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The world has become a global village and because of the increasing competition not only within the boundaries of a country, it has started among the countries, regions etc. The competition and strive to attract more investments and human force towards the place to bring in the development needed. Therefore countries feel the need for strategies to be formulated to make an image of the country as well as brand the country in a positive light to attract tourism. In order to create an efficient strategic plan for marketing a destination, it is important to study the factors influencing the image in depth. This report will highlight the main aspects of destination marketing and the strategies been followed by Australia to attract tourism in their country in regards to Place and Destination marketing.
Destination marketing is a branch of marketing which has gained importance just recently when different nations felt the need to change the image of their countries in the eyes of world. They chose to reposition their countries, and selected the aspect of Destination marketing for their countries (Deffner and Metaxas, 2005).
Destination marketing can be defined as the process and methods to attract people to come and involve them in trading activities, catering to the needs of the people in that area, location or a place. Both place marketing and destination marketing involves the aspect of tourism in them, which plays a pivotal role throughout the destination marketing done for the purpose of Development of country (Horner and Swarbrooke, 1996).
Australia, which is the only country in the world which also a continent, recently appointed its governmental agencies and organizations to work on the project of Destination Marketing, due to many reasons. Australians synonymous to Kangaroos want to change their identity and attract more human force towards its land for the state's betterment. Â
1.1 Factors Affecting Development in Tourism Industry in Australia via PESTEL Analysis
In Australia, tourism is considered as one of the biggest revenue generating industry and export engine which contributes a lot to the economy. Yet there are some major factors affecting this industry that are being analyzed through PESTEL analysis.
International Political conditions:
A stable political situation does have a good impact on Australian tourism which gives a growth to this industry whereas a global political downfall might lead to an adverse impact on this industry.
Global Economic Recession
Although tourism is one of the most lucrative industries of Australia yet it has been a victim of global economic recession which has decreased the buying power of customers due to which tourists mostly prefer less expensive place.
Sub cultures and domestic population
Australia has got a diversified culture as different people from all over the world has come and settled their due to good career opportunities. Their relatives and friends often come and visit them which mean attracting more tourists to the country.
Use of internet and E-Commerce
Internet has become the best medium for searching your desired destination which has given a robust growth to this industry. Tourists can assess their desired destination and make online registry and payments for their vacations.
Laws and regulations
The biggest hurdle for tourist is to get an Australian visa which can have a negative impact on this industry.
The money comes from tourism can be utilized to conserve the nature and parks which attracts tourists to come and spend their vacations.
1.2 Other Factors Influencing and Affecting Development of Australia
There are many factors which affect the development of Australia, in the current situation, but the most important and foremost factor which drew the attention of the Governmental agencies to start work on the development of the country and attract people towards it is drastic decline in the population by marketing it as a Destination to attract tourism.
1.2.1 Factor with Negative Impact on the Development of Australia
One of the important factors which play an important role in development and sustainability of any country is its population. Australian bureau of statistics have reported a decline in the Australian population, which will create troubles for the economy of country as well the sustainability of the state in future. The report states that the decline in the population is due to the low birth rate and high out-immigration level of young people around the age range of 16-30, the majority of the population in coming years will be categorized as seniors who will not be able to support the country with their work. Therefore the country needs to sort out the matter of population growth in order to retain its position as one of the most developed countries in the world (Howell and Shaw, 2002).
1.2.2 Factors with Positive Impact on Development of Australia
Every country has certain factors which gives boost to its economy and help in the development of the state. Australia has such factors in the shape of Foreign Direct Investments, Sports events and Tourism.
1.2.3 FDI and Its Role in Development of Australia
Australia, despite being the country with a small population has attracted lot of investments from foreign countries in the mining industry especially. It was reported that the mining industry of Australia has taken the boom and has increased to 42% of the complete foreign investments. In recent years Australia's level of FDI has increased to 48%. The benefit from foreign investment is that the economy gets a boost as well as new job openings are brought on the front and new people are called from other countries as well as the already residing people's status gets an augment and they think of increasing their families too which to some extent sorts out the issue of low population level. Sports events have created a lot of development in Australia, the Olympics, and cricket world cups as well as soccer tournaments attracted tourists whom to cater, new businesses are formed and setup by domestic as well as foreign investors (Morgan, Pritchard, & Pride, 2002).
