresses through Vietnam's key landscape regions, finishing in the mountainous North.As visitors walk along the “Responsible Tourism Path” they encounter people, animals, objects and sign posts that inform them about key messages, facts and figures about responsible tourism (7 Key Questions about Responsible Tourism, plus 8 Key Responsible Tourism Messages). When the visitors exit the booth they have a raised awareness about the need, benefits, and potential actions they can take in creating a responsible tourism future in Vietnam.Participants to discuss the effectivenessof ESRT’s communication approach about responsible tourism. How was responsible tourism reflected in the design? Etc, etc INFORMATION FOR THE TRAINER (TO REVEAL TO PARTICIPANTS AFTER THEY HAVE PROVIDED THEIR IDEAS):To demonstrate the environmental aspects of Responsible Tourism, the booth incorporates the following key elements:Constructed from cardboard, a natural material, and 100% recyclableLow energy consumption required to produce booth walls and props compared to other materials such as plastic, metal or wood No hazardous chemicals were required to produce the booth, meaning less harm to people and the environment To demonstrate the economic and social aspects of Responsible Tourism, the booth incorporates the following key elements:Low construction cost of booth material compared to other types of materials such as plastic and woodWe are supporting the local economy by using a small local booth design team based in Hanoi who also purchase their materials locallyWe provided our design team with competitive employment rates  If ESRT wanted to ask people and organisations to adopt a responsible approach to tourism then they also needed to be able to demonstrate some benefits, otherwise nobody would listen to them. Key benefits obtained by ESRT in its booth design inlcluded:  Their environmentally design setthem apart from the crowd - No other booths look theirs in the thousands that were present. It was unique and attracted attention. No additional marketing required!  The environmentally friendly design communicated their message - The cardboard construction instantly deliveredtheir message of being environmentally friendly. Just by looking at the booth visitors could understand what their principles were and the area of our work - and they didn't even need to open our mouths! Their unique design increasedvisitation - The unique design automatically attracted interest and visitation, increasing the return on their awareness objectives. It was particularly popular with media and people visitors taking photos. If they had been in the private sector and their objectives were sales, then they would hada distinct advantage (visitation = potential sales)! Being responsibe made the staff happier to do they are doing – The staff we proud of the booth and the environmental and social principles theyhave adopted. Itmotivated them to tell others about it! They wereproud to be associated with a good cause, and if they are happy and motivated to work, the organisation is also happy!  Finally, by minimising our impacts on the environment and supporting the local people and economy ESRT were doing their bit to make Vietnam a more pleasant place for people to live in and to visit!
  • Before booking: Tell visitors before they arrive about your sustainable credentials and the reason why it is better value, better quality, or simply a more appealing proposition. Between booking and arrival: Tell visitors how to prepare for their visit in pre-departure packs that include information about what to bring, what is acceptable behaviour, dress code, how to respect others etc. On arrival particularly important issues can be reinforced by staff conducting the meet and greet.During the stay / visit: At this point customers or visitors can be physically shown sustainability practices being undertaken with explanations about what can be done to assist. In accommodation for example, small messages in the bathroom can request guests to help reduce water consumption by reusing their towels or switching off lights when they leave.After the stay / visit: Keep in touch with visitors can not only be a good way to encourage repeat visitation and referrals but can also be an opportunity to further deliver information about sustainability practices. For example, by updating customers on community projects or the successes of environmental activities.
  • To carry out businessGovernment:To manage and regulate the sector, e.g. name and address of tourism businesses in province, contact details of the owners, business tax file numbers, characteristics of businesses (e.g. number of rooms, room rates etc)…Business: To enable financial transactions and report to relevant authorities, Personal information about customers such as their name, nationality, passport number, visa, bank details, address…Good data management refers to the way in which the names, addresses and personal details are collected, stored and used to ensure the privacy of the people concernedGood data management and the maintenance of data privacy is important in order to be able to enhance and build on relationships with customers (people or businesses). If organisations do not follow good practice in the management and maintenance of consumer and business privacy then significant financial, commercial and reputational issues may eventuate including possible legal penalties.
