Factors Affecting Marketing in Travel & Tourism

Factors Affecting Marketing in Travel & Tourism
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Travel marketing is driven by a host of factors, some of which might seem to have nothing to do with travel. The travel industry must respond to global events, financial considerations, the changing demographics and tastes of the traveling public and the available sources of funding to create timely and effective marketing. Only a complete understanding of these factors and how they can affect your business will ensure your travel marketing is on target.

Global Political Climate

Global politics are an important factor in international travel. As regions undergo change, uncertainty or in some cases violence and war, travel can slow or cease altogether. For example, Egypt long was a fantasy destination for tourists around the world. The revolutions of 2011 changed all that, and tourism to the area dropped as a result. Major political events occur around the globe, and the travel industry must adjust accordingly. Marketing efforts can be built around political events if they are not as all-encompassing as the Egyptian example, or they can divert attention to new, replacement destinations to address the current situation while attending to the wishes of the traveling public. Instead of Egypt, travel marketing increased around destinations such as Jordan and Israel, which also feature ancient historical sites and Middle Eastern settings.

Currency Fluctuations

World currencies move up and down, directly affecting the cost of travel for millions of people. When the dollar is down against a given currency, travelers get less for their money, and when it is up travelers get more. The same goes for marketing. When international destinations launch marketing campaigns in foreign markets, currency values are always a consideration. They help determine the target demographics of a given ad, the distribution methods to be used, the fit and finish, and even the marketing message. For example, when the British pound rose to a value of $2.10 in 2007, all budget and many family travel campaigns were scrapped in favor of high-end brands and luxury-themed packages throughout the U.S. market.

Travel Trends

Travel trends develop in the same way as other popular culture styles. Travel trends are moved by economics, events, new development and the other unforeseen factors that influence most style-driven trends. Trends affect the places to which people travel and the way those places position themselves in the market via marketing. Trends can create completely new categories and types of travel to meet the needs and wants of the traveling public. Marketing should attempt to seize on new trends and link them to destinations and product so there is a carryover effect. Marketing should also compensate in areas that no longer fit the trend by changing the message, the approach and sometimes even the target market.

Product Line

The travel product that a given travel agency or seller carries plays a large role in the marketing that is developed around that product. For example, if you specialize in fun and sun destinations, your marketing will not touch on arts and culture as much as an agent who covers the European product market. Within each product line are more specific determining factors including product quality and exclusivity. For example, if your fun and sun product consists of five-star luxury resorts instead of small independent hotels and B&Bs, the marketing you produce should be glossier and more targeted at a high-income demographic than it would otherwise be.

Government Investment

The funding that local, state and national governments set aside for tourism and travel marketing plays a huge role in the amount and the direction of that marketing around the world. While a large portion of travel marketing is funded by private companies such as hotel chains and airlines, it's also driven by government entities who wish to bring in traffic. The annual budgets as determined by politicians dictate what will be spent, while the tourism boards establish how. Economic successes can lead to increased or decreased investment depending on the point of view of the locality. Some governments wish to bank of tourism for continued success, while others hope that investment in tourism will get them out of the doldrums.