Leisure, new experiences, gifts, souvenirs and other pleasures are the first associations of most people with the word “tourism”. Its role in the life of modern society is quite significant due to the natural desire of a person to discover and learn about unknown lands, monuments of nature, culture, history and architecture, the desire to get acquainted with the traditions and customs of different nations.
However, tourism is a large highly profitable and extremely dynamic sector of the economy. For this reason, it makes sense to study and analyze the state of the tourist market, its dynamics, opportunities and prospects.
Basic tourism concepts: tourism product
Tourism as an economic system is characterized by a whole list of specific categories and terms. Studying the market of tourist services and the mechanism of its functioning, it is necessary to learn basic concepts. One of them is a tour product. This is a range of services that allows you to satisfy all the needs of a tourist during a trip. Its attractiveness directly affects the level of profitability and the duration of the existence of each enterprise in the tourism business.
In an effort to create an up-to-date and effective tourism product, companies are researching the actual and constant demand in the tourism market (fashion, affection, preferences). These data form the basis of ideas for the formation of a new proposal, which will be subsequently implemented. In the conditions of high competition, which can be compared with a kind of battle for the client, interest, uniqueness and quality of the tour product are becoming key success factors.
What you should know when creating a tourism product
When deciding on the formation of a new offer in the field of tourism, they rely on satisfying the wishes of customers. That is, they clearly determine which product will be really interesting to the tourist so much that he will pay for it.
In fact, the content of tourist services consists not only in the trip itself, but also in hotel accommodation, new sensations and acquaintance with the unknown. Consumers of tourism products highly appreciate the attention and courtesy of all employees of the operator, as well as comfort and a comfortable atmosphere throughout the trip.
The principles of the formation of a tourism product
The definition of a tourism product is that they call the system of services that citizens (tourists) receive from tourist-excursion enterprises. The main part of the marketing strategy of this product is its attractiveness and originality. These indicators determine the remaining components: price, nature of promotion and distribution.
The main difficulty that many manufacturers of tourism products face is that its perception by the creators and consumers is radically different. These discrepancies also affect the conduct of economic research in this area.
The result of an ill-conceived strategy is the entry into the market of a product that does not coincide with the needs of the consumer. When buying a tour, customers are aimed at receiving completely different services. Some of them get permits for resorts in order to relax, maintain health, sunbathe and relax. Other people are forced to travel to other cities and countries on working visits (business trips). They do not plan to relax, as they are facing business negotiations and contracting.
After studying the features of the perception of their product by potential customers, the manufacturer restructures its activities based on new information. Then the sale of a tourist product (set of services) is accompanied by advertising not so much of the services themselves as of their advantages, unique properties and consumer qualities.
From a legal point of view, a client, having paid a travel agent a sum of money, acquires the right to receive a tourist product during the trip. This is the principle of the separate formation and consumption of this product.
What are the stages of a new tourist product when creating
Having studied the market, competitors and a niche, as well as the requests and wishes of potential consumers, the tourism organization begins to create a new tour. At the same time, the development of a tourist product is carried out as follows:
- An idea is generated regarding the future product (its quantitative and qualitative properties). Monitoring the state of actual and constant demand does not stop, since the world of tourism is closely connected with the changing concepts of fashion, affection and preferences.
- A new product concept is being developed. Here, the complex of services receives specific consumer properties that correspond to the demand of the target market and are determined by the material and technical and financial capabilities of the company (route, program, type of tourism, set and class of services).
- Stage trial marketing. The manufacturer puts its development on the market (experimental implementation of a tourist product). He studies the reaction of consumers, their attitude to this service, studies their comments and recommendations. These measures are carried out in order to identify and eliminate possible shortcomings. It has become common practice to conduct study tours where partner travel agents become experimenters.
- Stage of commercialization of an improved and adjusted tourism product: development of a marketing strategy, advertising, tourism product promotion and mass sale.
What is the main and additional range of services
The structure of the tourism product provides three types of offers:
- The tour itself.
- A complex of tourist and excursion services.
- Specific goods (cards, equipment, equipment, souvenirs, booklets, postcards).
The main tourist product is a trip, a tour, a journey. It is carried out in accordance with the established route and specific dates, includes a guaranteed range of travel services (booking rooms and tickets, travel, hotel accommodation, as well as catering, recreation and recreation).
Services provided to consumers can be basic (those included in the contract and paid by the client) or additional (paid at the place of consumption or en route).
The main tourist product (a mandatory set of services) has another name - a travel package. Its structure consists of four elements:
- Tourist center.
- Of transport.
- Accommodation services.
- Transfer (a service providing for the transportation of a tourist from the point of arrival to the place of residence and in the opposite direction).
Often, tourists are extremely interested in additional services offered by the tour operator, as this greatly simplifies their stay and life in another country. In this regard, they are very willing to use the services of organizing excursions, services of guides, translators, transfers and other transportation within the country or city, rental and repair of equipment, currency exchange, telephone, mail and other elements of consumer services.
Based on the fact that the development of a tourist product is always based on the desires and preferences of customers, most tour operators are constantly expanding the list of additional services provided.
Specificity of the main and additional complexes
The above division of the tourism product into the main and additional categories should be taken as conditional. After all, these elements have a common nature and consumer properties. Often the main complex includes transport services, accommodation and catering. True, if we are talking about cognitive, professional-business, sports travel or a trip with a religious purpose, the situation changes. Those services, which are usually classified as supplementary, become the main ones.
