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medical tourism

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  • 1. Acknowledgement I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Prof. Ramnath Subramanian, Mr. Rajesh Talwar, (CEO – Bhakti Vendata Hospital), Mr. Kishore Shrivastava, (Marketing Consultant) for their guidance and support. I would also like to thank all others who were directly or indirectly supportive in completion of the project. 1
  • 2. Preface From ancient times, India has been looked upon as a place full of mystique. In the olden times travellers like Huen Tsang came a long way with great difficulties just to have a feel of the place. But now in modern times, with supersonic jets, the world has become a smaller place and has been named as a 'global village'. With the destinations becoming so much closer the tourists' are pouring into India from all over the world leading to a fast development of tourism industry and yet it has not grown to its fullest potential. India is a dynamic and mystic tourist destination where something always remains to be explored, discovered and unveiled. India offers every type of tourism ideas like Historical & Heritage Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Nature & Wildlife Tourism, Religious Tourism, Rail Tourism, Cultural Tourism and some new ideas are also in the front like Medical Tourism, Health, Yoga & Rejuvenation (Ayurveda) Tourism, Rural Tourism and Special Interest Tourism and much more. The future opportunities and challenges in store for this industry have attracted me to select this industry for my project. The objective of the project was to identify opportunity and challenges to promote Indian tourism industry in world market and develop a marketing plan to explore this opportunity. For this purpose, project includes studies on World trends in travels and tourism, guidelines for tourism marketing, and for Indian tourism. A marketing plan for Medical tourism is accompanied, in the project which aims at exploring global markets for Indian tourism. 2
  • 3. Tourism – the concept By tourism society, “Tourism is deemed to include any activity concerned with the temporary short– term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live and work, and their activities during the stay at these destinations.” The definition pulls together three main elements of all travel and tourism products: 1. Visitor activity is concerned only with aspects of life outside normal routines of work and social commitments, and outside the location of those routines. 2. The activity involves travel and, in nearly every case, some form of transportation to the destination. 3. The destination is a focus for a range of activities, and a range of facilities required to support those activities. Before studying other dimensions, we go through concept of tourism. • Tourism is a temporary and short – term movement of people. • Tourism is the totality of relationship. • Tourism is an activity involving a complex mixture of material and psychological elements. • Tourism is the activity concerned with the utilization of leisure hours. • Tourism is a composite industry consisting of various segments. 3
  • 4. Tourist the concept “Tourists are the voluntary temporary travelers, traveling in the expectations of pleasure from the novelty and change experienced on a relative and non- recurrent round – trip.” Tourists are: • Persons traveling for pleasure, health and domestic reason. • Persons arriving in the course of sea cruise. • Persons traveling for the business purpose. • Persons traveling for convention. Not to be tourist: • Persons arriving without a work to take up an occupation. • Persons coming from the rural areas to the urban areas. • Students in boarding. • Persons domiciled in one country and working in adjoining country. • Persons passing through a country without stopping. 4
  • 5. Tourism Marketing – The Concept A clear perception of tourism marketing requires a brief analysis of marketing. We are well aware of the fact that there have been fundamental changes in the traditional concept of marketing which has been influenced by multidimensional changes in the business environment. We consider marketing a human activity directed at satisfying the needs and wants through exchange processes. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or users.” Kotler finds marketing a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. Krippendorf says, “Marketing in tourism is to be understood as the systematic Co-ordinated execution of business policy by tourist undertakings whether private or state, owned at local, regional, national and international levels to achieve the optional satisfaction of the needs of identifiable consumer groups and in doing so achieves an appropriate return.” Burkart and Medilick opine “Tourism marketing activities are systematic and coordinated efforts extended by National Tourist Organaisation and/or tourist Enterprises at international. National and local levels to optimize the satisfaction of tourist groups and individuals in view of sustained tourism growth.” 5
  • 6. In the view of the above, the following points emerge regarding tourism marketing: • Tourism marketing is a process of creating a product or providing a service. • Tourism marketing comprises fact findings, data gathering, analyzing ( marketing research), communication to inform and promote (promotion), ensuring and facilitating sales, selection of marketing planning (distribution), coordination, control and evaluation ( marketing plnning And auditing), developing professionally sound personnel (people). • Tourism marketing is an integral effort to satisfy tourist and more so, it is device to transform the potential tourist into the actual tourist. • Tourism marketing is the safest way to generate demand, expand market and increase the market share. • Tourism marketing is a managerial process to promote business. 6
  • 7. Users of Tourism Services We find different categories of users availing the services of tourist organizations. Classification of different categories would help the tourism professionals in studying and identifying the level of their expectations vis-a vis their behavioural profile. Non-users: Persons not interested in using the services are known as non – users. They lack willingness, desire and therefore, the level of income or even the availability of leisure hour is not to influence them. Potential users: Also called as prospects or the prospective users. They have willingness but the marketing resources have not been used optimally for influencing their impulse. Thry bear the efficacy and the marketing professionals are supposed to capitalize on their potentials by using creative promotional measures. Actual Users: persons already using the services generated by the tourist organisation are known as actual users. Occasional Users: users availing the services occasionally but not forming a habit to travel are known as occasional users. Habitual users: users forming a habit and availing the services regularly are known as the habitual users. It is right to mention that the men and women, kids and teens, youth and grey, rural and urban, poor and rich, white collar and blue collar personnel, executives and technocrats, professionals and intellects, literate and illiterate are the different categories of users availing the multidimensional services of tourist organisations. It is quite natural that the behavioural profile of all the users can’t be identical. This makes it essential that professionals study and understand their changing behavioral profile. 7
  • 8. Behavioural Profile Of Users For the successful and cost-effective execution of the marketing strategies or for translating the strategies into meaningful purposes, we realize the significance of in depth study of the behavioural profile of different categories of the users. The tourist organisations need to understand their behavioural profile which simplifies their task of creating and stimulating the demand. Users have values, perceptions, preferences, expectations which are the result of environmental influences. There are number of factors influencing the behavioral profile, such as race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, leisure habits, health factors, life styles, ag, life cycle stage, occupation, level of incomes, advances in communication technology or so. It is in this context that we find it important to asses the behavioural pattern and users’ characteristics. In the recent years, the usres have become more discriminating in their using habits and therefore we find their needs for different services, products and brands changing constantly. This makes it essential that the marketers analyse their behavioural profile and come to know the levels of their expectations. Classifying travel Motivations Motivation for travel and tourism can be categorized as follows: • Holiday travel • Business travel • Health travel • Visiting friends and relatives • Religious travel • Travel for economic benefits (e.g. shopping) • Travel for educational purpose (study tours, etc) • Sports and activities travel (participation or observation) In fact, we can summarise allm of these activities under five basic needs: 1. physical 2. cultural 8
