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Travel and tourism is one of the fastest growing sector in UK due to the increasing demands and changing priorities of the people. This industry is contributing to the national growth and development of UK and helps in improving its economic condition. Industry accomplish its goals and objectives by using various marketing techniques and methods for attracting people towards them (James, 2000).
Thomas cook is a UK based travel and tourism company which was formed on 19 June 2007. Thomas cook is taken into consideration in this file for explaining the marketing strategies of travel and tourism sector. This study focuses on the summer holidays trip to Morocco and Egypt which is being launched by Thomas Cook. It consists of core concepts and principles of marketing, marketing with the help of management tools. Along with these, it includes marketing mix and promotional mix. In the end, the whole report is summarised by using key findings and recommendations.
The core concepts of marketing are very definite, clear, relevant and acceptable to understand concept of marketing process. The marketing basically involves five core concepts which are described below:
1)Wants- This is basically a desire which is selected from the needs. According to the wants of customers like tours should be enjoyable, knowledgable and they have wonderful travelling experience. Thomas Cook tour operators provides various tours packages for both Egypt and Morocco tours which fulfils wants of the customers (Dwyer and Forsyth, 2007).
2)Needs- It is a wish or a desire which can be related to security, physiological and esteem etc. The needs of the customers like while time of travelling they need proper accommodation, food and transport facility. According to theses needs, Thomas cook provides good quality of food at proper time of breakfast, lunch and dinner, for comfort for customers they use best transport facilities according to the region like camel at dessert area etc. and they also provide best accommodation facilities (Tsiotsou and Ratten, 2010).
3)Demands- It comes when needs are arise and wants are crop up because it is situation in which customers have both willing and ability to buy products. In tours customers demands like they demands for special regional food and demand for security. Thomas Cook make their holiday packages with insurance facility like car accident or adventures tour insurance etc.
4)Products- Product could be anything which satisfy needs and wants. According to the needs, wants and demand of customers, Thomas Cook make their holiday packages which includes attractive destinations, adventures activities, special food, transport and accommodation services.
5)Market- It is not only a physical place but it also involves contact or person where they are present with all detailed information. Customers wants to visit Egypt and Morocco, for this Thomas Cook make holiday packages for these places and also provide brochure which consist all detailed information related to travelling (Business Marketing. 2016).
The marketing environment involves both micro and macro environment factors which gives impact on both Thomas Cook business and destination places (Egypt and Morocco). The impact of marketing environment is described below:
Customers- According to needs and demand of customers, the business of Thomas Cook will be effected. For example, customers wants 6 days tour rather than 4 days tour in which all natural and attractive places should be cover. It gives impact like while making the changes in tours of Egypt and Morocco, business of Thomas Cook is in profit or loss.
Suppliers- Suppliers of Thomas Cook provides accommodation services, transport services and food facilities in holiday packages. The suppliers also gives impact on the business practices. For example, when suppliers of Thomas Cook will provides best quality services and facilities to customers who are visiting Egypt and Morocco than Thomas Cook will be able to gain trust of customers which will also more customers towards them (Koning, 2014).
Technology- With the help of technology, Thomas Cook can make their own website which will be beneficial for them. Through their website, customers can select and book their holiday packages for Egypt and Morocco. They could provide online and digital services to customers.
Politics- The government policies which are related to security also affects the business of Thomas Cook because for security purpose they offer personal health and car accident insurance while travelling Egypt and Morocco.
Economic- The economic conditions like interest rates, bank rates etc. affects the tourism demand and business of Thomas Cook. For example, due to high level of interest rates customers number will be decreases (Sharpley, 2006).
There are few factors which affects the consumer motivation and demand in the travel and tourism. The factors are described below:
Cultural factor- This factor involves culture, sub culture and social class of the customers. The culture of customer motives him to know other country's culture and subculture because his own culture taught him the importance, value and preference of culture. The sub culture includes tradition, custom and religion of that country. For example, Muslim people who have interest in their customs, it will motive him to visit Hassan ll and Koutoubia mosque and worship their.
Social factor- The social factors influence and motives customers to visit other places like Egypt and Morocco. The social factors includes family, friends, reference groups, status and roles which gives motivation to customers. For example, group of friends visit Morocco then they will describe the architecture, and natural places which attracts them. The description related to that place will influence customer to personally visit that place to see the beauty of Morocco (Francesconi, 2011).
Personal factor- The personal reasons and factors also motives customer to travel Morocco and Egypt. The personal reasons may includes business, economic situation, lifestyle or education. For example, Customer wants to know history and architecture about pyramids then it will motive him to see it physically to understand its importance.
Psychological factor- This factor involves motivation, perception, learning and attitudes. In this perception is process through which customers interprets the information about place which he receive from others. For example, he perceive that beauty and tradition of Morocco is very attractive then it will attract and motive him to visit that place (Thomas Cook. 2016).