  • The types of data that need to be protected and secured can include any information about a customer (person or business) that is held on computer or in an organised filing system that could be used by third parties to identify them. Examples of private data can include their name, address, e-mail addresses, passport number, date of birth, and banking details amongst others.
  • The purpose for collecting data should relate to the type of business the organisation is in, and a good reason for collecting the information can be demonstrated. When data is being collected it individuals and businesses should be informed if the information might be used for marketing or other purposes. Formal application forms and contracts should also include a privacy policy which explains what the purpose of collecting the information is for and how it will and will not be used. Legal advice should be taken if bank or credit card details are to be collected as there are security implications.
  • There are a number of key steps to remember when storing data for marketing purposes:Ensure that personal information is kept secure at all times (for example, data stored on mobile devices should be kept to a minimum)Regularly review databases to ensure that data is accurate and up-to-dateMake sure data is only stored for the purpose it is collected and only for as long as it is requiredAlways give people the opportunity to opt in or out of receiving marketing (made as simple as possible – for example by clicking an unsubscribe link in an e-mail)Retain details of opt-out requests to ensure individuals are not contacted in the future (e.g. under a different marketing campaign)
  • The Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights and Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP dealwith confidentiality of consumers’ personal data and private information.Obligations placed on traders who collect such information include:Notifying consumers about why the information is being collectedEnsuring the safety, accuracy and completeness of the informationNot transferring information to other parties without the consumer’s consentProhibited acts of traders deal with aggressive sales techniques or engaging in behaviour that amounts to harassment of consumers or taking advantage of consumers including:Cheating or misleading consumers through advertising or providing false information about the product or the traderHarassing a consumer by marketing goods or services contrary to the wishes of the consumer on two or more occasionsCoercing a consumer through threatening behaviour or profiteeringRequiring a consumer to pay for goods or services which the consumer did not order
  • If an individual or company has contacted your organisation requesting marketing material then there are no significant reasons why this cannot be provided. Sending unsolicited marketing information by post or telephone may also be conducted unless they have stated that they do not wish to receive direct marketing. For sending unsolicited marketing by SMS, fax or e-mail to individuals explicit consent should be provided first (including named individuals at a company), however this is not normally needed for businesses. If external databases are purchased to send marketing information legal advice should be obtained first to ensure no breach of rights takes place.
  • Just give 1 sentence to describe each (the detail provided in the following slides)
  • Surveys: Conducted online, by phone or mail, surveys consist of a set of predetermined questions that can assist in obtaining structured feedback about specific topics that can be more easily collated and analysed. Commonly used to gauge customer satisfaction after the use of a product or service.Focus groups: Moderated, small-group discussions between a pre-selected group of individuals, focus groups can provide insight into the preferences, attitudes, and opinions about existing or new products or services. Feedback forms and comment cards: Physical, paper cards or forms with one or more survey questions designed to gather feedback after a good or service has been consumed. Examples can include a providing a visitor book at a cultural or heritage site or providing guests in a hotel with a comments card under their door on the final night of their stay. Social media: Social networks, online communities, blogs, forums and discussions boards can be used to collect customer feedback either directly on a destination or business (e.g. Trip Advisor), or alternatively to obtain information about general consumer attitudes and trends.On the spot verbal feedback and observation: Simply observing visitor behaviour and asking for their opinion about a particular product, service or experience can be the simplest, cheapest and fastest form of feedback. A positive and objective attitude of “all feedback is good feedback” should be adopted. Verbal on the spot observation and feedback also provides an opportunity to fix a problem before a visitor departs, increasing satisfaction, positive referrals and repeat business.