Therefore, the criterion for dividing into categories becomes the order of their fixation in the contract and payment.
How is the experimental verification of the new tour
After the formation of the tour product has been completed, it must be checked, tested and, if necessary, adjusted. To this end, it is experimentally introduced to the market and monitored for profitability and competitiveness. Creating a decent quality travel product cannot do without this stage.
An experimental assessment of a tourist product requires the following conditions to be met:
- The "actual size" of the tour being checked, that is, all the nuances and aspects of the trip are subject to verification. This becomes possible when organizing an experimental race.
- The presence of fact-finding information (presentations, advertising).
- Allocation of a certain period during which the popularity of the product being tested will be evaluated (reviews and application statistics have been studied).
Types of experimental tours
When planning the promotion of a tourist product, a manufacturer can resort to one of two options for the experimental implementation of his development:
- Advertising trip.
- Stage tour.
The purpose of the advertising tour is to inform the target audience that there is a new product. In addition, it clearly demonstrates its consumer properties, advantages and competitive advantages. Often the participants of advertising tours are journalists, representatives of the media, authority figures, target groups of consumers or travel agents who will subsequently sell this tourist product. This is justified by future income, since in the best way the seller can talk about what he saw and experienced.
The program of the advertising tour usually includes a certain number of excursions and a procedure for exploring several hotels (up to five per day). They also set aside time for independent acquaintance with the peculiarities of the country.
The organization of stage tours (info-tours) is aimed at creating an idea of what a new travel product is with marketing companies tour operators and agents of other companies. During such tours, experts can attend exhibitions, conferences, seminars or other events that highlight issues of interest to the company. When organizing info-tours, the manufacturer of a tourist product is interested in promoting the route and increasing sales in this area. Successful implementation of a tour product depends on how smoothly the demonstration race will go.
The procedure and technology for assessing tourism products
Given the specifics of tourism services and the intangible nature of some of them (lack of quality parameters), the evaluation of new tours becomes subjective. In the practice of most travel companies, a point-based expert assessment is used. It provides an assessment of the main parameters of the product on a scale with a maximum of one hundred points.
What do the experts take into account in the assessment process:
- Was the purpose of the trip achieved, what was the quality of the excursions, how friendly and welcoming were the representatives of the local population.
- The level of service culture in the place of residence.
- How good were the food and restaurant service.
- The nature of the psychological atmosphere and how the group members interacted with employees and service staff.
- How convenient and fast was the transport service.
In addition to the experts listed, they offer to evaluate other quality travel parameters.
How to use the results of experimental verification
The data obtained must be summarized and carefully analyzed. The result of the verification is the correction of defects and the elimination of defects. The final result, that is, the launch of the product on the market or its “withdrawal from production," completely depends on the decision of the travel agency.
However, the travel services provider should not forget that the quality level of the product is only one of the conditions for its implementation on the market. This means that if, according to the results of the test run, the tourist products (services) were classified as middle class, there is no reason to exceed this indicator. In this case, the marketing strategy should use tools to influence consumers belonging to this particular class.
Feature of sightseeing tours
For the classification of tourist trips using various parameters:
- Purpose of the trip.
- Means of transport.
- Features of accommodation.
- The duration of the tour.
- The composition of the group and many others.
Therefore, consumers can enjoy a variety of types of tourist products: medical, recreational, business, bus, aviation, with accommodation in a hotel, boarding house or camping, individual, group and others.
However, according to statistics, the most popular tour and educational tour product remains. This is a trip to get acquainted with tourist attractions (historical and architectural monuments, natural and ethnic features, the modern life of the people of the country where the tourist plans to go).
This category includes tours of a specialized or thematic program. As a rule, during such trips, tourists are offered to visit special facilities depending on the professional or amateur interests of the group. It can be industrial and agricultural enterprises, social and cultural institutions.
For the tour operator, sightseeing tours are quite profitable from an economic point of view. Features of this type of tourism product consist in a wide range of basic and additional services, as well as a longer duration (in comparison with other types).
The importance of the route for the successful implementation of a tourism product
The route as the main component of the trip is able to give the tour the necessary attractiveness, as well as satisfy all the wishes and interests of tourists. When choosing points of new routes when creating a tourist product, you should compare them with the travel goals of future customers.
When it comes to organizing sightseeing trips, the choice of cities should be based on the presence of interesting tourist attractions (historical, cultural monuments, museums, art galleries and other objects).
The degree of customer satisfaction of travel agencies largely depends on how fast, picturesque and comfortable the movement between cities will be. Here, the choice of means of transporting tourists is of paramount importance. The organizer must consider several circumstances:
- When laying routes, you should not allow their duplication. That is, tourists should always see only new landscapes, even on the way back.
- In the interests of the tour operator, cooperation with those carriers that can offer faster and more comfortable transport for transporting tourists between cities.
- Tourism product development will be competent if travelers can optimally and fully use daylight hours. This means that excursions and free activity of tourists should be planned for the daytime. At the same time, all necessary trips should be left at night (transportation by train), as well as morning or evening (plane, bus).
Thus, we can conclude that building a successful and efficient tourism business is based on the foresight, prudence and attentiveness of the head of the company. Of great importance is its ability to find out, organize and satisfy the wishes and needs of customers.
In addition, despite careful planning and development of a tourist product, it must be checked by experts before it is released to the market.