  • 9. 3. interpersonal 4. status and prestige 5. commercial. Although there will be some overlap of motives between these categories, it will be useful to see how these needs are met by tourism facilities or destinations, and how they relate to levels of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. The demand for business travel is quite different from that for leisure travel, since it is by nature less ‘discretionary’, that is, less a matter of personal choice. Business people travel because of demands of their business. As a result, such travel is les price sensitive, since the company rather than the individual will be footing the bills. Business people tend to make frequent short – duration trips, which are generally taken at mid-weeks rather than at weekends, and travel is not subject to seasonal fluctuations. Travel decision often have to be taken at short notice, so that they need regular scheduled flights available and a fast and convenient reservations service. At a basic physiological level, travel can sometimes be essential for health as in the case of treatment overseas for complex surgery, or the need to travel to warm, dry climates to recover from illnesses such as asthma and tuberculosis. These are then survival-related needs. Many people in stressful occupations also need a break from the mental or physical strain of their work to avoid a breakdown in health, and this “cathartic” travel is no less necessary for survival. Even business travel, usually only thought of in terms of economic need, may be required for the survival of the organisation in the face of overseas competition- but we must also recognize that quite a lot of business travel is in fact taken for prestige purpose – the requirement for first class travel and top – price hotels, for instance – while conference travel may be ascribed to competence needs. Our social needs for loving and belonging are often met through package holiday programmes, since many tourists find group tours an excellent way to make new friends or seek romance. Cultural travel provides opportunities for self – actualization, the process of achieving or fulfilling one’s potential. 9
  • 10. These examples will be sufficient to show that travel satisfies many physical, social and psychological needs. They will also have shown us that travel motivation can be both general and specific. We experience the general drive to get away from our present environment, to escape from routine and seek new and different experiences, while at the same time we demonstrate individual motivations to see specific activities while on holiday. 10
  • 11. Product Planning And Development The tourism is a multi- segment industry. The essence of marketing is bringing together the mix of products, possessing the efficacy of satisfying the users. The tourism products are an amalgam of different tangible and intangible elements. The products have some salient features, e.g., the products are highly perishable, used for pleasure or speeding up the learning cycle and the users, a heterogeneous group of people who are required to come to the spot. The products can’t be transported to the users and in no case the providers can store or preserve the products. The demand is highly flexible and the products need world class superstructure and infrastructure. The three basic elements of the products are attraction of the destination, facilities at the destination and accessibility to the destination. To the different members of the tourism industry, the tourism products are different, e.g., to the hotel industry, it is guest – nights; to the airline, it is the seats flown and the passengers miles that result; to the museum, art gallery or archaeological site, the product is the number of visits. In a true sense, it is a complete experience which complicates the task of careful planning and optimal development. The development of tourism is the development of the process of social industrialization. In a competitive market where the leading tourism generating countries of the globe have been successful in speeding up the process of socioeconomic transformation through social industrialization, it is essential that the developing and the less developed countries assign an overriding priority to the planned development process. Moreover when unplanned and haphazard developments pave avenues for the atmospheric pollution, this dimension of management needs a transcendental priority. The World Bank warns., “ In many areas of the world, tourism development has produced great disparities in the standards of amenities provided for the visitor and for the local population. This can’t be entirely denied that in the long run, the improvement to standards for the local population is probably a condition of successful tourism development. The development of a new 11
  • 12. resort by the provision of infrastructure costing perhaps millions of dollars has a great impact on land values in the area affected.” Thus it is important that the tourism planning whether at national or at regional level must be regarded as an integral part of country’s overall economic and social planning. A plan for tourism can only serve its desired goal. The main target to such a plan would be to arrive at an optimum harmonization of the inter – relations between the two places of market while avoiding the creation of serious economic, social and territorial imbalances. The key steps in the planning are assessment of tourist demand and paving ways for an optimal supply. Thus in addition to other benefits, the tourism planning makes an assault on imbalances. The tourist organisations and the professionals find it convenient ot have a fair blending of social and commercial considerations. 12
  • 13. Market Segmentation For Tourism The behavioural scientist feel that appeal, strategy and tact vary from segment to segment which in a natural way necessitates a change in the strategic decisions. The modern marketing theory prefers the formulation of marketing policies and strategies for each market segment which an organisation plans to solicit. It is natural that different segments react in a different way. Segmentation makes possible tailoring of products and marketing programmes uniquely segment for each sub-segment. A market is not only an aggregate demand for a product but the sum of demands of different market segments. For getting a positive response in the market, it is pertinent that the marketers or the tourist professionals are well aware of the different market segments. It is against this background that we need to study market segmentation for tourism services. At the outset, it is essential that the tourist organisation select a suitable base for segmentating the market. The selection of base has a for reaching ipact on studing the target market. Thogh there are a number of bases for segmentation, we find lifestyles an important base since the traveling decisions are fantastically influenced by the changing lifestyles. The emerging trends in the level of income, the availability of leisure hour of course influence the process but the main thing is the lifestyles. This is supported by the logic that if we earn more, we spend more. We prefer to utilize our leisure time for gaining pleasure or for enriching the knowledge bank. This necessitates an indepth study of like style for making segmentation proactive. The living styles of Americans and Indians can’t be identical, the decision making of both of them are to be different. The Americans prefer to travel and therefore they assign due weightage to the traveling decisions while scheduling or ordering their engagements. The Indians avoid to travel albeit we find them earning more or sufficient leisure time or holidays in their constituting a place of outstanding significance. 13
  • 14. The segmentation benefits tourist organisations in different ways. An optimal marketing plan, a balanced development of marketing resources, true gauging of the level of expectations, formulation of creative strategies for getting a positive response make it clear that the tourist organisations assign due weightage to segments. They are supposed to select a suitable base for segmentation out of numerous bases like holiday base, purpose base, demand base, geographical base, psychological base, demography base, socio economic base, sex base, age base or so. The bases help professionals in studying and understanding the changing behavioral profile of users. In the figure (Anx ) the market segmentation bases make it clear that geographic, demographic, psychographic and socio – economic aspects can’t be underestimated to have a clear picture of the tourism users. The holiday base focuses our attention on the fact that long-distance tours requirwe availabity of more leisure hours. The holiday market is classified in terms of demand. The different categories are, the mass market, the popular market and the individual holiday market. The mass market involves largest number of vacationists who generally travel in long groups. They prefer all inclusive tours. The users belong to the conservative group in which we find skilled and semi-skilled workers, blue – collar employees as the potential users. The popular market involves smaller groups going on inclusive or semi-inclusive tours. The users are generally class one and lass two groups, pensioners and retired people. The individual holiday market involves “social-group –A” like corporate chairman and senior executives. We find an apparent change in the behavioral profile of different categories in the holiday base. Another base is purpose in which we find business travel market, cultural tourism market, common interest tourism market and conference and convention. The demand base classifies markets into primary tourism market, secondary tourism and opportunity tourism. The geography base includes lifestyles, personality, motives, product and knowledge. The demography base covers age, sex, occupation, class and religion. The socio-economic base makes classification like rich, poor, rural, urban, literate and illiterate. The age – base classifies markets for kids, teens, youths, young married and old people market. 14
  • 15. The aforesaid small segments simplify the task of tourist professionals. They know about the changing needs and requirements of different marketing resources in tune with the changing levels of expectations make the way for the stimulation of demand and simplify the task or marketers. It is in this context that we need to segment the market for the different allied industries helping the tourism industry in many ways. 15
