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Tourism Destination Marketing Strategy


Table of Contents

  • 1.0 Introduction. 3
  • 2.0 Audit of the Current Status of Canary Islands
    • 2.1 Market Analysis of the Canary Islands
    • 2.2 Internal Analysis of the Canary Islands
    • 2.3 Competition Analysis of Canary Islands
    • 2.4 Role and Structure of Canary Islands
  • 3.0 Future Strategic Marketing Direction for the Canary Islands
    • 3.1 Evidences of Future Strategic Planning for the Canary Islands
    • 3.2 Tourism Model (Life Cycle of the Tourism Product)
    • 3.3 Suggestion for the Future Strategic Marketing Direction
  • 4.0 Proposed Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy
    • 4.1 Ensuring of Market Accessibility
    • 4.2 Reformulation of the Marketing Mix
    • 4.3 Identification of New Ideas and Trends
    • 4.4 Proposed Marketing Communication Model
  • 5.0 Conclusion
  • References

1.0 Introduction

The research paper is aimed towards the identification of strategic direction of a mature tourism island destination and finally development of a future communication strategy for the destination. The strategic direction identification process consists of assessment of the present status of the destination with respect to complete analysis of the prevailing conditions in the market. On the basis of the analysis, a future strategic marketing direction of the tourism destination will be formulated. After the formation of the strategic direction, a strategy of integrated marketing communication will be proposed for future development of the tourism destination.    

The mature tourism island destination that has been chosen for the study in concern is that of the Canary Islands which are located in Spain. The Canary Islands are integrated totally into the European Union and the level of safety and quality comply with the standards of Europe. Ei Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canara, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are among the Canary Islands. The islands are located in the region that has the greatest level of biodiversity in the world. The islands are characterised with large variety of landscapes, lava flows, and beaches of several kinds, impressive cliffs, fertile valleys and various other aspects (Islas Canarias, 2011).Tourism Destination Marketing Strategy

2.0 Audit of the Current Status of Canary Islands

This is an important section of the research paper that will deal with the current status of the Canary Islands in terms of market position in the whole economy. The study will be carried out with regard to the analysis of the sector, the internal analysis, the rivalry it faces and the Canary Islands’ structure and position. In recent years, the Canaries have implemented a variety of techniques with respect to the environmental conditions of the islands to achieve sustainable sustainability.

2.1 Market Analysis of the Canary Islands

Market analysis of the Canary Islands will be presented in this part on the basis of the prevalence of the demand in these islands. The best possible way of analysing the market of the Canary Islands would be to review the number of arrivals there with the help of previous records. The tourists’ arrivals will represent the prevalence of demand in the region during previous years. Considering the number of tourists’ arrival in the Canary Islands, it can be mentioned that not only the number of visitors were high but the distribution of these visitors throughout the year was even as well. In other words, the demand was distributed homogeneously over the year. The inbound tourism market of the Canary Islands is diverse, with tourists arriving mostly from Germany and the United Kingdom. Thus, the target market for Canary Islands is highly concentrated in the European countries. Data of the year 2002 reveal that 90% of the tourists’ arrival had occurred from the European countries. According to the views of the holiday makers, the most important reason for choosing the Canaries as a holiday destination is due to its weather, scenic beauty, beaches and peace in the atmosphere (Garin-Munoz, 2004).

2.2 Internal Analysis of the Canary Islands

The internal analysis of the Canary Islands revolves around the economic, political and social perspectives of the region. According to the economic data of the year 2006, tourism industry in the country represented 37% of the GDP. This narrow base of the economic situation had brought prosperity to the Canary Islands but at present, due to the increased competition from the prevailing tourists’ destination, the prosperity seems to be a fragile one. From the perspectives of the political and social views, the region is full of tensions and disparities. The seven islands under the Canary Islands are grouped into two areas and the government conducts business between Tenerife and Gran Canarias in those areas. At certain points of time, jealousy and competition among the seven islands and between the two provinces seem to be high. This form of internal conflict puts limit on the consensual and regional development and thus makes it hard for the regions to move forward and achieve success (Duke & Et. Al., 2006).      

