The main mistake in the process of developing and promoting a tourist destination (destination marketing) is that this process is not systemic, but is a set of unrelated activities implemented by various participants (authorities, businesses) in the absence of interaction. In this case, it is as if potential tourists are invited to independently create a single product and image of the destination on the basis of tourist resources and fragmentary information.
Destination marketing strategy
The destination marketing strategy should be doing what organizations have been doing for years: strategic marketing planning. This is not just financial planning, which is carried out by the regions every year, this is not project management when destinations implement a project to launch a new museum or hotel complex. This is not a short-term plan for 1 year. Strategic marketing planning involves the development of a route to achieving long-term goals, taking into account market demands and territory resources. A plan must be developed that links the goals and resources of the destination to the changing opportunities of the surrounding market and social environment. Through strategic marketing planning, it is determined what tourist resources the destination has. What tourist product can and should be developed on their basis, who this product is aimed at, how it will be promoted, what resources are needed for this.
In practice, a document reflecting all these issues can be called differently – a marketing concept, a strategy, and a plan. Its main essence is the presence of a single coordinate system within which the tourist destination will be promoted. The marketing strategy of a destination can be either a separate development or exist within the framework of the concepts of development of the region as a whole or tourism in particular. It is necessary to distinguish between the marketing strategy of the destination (marketing plan). As well as the overall strategy for the development of tourism in the region. Marketing is only part of a larger tourism development activity, which includes the development of infrastructure, optimization of legislation, distribution of financial flows, the attraction of investments, etc. The marketing strategy determines: who are potential tourists, what product and with what characteristics will be most in demand among them. And in addition what does the destination have to develop this product, how will the product be promoted.
The destination is one of the most complex objects for management and marketing, as it is a complex set of relations between internal participants and external markets. The complexity is also associated with the diversity of participants (public sector, various types and lines of business) in the creation and implementation of the tourist product of the territory. The strategic interests of the participants (local residents, government, business) may differ fundamentally. At the same time, “consumers” (potential and real tourists) perceive the destination as a whole as a single set of resources, products, services, people. The destination marketing strategy should integrate the interests of “consumers” and other participants (tourists, local residents, entrepreneurs, investors, tour operators) in the process of producing the destination product.
Conflicts between the main participants in destination marketing arise when they are focused on achieving short-term benefits. According to F. Kotler, the marketing strategy should focus on achieving long-term results that contribute to the integrated sustainable development of the destination.
The main parts of the marketing planning have already been considered. It is segmentation and selection of the target segment, the formation and implementation of the brand concept, positioning, marketing communications.
In general terms, the marketing strategy of a destination is a generalized model of the actions necessary to achieve the strategic guidelines.