  • 16. Marketing Information System For Tourism Knowledge is supposed to be the power. Of late to manage a business is to manage the future, it is essential to manage the information. It is against this background that the tourist organisations assign due weightage to the MIS. The sophistication in the process of communication technologies has paved avenues for the development of a technology driven MIS. In the age of information explosion, it is pertinent that an organisation develops and institutes MIS to have an easy access to information needed for planning, problemsolving and decision making. The co- ordinated, systematic continuous information gathering are the important purposes of manging the information related to the marketing activities. The MIS would help the tourist organisation in many ways, such as the formulation of scientific and intelligent plan would be possible which would make it easier to balance the demand and supply position. The emerging trends in the market can be identified and the marketing decisions can be made creative. The designing of package tour, innovation in the promotional measures, a change in the pricing strategy or using it as a motivational tool, the management of tourist organisations, tour operators, transport operators, travel agents would be made prouctive. Thus it is essential that the tourist organisations take support of technology-driven MIS which would make the marketing decisions innovative. In the management of information, we find project planning playing an important role. There are different steps of project planning such as setting the research objectives, planning the required information to accomplish the organizational goals, identifying the sources to be tapped in seeking the information, employing the research design, sampling the procedures and selecting the method for analyzing the data. Such a scientific project planning in addition to simplify the process of research also makes the result effective. In the tourism industry, we find different categories of users and an amalgam a of different products which make it a multi-segment industry. This in a natural way complicates the task of a researcher. A researcher while 16
  • 17. collecting data and helping system analysts in managing the information is supposed to design the questionnaire consisting of tourist sites, users, products, promotion an competition. The following questions need an appropriate answer: • Who are the users and where do they live? • Who are the potential users and where do they live? • What are their likes and dislikes? • What are their travel preferences and interests? • What do they prefer to buy while traveling? • Where do they prefer to stay? • Where do they prefer to take their foods and drinks? • What are their transportation preferences? • What are their entertainment preferences? • What are the strategies of leading competitors? • What type of marketing strategy would be suitable in the existing market? We can’t deny the fact that if there is one thing certain in the present world, it is change. We can’t check the flow of change. This necessitates dynamism in our plans, policies and strategies to make possible necessary changes as and when the circumstances necessitate so. The multi- dimensional changes in the environmental conditions influence our lifestyles, living habits, taste preferences or so. Of late almost all the leading tourist generating countries of the world have been found promoting research for innovating the process of making decisions which has been found making ways for value engineering. It is against this background that the MIS in general and the marketing research in particular has been found drawing due attention of the tourist organizations. In an age of information explosion, it is pertinent that the communication gap is bridged over. It is felt that the gap between the providers and the users has proved to be a major constraint in making the marketing decisions creative. A well designed, technology-driven, supported by world class professionals MIS would be beneficial to all the allied industries contributing substantially to the development of tourism industry. An easy victory on the time-gap is the result of a well developed MIS. 17
  • 18. Formulation of Marketing Mix For the Tourist Organisation The marketing mix as defined by Kotler, “The mixture of controllable marketing variables that the firm uses to pursue the sought level of sales in the target market.” The Product Mix Like the manufactured product, the potential tourists can’t feel, taste, touch or sample a package tour. The tourism product is a non-material intangible thing. Every product is aimed at some market and its non-marketing success depends essentially on its ‘fit’ with the market. This makes it essential that the tourist professional must continually strive for improving the effectiveness and increasing the profitability. More so when we find it a multi-segment industry, the task of formulating a sound product mix for the tourist organisations is found a bit difficult and challenging. The challenge for the marketers it to transform the dreams into the realities. We accept the fact that selling holiday is selling dreams. It is essential that the product offered to a target market must satisfy the users. Thus the formulation of a sound product mix covers a wide range of activities like designing a package tour, branding, credit delivery services, or so. Thus the formulation of a sound product strategy focuses on the formulation of a sound product mix that makes possible designing of a profitable product portfolio by including and eliminating the core and peripheral services in the face of results received from the product portfolio. The framing of product mix, a challenging task since the marketing professionals are supposed to blend the core and peripheral services optimally. In the tourism industry, a deeper product line is found a must. This is due to the fact that needs, expectations, preferences of different categories of users can’t be identical. The tourism marketers are required to be captive to deepen the product line so that the products match to the 18
  • 19. expectations. The extent to which the marketers are found successful in deepening and innovating the product line have a telling impact on the net gain or satisfaction. Innovation in the tourism product helps raising the sensitivity. There is nothing fixed and fundamental about the tourism product. The users of the services look forward to quality product. In the figure (Anx )we find the product mix for the tourism industry, the multi – dimensional services included in the mix are attraction, accommodation, transportation, recreation, restaurant, shopping. The tourist belong to varied cultural patterns, divergent desires, needs and requirements, different socio-economic strata or so. This makes it essential that the tourist organiations while manging the different services are careful to the emerging trends. Since all the tourists need the same core services, the width of the product is almost fixed. It is essential that the tourism marketers are captive to deepen the product line. The success of tourism business depends considerably upon the extent to which the marketers develop and make available the services. While formulating the product mix for the tourist organisations, it is pertinent that the tourist organisations are familiar with the strategies of leading tourist organisations and promote innovation to the extent it is possible. Salient Features of Tourism Product For making the marketing decisions effective, it is pertinent that the tourist professionals are aware of the salient features of the tourism product. This would help them in many ways. 1. Tourism Product is highly Perishable: perishability is an important factor that influence the decision making behavior of the tourist professionals. The product is used just when it is offered and therefore, if it remains unused, the chance is lost, the business is lost. If the tourist don’t visit a particular place, if the seats in hotels, aircrafts remain vacant, the business is lost. This makes the product highly perishable and makes it essential that the tourist professionals 19
  • 20. make the best possible efforts to promote the services in such a fashion that opportunities never remain untapped. 2. The Tourism Product is a service Product: we find services the only product used and sold in the tourism industry. This makes it essential that the tourist professionals assign due weightage to creative marketing strategies which are found proactive. The levels of judgment and knowledge possessed by the individuals and related to tourism reflect on the satisfaction derived by the tourists after visiting a place. In this context, the marketers need to be high performers, personally – committed, imaginative and so. This helps them in capitalizing on the opportunities optimally. 3. Intangibility Complicates the task of marketers: we are well aware of the fact that tourism is a multi-segment industry in which the transportation and accommodation services constitute a place of outstanding significance. The tourist professionals find it difficult to persuade the users by displaying the seats in the aircraft and bedrooms in hotels. The users first use and then come to know about the quality. 4. The services are for pleasure: It is right to mention that the tourism services are used by the tourists to enjoy. By visiting tourist resorts, spots, sites, beaches, they get pleasure. We also find the services instrumental in the knowledge bank of tourist or the crazy persons use the services to taste the enriching flavour of adventure. This makes it significant that the tourist organisations make the centres attractive by adding additional attractions. 5. Users are supposed to visit the centre: For availing the services of the tourism industry, it is pertinent that the users visit the place physically. The users are supposed to come all the way to the spot. This necessitates setting of product features in a right way. 6. Adequate infrastructural facilities for the tourism product: No doubt that almost all the industries need infrastructural support, but the tourism industry can’t exist if hotels, transportation services are found non-existent. Thus we find infrastructural facilities essential to improve the quality of services. Efficient transportation facilities, hygienic hotel accommodation, sophisticated communication services are some of the key infrastructural facilities, adding attractions to the tourism services. 20