  • Start with simple but interesting questions and end with the easy demographic ones.Keep questions short – avoid jargon and overly technical language.Make sure that each question covers just one point. For example “Did you find the accommodation you stayed in comfortable and of good value?” is difficult to answerBe specific when asking about time frames. Open-ended questions (where there are no specific answer options, but rather leave respondents to write down their own response) can be useful for adding colour to survey results, and they may produce insight where the answer is not known. However, these questions take longer to answer and to analyse so limit the number of open-ended questions in your survey.When putting the questionnaire together, group similar questions together to make things easy to follow.Less is more! It’s tempting to add more and more questions to a questionnaire, but try to keep it as short as possible. A long questionnaire has a negative impact on the number and quality of responses. Stay focused on the survey objectives, and think about how the results for each question will actually help to achieve your objectives. As a guide, a face-to-face questionnaire should not take any longer than 10 minutes.
  • Focus groups: Moderated, small-group discussions between a pre-selected group of individuals, focus groups can provide insight into the preferences, attitudes, and opinions about existing or new products or services. Thoughts and opinions - Helps gain an in depth understanding of the thoughts,opinions, preferences and attitudes about existing or new products or servicesMore effective - Surveys assume that people know how they feel. But sometimes they really don’t. Sometimes it takes listening to the opinions of others in a small and safe group setting before they form thoughts and opinions. Focus groups are well suited for those situations. Surveys are good for collecting information about people’s attributes and attitudes but if you need to understand things at a deeper level then use a focus group.Moderated discussion of small group - The focus group moderator nurtures disclosure in an open and spontaneous format. The moderator’s goal is to generate maximum number of different ideas and opinions from as many different people in the time allotted. 6-10 people is a good size to let people feel comfortable to talk freely and also generate enough opinions for discussion.Structured discussion - Focus groups are structured around a set of carefully predetermined questions – usually no more than 10 – but the discussion is free-flowing. Ideally, participant comments will stimulate and influence the thinking and sharing of others. Some people even find themselves changing their thoughts and opinions during the group. Homogenous group - A homogeneous group of strangers comprise the focus group. Homogeneity means everyone feels equal (less disputes) and reduces inhibitions among people who will probably never see each other again. Repetition - ‰ It takes more than one focus group on any one topic to produce valid results – usually three or four. You’ll know you’ve conducted enough groups (with the same set of questions) when you’re not hearing anything new anymore, i.e. you’ve reached a point of saturation.
  • Focus group participants don’t have a chance to see the questions they are being asked so the questions should be carefully developed with the following in mind.
  • Demographic information should be collected by asking participants to fill out a form before the session begins (e.g. Gender, Nationality, Age Group etc)
  • Surveys: Conducted online, by phone or mail, surveys consist of a set of predetermined questions that can assist in obtaining structured feedback about specific topics that can be more easily collated and analysed. Commonly used to gauge customer satisfaction after the use of a product or service.Focus groups: Moderated, small-group discussions between a pre-selected group of individuals, focus groups can provide insight into the preferences, attitudes, and opinions about existing or new products or services. Feedback forms and comment cards: Physical, paper cards or forms with one or more survey questions designed to gather feedback after a good or service has been consumed. Examples can include a providing a visitor book at a cultural or heritage site or providing guests in a hotel with a comments card under their door on the final night of their stay. Social media: Social networks, online communities, blogs, forums and discussions boards can be used to collect customer feedback either directly on a destination or business (e.g. Trip Advisor), or alternatively to obtain information about general consumer attitudes and trends.On the spot verbal feedback and observation: Simply observing visitor behaviour and asking for their opinion about a particular product, service or experience can be the simplest, cheapest and fastest form of feedback. A positive and objective attitude of “all feedback is good feedback” should be adopted. Verbal on the spot observation and feedback also provides an opportunity to fix a problem before a visitor departs, increasing satisfaction, positive referrals and repeat business.