Market segmentation is a marketing activity which categorize the broad market into small segments which involves consumers of same traits. The types of market segmentation is defined below:
The process of marketing involves few steps such as situation analysis, objectives setting, strategy developments, tactical developments, actions and control (SOSTAC Planing, 2016). Through segmentation, Thomas Cook can target customers according to age, lifestyle, country or purpose. With the help of segmentation, firm can understand the need of customers and according to that need they can plan tour packages of Egypt and Morocco. The marketing activities will be create according to segmented customers to attract them. For example, firm will plan summer holidays package which covers educational places like historic, museums etc. for the students or people who are interested in this place (SOSTAC, 2015.). While considering the age and gender factor age of 18-26, they mostly wants adventure and excitement, so, firm can plan the tours by includes adventures activities like paragliding or mountaineering etc. The firm will combine the marketing segmentation with marketing planning according to customers (Evans, Stonehouse and Campbell, 2012).
Strategic Marketing is a combination of marketing goals of an organisation and strategies used for achieving them. As per the assistant marketing manager, I suggest SOSTAC model for strategic marketing planning to Thomas Cook for the summer holiday from Morocco to Egypt which is described below.
Situation Analysis: For analysing the current situation, Thomas Cook needs to apply Pestle and Swot analysis which helps in identifying its current market position and economic condition and results to decide appropriate investment in summer holidays of Morocco and Egypt (Kimmm, 2012).
Objective Setting: Thomas Cook has to set objectives by analysing what it wants to achieve from this trip. The basic objective of Thomas Cook is earning profit and to achieve this, it has to develop effective marketing strategies.
Strategy Development: For achieving the objective, Thomas Cook has to form effective, creative and innovative marketing strategies for inviting more customers in the summer holiday packages (SOSTAC Planing. 2016).
Tactical Development: Company needs to do market surveys and researches for achieving strategies which helps in getting information related to the demands and priorities of customers, strategies of competitors etc.
Action: In this step, Thomas Cook implement its plan by signing agreements with the airlines and hotels which they have selected for their tour (Koning, 2014).
Control: In this Thomas Cook determines that whether the passengers are getting quality of services from the hotels or not.
Marketing research is that process which joins customers, consumers and end users to the researcher by the help of obtained information. As per the Assistant Marketing Manager I like to suggest DODCAR model for marketing research with respect to Thomas Cook and it is explained below.
Define the research problem: Firstly, Thomas Cook needs to identify the problem which it is facing during the strategy formation for summer holidays
Objective setting: After identifying the problem, company needs to set objectives so that it can solve the problem occurring during the planning.
Design the research plan: In this, Thomas Cook designs the plan related to the research in that particular field (Lordkipanidze, Brezet and Backman, 2005).
Collect the research data: Thomas Cook implement that plan and collect the information by using various methods which includes observation, feedback forms, questionnaire, face to face interviews and many more.
Analyse the research data: In this step, firm analyse and evaluate the obtained information by using marketing tools and techniques.
Report the findings: And in end, the Thomas cook reports the obtained outcomes to the top management and creates strategies for trip (Mehmetoglu and Norman, 2013).
By conducting marketing research, the company gets various information related to the choices, demands and priorities of customers. It found that customers want quality services in affordable price. By the obtained results, Thomas Cook can apply various things to its holiday package such as “pay what you want to”, “unstoppable elders”, “sustainable environment”, etc. Company can also offer travel with pet opportunities to the customers to attract people of diverse fields (Morais and et. al., 2012).
The influence of marketing related to the trip of Thomas Cook on society is in both positive and negative manner which is explained below.
Product Information: For informing people about the summer holidays, Thomas Cook used its website and Television advertisement for providing all the information regarding the tour such as decided flights, timings, hotels, Morocco and Egypt spots, number of days and nights to stay there, various facilities and services, etc. This is available in the minimum cost to the customers which also saves the time by providing simple and easy access (Morrison, 2006).
Better Standard of living: Thomas Cook is using high level of marketing which helps in influencing the living standard of society. Information about the quality services of the summer holidays forces people to buy tickets and enjoy their weekend. This trip aware them about the various things which somewhere affects their living standard.
Positive Environment: By advertising, Thomas cook helps in creating positive environment of the society. As Morocco and Egypt trip leads to bring freshness by removing stress, motivates people and brings lots of happiness to them. It helps people in bringing some change in their life and to enjoy it which somewhere takes them away from their daily stress and worries (Pechlaner, Dal Bò andVolgger, 2012).
Negative impacts are as follows.
Misrepresentation: For attracting more people and earning more profit, Thomas Cook tries to add some extra things to their tours which makes people to expect more. But this misrepresentation leads to feel people as they are mistreated by the company.
Unrealistic Expectations: During the booking of tickets, people starts expecting more from the company. But if the quality and services are not according to the provided information during the marketing then in such conditions it creates negative image of the firm on the passengers (Dwyer and Forsyth, 2007).
Product, price and place are the elements of marketing mix which plays important role in launching of any product or service. While deciding these elements, companies face various issues which results to wastage of time, increase in production cost, improper utilization of resources. Similarly, Thomas Cook faces various problems during taking decisions related to the place, price of the trip and services to be provided during the trip (Marketing Mix of tourism Industry Tourism Essay. 2016). Services provided by the Thomas Cook are intangible which makes customers to think twice for using them. Company faces problem in deciding the tourism products as they should be in the range of decided capital. Services consider destination attractiveness, ease of destination, services, accommodation and many more which are difficult to manage (Elbanna, 2009).