  • 21. 7. The users are a Heterogeneous group of people: It is important to mention that the tourism users come from different regions, income groups, sections, age groups, genders, professions or so. This makes it essential that the marketers are familiar with the different groups of people sing the services. Designing a Package Tour In the process of formulating a sound product strategy, there are a number of factors to be given due attention. The designing of a package tour occupies a place of outstanding significance. For the profitable marketing of tourism services, it is pertinent that the different components of product are managed in a right fashion. This gravitates our attention on the offering of a package holiday product which necessitates management of the following factors. Destination: the development of destinations or tourist sites has a reaching impact on attracting the tourists. It is essential that destination or the tourist sites are easily accessible. This necessitates safe, fast and reliable transportation facilities hither and thither the tourist sites. To be more specific for promoting world tourism or attracting the foreign tourists, it is essential that the flying time is made proportionate. The site should be clean, the beaches should be sandy, sun-shine should be certain, the entertainment facilities at the site should be of quality the site should be safe to walk about, the local people should be friendly, the tour operators, the travel guides and others should have competence of speaking English and other regional languages. These facilities at the destination would add attractions. Management Of Airports: While managing the tourism product, the airports are required to be managed carefully. The airport should be local and convenient. The arrangement for car parking should be safe and adequate. It should not be congested but it should be specious. In addition, the shopping facilities should be duty free. The airport should be clean and vehicles should be available so that tourist don’t face any trouble. Besides, the security arrangement should be tight to protect the passengers and their valuables. The aesthetic management occupies a place of significance in the very context. 21
  • 22. Airlines: The flights should maintain the time schedule otherwise a dislocation may invite multi-faceted problems, not only to the tourists but even to the airport authorities. The services should be reliable, good and polite. The sophisticated modern aircrafts of new generation should be included in the fleet to attract the tourists. The safety record should also be upto the mark to remove the fear psychosis or psycho – fobia. Road And Rail Transportation: For the tourists preferring to travel by buses of railways, it is significant that the stations are well managed. Hotels: For managing the hotels services, it is essential that we are all careful to the hotel accommodation facilities. It is pertinent that hotels are easily accessible to the tourist sites or beaches or shops. The hotel personnel should be trustworthy and competent enough to speak English and other regional languages. They are supposed to be friendly. The management of facilities at the hotels need due care. Though the standard of services, amenities and facilities depend upon the grade of hotels still it is essential that hotels offer the promised services to the users. Resort Representatives: Regarding representatives of resort, they should be knowledgeable, friendly, accessible and competent. Tour Operators: The tour operators should be reliable where the guaranteed services are made available to the guests without making any distortion. The price should reflect good value for money. Tour Agents: The tour agents should be competent, friendly and conveniently available. They should also provide extra services to the tourists. The incentives need due weightage. Free transfer to airport and free insurance facilities induce tourists. 22
  • 23. Miscellaneous: In addition, the fellow travelers should be like- minded. The main thing is to make tour pleasant and memorable. If the tourists have companionable fellow travelers, the journey would ofcourse remain memorable. Promotion mix The marketing manager has four distinct ways of communicating the promotional message to the public: 1. By advertising the product through a selected medium such as television or the press. 2. By using staff to engage in personal selling, either behind the counter, over the phone, or calling on clients as sales representatives. 3. By engaging in sales promotion activities, such as window display or exhibitions. 4. By generating publicity about the product through public relation activities, such as inviting travel writers to experience the product, in the hope that they will review it favorably in their papers. It should also be recognized that much communication about products actually takes place by word of mouth recommendation. The benefits of a satisfied customer suggesting your product to another potential customer cannot be over emphasized. This ‘hidden sales force’ costs a company nothing, yet it is most highly effective of all communication modes, since the channel has credibility in the eyes of the potential customer, and will be judged as objective in the assessment. The converse is also true, of course, an account of a bad experience relayed by word of mouth has a very strong negative influence on purchase. And human nature being what it is, research shows us that consumers tell ten times as many people about a bad experience as they do about a good one! Recognition of the importance of influencing those who can in turn influence others to buy new products has led to the concept of the two step flow of communication, in 23
  • 24. which messages are directed by the company to the opinion leaders in the society, rather than to the general public. Opinion leaders include representatives of the mass media as well as those most likely to initially purchase new products. A travel company with a limited promotional budget might be the best advised to concentrate its expenditure on influencing travel writers, by providing study visits to view their products at first hand, since a favourable report on television or in the press will have a huge impact on sales. Factors influencing the choice of the mix What determines the mix of these four promotional tools in the marketing plan? In some cases, companies will choose to employ only one of these elements in the mix, while other companies will use a combination of all four. There are no right or wrong answers about such choices, although guidelines based on the following criteria can be helpful. 1. The nature of product : It will be difficult to sell a complex or technical product without personal sales advice. Many in the holiday trade would argue that, although resorts are often thought of as homogeneous and interchangeable, a customer actually needs quite a sophisticated level of knowledge to make a decision about what resort or hotel to choose. A brochure can spell out in cold print what kind of beach the resort offers, or the facilities the hotel provides, but more subjective issues are difficult to put across in print. Questions such as the ambience of the resort, the quality of the food served in the hotel, what kind of fellow holidaymakers the client will encounter in the resort can properly be answered only in a direct face-to-face sales situation, where the salesperson can help to match the customers needs to the products on offer to ensure customer satisfaction. 2. The target at which the communication is aimed: A decision will be made on the mix of communications directed to the consumer and to the trade. Communications aimed at the trade employ what is known as a ‘push strategy’, that is, the aim of the company is to encourage dealers to stock the product, and to push it to their customers. This will often involve direct selling, supported by trading advertising, or sales promotion techniques such as the payment of bonuses for achieved targets. A ‘pull strategy’, on the other 24
  • 25. hand, is designed to generate consumer demand for the product, pulling customers into the shops and forcing retailers to stock the product through the sheer level of demand. Here, the emphasis will be on extensive national advertising, with perhaps some sales promotion support. No intelligent retail travel agent can afford to ignore the products of major tour operators such as Thomson, airtours or First Choice Holiday to concentrate on selling smaller companies, because of the sheer popularity of the biggest companies, which would mean turning business away. 3. The stage in the life cycle in which the product is to be found: The communication task for a new product is to make customers aware of its existence. This means informative messages, usually carried by mass media advertising, with some sales support, to let as many people know what it is you have to sell, and the product’s benefits. Later, as competition for the new product increases, the task will switch to that of persuading the public that your product increases, the task will switch to that of persuading the public that your product is the best of those available, calling for greater emphasis on sales promotion. As the product becomes well established and sales have peaked, the task will be to remind clients of the product’s existence, and encourage them to think of their brand first when shopping. This is achieved by a mix of ‘reminder’ advertising (perhaps little more than constant repetition of the brand name) and point of sales display material. These tactics will be discussed more fully in subsequent chapters. 4. The situation in which the company finds itself in marketplace: In a highly competitive environment, a company will be under pressure to employ many of the same promotion techniques as its major competitors, to ensure that its products are seen by the same consumers. This may require reional adjustment of the communication mix, depending upon the relative strengths and weaknesses of the company in different areas. This is particularly the case where a company is also selling its products abroad, where both the message conveyed and the channels used to teach the market may be quite different to those in the home country. 25