  • The questions should have tick box answers for different levels of satisfaction
  • Social media: Social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Trip Advisor), online communities such as blogs, forums and discussions boards (e.g. Lonely Planet Thorn Tree, Trip Advisor) can be used to collect customer feedback either directly on a destination or business (e.g. Trip Advisor), or alternatively to obtain information about general consumer attitudes and trends.Can be both direct feedback and to gauge general consumer attitudes and trendsCollect product feedback – Post questions on your social media page and gather opinions from current customers, but also prospective customers before implementing developing or introducing new products Review brand awareness – Use social media searches to see each time someone mentions your company or destination. Some applications can even allow you to get real-time updates pushed to your desktop and instantly reply.Add a survey or poll to your website or blog - Create an electronic form - from open-ended questions, to polls with radio buttons, to multiple choice – and embed it on your website or blog.Post a YouTube video – Upload a video to YouTube to capture feedback and emotional responses. YouTube now allows for “video responses,” so users who see your video can post a response in the same way they’d post a text comment.
  • On the spot verbal feedback and observation: Simply observing visitor behaviour and asking for their opinion about a particular product, service or experience can be the simplest, cheapest and fastest form of feedback.Observe what they are doing - Observation: watch what visitors do, where they go, what they buy, and how they interactUnderstand what they are thinking - Gaining immediate feedback: ask for opinions about a product, service or experienceA positive and objective attitude of “all feedback is good feedback” should be adopted. Verbal on the spot observation and feedback also provides an opportunity to fix a problem before a visitor departs, increasing satisfaction, positive referrals and repeat business.
  • Once feedback has been obtained improvements should be prioritised and put into action as quickly as possible to ensure momentum is not lost.Organisations which have good communication flows with visitors should communicate to them about the improvements made (e.g. via email, newsletter, organisation website).
  • Transcript

    • 2. Unit outline Objectives By the end of this unit, participants will be able to: • Describe the types of different dissemination channels for interaction with visitors • Explain the importance of marketing and communicating about Responsible Tourism • Explain the importance of authenticity and accuracy in marketing Responsible Tourism • Identify the types of sustainability marketing messages that can be delivered to tourists • Explain the importance of customer data protection • Describe the communication channels for disseminating Responsible Tourism provisions Topics 1. Importance of responsible marketing and communications in tourism 2. Communicating authentic and accurate messages 3. Marketing and communicating sustainable practices 4. Maintaining data privacy in marketing 5. Collecting visitor feedback
    • 4. The role and function of marketing and communications Management process Engages audiences Presents messages Aims for attitudinal or behavioural response
    • 5. The marketing and communications mix Personal selling Promotions
    • 6. The “4P” marketing mix PRICE •Discounts •Commissions •Surcharges •Extras PLACE •Distribution channels •Methods of distribution •Coverage •Location PROMOTION •Advertising •Sales promotion •Salesmanship •Publicity PRODUCT •Design •Quality •Range •Brand name •Features
    • 7. Products in tourism marketing • The goods and services that enable the tourism process • The combination of products creates a visitor “experience” • Common types of products include: – Accommodation – Attractions – Transport – Recreation – Shopping – Restaurants
    • 8. Pricing in tourism marketing • Refers to the amount charged for a tourism product • Cost of end product as well as at points along distribution chain • May be adjusted for different circumstances • Regulated through conditions • Amount should consider operating costs, profit margin and distribution network costs • Other influences include demand, seasonality, target market, and competitors
    • 9. Place in tourism marketing • The link between the product and the consumer • Considers where and how a consumer may make a purchase decision • Direct or through distribution channels • Choice of distribution depends on factors like: – purchasing behaviour of target market – associated costs – distributor familiarity and enthusiasm of the product
    • 10. Promotion in tourism marketing • Aims to influence, inform, and / or persuade • Usually a mix of: – Advertising – Public Relations – Personal selling – Sales Promotions • Promotional mix depends on consumer profile - what do they read, where do they go, who influences them..?