2.3 Competition Analysis of Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are known to be as the ‘island of eternal spring’ because of the temperature which is mild all round the year. The economy of the islands is fundamentally dependent on the service sector and the sector of tourism is considered to be the driving power for the economy. During the year 1996, the tourism sector had contributed towards the Gross Added Value of the economy which was 76.7%. In the recent times, the Canary Islands have been facing tremendous competition in the tourism industry. The competition has been initiated by the changes in the visitors’ habits and expectations and also the processes of restructuring and concentration to which the tourism industry is subjected to at present. In order to face the competition and still evolve as the winner, the Canary Islands need to concentrate more on the perspective of tourists’ changing demands and preferences. Moreover, due to the recent downturn in the economy, the Canary Islands have evolved to be the most affected part of the economy as the area is hugely dependent on tourism (Lopez & Et. Al., 2004).     

2.4 Role and Structure of Canary Islands

The role of the Canary Islands in the economic development of the country is vast and enormous. The geographical location of the islands acts as an advantage for the islands to flourish and adds value to the country’s concept of tourism. Due to its geographical advantage which is around 40 from the tropic of cancer and nearness to the coast of Africa, the climate of the islands is always mild. The high mountains covered by snow and the beauty of the landscape add further attraction to the islands. The temperature of water varies between 190C and 220C. The population is increased by this favourable climatic condition and thus the Canarians are considered to be always in a good mood. The foreigners, who go there for spending holidays, also experience the same. Thus, it can be mentioned that the structure of the Canary Islands really attracts not only the foreigners but also the local visitors. This perspective of the Islands stimulates the economic growth of the country (All About Spain, 2011).      

The Canary Islands had been the leaders for many years in Spain’s GDP growth, population growth and growth of employment. The islands are specialised in the service sector, which forms their basis of production structure. The highest value addition to the activities related to tourism shows that the primary usage of the natural resources of the region is aimed towards the development of tourism activities. The production specialisation of this region has effectively contributed towards the development of the economy. Moreover, the region is characterised by low unit cost of labour, lower unemployment compared to the average level in Spain and average level of growth higher than the country’s average (Javier & Et. Al., 2000).

From the above discussion on the audit of the current status of the Canary Islands, it is clear that its market position is strong in terms of the prevailing enhanced level of tourists’ visits. In terms of the growing level of competition, the Islands need to take initiative for sustaining the attractiveness.

3.0 Future Strategic Marketing Direction for the Canary Islands

The analysis of current status of the Canary Islands will provide an important basis for planning the future strategic marketing direction for the islands. From the analysis, it is evident that due to the slump experienced in the global economy recently and presence of the stiff competition among various tourism destinations, the islands are faced with pressure. At the same time, it is also evident that during the previous years, the islands had greatly contributed to the growth of the economy. Considering all these factors, the following section will design future strategic direction for the Canary Islands. The strategic direction already planned by the authorities in the islands will be discussed in brief and with the incorporation of various marketing and tourism models other innovative directions will be planned as well.

3.1 Evidences of Future Strategic Planning for the Canary Islands

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (2009), the Prime Minister of Spain had announced strategic plan for diversifying the Canary Islands’ economy and thus to secure its future. The Canary Islands are considered to be among the hardest hit communities due to the global recession. This is because the islands largely depend on the sector of tourism. It was announced that the Canaries will be bestowed with large sum of money for reformation that will be aimed towards the improvement of the facilities of tourism through the Tourism Renewal Plan. The plan will be funded by the Official Credit Institute that will provide a specific reserve for the purpose. Recently, the Canary Islands were hit with the highest ever percentage of unemployment that had grown up to 20 percent. For mitigating this problem, employment plan was also announced for the islands that included 42 million euros to be provided every year. Another plan was also announced that was intended towards continuing with the plan of reduced airport charges for attracting more number of tourists. As claimed by the Canarian Government, trade unions and employers, a working group has been created by the Chief Executive for reforming the Fiscal and Economic Regime of the Canary Islands. For supporting the tourism sector more, the Canaries will also concentrate on development of above 40,000 places for organising seniors’ trips that will start during the month of October and will end during June. Prime Minister Zapatero, Council of Ministers had signed agreements on route of rail and roads to the Canary Islands. Prime Minister Zapatero had also expressed his willingness for supporting the development of local businesses in the continent of Africa (La Cerca, 2009).