  • 26. 5. The company’s budget for its promotional strategy: This is the most important factor that the company must determine. This budget can, of corse, include a contingency to allow for adhoc activity that exploits unforeseen opportunities as they arise, as well as ensuring sufficient funds for a planned programme of activity. Price’s role in the tourism Pricing decision must be determined in relationship in relationship with all the other elements of the marketing mix. The impression is gathering strength within the travel industry that price is sole criterion of importance to the consumer, or that other elements are relatively insignificant. While it is true that brand images (with a handful of notable exceptions) have not played a big role in tourism marketing up until the present, this is not to say that symbolic values in travel products are any less important than in other industries, and “futures” forecasters such as the Henley Centre are suggesting that as discretionary income rises, the symbolic and emotional values attached to brand names will increase. All too often, however, travel companies have chosen to ignore the creation of added value in their marketing plans, and have concentrated exclusively on the promotion of price. The major tour operators in particular have used low price as a means of increasing their market shares, at the expense of profit levels. There can be little doubt that third policy was highly successful during the 1980’s , although this may have had as much to do with the publicity that resulted from the price wars between operators, causing consumers to become conscious of price rather than value. Over – optimistic sales projections led to heavy discounts to “dump” Unsold seats through late bookings, encouraging consumers both to shop around for the best bargains and to book later. It is likely that increasing disposable income and other favourable factors such as exchange rates would have led to substantial increases in the number of package tours sold during the 1980’s, even had discounting not been introduced. 26
  • 27. The 1990’s, however, apparently apparently presented a very different scenario, with lower volumes but higher prices the stated goal of most companies. This did not prove to be the case for the first half of the decade: profit margins for many travel companies – particularly tour operators – remained comparatively poor. At the same time, the aggressive competition for market share has pushed the overall market size higher, often on the back of price competitiveness. Other influences on price Earlier, we explored some of the factors affecting price decisions over which the company will have very little control. Chief of these are: 1. The economic health of the country (or region). It is notable that at the time of the depression in the 1970s, unemployment was less of a problem in London and the South East of England than in the North and Midlands, and consequently travel bookings from the former areas were less affected. However, at the beginning of the 1990s, the slump in the South East proved to be severs, while the situation in the North remained relatively unchanged. 2. The elasticity of demand for travel and tourism products. 3. Levels of competition faced by individual companies and substitutability between competing products. 4. The nature of the target market, which will determine what kind of holiday or other travel products they will buy and at what price. There will also be ethical considerations to be taken into account. A company concerned about its public image will wish to reassure its public that it is in a position to do so without challenge from the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It would also be short – sighted of companies to attempt to introduce substantial price increases at a time when the political climate favours price restraint, even were the market able to bear such increases. 27
  • 28. The Place Mix The term chain of distribution denotes the method through which the services reach to the destination. The are the link and if link is strong, the producers succeed in raising the influx of tourists. The middlemen are the tour operators and the transport operators who buy services like hotel rooms, seats in aircrafts, railways, arrange charted flights and sell the same either to the travel agents(retailers) or even directly to the tourists. The tour operators are also called the producers of a new product. The travel agents buy the services at the request of their clients and provide a convenient network of sales outlet catering to the needs of a local catchment area. In figure ANx we find the distribution channel for the tourism industry which focuses on the different middlemen engaged in the process of distributing the services. The services are generated by both the publics as well as private sector. The services are supposed to be standardized where the middlemen make it sure that the promised services would be made available to the users without making any distortion. Of course, we find possibilities of distortion at different points by the different service generating organisations but all of them need to bridge over the gap. One-stage system: the one-tier or one-stage system focuses on the direct selling of services by the providers to the ulimate users, such as the airlines selling directly to users through its own offices and reservation counters. We find a number of advantages of this system, since the providers can maintain the quality. The system is opposed by a number of experts due to high cost of operation. The stimulation of demand requires professional excellence and the travel agents are supposed to have world class excellence to manage things to the expectations of users. 28
  • 29. Two-stage system: In the two-tier system or two-stage system, we find involvement of middlemen between the providers and users,i.e. Travel agents. The positive effects of the system are that a traveler while receiving professional services can also buy other products like airline ticket, hotel accommodation and transportation facilities. Besides, he/she gets a single bill for all the services. The price of advantage is an additional advantage since a travel agent gets higher prices in the case of group tours, conferences, conventions, etc. in addition, the services cost incurred on travel agent is found very nominal to the usera as he/she receives a commission from the principal. Three – stage system: The three-stage or three-tier system involves two middlemen, a retail travel agent and a wholesaler or a tour operator. An additional advantage of this system is that the wholesaler makes bulk purchase of the products for which he/she is paid adequate discount. Four – stage system: The four stage system is similar to the three-stage system but it has an additional middleman. Known as Speciality Chancellor he is found instrumental in the development of tour packages. The aforesaid channels of distribution of the tourism services make available services to the ultimate users and therefore these are the different points where we also expect a distortion quality. It is against this background that different providers of the services need to be careful while appointing the middlemen. Tour operators: a tour operator is one who buys the individual elements in the travel product on his own account and combines them in such a way that he is selling a package of travel, the tour to his clients. In common parlance, he is also referred to as a travel agent. A tour operator bears the responsibility of delivering the services. He creates own package by buying or reserving necessary supply elements and often retails through travel agents, their own offices and by direct mail via booking form in brochure or by direct enquiries from consumers. He offers a number of packages known as tour programme. They are like a wholesaler. Some of us also call tour operators as producers of a new product but it is more appropriate to describe them as middlemen. 29
  • 30. Travel Agent: the travel industry is found to be an uncoordinated people trying to achieve a coordinated result. A travel agent is one who acts on behalf of a principal, i. e. the original provider of the tourism services, such as hotel company, airline, tour oprator a shipping company. A travel agency is also calld a manufacturer of tourist product, i.e. an inclusive package tour. Of late a majority of the travel agents conduct regular package tour to suit the needs of a group. Travel agents from the retail sector of the distribution chain. In the channel decisions, the marketing institutuoions play a decisive role. The tourist organisatons, tour operators, travel agencies are the main institions helping the making of productive distribution decisions. We agree with this view that product innovation in the distribution process plays an important role. To be more specific in the tourism industry, the middlemen play a commanding role because the products are of perishable nature. This draws our attention on the characteristics of the product to determine the length of the channel. The market factors also occupy a place of importance in the distribution process. From the standpoint of producers, it is pertinent that we design a profitable channel and assign due weightage to cost and satisfaction. The chnnel involving the minimum possible costs but securing high level of satisfaction to the tourist may be effective. To put it another way, the channel can’t concentrate only on the profitability element. The aforesaid facts make it clear that the tourist organisations are required to make the channel decisions proactive so that tourists get the promised-services without any distortion. If the middlemen act well, perform well and behave well, we expect a considerable increase in business. The hotels, airlines can’t work efficiently failing the co-operation of tour operators and the travel agents. 30
