1. Business Summary
1.1 Business Overview
YouCan Self-Drive is a tourism business offering bookings of self-drive tourism products and services such as bookings tours and expert advice and road services. YouCan Self-Drive offers both products and services in order to fully maximise its profit potential.
YouCan Self-Drive is targeting one major market, the Chinese young people. In two to five years the aim is to develop the self-drive tours business and promote it in China, aiming at attract more Chinese people travel Australia. One website is going to be established, and the business will grow to several, in and around the Chinese target market. This will be achieved by continuing to offer best products services matched with expert advice, in conjunction with an extensive advertising campaign.
1.2 Market Analysis
While YouCan Self-drive hopes to cater for most of the central business district population, it will be targeting into Chinese young people, the big potential market opportunities who keeps up to date with the latest self-drive tours trends.
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YouCan Self-Diver has undertaken extensive market research and surveys relating to drive tourism and China outbound tourism. The results showed Chinese young people are looking for new destinations for self-drive tourism; meanwhile, the drive tourism in Australia is driven by unique resources of Australia like modern road, simply car rental and diversified attractions.
1.3 Market Strategy
YouCan Self-Drive's marketing strategy seeks to optimise its prime advantage of knowledge of China, as well as offering the unique selling proposition of advice from itineraries advice, digital bookings, and road service. Customer research has been carried out by surveying local young people. Market research has been reviewed through Tourism Research Australia and literature review to get the industry data and theories and gives the business a holistic market trends and demand.
2. Detailed Plan
1.4 Management & Business Structure
Management and Staffing
Including the General Manager the organisation has a total of five full time employees. The General Manager is to be commended for in charge of the business, managing the team. YouCan Adventures will require two teams in both China and Australia, which are responsible for different parts of the business. There will be six staff at the first stage. Four full-time and one part-time. All are trained and combine excellent sepecific knowledge with a passion for the tourism industry. The staffs in China are expected to manage marketing and communicate with customers such as introduction of websites which empower customers to make more informed decisions about their travel plans and online bookings. While the employees in Australia will in charge services for visitors during their travel such as road service, and researches like new routes and improving existing itineraries. Tourism is a multi-disciplinary industry reliant on numerous industry sectors and the support of a wide range of stakeholders for its future growth and development. In order to achieve this, there is a need for stronger cooperation within the company and partnership and engagement with other tourism sectors including visitor Information Centres, Government and hospitality sectors.
The YouCan Self-Drive operates as this business structure both in China and Australia for the following reasons:
- selling the business will be easier in tourism departure
- providing services will be easier in tourism destination
- this structure enables cooperation for YouCan Self-Drive purposes as more efficiency of the business
YouCan Self-Drive will also registered its trademark and the websites www.youcanselfdrive.com.cn and www.youcanselfdrive.com.au in order to fully protect intellectual property.
The exit strategy is to make the business start and viable unless the business falls below the minimum targets for one financial year due to undesirable circumstance such as political conflicts and other crisis. At this point, the business will need to cut staffs and wait the recovery of tourism industry.
1.5 Key Objectives
The objectives for YouCan Self-Drive are to:
Expand the business
The primary objective of the company is to expand the business to provide better products and services, utilizing the establishment of Website. This will be achieved by lengthening the period of operations from 2 months to about 4 months of the year.
Increase the awareness
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Meanwhile, increasing the awareness of Australia's self-drive tours in China is the next objectives, by effective marketing methods and key brand and positioning messages.
Increase the preference
It is important to increase the preference of tourism activities when develop a business since it can increase the pull factors and motive travel. Regarding Chinese tourists, food and shopping are recognized as two major aspects to be enhanced.
Provision of outstand services aims to enhance tourists' experience. This will increase tourists' satisfaction with traveling in Australia and attract more new tourists and increase re-visits as well.
1.6 Stakeholders Analysis
Stakeholders can be separated into three dedicated and interlinked partnership parts: Distribution, Government and Industry and Events. Youcan Self-drive is the major player which duty for the distribution of service and products using internet marketing and online booking system. Industry and Events are regional stakeholders such as events operators, accommodation providers including backpacker, hostels, caravan parks, self-contained hotels, Destination Marketing Organizations, hospitality sectors like restaurants, car rental companies, and other tourism stakeholders. Government means tourism sectors such as Tourism Australia, Tourism Queensland and others, which are responsible for national or state strategy of tourism development and planning, tourism research and monitor of tourism performance.
