I decided -after messages/requests from friends of readers, whom I thank especially- to supplement with some brief remarks and useful tips my last article about small island destinations. And these remarks are part of the same recent study that I was commissioned to prepare and present to an interested island development agency, as I had already announced.
Tourism destinations should have as a driving force for their development specific marketing strategies, which will determine the implementation of their goals. In the modern tourism market, the perception of sales of the past is not enough. The tourism destinations to be developed – but also the existing ones – should cultivate communication with the old customers but also with the future interested ones, and of course not only the customers but also the suppliers and other collaborating bodies.
Consequently, the view that a modern marketing plan should have communication as the core of its implementation is undoubtedly a given. The marketing mix must now include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, personal selling, and direct marketing. In the previous article, it was emphasized that the customer does not consume the tourism product itself but the benefits that derive from the specific product. The services provided, therefore, the tourist will evaluate them according to their quality and the verification of their presence, as well as his belief in their reliability. In fact, I consider the latter to be decisive and I have pointed it out many times in my articles. When drawing up a complete marketing plan, the appropriate philosophy should be adopted as a key promotional element, ie the promotion/strengthening of the location of the island destination as a separate island with authentic island heritage, with possibilities of non-mass tourism holidays and with many rich experiences in an untouched natural and cultural environment. An important place is occupied by the emotional part that attracts the tourist, such as sea, light, wind, adventure, rest, entertainment, which will enhance the authentic character of the island.
The plan proposes:
- Interactive and online presence.
- Stable visibility in the main markets.
- Targeted approach of all customer groups.
- Complete and detailed presentation of all the forms and elements that compose the tourist product of the island.
- Targeted approach to specific categories of the public, such as opinion leaders, tourism journalists, travel agency executives, scientific associations, universities, and sports clubs.
- Suggested options should include advertising, public relations, direct advertising, internet marketing, and selective participation in exhibitions with the prospect of direct sales, as well as the creation of a modern website.
According to the intended goals, the advertising messages should be aimed at information, persuasion, and reminder. The markets should have the appropriate information about the new products and the possible modifications that have been made, in order to gradually build the new image. The primary concern should be the return of old customers and then the presentation of the special features for the specific categories targeted. The main axis on which the campaign will be supported should be developed as follows:
- Information – information.
- Product presentation.
- Competitiveness/creation of selective demand.
- Reinforcement (conservation and reproducibility).
- Cooperation – compatibility with a wider area.
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- Traveldailynews From my previous article. Thanks!