  • 31. World Travel and Tourism Today This chapter examines the global dimensions And patterns of, and recent trends in, travel and tourism, in order to provide a framework within which to consider the likely future of this global industry. Growth and Magnitudes Today’s massive tourism industry has been driven by a number of factors – and these are factors whose future directions need to be considered. They are: • Growth in real income; • The advance in personal wealth as expressed in the ability of individuals to generate resources beyond those to pay for life’s basic needs- food, housing, education, health and, in more recent times, ‘essential’ consumer goods – in other words, the expanding ability for discretionary expenditure on non- essential items; • Increase in leisure time; • Peace amongst nations; • Freedom from administrative restraints on international travel; • Freedoms within international currency markets; • Expansion of fast, efficient and widely affordable public transport, coupled with wide to provide transport. In a word, tourism depends upon economic development and open, free societies. It can be immediately seen that, measured against these basic criteria, much of today’s world fares very badly. Such a comparison reveals two important facts. 31
  • 32. First, the majority of the world’s population has yet to attain what we in the industrialized world would regard as a minimum level of supply of these elements. Second, and as a consequence, if the world’s under- privileged can reasonably hope to attain access to these elements during the next century, the capacity for demand growth in national and international tourism is, for all practical purpose, unlimited. The World Of Today and Tomorrow: The Global View During the past decade, the tourism and hospitality industry flourished, even as it struggled to cope with difficult challenges. This is a taste of things to come. In the years ahead, the global population will continue to grow and change, science and technology will tighten their hold on business and society, and the world will knit itself ever more tightly into a single market. As a result, both opportunities and trials will abound. Increasing affluence in the developed country In the developed world for atleast the next five years, widespread affluence, low interest rates, low inflation and low unemployment will be the norm. Global trade will continue to grow rapidly for atleast the next 20 years. Worldwide international arrivals are growing from 66o million in 1999 to an estimated 700 million in 2000, 1 billion by 2010 and 1.6 billion by 2020. Improving balance of trade means more business for European and Asian tourist destinations. Low Asian currency values will continue to promote travel to the Far East, for so long as they last. Technology dominates the economy and society Discovery grows exponentially, as each new finding today opens the way to many more tomorrow. Thus the single largest force for change in the 20th century can only grow more powerful in the 21st . As technology knits the world into one electronic marketplace, business travel will not decline, but will grow rapidly. In a high- tech world, executives increasingly need 32
  • 33. the ‘high – touch’ reassurance of personal relationships with their colleagues. The internet changes the way consumers purchase goods and services. Cashless credit/ debit systems of payment will continue to proliferate. Expect the use of ‘smart cards’ to provide detailed customer information for use in more efficient target marketing. Resorts, conference centres and other destinations are finding it increasingly easy to market themselves directly to consumers, rather than relying on intermediaries. So will air charter services and other transportation providers. Time is becoming the World’s most precious commodity Multiple, shorter vacations spread throughout the year will continue to replace the traditional two – week vacation. Demand for luxurious ‘weekend getaways’ will grow rapidly, especially in cultural centers and at destinations nearest large cities. Values and lifestyles are changing The trend is toward ultra- high quality, authencity and convenience- luxurious accommodations, fresh meals that seem like labours of love, and constant pampering of customers – all done at a price that will not make cosumers feel guilty. Two – income couples increasingly take several short, relatively luxurious weekend getaways rather than a single longer vacation. Concerns for environmental issues continues to grow Demands for still more environmental controls are inevitable, especially in relative pristine regions. ‘Ecotourism’ will continue to be one of the fastest growing areas of the tourism industry. The increasing dominance of technology in our daily lives also promotes this trend. Rain forests, wilderness areas, the ocean, and other unpolluted regions provide a unique and necessary chance to escape from keyboards and cell phones. Generation X and ‘.COM’ will have major effects in the future 33
  • 34. Generation X and .COM will be major customer for tourism and hospitality services in the future and the industry will have to learn to market to them. this requires a light hand, with strong emphasis on information and quality. Brands credibly positioned as ‘affordable luxury’ will prosper. Service, service, service replaces Location, location, location Competitive pressures are making it ever more difficult to distinguish one hotel or chain from the rest, especially at the level of the global chain. Unique locations or facilities are the major expectation to ‘commoditization’ in the tourism and hospitality industries. The only inn at a major ski resort has no effective competition. The alternative is for hotels to become destinations in themselves. E.g. Ayurveda treatment package provided by Taj hotel. As customers grow more open to new experiences, unique facilities and attractions, cuisines offer a growing opportunity for hotels and tourist destinations to distinguish themselves from the competition. 34
  • 35. Tourism and Hospitality into the 21st Century Experience has taught us that the future is usually not what we would have expected from extrapolating past developments, but rather what we make of it. Jacques de Bourborn – Busset once wrote: ‘What we want is not to guess at the probable future, but to prepare one that is desirable and perhaps even to go that bit further and try to make the desirable future the probable one.’ To do so we have to focus on the future, something that seems appropriate at the dawn of a new millennium. Numerous, particularly turbulent changes are currently taking place in the immediate and wider context of leisure and travel. Not only has the new consumer gone into top gear, society as a whole has become ever more fragmented. Political boundaries are being abolished to be replaced by others. In contrast, as the result of worldwide globalization mechanism, our planet is turning into a ‘global village’ with a uniform, commercialized culture. The Challenge of Globalization Dealing with world-wide globalization trends is new to all of us. Everything is in a state of flux: demand, labor. Know – how and capital are all flowing to where the biggest hopes for the future lie, with the resistant standardization of production technologies, business strategies, marketing plans and management styles. Although tourist production is tied to local conditions, the tourism industry cannot avoid being affected by globalization. Tourist products, and even whole destinations, are becoming interchangeable; continental and inter-continental transport networks determine the direction and speed of development; distribution channels and/ or reservation systems are increasingly a decesive factor in success. 35
  • 36. The Challenge of the Changing Climate The environmental discussion is hotting up from two sides. On the one hand, many places are already virtually at their ecological limits, and the consequences will become increasingly visible and tangible over the next few years. On the other, the process of environmental awareness is continuing among broad segments of the population. Holidaymakers too are becoming more and more environment conscious, but in an opportunistic fashion: they are particularly sensitive to environmental damage when it threatens to spoil their holiday pleasure. The Challenge of an Ageing Population Seeing aside the fact that the population of highly industrialized countries may be considerably influenced by influxes of refugees, the assumption can be that the population of the industrialized countries is stagnating. On the other hand, the population’s demographic composition will change radically. While the proportion of young people will fall drastically in the coming years, the percentage of senior citizens will increase by upto 1% per year. There will be fewer and fewer young people and more and more active ‘younger senior citizens’ with time and money on their hands who will set the tone in the leisure and travel market. The Challenge of Changing Values The process of changing values is equally turbulent. It is characterized by a basically hedonist attitude (desire, enjoyment, living out one’s dreams) which, however, goes hand in hand with a certain pessimism about the future. Cultural identity seems to be increasingly reduced to leisure behavior, and travel with its utopian, ritual and mythical nature is steadily becoming the last common identity area. The so–called ‘mega generation’ makes itself heard loud and clear, and its values are mainly as follows: • Substantial material demands; • Little willingness to do anything special to merit these; 36
  • 37. • Call for more freedom in all areas of life; • Growing escapism; • Growing unwillingness to take orders from others; • Fewer inhibitions; • Individualization of the masses. Basing one’s argument on Horx, it could be said that whenever everything becomes commercialized, materialized, rationalized and technical, people more and more come to long for ‘spirituality’. The Challenge of Mobility The fact that a growing number of people can drive combined with the individualization of society is leading to greater motorization in all Western European countries, despite intensive debates about the ecological aspects. The willingness to be mobile, and hence the need for greater mobility during leisure time, will also continue to increase. The Challenge of Internet The internet is changing the way many business are conducted, the appearance of e- commerce could be a significant event in this century. Currently only 2% of the world’s population has internet access, but this is changing rapidly. 37