1.7 Market Analysis
Drive tourism grossed AUD 3 billion in revenues in 2000 in Queensland and the size of drive tourism market in the same year amounts to 53 million trips in rural Australia (BTR, 2001). China has become one of the world's most important outbound tourism countries since the self-financed international leisure travel has been made possible in the early-1990s. Chinese outbound travel grows fast after that and jumped to 31 million by 2005 (Breakey, Ding & Lee 2008). The current growth and future predictions of outbound travel from China combined with the maturity of Australia's drive tourism indicates great potential and marketing opportunities.
1.8 Industry Overview
Prideaux et al. described drive tourism in a broad interpretation as 'tourism that centres on travelling from an origin point to a destination by car that is either privately owned or rented, and engaging in tourism- related activities during the journey'. (Prideaux & Carson 2003)
Drive tourism has been recognized as one of the fastest growing and important tourism sectors in Australia, moreover, the predominance of self-drive tourism like individuality and lack of rigidity combined with Australia's modern and efficient highways can be seen as a major pull factors.
Australia is connected by a network of modern and efficient highways that lack the volumes of traffic experienced in eastern Australia and other parts of the world. Often great distances can be covered and only a hand full of cars passes on the other carriageway. Roads pass through some very dramatic and varied scenery making self-driving a pleasure and personal adventure. Australian hospitality will be a surprise.
It is useful to re-examine the definitions and major characteristics of drive tourism suggested in the literature.
A major aspect of drive tourism is its individuality and lack of rigidity compared to the conformity of a package tour.
With a vast network of well-maintained roads and most beautiful road touring in the world, Australia offers a wide choice of self-drive itineraries, which will ensuring tourists experience and explore the real Australia.
A wide range of accommodation including hotels, motels, backpacker/hostel, luxury, resorts and apartment accommodation, self-catering, caravan parks and camping grounds and its high-standard have added an extra dimension to the type and quality of self-drive tour holiday experience. At the end of June 2007, there were 5,891 businesses in Australia mainly involved in the provision of accommodation services. The 5,891 accommodation businesses at the end of June 2007 operated 6,668 accommodation establishments around Australia. Motels accounted for more than one-third (35.2% or 2,345 establishments) of all establishments and caravan parks one-fifth (20.6% or 1,374 establishments). Serviced apartments and visitor hostels accounted for 8.7% (583 establishments) and 8.3% (550 establishments), respectively (ABS 2008).
Tourism Research Australia recently released a report titled A Profile of Travellers who used Caravan or Camping Accommodation in 2003-04, which shows that there are over 334,000 caravans and campervans in use in Australia. In addition, caravan and campers in Australia spent $6.7billion in 2003-04, contributing 76.3 million visitor nights. Tourism Australia http://www.tourism.australia.com/NewsCentre.asp?sub=0315&al=2009.
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At the same time, the car rental industry in Australia has experience a dramatic development in the past decade and a correspondingly high degree of price and service, which indicates a high potential benefit for self-drive tourists. According to available data, about 55,000 rental vehicles were registered across Australia (Jupiters 2005). Rental car is simply in Australia and covers most major destinations. The flourishing of car rental industry positively contribute to self-drive tourism market, offering various form of transport including rental car; a self-drive van, motor home or campervan; or a 4WD vehicle and attractive price, with about $42 -$59 per day.
Main form of transport between stopovers: private or company car; rental car; a self-drive van, motor home or campervan; or a 4WD vehicle.
Besides, the car rental industry in Australia has experienced strong growth in turnover during the past decade and a correspondingly high degree of price and service competition. Industry turnover has increased from $25 million in 1975 to in excess of $200 million in 1986, with the four national operators accounting for an estimated 80 to 85 per cent of industry turnover. The study indicates that greater operator access to Commonwealth airports since 1979 has been beneficial for consumers, operators and government airport concession revenue, alike.
Recent developments with high quality and diversity man-made tourist attractions have added
These major attractions are leading the way with marketing efforts and
Visitor Information Centres (VIC's) is an important issue in the contemporary tourism industry which plays a significant role in the dissemination of information to visitors travelling within the local area. A key goal of tourism marketing is to encourage visitation by tourists to local operators, including accommodations, tours and attractions and to facilitate longers stays within the region. Fesenmaier (1994) stated that the tourist information centre acts as one of the most important communication channels with which to modify travellers' behaviour and to educate travellers about the benefits of visiting the state, and consequently attracts them to increase the number of days spent in the regions as well as the level of visitor expenditures. There are a number of significant VIC's in major tourism areas throughout Australia such as Cairns, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.