    • 11. The 5th P - Packaging • Combines two or more products and /or services to: 1. Make them easier to buy (convenience) 2. Provide consumers with well priced, attractive and convenient holiday options (price advantage) • Other consumer benefits include ease of payment and planning and less stress • Used to target specific markets and explore new ones • Fosters partnerships building of tourism operators for mutual benefit
    • 12. Applying principles of responsibility to marketing and communication • Respects law and good practice • Decent and honest • Respects fair competition • Has sense of social responsibility • Respects user privacy
    • 13. 3 key components of responsibility in tourism marketing and communications SELL PRODUCTS FAIRLY INFORM ABOUT DESTINATIONS TRUTHFULLY RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY
    • 14. Benefits of responsible tourism marketing and communication Creates competitive advantage Increases value and demand Increases customer loyalty Increases customer satisfaction Facilitates more respectful interaction in destinations
    • 16. Tourism experiences involve… TOURIST EXPERIENCE Place Infrastructure Services InterpretationOthers? Demand Motivation Types of tourists Authenticity INFLUENCES:
    • 17. Authenticity in tourism experiences • Travel to experience something unique or original • Integrity can relate to a place, an object or an activity • While authenticity is perceived.. remains highly connected to marketing tourism experiences • Services nature of tourism and component parts make marketing susceptible to inaccurate messages Picture source:
    • 18. Examples of inauthentic advertising from around the world Picture sources:  Sharing a bottle of wine on the beach…really? Are we in Spain or the Carribbean!? The Mediterranean Sea has never looked this good!
    • 19. Testing the ethics of proposed marketing actions TEST QUESTION Legal Test Does the contemplated action violate the law? Duties Test Is this action contrary to widely accepted moral obligations? Special Obligations Test Does the proposed action violate any other special obligations that stem from the type of marketing organisation at focus? Motives Test Is the intent of the contemplated action harmful? Consequences Test Is it likely that any major damages to people or organisations will result from the contemplated action? Utilitarian Test Is there a satisfactory alternative action that produces equal or greater benefits to the parties affected than the proposed action? Rights Test Does the contemplated action infringe on property rights, privacy rights, or the inalienable rights of the consumer? Justice Test Does the proposed action leave another person or group less well off? Is this person or group already a member of a relatively underprivileged class? Source: Laczniak, G.R. & Murphy , P.E. 1993, Ethical Marketing Decisions: The Higher Road, Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, MA, USA in Dunfee, T.W., Craig Smith, N. and Ross, W.T. 1999, ‘Social contracts and marketing ethics’, Journal of Marketing, 63(3): 14-32)
    • 20. Commodification of culture • The manufacturing and selling of culture for profit • Response to fulfilling demand for perceived authenticity • May result in the loss of original meaning • Imperative to ensure involvement and determination of local people Picture source:
    • 21. 4 examples of cultural commodification in tourism Redeveloping places to make them more attractive for tourist consumption Creating staged and reshaped traditional performances for tourists Adaptive reuse of historical buildings without interpretation Sale and / or reproduction of artefacts of cultural or spiritual significance as souvenirs Picture sources:
    • 22. Greenwashing • Knowingly misleading consumers about a product or service’s environmental practices or benefits for own gain CAUSES • Sector’s intensity in resource use • Largely unregulated nature of the sector • Sector composition and competition • Consumer demand EFFECTS • Erosion of public trust of tourism eco-labels • Reputational damage