  • 38. Changing Travel Habits Upheals in the immediate and less immediate environment of leisure conscious persons also affect their travel and holiday habits. Horst W. Opaschowski described the holiday of the future as follows: • Attractive natural sitting and clean landscapes are automatically expected. • People will continue to seek sun, beaches and the sea. • Artificial holiday paradises will become tomorrow’s standard holiday venues. • Holiday hopping (here today – there tomorrow) will spread. • Vacations will become the ultimate adventure. • The holiday world of the future must be as exotic as possible. • More and more young families will discover indoor luxury bathing complexes. • Culture and study trips will develop into a stable market segment. • Holiday clubs will lose their attraction as something out of the ordinary. This description of tourism of the future highlights the fact that some conflicts are bound to become more acute, in particular: • Growing pressure on the remaining nature reserves; • The distances traveled are becoming longer and longer, consuming more and more energy, with serious consequences; • The growing risk that holiday destination will be downgraded to the fast – food articles of the throw –way society; • The continuing trend towards ‘exoticism’ with its cultural and health risks for travelers and host populations. 38
  • 39. In addition to these changes in respect of future holiday models, there are also signs of changes in booking and travel habits: • Trend towards adventure – oriented holiday behavior: seeking a more intensive leisure experience. • Trend towards going it alone: seeking even more independent holidays in line with personal ideas, with a preference for more flexible holiday products. • Trend towards more sophisticated travel products: seeking trips that offer cultural and education, as well as variety; both passive recreation and hyperactive sport are ‘out’. • Trend towards more wellness during holidays: seeking forms of travel that offer overwrought modern man holistic relaxation, with a healthy diet, gentle exercise, beauty and body care and wide variety of therapies as the keywords. • Trend towards ‘second homes’: seeking cosy holiday accommodation as home– like refuges with a high degree of comfort. • Trend towards sunny travel destinations: seeking holiday destinations with guaranteed sunshine – above all during cold, wet winters. • Trend towards cheaper travel: seeking (cheap) products that represent value for money: holiday at rock- bottom prices and growing market transparency thanks to the worldwide web encouragement this tendency. • Trend towards spontaneous travel decisions: seeking offers that can be booked at the last minute (or even at the last second) and which are not only cheap but also comprise an element of surprise. • Trend towards more mobile travel patterns: seeking products with frequent changes of locations, with traveling as the major attraction. This spotlight – like future analysis leaves considerable scope for interpretation about the future openings for tourism. Making the most of these trends calls for visionary innovations, targeted cooperation, clear marketing strategies and careful nurture of existing core attractions. 39
  • 40. Tourism Marketing In Indian Perspective Of late, tourism has emerged as an important sector of the economy. It is found to be an economic bonanza which contributes substantially to the development process. If the managerial decisions are creative, innovative and sensitive, we expect a lot from the tourism industry. The rate of success in the tourism industry is sizably influenced by the instrumentality of supporting industries, such as hotel, transportation, communication, banking or so. The developed countries and to be more specific the leading tourist generating countries of the world, such as USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Spain, Singapore, Cuprus have assigned due weightage to the principles of modern marketing in managing the tourism industy. In the Indian perspective we find tourism industry at the bottom of our development agenda which has been standing as a barrier while energizing the process of qualitative or quantitative improvements. It is against this background that we need a basic change in the national development policy for tourism. It was in the early 1950s that the government of India decided to promote tourism industry but it had no clear objectives in terms of marketing. At the initial stage, the image problem was found at its peak and even till now we find it an important constraint. The government further activated efforts and new offices were opened in 1964. the beginning of the decade 1970s opened new vistas for the development of marketing concept in the tourism industry. The Pacific Visitor Survey conducted by PATA in 1967 revealed that it was only due to image problem that the tourism industry in India has not been successful in raising its contribution to the development of the economy vis-a vis generation of foreign exchange. The 40
  • 41. beginning of the decade 1980s paved avenues for the development of tourism industry. The management experts felt that if the contribution to the world tourism is to be increased, we have no option but to market the tourism professionally. This necessitated launching of a National Image Building and Marketing Plan in key markets by pooling resources of the various public and private agencies instead of independent and disjoined efforts presently undertaken by these organisation to project a fair image. The exploration of the new tourist generating markets particularly in the Middle- east, South east and East Indian countries having a broad spectrum of cultural affinity with India and encouragement of ethnic tourism by launching programme of Discover Your Roots and vigorous marketing of conferences and conventions traffic could be possible during 1980s. sustained efforts were needed to promote Buddhist pilgrimage tourism for which there is a great potential. Aggressive marketing was required to be taken up in the existing tourist generating markets abroad as well as to explore new markets. It was necessary to reorient the marketing projects and rationalize the locations of the tourist offices abroad keeping in view in the market conditions and potentials. In order to cater to the needs of professionally sound manpower for tourism marketing, the Indian Institute Of Tourism and Travel Management was developed as a model institute. In view of the above, it is right to mention that diversification of tourism from the traditional sight seeing to the more rapidly growing holiday tourism market within the framework of the country’s milieu is need of the hour. The policy planners, the tourist organisations, the domestic and global agencies are required to realize gravity of the situation to capitalize on the opportunities optimally. This requires a basic change in the product development strtagy vis-avis the innovative promotional efforts to project a positive image. The beginning of the decade 1990s opened new areas for the development of torism in the Indian perspective. This necessitated development of infrastructural facilities like transportation, communication, accommodation or so. In addition, this also required use of sophisticated information technologies by the tourist 41
  • 42. generating organisations so as to improve the quality of services at different points. In addition to the planning and development of tourism products, the promotional strategies thus require due attention of professionals. The creativity in mesaages, campaign and appeals which probably could not get due treatment earlier is required to be made possible. No plans, policies, strategies and decisions are expected to be productive or proactive unless we assign due weightage to the behavioral profiles of the users. We can’t deny the fact that till now the tourist organisations have devalued the instrumentality of behavioral studies and therefore we are supposed to do it on a priority basis. The emerging trends in the business environment make it essential that world class professional excellence is essential without which all our efforts are to be ineffective. To be more specific when some of the fictions of today profess the emergence of evolutionary from of travel, such as monorils operated by magnetism and floating on a cushion air, or travel in vacuum tubes in which a vehicle will travel at a speed of 800kms per hour, it is quite natural that the level of expectations of users keep on moving. The trust areas are the following: • Making tourism industry a unifying force, instrumental in fostering better understanding through travel. • Helping to preserve, retain and enrich our cultural heritages. • Bringing socio-economic benefits to the community and the state, specially in terms of expanding the employment opportunities, generation of profits, tax generation, foreign exchange generation or so. • Giving a direction and an opportunity to the youths of the country both through domestic and world tourism to perceive hopes and aspirations of others in a right fashion. • Offering opportunities to the new generation in taking up the activities helpful in image building and strengthening the national image. • Innovating the promotional measures and assigning due weightage to aggressive promotion to project a positive image. • Development of people by advancing education and training facilties. Enriching their professional excellence by undertaking an ongoing training programme. 42
  • 43. • Motivating the private sector to develop the superstructure. • An overriding priority to adventure tourism, village or rural tourism, beach tourism, heritage tourism or so. • Promoting the use of sophisticated information technologies to improve the quality of services. • Enriching peripheral services to add additional attractions. Marketing Plan For MEDICAL TOURISM As we have seen the Scenario of Indian tourism industry, also the world tourism scenario which shows tremendous potential in growth of industry. But as it also says that Indian tourism organisation lack marketing competence, following is a marketing plan suggested to explore the potential. Identification of opportunities and challenges We first try to understand the opportunity by conducting SWOT analysis of the Marketing Scenario. Strength: Healthcare industry Healthcare is the world’s largest industry. Healthcare industry is booming all over the world. In the development cycle of any economy for the last 25 years, before a nation reaches the developed state, healthcare is the fastest growing industry. The worldwide healthcare is expected to be a USD 4 trillion by 2005. A 1% market for India would mean Rs. 2,00,000 crore or USD 40 billion. The Indian healthcare industry is worth Rs.730 crore today, and it is expected to grow by around 13 % to15 % annually. 43
