Destination marketing aims at promoting a certain region, town or city in order to increase visitors’ inflow to that given location. In addition, in this way, it does develop and market that particular destination through focusing on tourism marketing, services and even conventional sales. This results to economic development of that particular destination. Therefore, destination marketing should coincide with a region’s development strategic plan in order to comply with the tourism policy (Kumral & Önder, 2012). The challenge with destination marketing is that it is becoming increasingly competitive globally. Destinations need to make their products unique and formulate partnerships with other stakeholders. With the advancement in technology and the presence of the Internet, destinations need to utilize this platform to enhance their competitiveness. This aims at analyzing the issues driving destination marketing and examining a few techniques used in destination marketing. This paper sample critically discusses the issues driving destination marketing strategy in the current competitive environment.

A comprehensive marketing strategy for a given destination originates from recommendations of a tourism plan. The marketing strategy should flow straight from the planning process of the goals, objectives and vision of a given tourism plan. Product development and marketing usually go hand in hand, and the lack of the other is either risky or futile. For example, a given destination without the right product of a certain marketing segment will not have the desired results even though huge amount of promotion would be employed. Therefore, the marketing strategy implies objective examination of the consumers’ desires, and precise establishment how the destination would meet that desire. The marketing plan needs to articulate the identity of the destination as well as its positioning, without forgetting to analyze the selling position that is deliberately unique. The destination marketing plan needs to be comprehensive meaning that it considers and thereafter reflects the direction of complementary entities or higher entities marketwise. This may include blending with tourism strategic plans of that region, product development plan and the regional tourism plan. It can also include plans for adjacent special interests groups and regions. Bearing in mind that visitors are never stationed at one place and thus they know no boundary, they will travel all over and get in and out of the destination. In light of this, co-operating with other towns or cities would be advisable and cost effective.

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The internet is an important tool in bringing competitiveness in destination marketing. The integration of this technology to destination marketing is a key to success (Xiang, 2013). However, the changing trends in technology seem to be a challenge to destination marketing organizations for they bring out new strategies for advertisement, innovativeness as well as the change in consumer markets, plus the ever-growing competition due to globalization. Using the website as a source of advertisement and using various social media platforms could positively impact the destination marketing. These platforms have provided a great advertisement opportunity as well as a challenge. The social media and websites can be used for marketing of destinations. However, it needs expertise in order to win the hearts of people over these media platforms. If they could be tapped to the fullest, destination marketing could move to a completely new level.

A good marketing strategy needs to advance certain issues, which affect destination marketing strategy and identify how these problems affect the marketing strategy. Such issues as demand service marketing and experience marketing are critical in establishing a destination strategy, which would yield the desired results. Without the consideration of these issues, introducing the marketing strategy would lead to formulation of a marketing strategy, which is a total mess.

Integration Marketing Communications normally referred to as IMC is a communications designing approach, which provides businesses with the potential to get better results from campaigning and reduces the cost of marketing through integration of marketing tools such as advertising, social media telemarketing just to mention a few. In IMC, the communication tools reinforce each other and hence improve marketing effectiveness. In such an arrangement, advertisement can be used to raise awareness of a given product, which leads to increased sales of that product. Through communication in different media facilities, one reinforces the advertisement. In addition, mails can be used to follow up interested parties through advertisement and press campaigns. IMC provides creative consistency of the product. This is accounted for the fact that different communication tools feature the same product; this increases the number of times viewers hear or see the message. IMC is also cost effective. The images are the same but supplied to different media hence reducing the cost of copy-writing, photography etc. IMC also promotes customer preferences as the customers are always fed with information they prefer, the consumers always specify the mode of communication they want to use to receive information on the products.

In destination marketing, marketers need to develop market mixes, which are appropriate and will enable them approach every target comprehensively while offering solutions to the needs of consumers. The principles behind formulating good marketing mixes are as follows. Marketers need to formulate the right destination product. The complexity of the destination concept means that tourism product depends on the expectation of a given place. In addition, the tourism product of a given region incorporates all the services and facilities offered in that region including the environmental and cultural goods of that given region. Having a clear knowledge about the core product and the facilitating products of that given target market is fundamental to destination marketing. Hence, Destination Marketing Organizations have an entire obligation in regard to the destination product. This is achieved through formulation of policies that enable the development of products, which are attractive to consumers in addition to the fact that they do not hinder local resources. This means that these Destination Marketing
Organizations should be the custodians of local resources.