1.3 Tourism Arrivals and Receipts
The growth of tourist arrivals in Australia has reached to 12.64 with an approximate turnover of 5.9 million visitors. The main purpose of these visits majorly was found to be business and holidays. This means that both the factors of FDI and tourism are been on its application in Australia. Tourist's main attraction in Australia is the rain forests, pacific deserts and the beautiful man made creations like Melbourne Aquarium and other beautiful sky scrapers. Australia which is well known and rather synonymous of Kangaroos, have been of great attention at the times of sports events especially. The most famous Sydney Olympics held in year 2000 were at that time the most beautiful event arranged and because of the event, the business and the economy of Australia got a boost which was beneficial for the state even after the end of the season. It is observed that the tourism industry in Australia had taken a surge in part decade and because of which the overall economy got an augment and attracted a lot of new business ventures. (www.tourism.nsw.gov.au).
2. Critical Analysis of Australia and Challenges it Faces
2.1 Relationship of Destination Marketing and TALC
Marketing of a location, place, and area is termed as destination marketing when it targets towards achieving the goal of forming a perception about the place in a positive light and attracting people towards it. When a place can be marketed to be sold like a product then it can have a life cycle too like a product. This life cycle is called as 'Tourism Area Life Cycle" (TALC) (Morgan, Pritchard, & Pride, 2002).
The life cycle has four (4) main stages depending upon the number of visitors and awareness about the place among other people. Any country whose agencies are working on the project of destination marketing undergoes these stages. These stages act as indicators for the tourism industry to sort out their future planning and strategies. The four stages are linked with the strategies a country follows. These stages are
Exploration stage of TALC is defined as the stage, in which people visit the place because it is unspoiled and unvisited, they tend to explore the place, its cultural and social aspect and convey the remarks forward. At this stage the marketing is at its initial level therefore the impact on the development is also minor.
Australian agencies followed the typical strategies while attracting the tourists towards Australia. These strategies were
Attractive websites, with colorful photo galleries to attract traffic towards it.
Tourism plans on the websites.
Complete scheduling of tourism packages along with guides.
Information about cheap tariffs, rates of different sightseeing, rentals of hotels and motels etc. available on sites.
The development stages of the Tourism Area life cycle (TALC) is when people visit the place, like it and forward their comments about it to other people and spreads the word about the place, development of tourism is then started. Other people in different areas of the world get the awareness of the place in positive light and they too seek the place as their next destination (Morgan, Pritchard, & Pride, 2002).
Australian agencies these days are in this stage again. Previously they were in the final stage of the TALC, but they re-launched their country as "there is nothing like Australia" slogan and again came into the development stage of tourism. The strategies which are followed in this stage are
Improved and enhanced the visitors' experiences.
Promoted the cultural events.
Promised less and delivered more.
Attracted business conferences and seminars.
Provided facilities to the investors who started new ventures for tourists.
This stage is the maturity stage and the level of tourist at this stage has reached their highest peak, after this the level begins to come down. This stage indicates the country that the point of innovation has come and the country agencies need to reposition their place as something new or offer new attractive packages. Investors tend to draw back from the place at this stage.
The strategies that need to be implemented at this stage of TALC are very critical to decide because one wrong step and the phase can quickly change into declining phase. This is the most profitable stage for any country in which highest number of visitors are present for various reasons.
Country should increase the activities of marketing and engage the industry sector in it
Implement research and analysis of what tourist's demands are.
Efforts to retain the visitors for longer periods.
Creating business opportunities to attract business tycoons for conferences and seminars as well as to see the potential in the market.
Hiring people from abroad with new ideas and new frame of mind
Constructing new places for tourist attraction
The final stage of the TALC is the time when the tourist attraction of the place dies completely and the investors from foreign states tend to withdraw their investments from the place. This is the moment when the countries seek to develop Destination Marketing plan of the country with a new zeal and zest along with new image and identity of the location.
2.2 Branding and Creating Image of Destination
Branding of Australia currently is the main target of tourism agencies in the country. The Governmental organizations have asked the tourism agencies to launch the place with such an image that people regardless of how their past experiences in the country were, would be compelled to visit Australia (Fan, 2005). The strategies that Australia plans to follow while branding the country now with a new slogan are
Construction of Visitor Information Centers (VIC)
A fully equipped Visitor information center will be established at the main residence of the railway head so that he must know the information about the visitors coming and their destinations in terms of sightseeing. Complete guidance should be given to the tourists at the railways.