1.9 Tourism Trends and demands
1. Summary of self-drive market
Understanding the context of the self-drive tourism and trends in demand is necessary when establish an objective framework for evaluating and developing various tourism opportunities. Following table provided a detailed analysis of relevant market trends and the increasing demands relating from China market.
Key Product Segments
Some of the key points are summarized below.
Size of the Industry
Over the last three years, the size of international drive market to Australia has grown fast, with and average annual rate of 4.3% in Queensland and 4.4% in NSW. In 2006, there were 448,700 international drive market visitors to Queensland. According to Tourism Queensland (Drive Market Snapshot 2006), the typical international drive market visitor to Queensland is aged between 25 to 44 years, traveling alone, stayed in a hotel, motel, resort or motor inn or at the home of a friend or relative, enjoyed dining out, shopping, going to the beach and visiting national parks and State parks while in Australia.
Key Market Segments: Chinese Young People
Chine has become one of the world top international tourism source countries since late 1990s, rangking No.1 in Asia and Pacific (Zhang 2006). According to UNWTO, China has been No. 4 or 5 in the world in terms of international departures. Since Australia being granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 1999, the visitor number from China has been continued increase, consequently China entering the Top Five visitor source markets in 2004. Commonly travellers can be segmented into official, business and leisure travel considering the purposes of their traveling, and Seniors, Families and Young People by different age (Du & Dai 2005). According to the research conducted by Du and Dai (2005), this kind of group usually prefers adventure tourism, enjoys Free Independent Travel and are they are prone of self driving when on the trip. When talking to young people, most of them are more interested in the self-driving tours, attracted by Australia's modern road, sightseeing and freedom by self-driving (survey done by myself). Moreover, the young people are likely to share the holidays with several friends instead of group traveling or alone. All these features of young people contribute to the demands of traveling outbound by self-driving, and its potential is great. Therefore, the young people, aged between 25 and 35, can be regarded as the major target market which will be attracted by the self-drive tour.
Analysis target market:
The youth market, aged 25 to 35, is on the rise. This segment may include students who go overseas during their summer holidays, honeymoon couples and others who travel overseers during their long-haul holidays. The word-of-mouth and social media are considered as an important information source for the youth (Graff & Hu (2008). As a result, establishing a website aiming at providing the service and information of self-drive tourism for Chinese tourists is vital in making the business viable. Shopping, food and adventure tourism are among the most important activities during the overseas visits besides tourism attractions (Du & Dai 2005). Thus, new concepts associating with enhancing the variety of shopping and food consumption should be developed; moreover, adventure tourism opportunities for the young people like Ballooning, Bungy Jumping, Scuba Diving etc, should be utilized to attract the Chinese young people.
1.10 The Competitor
YouCan Self-Drive offers both products and services in order to fully maximise its profit potential.
Products: Itineraries bookings including car rental, accommodation and itineraries advice
Service: Road services such as telephone instruction when tourists lost, car broken and other help services
1.12 Product or Service Production
1.13 SWOT Analysis
2. Strategy Analysis
5. Strategy: New Enterprise Development Concepts (500)...........................................................
The unique strengths which have been discussed above, including modern road, diversified accommodations, simply car rental as well as accredited Visitor Information Centres around Australia are the vital cogs in self-drive tourism. While a number of new enterprise development concepts are proposed here for further investigation and planning. The proposals are in line with the strategy to increase the meaningful participation of Chinese tourists in Australia's self-drive tourism.
- Wed-site: Chinese, service
- Service: telephone,
- Supply: Food and entertainment; Shopping
Strategy 1: Increase awareness for the destination in our primary target markets
Enterprise concept: provision of itineraries introduction and suggestion, booking services, car rentals and other preparation information like safety issues and visa procedures.
Rational: Self-drive tourism can be the best way to discover real Australia and it has developed fast in recent years. While Chinese tourists have little knowledge of self-drive tourism in Australia as fewer promotion and services are provided in China. The establishment of a Website which provides services and information can help to explore the market and make the business viable.
Strategy: Establish a website of services and attractions since there is currently no relating website in China. This establishment is critical for encouraging visitors to explore the Australia by self-driving and results in improved visitor knowledge and increased interest of self-drive tour. The website should contain see evaluation of website "internet marketing".