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Destination Marketing Organizations should also make their product differ from other destination products. Differentiation in a destination product is extremely important. Destination marketers often employ a mass tourism orientation, which is completely wrong because they think that tourism products grow indefinitely. Due to the changing product, it is inevitable to produce unique and authentic experiences among consumers because that is what they are looking for. Alternative tourism gives destination a chance to provide extremely new experiences. For instance, Greece could focus on its history and heritage and, therefore, offer mythology sessions while Romania should indeed explore the legendary myth of the Dracula. Cultural, artistic, agricultural or natural resources should be employed as well. Tourism should also add to the conservation of these assets by expanding the consciousness of both local people and guests, and by giving assets to the protection and recovery of assets. Putting in place a proper target business sector ought to help in lessening regularity as uncommon subject offerings. Events and occasions ought to empower destinations to expand their interest amid the low season, plus it also helps destinations to effectively manage the life cycle of their product.

Pricing of the destination is also important in formulating these mixes. Pricing is a troublesome procedure in regard to destinations since it is frequently controlled by the valuing as well as showcasing strategies of individual endeavors at the destination. Nearby suppliers can establish their own particular strategy, and hence, co-coordinating and setting up destination pricing systems is practically unattainable. Along with that, national monetary approaches and financial aspects in the worldwide commercial center adversely affect pricing. Subsequently, both large scale and small-scale financial matters decide the estimating capacity of tourism associations. The average cost for basic items and job, expansion, trade rates, neighborhood effectiveness and rivalry all add to the pricing components. For instance, tourism in Japan is unavoidably significantly more costly than tourism in Indonesia because of the distinctions between these two nations. Macroeconomic dynamics has a great impact on the pricing related to the destination as well as the attraction of these consumers. Pricing the destination plus all the individual components of the nearby tourism item is an exceptionally complex process. Principal players tend to have their own particular valuing blend with arrangements. DMOs can manage the components of pricing via regulation, counsel and associations with the private division. On the other hand, DMOs regularly provide rules by recommending least costs to shield little suppliers from wild rivalry, and highest costs to shield customers from overcharging. The more times sightseers are locally used, the better it gets for destinations since it expands that gainfulness of nearby undertakings and upgrades the financial advantages. Purchasers consider the aggregate expense of a trek, i.e. some time recently, amid their visit. Most of the time, they are new to the destination before buying their travel item. Thus, estimating plays an essential part in deciding the picture of destinations. The greatest travel expense is the transport towards destination and back, particularly for whole deal excursions, and in this why it is easier to decide the readiness and capacity of explorers to tour these destinations. Destinations can just invite premium costs in the event that they offer an extraordinary ordeal.

A few imperative marketing and distribution duties are performed by channel associates, for example, conveying of stock; market data gathering and investigation; arrangement between channel individuals and purchasers; physical ownership and dissemination; danger taking; installment and money related courses of action; and after-deal administration. Distribution is rising as a basic component of key administration and as one of the handful remaining wellsprings of genuine upper hand. Aside from affecting expenses, distribution channels additionally bolster and empower item separation by contributing to adding worth to the item and to the aggregate brand encounter and anticipating intense pictures. The whole scope of stakeholders unites tourism request in addition to the supply of an area plan its conveyance channel. Appropriation of destinations turns out to be progressively more vital since it is placed to cost 20-30% of the item cost. Additionally, it defines under what circumstances suppliers can attain their market objectives. This is the situation particular for the markets in Europe as focus has driven four noteworthy organizations to rule the business sector. Business voyagers have stringent timetables and use mediators to compose their agendas. Interestingly, recreation explorers tend to have much more prominent adaptability and value versatility. As a result, go-betweens can affect their choice and decision of destination