3.2 Tourism Model (Life Cycle of the Tourism Product)

Source: (Barcelona Field Studies Centre, 2011)

In this section of the research paper, an interesting model of the tourism industry will be incorporated. The Canary Islands are in their Stagnation phase shown in the above figure. Similar to other sectors of the economy, tourism also follows a “product life cycle” which depicts a graph as shown in the figure. A brief description of each of the stages is presented below:

3.2.1 Discovery

A small number of tourists who are moderately interested in the destination arrive during the discovery stage of the tourists’ location. The tourists depict a form of explorer nature and they merge with the local culture. The social impact is less and the attitude of the tourists is positive towards the destination (Barcelona Field Studies Centre, 2011).

3.2.2 Launch

In this stage, there is an increment in the number of tourists to the destination. There is prevalence of greater interest on the part of the location owners as well. The relation between the residents and visitors grows and at the later phase of this stage, with more increased number of visitors, the destination turns into a tourist spot. Thus, stage is the typical one where the trans-national corporations enter the cycle with foreign investment. Due to the prospect of the tourist location, migrant workers enter the community and thus a reduction in the level of relationship between the residents and the visitors decline. Visitors, who are culturally sensitive, want to explore ‘unexplored’ locations. This is the situation that the Canary Islands faced during the time when competition grew in the industry and thus gradually reached the Stagnation stage (Barcelona Field Studies Centre, 2011).

3.2.3 Stagnation

This is the stage during which the quality of service provided to the tourists decline. As a result, the demands fall in the destination and the environmental degradation starts to be distressing. The Canary Islands are faced with such situations and thus are known to be as the matured tourist destination. Precise formulation of appropriate strategies is essential in this stage for creating newer attractions in the place. The Canary Islands have been trying to resolve this scenario and operate effectively to avoid reaching the stage of decline (Barcelona Field Studies Centre, 2011).     

3.2.4 Decline

This is the stage that signifies the present state of mature tourist destination on the Costa Brava, Spain. The Canary Islands have been selected in this research paper for the discussion because these Islands have thus far become successful in sustaining its existence after facing the adverse scenario during its stage of stagnation (Barcelona Field Studies Centre, 2011).

3.3 Suggestion for the Future Strategic Marketing Direction

Based on the identification of the present stage of the Canary Islands in the tourism product life cycle and evidences of action plans already implemented by the Spanish Government, the following suggestions for its development can be made. The aim of the suggested measure is rehabilitation of the mature tourist destination.

3.3.1 Modification of the Image

The Canary Islands have depicted a shivering situation with respect to the strong competitiveness and then the economic downturn. In review towards such conditions of the islands, their image has deteriorated over the years. There is great necessity of changing the image both in front of the tourists as well as to prospective investors. The aim of the modification step should be targeted towards acquiring the investors’ attention so that they become interested in investing money in the islands’ tourist spots. The changes in image of the Canary Islands will attract the investors’ money which can be utilised for enhancing the profitability of the islands (University of Alicante, 2010).

3.3.2 Reduction in the Accommodation Capacity

The bargaining power of the customers in tourism industry is high due to the prevalence of huge number of places of tourists’ destinations. Moreover, the tourists are becoming increasingly concerned towards quality. In addition to this, availability of huge number of options to choose from the tourists places has changed the level of expectations of the tourists. For tackling this situation, enormous focus on the level of quality should be provided and this is a unique method of attracting the tourists. Reduction of the capacity of accommodation in the hotels and resorts in the islands will lead to the enhancement of service quality being provided. The reduced capacity will allow the resident to concentrate more on the quality of service and thus can lead to increased number of tourists towards the mature destination (University of Alicante, 2010).

3.3.3 Immediate Plans of Actions

The matured tourists’ destination such as that of the Canary Islands require immediate action plans for taking itself out of the stagnation phase and hence avoiding the phase of decline. The action plan including that of the town planning is the immediate requirement for this destination. Maintenance and repairing of roads and pavements should be undertaken for attracting the tourists towards the island making the way convenient for them. Improvement of the urbanisation is another immediate requirement of the Canary Islands along with the upgrading in public spaces and lighting. These improvements are the internal enhancement of the location beauty that will provide definite success in attracting the external customers or the foreign tourists (University of Alicante, 2010).