Pathway outback business plan pp: 40 booking system.
Strategy 2: Increase preference for the destination in our primary target markets
Enterprise concept: food and entertainment
Rational: For the majority of Chinese tourists, food is one of the highlights of travelling abroad, especially unique food they can not find easily in their home country, like sea food, kangaroo and crocodile meat. Visitors to the Australia should be encouraged to spend on locally produced products and services. Meanwhile, there is demand for locally produced food from Chinese visitors.
Strategy: Local entrepreneurs should be contracted by Tourism Australia to produce and sell popular food for Chinese visitors. The appointment should be competitive and performance-based, and the products should preferable be monitored, aiming at ensuring the quality and popularity. Advertisment should be provided at the website of Tourism Australia, ourwebsite, Visitor Information Centres. At the same time, scores by inspectors and customers should be published on site as well.
Strategy 3: Diversified products and outstanding services
Enterprise concept: Provision of tour guide service during the self-drive tour, and services could include telephone instruction such as
Rationale: Self-drive tourists, especially international tourists, are supposed to drive in unfamiliar surroundings. This makes road service like instruction and explanation an important issue for self-drive tourism authorities. These services can increase tourists' confidence of their driving in an unfamiliar country before the plan. Meanwhile, professional services can satisfy visitors and substantially affect n repeat business for the self-drive tourism industry.
Strategy: Delivering quality services is one of the major challenges in this business like other hospitality industry. Youcan Self-drive will attempt to meet that challenge with its business plan that a department of entrepreneur with high standard and knowledge of road service will be contracted and supervised by Tourism Australia to deliver the road service. At least one of the individuals should have previous experience in guiding with some formal training. An agreement should be entered into that stipulates the terms and conditions for carrying out guiding service activities, with a strict emphasis on breakdown services, road side services and safety management.
Risk: Under-performance of the road service provider will influence tourists' experience and decrease the satisfaction of travelling Australia. Thereby, the sustainability of self-drive tourism business is linked to the quality of the service.
- Continue to run an effcient and service-driven visitor information centre
- Increase the value of bookings through the CRVC
- Increased industry participation in cooperative marketing campaigns.
Strategy 4: Marketing
A focus effort on an effective marketing method and key brand and position messages are required when marketing, aiming at increasing awareness and preference of self-drive tourism. Respecting the young people, word-of-mouth and social media marketing are the key marketing method since they are the major sources that Chinese young people get the traveling information. The popular social media among young Chinese includes MSN, KaiXin, Tianya and Sohu. Therefore, these websites should be considered as important channels to marketing and disseminate information of the self-drive tourism, especially links to the Web. Key messages that will motive young people travel to Australia by self driving, like adventure activities, food, shopping, freedom and outstanding services will also need to be promoted, consistent in all forms of distribution channels like tourism magazines, and new innovative methods such as digital marketing. The opportunity is in addressing the perceptions, increasing awareness of the self-drive tourism and experiences available. The 'website' continues to be relevant to consumers and effective in raising awareness and altering preference. It offers both services and accessibility to highlight the delivery of affordable and fun holidays that offer a variety of unique experiences.
Strategy 5: Distribution Strategy
Customers will be able to book directly through a service and website as well as through tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents. Commission to wholesalers and agents will be provided.
3. Implementation and Action Plan
4. Risk Management
The market risks may result from the competition for self-drive travel market such as the increased domestic self-drive tours providers. This competition can be mitigated by two factors, which are provision of outstanding service and knowledge of China market. First, quality service will ensure the tourists' satisfaction, resulting in more positive word-of-mouth information and allowing a growing number of customers. Second, YouCan Self-drive believes the knowledge of China will provide the company with a unique strength that will be a distinct competitive advantage in marketing and delivering more popular products and service in China marketing.
Besides, market risks may also include low visitor volumes in the beginning and slow growth, which should be taken into account and put the axe in the helve by well-performance of entrepreneur, quality products available for procurement and useful marketing.
Road safety has been an important issue for self-drive tourism authorities, concerned with driving in unfamiliar surroundings for international visitors in Australia and different road rules. Guide policy and information should be emphasised along with the bookings. For example, the introduction of General Road Rules, Common Road Signs and Driving Safety Tips is required to translate into Chinese and download accompanied with the booking system. Appendix A shows the example of drive market fact sheet relating to safety issue.