On the other hand, price factor of marketing mix also creates various issues for the company. Thomas Cook should decide low prices for inviting passengers from various fields and to compete with its competitors. Establishment should decides the price by evaluating various factors which includes taxes, services, fare of flights, quality of food, type of hotels, profit etc. Pricing strategy also changes according to the fuel prices. If the price of fuel raises then in such condition Thomas Cook has to increase the ticket prices which somewhere affects the number of travellers (Evans, Stonehouse and Campbell, 2012).
Along with this, Thomas Cook faces problems while deciding the place for organising trips, distributing channels, etc. The decided place should be safe and clean so that it does not affects the health of passengers. The places also needs to be attractive, natural, beautiful and charismatic so that people feel happy and enjoy their trip. Thomas Cook selects the beautiful and charismatic places as Morocco and Egypt (Erskine and Meyer, 2012).
Service sector mix consists of product, place, promotion, people, etc. These all elements plays essential role in travel and tourism sectors. The products decided by the Thomas Cook for the trip of Morocco and Egypt are only be feel and experienced by the passengers. These products and services includes locations, accommodation, entertainment, facilities, etc. Quality and value of these services makes people to prefer the same company next time also and helps in building good brand image among them. On the other hand, the places decided by the company i.e. Morocco and Egypt are beautiful, historical and natural which are liked by most of the people. Along with this, it has uses the those strategies which helps in increasing the number of sales and in delivering services effectively away from the location (Francesconi, 2011).
For Promoting the tour, company is using various dimensions such as advertising, publicity, sales promotion, word of mouth promotion, telemarketing, etc. These methods helps in influencing people and society so that they join the trip. This results to increase in stay duration, frequency of visiting the places with new products and services. People specially the local ones are the most important factor of this trip. People includes customers, employees, agents, guides, staff of hotels, etc. Employees are trained by Thomas Cook so that they can give their best in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the company. Travel guides selected by the firm are need to be skilled, funny, knowledgable related to the places, etc. so that they can guide the passengers in effective and entertaining way (Erskine and Meyer, 2012).
Travel and tourism industries are combination of hotel industries, travel agencies, trekking agencies and many more. All of these industries tries to provide individual products for making an memorable trip. Basically, tourism products of Thomas Cook are a group of elements such as attractive services, natural and historical places, healthy food, etc which results to their customer satisfaction (Koning, 2014). It is a product that people feels, uses, experience and enjoys during their travel. This is a total experience of an individual during his stay in the trip of Morocco and Egypt. Offered products are more than the normal services, accommodation and facilities provided to the people by the Thomas Cook (Business Marketing. 2016). On the basis of this total tourism product, individuals decides whether their tour was good or not. This outcome makes them to decide whether to prefer the same company or switch to another. These products also includes the experience of locations passengers visit at a specific time. People gets quality of experience from these tourism products which makes them feel different from their daily work. The quality of tourism products represents the image of the Thomas Cook among the individuals which includes style, attraction, nature, etc. The price of products offered by the Thomas Cook is function of facilities provided to the passengers as per their demands and desires (Tsiotsou and Ratten, 2010).
The promotional mix is combination of all methods of promotion which is used for single product. The promotional mix consists of personal selling, sales promotion and public relation etc. The elements of marketing mix are described below:
Personal selling- in this method, personal communication is establish with customers because personal communication plays a important role to influence the customers towards the tour services of Thomas Cook.
Advertising- It is a form of one way paid communication which describes the features and benefits of tours. With the help of advertising, Thomas Cook can increase the awareness among customers about the specialities of tour packages like adventures activities, multiple cuisine foods and famous destination places etc.(Elbanna, 2009)
Internet and online promotion- Thomas Cook can use this element in the promotion of tours because in present times many customers spend their time on internet. The online promotion will gain attention of large number of customers which will be beneficial for the Thomas Cook.
Direct marketing-This is the fastest growing element, through this Thomas Cook directly communicates with their target markets to generate transaction and response. This methods will attract more customer towards the tour packages of Thomas Cook (Dwyer and Forsyth, 2007).
With the help of all these promotional methods, Thomas Cook can launch their summer 2016 holidays to Morocco and Egypt (Marketing Mix of tourism Industry Tourism Essay, 2016).
In the promotional campaign, series of advertising are used through various marketing tools and they also share the common ideas and messages which are related to tour packages of Thomas Cook. They are used to attract the target customers towards the firm's product by using media sources such as newspaper, television and radio etc. For the effective promotional campaign, Thomas cook has to follow steps such as:
Travel and tourism industries are continuously growing due to the raising awareness of people towards this sector. For influencing more customers and society, companies are using innovative and creative marketing strategies. Thomas Cook one of popular travel and tourism industry is also comes in this category. While designing tour of Egypt and Morocco, it consider various elements which are price, place, quality of services, promotion, etc. The tour organised by the firm is as per the demands and needs of people which is going to satisfy them.
The recommendations for Thomas Cook are as follows.
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