Subject: Marketing of Services/Service Marketing
Topic: TOURISM Marketing Mix – 7P`s of SOTC
Indian tourism industry is one of the most important export industries of the country. The performance of the tourism industry has been very encouraging which has registered an 11% increase in foreign tourist arrivals.
India tourism office at Tokyo won two international awards in Tour Expo held at Daego in Korea for excellent tourism marketing and promotion with major players such as China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Canada.
About the Company
The Kuoni Travel Group, India, is the country’s largest travel and tourism company and a 100% subsidiary of Kuoni Travel Holding. Kouni India’s vision focuses on providing all travel and travel related services to travellers from, within and to India.
It was formed when Kuoni Travel Holding, Switzerland acquired SOTC (100% equity) on May 22nd, 1997. It became the largest with the acquisition of SITA world travel a fore runner in destination management and travel market.
Today it is active across every travel segment and operates a number of successful brands in India.
Service Marketing Mix of Kuoni Travel (India)
|Sr. No.||Benefit||Meaning||With reference to the travel and tourism industry|
|1||Core benefit||The fundamental benefit or service the customer is buying||Traveling|
|2||Basic product||Functional attributes||Ticketing, Hotel Reservation|
|3||Expected product||Set of attributes the buyer already expects||Customer friendliness, good food, safety|
|4||Augmented product||That meets customer desires beyond expectations||Prompt service, comfortable trip, spectacular sights and music|
|5||Potential product||The possible innovation to distinguish the offer||Totally customized tour packages. A grade service at every stage|
Tourism marketing is the combination of tangible and intangible elements. The tourism product, which is mainly the destination, can only be experienced. The view of the travel location, to the destination, the accommodation and facility as well as the entertainment and the destination form the tourism product.
SOTC offers a variety of tours for all age groups, theme vacations, special packages for vegetarian and jains, tours for senior citizens etc.
Pricing in tourism marketing is a complex process. Pricing includes the prices of other services like Air travel, Bus, Railways, Hotels etc. All are included in tourism package. Pricing also depends upon the geographic destination of the location.
Pricing Policy: Pricing also depends upon seasonality. It is the most important factor in pricing.
SOTC offers price sensitive tours like cost savers and premium tours which can be afforded by all classes unlike low pricing policy followed by its competitors.
Destination → Tour Operator → Travel Agent → Consumer
Different distribution strategies are selected to reflect the company`s overall objectives. Tours as a product is distributed as a travel. Internet is widely used. The middleman may be tour operators, who purchases tours in bulk and make them available to travel agents who are retailers.
Different distribution strategies are selected for tours marketing by SOTC. There are also small agents spread all over the country who also pa\lay a role of place. They act as wholesalers and also as retailers. SOTC has its own website from where information on the tours can be procured, direct booking can be done for which the payment can be made through a credit card. It also has its offices from where booking can be done.
Advertising and sales promotion in Tourism marketing is very effective when supplemented by publicity and personal selling.
SOTC uses electronic, print and all sorts of media as tourism is a highly promoted industry. SOTC gives printed ads in newspapers, makes use of brochures to stimulate customers and motivate them to buy. They are used to demonstrate pictures and words the images and positioning of the product and the organizations.
SOTC provides its customers with a detailed brochure of the tour they have selected, a list of things to be done before going for a holiday e.g. cooking gas switch to be turned off etc and if the customer is going for foreign tour then a list of basic words like hello, water etc. in the foreign country language, this established value for money, product image, and status which must be matched when the product is delivered.
It plays a most important part in tourism marketing.
In people, local people are very important regarding how they treat tourists. It consists of the travel agents, guides, staff, sales staff etc. of the company. The travel company also like railways, airlines etc. are also included in people.
Kuoni group employs 2900 employees through its 347 offices and caters to 3 million customers. SITA alone enjoys loyalty of its 2 talk Indian customers.
The operational process of SOTC is given in the form of sequential steps involved in the delivery of tours as a product.
- Provision of travel information → The information regarding the travel is provided at a convenient location where the potential tourists seeks clarification about their proposed tour. SOTC provides information through its website, newspaper ads and in form of pamphlets.
- Preparation of Itineraries → It is a composition of series of operations that are required to plan a tour. SOTC customizes its itineraries according to customer wants and desires.
- Liaison with providers of services → SOTC has its contracts with many of the Indian companies like, HILTON etc.
- Planning and costing tours → In SOTC the tours are customized i.e. if customer cannot afford a premium package he will be given the same tour but the cost will be reduced by offering him a deluxe hotel instead of a 5 star hotel.
- Ticketing → Computerized reservation system has in recent years revolutionized the reservation system for both rail and air travel. In SOTC the tours, air and rail tickets are booked online.
- Provision of foreign currency and insurance → SOTC provides its customers with foreign currency and visa services.