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Hospitality & Tourism Management

E-Marketing: A Panacea For Marketing Tourism Products

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ABSTRACT

This study assessed the role of E-marketing in the marketing of tourism products. The objectives which guided the research were to identify the status of tourism marketing through internet usage in Calabar, to analyse the use of internet in marketing tourism in Calabar City, to identify the relationship between tourism growth and the use of internet in Calabar and to identify the challenges facing the internet usage in marketing tourism in Calabar. The sample size of the study was 16 marketing or communication officials whose companies or organizations have registered and have the websites. The research used qualitative and quantitative methods in the presentation of data and research data were collected through interview and content analysis and the use of the secondary data. Data was analysed using thematic analysis, SPSS and Microsoft Excel and findings were presented in narrations, frequencies, percentages and charts. Findings of this research described that internet doesn’t play much role as it should. Also the researcher discovered that there is no harmonization within tourism sector in electronic environment as well. But thanks to god the government has played a major role to ensure that the harmony is built within tourism industry by creating a tourism marketing portal which is incorporated by every recognized tourism company information needed by customer (s) or consumer(s) and which will ensure that there is cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background Of The Study

According to the definition provided by the American Marketing Association (2008), marketing refers to “an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. In essence, marketing is a consumer-oriented philosophy or way of doing business; companies that are consumer oriented will put consumers’ needs and wants on their top priority. From this perspective, the ultimate goal of marketing is therefore to create and retain profitable customers by satisfying their demands. It is worth noting that the goal of retaining profitable customers is particularly challenging in Asia including Hong Kong. This is because people in this region tend to be more group oriented and the word-of-mouth effects are especially strong.

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Hospitality marketing is unique because it deals with the tangible product, like a bed in the hotel or food in the restaurant, but it also deals with the intangible aspects of the hospitality and tourism industry. It is about the experience in a trip and social status it brings eating in a fine-dining restaurant. Hospitality marketing is very critical in the success of any hospitality and tourism product, organization and tourist destination. Proper marketing effort promotes a product or service that fills the needs and wants of the consumers and at the same time, bring profits to the organization or country that features it. E-marketing is any marketing done online via websites or other online tools and resources. E-Marketing can include paid services while other methods are virtually free. A wide variety of eMarketing methods are at your disposal, including: direct email, SMS/text messaging, blogs, webpages, banners, videos, images, ads, social media, search engines, and much, much more.

Information technology has introduced ecommerce through the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web. These developments have impacted both consumer and industry behaviors in the areas of travel and tourism. Consumers have more options regarding vacation and budget planning. Ninety five percent of web users have searched the Internet to gather travel related information. Ninety three percent visited destination web sites and nearly one half used e-mail to gather travel-related information (Xinran, Dae-Young & Morrison, 2006). Almost three-fourths of online travel buyers used search engines prior to making their purchases. In addition to the Internet, technology gadgets such as GPS’s, mobile phones, smart phones and hand-held devices have improved consumers’ tourism and travel experiences. Information accessibility regarding travel, destination, bookings, payments, hotels, attractions, and the quality of maps are areas for improvement.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have affected the travel and tourism industry for at least 50 years, particularly in the areas of automation and networking of distribution channels. Local travel agents that used the global distribution system have adjusted marketing strategies and expanded services in order to realize increased competitive advantage. Local tourism business comprehension and utilization of the Internet has permitted increased visibility in additional market segments. Businesses have increased services globally by registering with online travel agents, online advertising agents, and inter-organizational reservation systems. In addition, many businesses have developed websites which offer planning, booking and payment services online for added consumer convenience. Businesses that have not made use of the Internet cannot compete and therefore they must grasp the opportunity before they are out-competed by those that have.

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1.2     Statement of Problem

E-commerce may change the structure of an industry, and in the process create new business opportunities. The deployment of more specialized services, flexible network configurations, and further consumer integration will lead to smart market places that integrate all stakeholders. The underlying pervasive IT scenario enables as well as enforces this development, demonstrating that tourism is an interesting field of application as well as research. Given the dynamics of the tourism sector and the very competitive e-market, nearly all stakeholders have implemented their strategies. Tourism has also become the playing field for new entrants, either startups or companies from the media and IT sectors. Since tourism is an information-based business, it fits well with their respective background. One can observe a trend towards further specialization and an ongoing deconstruction of the value chain, paralleled by an integration of players and products. Companies compete and cooperate simultaneously, and boundaries within the industry are blurring.

1.3 General Objective

To assess the role of the electronic marketing as a tool for marketing tourism products in Nigeria with reference to Calabar city.

1.3.1 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of this study were as follows;

  • To identify the status of tourism marketing through internet usage in Calabar City
  • To analyse the use of internet in marketing tourism in Calabar City
  • To identify the relationship between tourism growth and the use of internet in Calabar City
  • To identify the challenges facing the internet usage in marketing tourism in Calabar City

1.4 Research Questions

The study was developed under the following questions;

What is the status of tourism marketing through internet usage in Calabar City?

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How is the internet used in marketing tourism in Calabar City?

What is the relationship between tourism growth and the internet usage in Calabar City?

What are the challenges facing the internet usage in marketing tourism?

 1.5 Significance of the Study

The study, first and foremost, provided knowledge to a researcher who wished to know more about information technologies specifically the internet and the way it is used in tourism in marketing context. Also, it will provide a basis for the Nigeria’s tourism board and other tourism organizations on the impact of the utilization of the internet in strengthening Calabar tourism industry. This would involve compatible activities regarding the empowerment of the industry of tourism in Calabar through the help of tour operators and travel agents maintaining their respective websites for the City.

Moreover, the study will be helpful to the tour operators and the travel agents since there will be a specific study on the performance of their internet marketing tools, which includes websites and their conventional Medias. This study will be the basis on what area they should improve on their internet marketing tools. Moreover, this study will aid in the progress of the emerging tourism industry in Calabar City.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this study was the role of internet in tourism marketing where by the researcher assessed the reality of the field situation. The success depended much on the thoroughly content analysis of the tourism companies and organization websites and respondents’ true answers on internet applicability to tourism marketing with particular reference to Calabar City. Also the study was limited by inadequate Time where by the researcher who is a student had to adhere to the University timetable by doing all required activities including studying effectively while at the same time collecting data efficiently and at a required time. However, the researcher coped with the situation by well utilization of time to accomplish the research report.


Pages:  34

Category: Seminar

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo                                     

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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