2. Bringing New Cultural, Sports and Other Recreational Events
It is observed that people tend to visit places with strong cultural aspects, therefore the new target which Australia has set for itself is to promote the colorful events and other occasions celebrated with full zeal. This will in the beginning require a lot of promotion through internet, print as well as electronic media but will pay off once the image targeted is set in the viewers mind.
The complete SWOT analysis of the country is given below.
The country has lot of water courses like River Murray, Hume Lake and many others.
Beautiful city of Albury right between the two metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne.
Major airports available in all big cities.
General amenities like parks, gardens, zoos etc.
Railways present almost all over the country
Snowfields in the nearby regions along with vineyards and other parks.
Established Sports teams with a strong history to attract the tourism at the time of hosting an event.
Being in very good relations with the Chamber of Commerce, which benefits the business trips.
Strong retail industry providing the entertainment of Shopping to the tourists
World famous buildings and land marks like Sydney Opera house, Melbourne Aquarium etc. which already creates hype among the visitors.
Access to river Murray to a restricted level
Five star hotels to a certain limit.
Packaged products for tourists to a certain limit.
No permanent capacity accommodations for more than 800 delegates.
Lack of temporary accommodations near the river Murray.
Previous track records of marketing strategies and failures.
Lack of credibility in the concerned industry.
Establishing a fully fledged Visitor information centers
Chance of developing relations with the industrialists visiting for business conferences and seminars.
Full Chance of developing new businesses ventures by attracting tourists.
People tend to migrate to beautiful places, chance of overcoming the population issue.
Chance of developing and improving the already existing tourism products and services.
The traffic of visits in domestic market increase when the suggestions are of low market growth.
To launch Australia as something new, in the already congested market
Returns on the expenditure done on Destination marketing.
Big investments in marketing tactics, getting the industry involved and implementing campaigns.
Making the perception of the country in the right way as targeted.
Consistency in retaining the positive image promoted.
Handling legal, political issues and their impacts on the aims and objectives.
Fulfilling the promises made.
Living up to the expectations
Handling the strong competition posed from the neighboring destinations.
All of the above strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are identified by the Australian Governmental agencies appointed organizations working on the project of promoting Australia as a tourist Destination. Australia is overcoming its weaknesses, strengthening its strengths, changing its threats into opportunities and then opportunities in to strengths. This is not applicable for Australia only, any country if follows such strategies could be successful in launching its image as something new and could get benefit out of it in shape of tourism. Not only this, new business ventures that are launched for the tourists as well as people who see potential in the market because of tourism tend to open up new businesses in such countries which in turn favors both tourism industry as well as economy of the country.
Australia, being one of the most developed countries is facing difficulties in changing the impression and image of the state in the eyes of the world and to do so it has formulated strategies and plans to improve the identity of Australia as something worth seeing. Once it was affiliated with Kangaroos now the image wants to be changed and therefore all the efforts are being made.
The above mentioned strategies that Australia tends to follow are all correct in their aspects and if with some effort get successful to pull it through this stage of Marketing they will be in a great benefit and their tourism rate will increase by heaps and bound.
Some of the additional recommendations for the agencies working on the project of Destination Marketing are discussed below.
Develop a website with a common URL easily memorable by people.
Development of colorful postcards.
Provide complete Maps and Guides.
Schedule all events in the calendar.
Downloadable videos of famous places available on the websites.
Update the gallery of photos showing visitors enjoying on the website.
Use of celebrity endorsement in the promotional activities.
Promoting national and regional sports events.
Investing and renovating the places most demanded by the visitors like
Lavington Sports Ground
Sydney Opera house
Arrange few competitions or tournaments among the tourists groups.
Call and invite celebrities on tours along with tourists for few hours.
Australia is a beautiful country with lot of places for tourists to explore and visit and enjoy the experience but there comes a time for country when the level of tourism dies and gets on the lower level because of the saturation of visits. Human beings are so made that they get bored of one thing or place very soon, they need constant changes and innovations to remain attracted towards something, same is the case with places as well. We get tired of going to same place and therefore tend to visit different places. This is good on the customer or tourist part but the country that is chosen as the opportunity cost gets to pay the cost in actual of losing a tourist; therefore countries tend to strive continuously for the betterment and innovative and creative ideas to keep the tourist attracted towards it. Australia is currently in this phase of attracting tourists but once it gets the project of Destination Marketing done, it will be in its High Time.