Destination Marketing Evaluation

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The aim of this essay is to evaluate the main developments of Destination Marketing and critically discuss its effect on tourism industry. Introduction to tourism industry and the role of destination for this sector of economy will be initially demonstrated. Afterwards the role of tourism destination marketing and its origin in the 19th century will be presented, moving on to actual advances in information technology. The main components of destination marketing, identified with its development, will be examined in detail determining its role in the process. The bodies responsible for destination marketing in the area together with their specific functions will be subsequently introduced and supported with the example of Berlin. Then, looking respectively at advantages and disadvantages of destination marketing it will move on to its challenges. In conclusion some recommendations on how to improve the destination marketing in the area will be withdrawn. According to UNWTO: "Tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes" (Cooper et al., 2008). Tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy. Its activities take place mostly at destinations, which become fundamental in forming the tourism system (Leiper 1990). As Pike (2004 cited in Elbe et al., 2009) ) suggests, destinations are places that attract visitors for a temporary stay, and range from continents to countries to states and provinces to cities to villages to purpose built resort area. It can be induced from the above definition that destinations have an area surrounded by some sort of boundaries, which can be geographical or political. They comprise of various services, facilities, attractions and promotions, which has been divided into six components of a destination (Page et al., 2009). These are often referred as 6As and include: available packages, accessibility, attractions, amenities, activities and ancillary services. Bodies responsible for destination management are Destination Management Organisations, which have played an important role in development of tourism worldwide since one of their main functions is attracting visitors to the place or region of their area of governance. This is achieved through active involvement and leadership in destination marketing to the world. Tourism destination marketing aims to promote particular destination to tourists and investors around the world as well as to local population in order to retain its economic growth. Nowadays competition between destinations has become intense, therefore places need to “think more like businesses” to share position in the tourism market place (Kotler et al., 1993, cited in Lichrou et al., 2008). Too often however, tourism planners focus only on destination developments without paying attention to retaining and preserving the attributes that attracted travellers to the destination in the first place (Kotler et al., 2011). WTO (2004, cited in Baker and Cameron, 2008) suggests that: “destination marketing brings buyers and sellers together; focuses on responding to consumer demands and competitive positioning and involves making decisions about the product, branding, price, market segmentation, promotion and distribution”. The beginnings of destination marketing can be traced to the 19th century in USA, where interest was on domestic tourism, focused mainly on attracting meetings and events (Ford and Pepper, 2007, cited in Page et al., 2009). The first to begin overseas promotion was New Zealand in 1901, which has significantly increased the arrivals over the years. Many individual resorts in UK followed North America and started advertising their attractions and amusements through leaflets or posters. In 1879 Blackpool Town Council initiated cooperation with railways in the city’s marketing campaign, what has...
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