    • 23. Greenwashing is all around us but can be hard to spot Example 1 • A hotel chain claims to be environmentally friendly because they allow guests to choose whether to sleep on the same sheets and use the same towels for continuous days. While the idea is good it is not making a significant difference. More impact can be made by installing for example, motion-sensor lighting, more efficient insulation and heating, or purchasing non- toxic carpeting and bedding. Example 2 • A well-known international fast food restaurant chain tried to paint itself as ‘green’ just because it had begun to use biofuel made from leftover grease in its fleet of trucks as well as using recycled paper in its takeaway bags. However the company still uses beef grazed on deforested land in South America, and bases its entire concept around disposable packaging. Source: Marie C. 2013, ‘Misleading Marketing: Beware the Greenwash!’, Elux Magazine, Feb 12, 2013
    • 24. The “7 Sins” of tourism promotion • The hidden trade-offSIN 1. • No proofSIN 2. • VaguenessSIN 3. • Worshiping false labelsSIN 4. • IrrelevanceSIN 5. • Lesser of two evilsSIN 6. • FibbingSIN 7. Source: Kuehnel J. 2011, ‘Greenwashing in the Travel and Tourism Industry’, Toronto Sustainability Series, Available [online]: industry/2/, Accessed: 21/01/2014
    • 25. The key benefits of marketing products and experiences accurately and authentically • More satisfied visitors; fewer complaints • Enhanced reputation • Increased sales and income • Fewer negative social, economic and environmental impacts
    • 26. Steps to identifying and communicating authenticity in marketing Understand own perspective about the tourism products and experiences being sold Understand the function, meaning and importance of the local culture and environment Identify the ideal or set of ideals you want to be known for Market and promote according to those ideals
    • 28. FOR BUSINESS & DESTINATIONS FOR TOURISTS The function and purpose of marketing and communicating sustainable practices Inform about sustainability activities Gain support in sustainability efforts Feel good
    • 29. Key steps for communicating sustainability: The “Keep it Real” approach Understand the market Identify objectives of sustainability communications Develop appropriate messages and communication channels Communicate messages at the right time STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 Source: VisitEngland 2010, Keep it real – market and communicate your credentials, London: VisitEngland and England’s Regional Sustainable Tourism Leads Group
    • 30. Step 1. Understand the markets and customise sustainability messages • While most consumers care it does not mean they will act differently • However, when everything else is equal, sustainability values and actions differentiate a product • Need to know attitudes of key market segments and tailor sustainability messages accordingly “Ethical seekers”: Seek out green holidays as a continuation of their lifestyle “Just want to switch off”: Want a simple, uncomplicated break from daily life “Feel good factor”: Take an interest in sustainable tourism through travel press Key market segments
    • 31. Characteristics of key market segments Feelgood Switch off Ethical seakers • Ethical seekers: Rational, International, Interrogative, Willing to Pay • Feel good factors: Emotional, Local, Simplified, Unlikely to Pay • Switch off: Irrelevant, Local or International, Cynical, Won’t Pay Source: VisitEngland 2010, Keep it real – market and communicate your credentials, London: VisitEngland and England’s Regional Sustainable Tourism Leads Group Symbolic representation of market segment size
    • 32. Step 2. Identify objectives of sustainability communications 1. To raise awareness and change behaviour 2. To allow tourists to feel good about doing the right thing 3. To increase visitation and/or sales Picture sources: 1885_i1314084682.php?type=tax_images&taxon=7&sort_order=asc&sort_key=year
    • 33. Objective 1: Communicating sustainability to raise awareness and change behaviour • Give return benefits for changing behaviour • Keep messages motivational and positive • Ensure communications are: – Specific – Demonstrate clear positive impacts of actions – Explain customer benefits – Present only sustainable options Picture sources: 1885_i1314084682.php?type=tax_images&taxon=7&sort_order=asc&sort_key=year
    • 34. Objective 2: Communicating sustainability to let consumers feel good • Consumers appreciate efforts regardless of motivation for travel • Show consumers how you have “taken care of” sustainable issues which then allows them to relax and enjoy the benefits • Promote easy sustainability options such as: – Easy methods to make charitable donations – Promoting sustainable holiday options (e.g. public transport options, where to recycle etc.) • Ensure sustainability options are ‘good’ choices with positive impacts Picture sources:
    • 35. Objective 3: Communicating sustainability to increase visitation and / or sales • Sustainability credentials create differentiation and help you get noticed • Sustainability can attract more customers and sales than through raising prices • Providing discounts or additional benefits for behaving sustainably can gain loyalty and sales • Design sustainable packages for low season and new services for high season • Provide sustainable options to encourage customers to stay longer or come back during the low season Picture sources:
    • 36. Step 3. Develop appropriate messages and communication channels • Common mistakes in communicating messages of sustainability: – Lecturing tourists – Being overly apologetic • Key: Communicate messages carefully to get the desired response from the consumer. Picture source:
    • 37. Key methods in effectively communicating sustainability messages • Sustainability should not be boring • Turning messages into interesting facts • Make learning interactive Make it fun and participatory • Create personal connections Show empathy • Turn sustainability requests into positive experiences • Look at the benefits of sustainability Make it special
    • 38. Key communication channels for sustainability messages Certification Press Website Social media Print media • Thread messages throughout the current communication channel & examine new opportunities. • In particular, the following channels should be considered:
    • 39. BEFORE BOOKING • Pre-departure info BETWEEN BOOKING & ARRIVAL • Tourism product sustainability areas DURING THE VISIT • Physically show sustainability practices AFTER THE VISIT • Updates on sustainability activities Step 4. Communicating messages at the right time
    • 41. The role and importance of good data management • Data is needed in order to carry out and regulate business • Good data management refers to the maintenance of privacy in the collection, storage and use of personal data • Good data management is important: – To enhance and build on relationships with customers – To reduce the likelihood of financial, commercial and reputational challenges due to bad practice Picture source:
    • 42. What type of data in tourism needs protection? DATA REQUIRING PROTECTION Name Address Email Phone number Fax numberPassport number Date of birth Visa number Bank account details
    • 43. Ensuring data is collected in the right way • Data should only be collected if: – It relates to the type of business the organisation is in – The purpose for collecting the information can be demonstrated • Good practice in collecting data: 1. Inform if information might be used for marketing or other purposes 2. Include a privacy policy and explain the purpose of collecting data and its usage in application forms / contracts 3. Obtain legal advice on how to collect bank or credit card details Picture source:
    • 44. Ensuring data is managed in the right way in marketing • Keep personal information secure • Ensure data is up-to-date • Ensure data is stored according to purpose of collection • Allow opt-in or opt-out of marketing • Retain opt-out requests for assurance
    • 45. Vietnamese Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights & Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP OBLIGATIONS OF TRADERS • Explain purpose of use • Ensure safety, accuracy and completeness of information • Not transferring information without consent PROHIBITED ACTS OF TRADERS • Cheating or misleading consumers • Regularly marketing against consumers’ wishes • Coercion through threatening behaviour or profiteering • Requiring payment of goods and services that weren’t ordered
    • 46. Sending marketing information • OK to send marketing information if an individual or company has requested it • No consent required to send marketing information by post or telephone unless customer has stated otherwise • Explicit consent of individuals is needed for sending marketing information by SMS, fax or e-mail but this is not required of business • Seek legal advice first if external databases are purchased to send marketing information?