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Promoting destinations is also an essential principle in designing destination mixes. It suggests the advancement of speaking channels with demographic and different partners to expand the mindfulness and influence to buy items. Destination advancement needs a co-ordinate crusade along with a message for every nearby supplier. Outlining a financially perceptive limited time blend is troublesome due to the differences between a destination’s tourism suppliers and the increase in purchasers all through the world (Crouch, 1994). Accomplishing an agreement on the advertising effort and raising sufficient assets to create and execute it is a standout amongst the most difficult assignments related to destination promoting. Generally, DMOs lead limited time crusades whilst suppliers take part and make their contributions. An extensive variety of procedures is utilized above as well as beneath the line (Kotler, Bowen, & Makens, 2006). Over the line, limited time movement incorporates publicizing on TV, radio, and press, and utilizing publication battles. Focusing on the appropriate market, at the correct time, with the appropriate message is continuously troublesome, particularly for destinations that pull in shoppers from a few geological locales, social and phonetic foundations. Albeit exceptionally costly, over the line commercial can help improve the destination product and additionally influence an extensive number of guests visiting the destination as well as to broaden their visit. Although numerous nations have significantly expanded their expenses on tourism advancements, there is petite confirmation of their adequacy since studies that have endeavored to assess the limited time affect experimentally have for the most part delivered fluctuated results. Overall, DMOs are progressively being considered responsible for producing satisfactory results through publicizing and measuring promoting viability. Notices use mottos, which change much of the time keeping in mind the end goal to take after tourism interest patterns and to upgrade the picture of destinations. For instance, Spain as of late altered its trademark from “everything under the sun” to “energy forever”. This modification mirrored the realignment of its item far from the conventional “sun and ocean” item to a considerably more modern offering in view of social differences and the way of life of nearby individuals (Kumral & Önder, 2012).

Additionally, DMOs frequently use underneath the line limited time procedures. They partake in main yearly tourism exhibitions in London, Berlin, Milan and Paris, among others. Due to the exhibitions, they get the chance to meet comon people and individuals from the general population to advance their offers. They create leaflets, which they circulate among their accomplices in the business and imminent buyers who need data on the preferred destination. Pamphlets ordinarily indicate nearby attractions and exercises whilst they similarly highlight various nearby suppliers, for example, lodgings, amusement and providing food foundations (Burns, Lester, Bibbings, & Palmer, 2010). In addition to that, travel exchange manuals offer data about the travel exchange to the destination and give a reference manual. In spite of the fact that DMOs regularly work at places where they provide data about nearby suppliers, they are inclined to abstain from offering directly as they are facilitators and not go-betweens maintaining a strategic distance from being seen as individual items promoters and administrations against other neighborhood suppliers. Further, when requested by forthcoming clients, they provide contact points of interest of nearby suppliers and exhort purchasers on those prone to fulfill their interest. On the other hand, DMOs are compelled to have a more dynamic role in regard to the offerings as purchasers value a one-stop-administration. In numerous destinations, they find themselves in a position whereby they are needed to legitimize their pay or to make a contribution towards their costs, and thus, they invite commissions for neighborhood bookings and offer maps, neighborhood manuals and gifts to produce pay. Direct advertising is additionally utilized since destinations can distinguish forthcoming clients and advance components of the neighborhood offers that fulfill the particular interest. In creating relationship promoting and steadfastness, clubs empower rehash guests to be acknowledged. Rebate plans include ones that are at present creating a few destinations to remunerate and keep their unwavering customer base. At last, advertising is widely utilized in nearly all destinations. Agents in charge of destinations agents at national level create tourism workplaces in their significant markets to disseminate limited time material and data through their government offices. Further, open relations are utilized to produce news stories, articles and reputation, with a specific end goal to attract the attention of buyers and influence them to buy the items. A big name in the destination can create more enthusiasm than some other types of advancement since buyers are more inactive recipients as compared to publicizing. Advertising is also crucial for the improvement and overhauling of the right picture.

In conclusion, destination branding is a complex process, which is used to develop a unique personality and identity from other competitive destinations. This is done by combining all the key features related to a given place. Destination branding strategy aims at differentiating the destination from other competitors. A unique brand is appealing as it makes a destination stand out. It also aims at increasing awareness and recognition as well as creating the memories of the destination over time amongst potential visitors. Destination marketing strategy also aims at giving the destination a strong and very compelling brand identity. It also aims at creating positive image of the destination, which makes people responsive to the advertisement messages. The branding process is a very complex process, and, therefore, all stakeholders should participate in formulating a brand that is fascinating and attractive. Branding has many benefits to an organization. Branding makes a destination easily identifiable and hence helps in the marketing of different destinations. There are various issues that drive the destination marketing strategy, which have been identified in this paper. These issues are important in destination marketing because destination marketing is rather complex and the current environment is highly competitive. Therefore, it is advisable to identify and use these issues that drive destination marketing in order to be successful on that frontier.

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