3.3.4 Medium and Long Term Actions

The actions required to be implemented in the medium and short term period include restructuring of the urban areas. Along with the process of overall restructuring, improvement of the systems of both water supply and drainage in the areas are the most essential requirements. By the year 2050, the country should initiate zero amount of emission of CO2 for contributing in the eco-friendly projects of the world. In addition to these targets, the country should also aim for creating a nation that uses 100 percent renewable energies. The medium and long term action plans with the immediate undertaking of the current plans will help the islands in bringing reform to the entire situation (University of Alicante, 2010).     

4.0 Proposed Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy

The refurbishing move towards the mature tourist destination or the Canary Resorts alone will not help the islands avoid the saturation or decline phase of the product life cycle. Proper communication of the renovated destination is essential for attracting the tourists. The utilisation of the concept of integrated marketing communication (IMC) would be an appropriate move towards the promotion of the Canary Islands. IMC is moving into an era in which the communication is undertaken through a blend of marketing tools. For promoting the renovated Canary Islands by IMC, the following general assignments are essential to be conducted:

4.1 Ensuring of Market Accessibility

Proper accessibility to the tourist destination should be ensured for making the process of IMC effective enough to attract tourists. Accessibility can be provided by creating the most convenient way of reaching the tourist destination. The support of the governmental authority is required in this strategy. For example, 6 million pounds were provided by the Scottish Executive for funding the new flights establishment to Scotland with the aim of making it conveniently accessible as a destination. As the target market is international, advertisement is the best possible marketing tool. IMC policies can be implemented for promotional activities but at the same time, proper accessibility should also be ensured (Cengage Learning, 2011).

4.2 Reformulation of the Marketing Mix

Along with the renovation of the islands, reformulation of the marketing mix is essential for getting the IMC strategy on the right path. Selecting the most appropriate tools of the IMC along with alignment of the tools with the marketing mix of the tourist destination will help in achieving the objectives. The proper alignment of the marketing mix will ensure the success of the marketing communication strategy. Integration of the IMC tools will be possible after the marketing mix is reformulated in order to cope up with the competitive environment (Cengage Learning, 2011).

4.3 Identification of New Ideas and Trends

IMC strategies can be implemented successfully with proper identification of prevailing new ideas and trends. The world should be visualised as a global village and the latest modernity of promotion through Internet should be incorporated. This tool should be utilised to the fullest such that the destination becomes a place with modern outlook. The global marketplace has to be accurately understood and accordingly creative approach to the marketing of the destination has to be applied (Cengage Learning, 2011).

4.4 Proposed Marketing Communication Model

Source: (Cengage Learning, 2011).

The above model is a comprehensive marketing communication strategy model that is aimed towards attracting tourists to the destinations with fulfilment of demand of the tourists along with proper marketing communication. The different aspects of the tourists’ location such as amenities, accessibility, activities, services, packages and attraction should be utilised in an efficient manner for promoting the renovated location in such a way that the demands of the tourists get fulfilled. The aspects should be integrated in the IMC strategy for promoting the islands so that it can stand in the competitive market (Cengage Learning, 2011).

5.0 Conclusion

The research paper has presented the policies of renovating the Canary Islands so that the economy can again utilise the enchanting location beauty of the Islands for enhancing the performance of the economy. The mature tourist destination, the Canary Islands had flourished economically in the past years and they still hold the natural beauty for attracting tourists. The only reason of its failure that has been observed during the research is the presence of extremely stiff competition that the islands could not cope up with. With the policy of utilising the present resources and also on the basis of the government support towards its renovation, certain strategic measures have been suggested in this paper. One final conclusion can be derived from the research that the Canary Islands hold strong prospective for growth in the future with respect to different measures from the government along with its personal aspects such as the attractive scenic beauty. In arriving at the conclusion, the audit of the Canary Islands was undertaken on the basis of which strategic marketing direction of the future has been suggested. Based on the findings of the audit, strategy for integrated marketing communication has been proposed.

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