    • 48. The role and importance of obtaining regular visitor feedback • Crucial to improving businesses and the tourism industry as a whole • Enables organisations and destinations: – Know their strengths and make the most of them – Know which existing or new products, services and experiences can be developed – Know who their visitors are, why they come and what they value about the experience • For business it is also helps prevent issues that can lead to complaints Picture source:
    • 49. Methods for collecting visitor feedback A. Surveys B. Focus groups C. Feedback forms and comment cards D. Social media E. On the spot verbal feedback and observation
    • 50. A. Collecting visitor feedback through surveys • Set of predetermined questions about specific topics • Often used to gauge customer satisfaction after the use of a product or service • Good for benchmarking performance • Enable businesses to align their services to the expectations and needs of visitors • Can be online, by phone, mail or face to face • Best to repeat visitor satisfaction surveys at least every 3-4 years (minimum)
    • 51. Potential types of information to collect in a satisfaction survey Level of satisfaction with: • Restaurant and Café • Accommodation • Attractions • Shopping • Events • … Components of satisfaction: • Value • Accessibility • Service • Environment • Communication style • … Levels of satisfaction: • Very dissatisfied • Dissatisfied • Somewhat dissatisfied • Neutral • Somewhat satisfied • Satisfied • Very satisfied Consumer profile characteristics: • Age • Origin / nationality • Gender • Income bracket • Profession • Type of travel arrangement • Motivations • Travel party size • Trip duration • Repeat visitor • … Others: • Source of information • Recommendations for improvement • Likely to make return visit / purchase • Likely to recommend • Expenditure • Expectations • Activities undertaken • …
    • 52. Tips to writing effective survey questions Start simple, end simple Keep it short Cover one point at a time Be specific with time frames Limit open- ended questions Group similar questions together Less is more! Stay focused on the survey objectives
    • 53. B. Collecting visitor feedback through focus groups • Open discussion of a small group of people led by a moderator • Gets in depth understanding of thoughts and opinions • Structured around predetermined questions • Group is homogenous • ‰Requires repetition
    • 54. Developing effective focus group questions Characteristics of questions Types of questions Source: Duke University 2005, Guidelines for Conducting a Focus Group, Duke University, USA, Available [online]:, Accessed: 22/01/2014 1. Engagement questions: introduce participants to the topic of discussion 2. Exploration questions: get to the core of the discussion 3. Exit question: check to see if anything was missed in the discussion • Short and direct • ƒFocused on one dimension each • ƒUnambiguous • ƒOpen-ended or sentence completion • ƒNon-threatening or embarrassing • ƒNot resulting in “yes” or “no” answers
    • 55. Example of basic questions for a focus group on visitor satisfaction of a destination ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONS 3. What motivated you to visit the destination? 4. How did you find out about the destination? 5. What was your experience in organising travel arrangements? EXPLORATION QUESTIONS 3. What were the best things you saw or experienced in the destination? 4. What were the most disappointing aspects of your holiday in the destination? 5. How do you feel about the standard of service and quality of the attractions in the destination? 6. How well did the holiday represent good value for money? EXIT QUESTION 8. Would you recommend the destination to family and friends? 9. Is there anything else you would like to say about your holiday in the destination?
    • 56. C. Collecting visitor feedback through feedback forms and comment cards • Physical, paper cards or forms with one or more survey questions • Designed to gather feedback after a good or service has been consumed • E.g. Visitor book at cultural heritage site, providing hotel guests with a comments card
    • 57. Example of questions in a guest feedback form • How friendly was the front desk staff? • How quick was the check-in process? • How clean was your room upon arrival? • How clean did the housekeeping staff keep your room throughout your stay? • How well-equipped was your room? • How helpful was the concierge throughout your stay? • How comfortable were your bed linens? • How quickly did the hotel restaurant serve your order? • How convenient was the hotel breakfast service? • How delicious was the hotel breakfast service? • How affordable was the hotel breakfast service? • How affordable was your stay at our hotel? • Overall, were you satisfied with our hotel, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied it, or dissatisfied with it? • How likely are you to recommend our hotel to others?
    • 58. D. Collecting visitor feedback through social media • Enable both direct feedback and feedback on consumer attitudes and trends • Allows product feedback before implementation through questions and discussions • Enables monitoring of brand awareness through search results • Allows for answering of basic questions via polls and e- surveys • Can elicit emotional feedback via YouTube
    • 59. E. Collecting visitor feedback through on the spot feedback and observation • Observe what visitors are doing • Understand what visitors are thinking • Simple, cheap and fast • Helps fix problems before visitors depart • Attitude: “all feedback is good feedback”
    • 60. Finally, don’t forget to follow-up on feedback! • Prioritise improvements and put into action promptly • Communicate actions to visitors via email, newsletters, organisation website etc
    • 61. Xin trân trọng cảm ơn! Thank you!