  • 44. More and more overseas Indians fly home to visit their doctors here in whom they have complete confidence. They get world-class treatment at a fraction of the cost they would have to pay abroad, as liberalisation has speeded up the entry of the latest state-of-the-art equipment. Also Indian doctors are amongst the best of the world. They prefer to consult these doctors for their chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, neurological problems and even dentistry. Medical charges in India are between one-tenth and one-thirtieth those of the US. For example, a bypass surgery which costs $3000 in US, costs only Rs. 35000-40000 in India, with the same technologies and facilities. Also technology wise India is 6 months behind US. In US hospitals patient register themselves and their no. comes after 8 months. India- the hub of Asia’s healthcare needs: • Indian doctors are recognized the world over for their expertise • There is a huge talent within the country • Technology-wise we are only six months behind the developed countries Some factors that make India an attractive proposition • A large English speaking population • Opening of the insurance sector • A miniscule cost of healthcare as compared to developed nations • Medical expertise and contemporary knowledge of healthcare • Huge waiting period (upto 18 months in some cases) for treating patients in the UK hospitals • Medical tourism as a distinct possibility • The entire country is focusing on IT revolution, but if we play our cards healthcare will be the next boom. 44
  • 45. Tourism industry Tourism is the single largest and fastest growing category of international trade, Accounting for 12.8% of the total exports. It is one of the top 5 export categories for 83% of countries and the main source of foreign exchange for 38%. The potential for international tourism is vast as today only 3.5% of the world’s population travels internationally. India was one of the first countries to become a member of World Tourism Organisation in 1951. Total world tourist arrivals were recorded at 692.7 million. India received a share of 0.37% in world tourist arrivals with 2.64 million international arrivals. World tourism receipts were USD 462.2 billion while India’s receipt from international tourism was $3168 million i.e. 0.66% share in world tourism receipt ranking it 29th in the world. (See annexure ) Weakness • Lack of advertising and publicity: The hospitals are handicapped with government regulations, which do not allow them to advertise. • An increasingly fragmented market, lack of statistics, capital intensive operations and a long gestation period are all wise reasons to shy away from investing in the healthcare industry. • Government and trust hospitals dominate the scene. Many of the trust hospitals suffer from poor management. Good corporate hospitals are still too few to amount to a critical mass. • Poor infrastructure facilities • Lack of government support • The role of Government: the plethora of taxes and procedural complications • Inadequate world class accommodation and Untrained personnel manning key facilities 45
  • 46. • Unfocussed marketing of the Indian tourism product package Apprehensions about the law and order situations Opportunity Medical tourism “Medical tourism” has become a part of certain sectors of healthcare, but on a smaller scale. If industry estimated is to be believed, the size of the medical tourism industry stands at Rs 1,200-1,500 crore, growing at the rate of 30 per cent. A recent CII-McKinsey study on healthcare says medical tourism alone can contribute Rs 5,000-10,000 crore additional revenue for upmarket tertiary hospitals by 2012, and will account for 3-5 per cent of the total healthcare delivery market. Treatments cost a fraction of what they do in the West and the quality of doctors and medical equipment is comparable to the best in the world. UK and other countries have come up with some proposals for medical tourism packages by private sector healthcare institutions in India and talks are on to make this reality on a bigger scale. Multinational health insurance companies, with foreign stakeholders, will play an important role in medical tourism as, they know that treatment is just one-fourth the cost in India and people from their countries will be approaching us for treatment. Also Liberalisation has made it possible for India to enjoy benefits of technological strides in medicine. India also has an advantage as there are wider prospects in the fields of ayurveda, and spiritual medications along with other treatment at nominal prices. Threat: Though there are many countries competing in providing medical tourism like, Germany. South Africa, Europe, Greece. Almost all countries in providing 'Medical tourism' focus on: • Cardiac Surgery 46
  • 47. • Cosmetic Surgery and non-surgical procedures • Dentistry • Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery • Gynecological • Opthalmic Surgery • Orthopaedic Surgery From the above analysis, we find that there is opportunity in Medical tourism, which we can explore with strengths. But as there is a threat of competition from other countries, the following innovative strategic marketing mix is designed. For this purpose a Tourism organisation named “Make Ur Trip Pvt Ltd” is formed which is a virtual organisation, as it provides its services through internet. Target market: Our main markets are Germany, US, UK, Africa and neighboring Bangladesh, china and Sri Lanka for promoting the new package. Market will be segmented into NRI’s and foreigners. In an age group of 40-54 years. (see annexure ) Buying behaviour: As we are targeting middle age group who seek for mental relaxation and are not very price sensitive but look for quality service, this buying behaviour will help us to attract them as India is a GLOBAL SPIRITUAL POWER. Marketing mix: Product: 47
  • 48. We have evinced keen interest in attracting patients from neighbouring countries and other parts of the world for “medical tourism” packages for medical treatments, including cancer, in India, on the lines of Ayurvedic treatment packages with sightseeing. Our package will also include air bookings, hotel accommodation, breakfast, dinner, and other requirements. Along with Ayurveda we facilitate with other treatments like allopathic, homeopathic as per the convenience of our customers. To facilitate with the above feature we provide them with a travel card which helps them for a smooth and pleasant journey. Positioning: Revitalise, Recharge, Reboost Medical Package. Above positioning gives a message that - “Jumpstart your health with a "medical holiday" that's packed with relaxation and fun! Re-charge, with a medical check-up, while being pampered with 5-star luxury. With shopping and dining privileges, it's all the convenience needed for a rejuvenating affair”. Place: MUT's the online flight booking engine is truly unique. The engine offers customers a unique combination of discounted airfares and online availability, thus enabling real- time bookings. MUT’s Customer Service Unit is accessible 24/7 via internet and toll free numbers, web-chat and e-mail. We seek to deliver the travel card and other required documents at their doorstep after the registration and payment. Pricing: 48
  • 49. Cost or the price of the package will differ in different packages depending upon the kind of treatment seeked for and destinations looked for. The profits margin will be high as we provide with unique services. Discounts will be provided during lean time. (See annexure). Payment terms: Customer will have to pay full cost of package initially by depositing the amount in our bank account at AMERICAN EXPRESS bank in their country which will help them to avail of our travel card facility. This will be beneficial for them as they will have a cost advantage as the conversion charges will be reduced. Promotion: We will be promoting our products by: • personal selling • participation in trade fairs • Advertising through effective medias like newspaper (herald tribune, the times, guardian.) hoardings etc. • sponsorships in world games Public relation and social responsibility: In order to deliver complete customer satisfaction it is necessary to fulfill social responsibilities and maintaining public relationship with both customers internal and external. For this following measures will be taken: • Sponsoring welfare programmes on days like world aids day etc.. 49
  • 50. • Feedback and grievances system. • Delivering high quality service. Conclusion: It’s believed that initiatives taken by Make UR trip will help in economic development of our country as: • It will create awareness about our healthcare industry internationally. • Domestic players will realize the potential, thus improving their infrastructure facilities. • utilization of tourist potential • It will generate foreign exchange for the country. “Medical tourism” has become a part of certain sectors of healthcare, but on a smaller scale. “What we’re looking at is charging those who can afford expensive treatments, so that some benefits may be passed on to the poor also. 50
  • 51. Bibliography: Books : • Global Tourism - William F. Thebald • Service Marketing - S. M. Jha • Marketing For Tourism - J. Christopher Holloway & Chris Robinson • Marketing in Travel & Tourism - Victor T.C. Middleton • Tourism & Hospitality in 21st Century – A. Lockwood & S. Medlik Internet Web-sites: • www.tourismofindia.com • www.cii.com • www.indiainfoline.com • www.hindubusinessline.com 51
  • 52. • www.wttc.org 52

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