Over the years the world’s poorest countries have become popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors with images of exotic environments and cultures (Harrison, 1995; WTO, 2004). Increasing cheap and easy travel has made long distance vacations a reality. Tourism countries is growing steadily in developing, urged by this governments, and by the international community, which includes the World Bank, as a means of encouraging economic diversi¬cation, stimulating local incomes and earning most foreign exchange (Brohman, 1996; Christie, 2001; Harrison, 1995; Markandya et al., 2004; WTO, 2002, 2004, 2005; WTTC, 2005).But Tourism industry is prone to fluctuate and is a uncertain strategy which often strikes with minimal warning. Tourism promotion could be an economic relief to many developing and under developing countries but, if situations to become unfavourable; it could affect the ones engaged in a worse economic situation than they were before when introduced to tourism. The risks of over-concentration on a single sector of the economy can be high (Feenstra & Hanson, 1996) and this is especially true in poor counties of the world where tourism domineers the economy. The island of Bali in Indonesia is one example, peace was wrecked by terrorist bombs in October 2002, and again in October 2005. The bombs which exploded in October 2002 killed 202 people this was only the beginning, the immediate impact on it was devastating. More than 18,700 scared tourists fled Bali in three days, which is three times as more than during a normal month. After the first two weeks after the attack, visitor arrivals dropped by 80%. And hotel occupancy plunged from 73% to just 14% after the attack. Within a week of the attack major tour operators promptly drew back their holiday programmes from Bali and resorts throughout Indonesia.
This paper aims at proposing marketing strategies that could be adopted in Bali, to revoke Tourism after its terrorist attacks. They are Marketing Product, Promotion and distribution systems, Prices and retargeting. This paper will discuss all the strengths and weakness of these marketing strategies and also present a conclusion based on strategies which can be adopted to alleviate the impacts of terrorism in Bali.
Marketing In Tourism:
Industry don’t `evolve ‘. Instead time eager to overturn the present industry order challenge `accepted practise’, redraw segment boundaries, set new price performance expectations and re-invent the product or service concept (Hamel and Prahalad,1994:303).
Marketing and promotions are the key factors that should be considered when tourism industry has been shattered in a country that has suffered a crisis. Marketing Bali after terrorist attack is mainly bringing back economy to the country by the means of tourism since its economy majorly depends on tourism. There are several marketing strategies which can be implemented such as Promotion and distribution, Prices and Re targeting.
Promotion and distribution systems
Innovative techniques such as internet play a very important role in promotion and distribution channel in terms of volume and gathering information to choose trips and buy tourism services at the lowest possible price. A considerable increase in Internet sales has opened up a new way to improve and develop the management of distribution in the businesses. Systems integrate functions such as: marketing, information, sales and end-product integration by pulling together all the elements of a tourism trip. Due to its unique characteristics, growing number of countries are promoting their products through the Internet. Distribution no longer depends on traditional channels, that is, operators and travel agencies. The reduction or elimination of commissions on ticket sales and car hires is leading to the establishment of service fees, which is a fixed amount in many cases, and to a growing emphasis on the consulting or advisory function of travel agents. Virtual distribution channels are or tend to be interactive television, call centres, direct sales via the Internet, and websites of conventional travel agencies. The role of tour operators, traditionally associated with conventional sun-and-sand holidays, is being contained. There is a continuing trend towards consolidation and vertical integration among tour operators. In order to adapt to demand, they are also becoming more flexible and are segmenting their products to a greater degree. Among the objectives of this consolidation processes are: to better control operating costs, to make better use of their airplanes and to use their information systems more efficiently. Among travel agencies, cooperatives are gaining
increased prominence using a model that has been successful in the United States, as well as the establishment of a mix of distribution channels that take advantage of new technologies. The management of the chain of production is geared towards profitability, with key strategies being:
increasing the load factor of own planes, achieving economies of scale, reducing risk by diversifying into new markets and consolidating brands that cover various products in order to increase customer loyalty.
The Internet has a growing role but has not yet displaced print publications, television and radio, especially coupled with direct marketing, the Internet itself, the specialized press and special promotions.
A message to address safety concerns must be issued in order to let people know that the Bali has tightened up its security and it is now safe for the tourist. Bali tourism officials can plan to invite all their major travel agents check new safety measures which has been implemented. Travel agents provide bulk hotel bookings; it is very important to encourage them to take personal tours to make them aware of all new security measures implemented. This will create a good image of Bali to travel agents so they feel confident on promoting Bali as a tourist destination again. It can also invite important trade partners. Concerning security and safety, JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents), China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Singapore Travel Agencies expressesing their satisfaction with heightened security measures implemented in the aftermath blast which can help improve tourism form Japan, China and Singapore.
Diplomatic and celebrity endorsement can be done to bring up the market. Advertisement about a new refreshing image of Bali introducing new idea’s such as surfing, honeymoon vacation, religious tourism can be enhanced better. But advertisements have to be targeted carefully. For instance, Caribbean islands invested a massive US$16 million publicity campaign to attract US tourist and tourist were still diminishing, This campaign had been suspended until and after the congressional elections of 5th November 2002. Americans were clearly not in the mood for travel, and no amount of advertising seems to be able to change.
Prices are strongly influence travel purchase decisions. Price strategies have varied from straight price reductions, discounts for accompanying persons or even free travel for accompanying children, to added services. Many small and medium-sized enterprises have been especially affected by the downward trend in the price of tourism services. According to the International Federation of Tour Operators, we have gone through a year of falling demand, which has been stimulated through pricing. The effect of this factor is to reduce business revenues. Destinations with the best prices and where tour operators have own accommodations have a certain advantage of others.
Use price – follow PR with attractive price-led offers: both Malaysia and Sri Lanka did this very successfully post September 11th. Domestic airlines, including the national flag carrier Garuda and its subsidiary Merpati airlines, are to offer special discounts for visitors coming to Bali for the Muslim holiday of Idul Fitri, and also for Christmas and the New Year. The Indonesian Tourism Ministry and the Bali Tourist Board will work with the industry to prepare special, affordable holiday packages.
Domestic – the Chairman of the Bali Tourist Board has stated: “For the time being it would be wiser to focus first on the domestic market”. It is appreciated that the domestic market has far lower spending power that the international one, but it can at least serve to keep the product functioning even though profits will be low. Indonesia’s 1000 Steps to Bali domestic promotion campaign was launched on 2nd November.
The Government has announced that it will rework the public holiday calendar to create
more long weekends, thus boosting the domestic market.
Intraregional – Singapore, for example, will concentrate on India and China, both markets likely to be less affected by this type of event. Malaysians too are apparently unphased by the events in Bali, according to feedback from MATTA, the country’s biggest travel fair: they are responding avidly to good value offers.
Indonesia is also aiming to promote more in the Middle East (currently only 0.8% of total visitors).
The Government has instructed all state companies, as well as encouraging private ones, to hold their corporate functions in Bali.
Experienced travellers, not first timers – first timers are naturally more nervous.
Individuals – with a passion: special interest markets held up remarkably well post September 11th. Sport, culture, newlyweds – anything which gives a distinctive impetus to a trip should be targeted.
The main lessons which the tourism industry learned post September 11th is the importance of working together. The type of co-operation which it can be so hard to achieve in normal circumstances – like even persuading two resorts in the same country to advertise together – starts to happen spontaneously in times of crisis. The Australian Tourism Task Force’s immediate reaction to the attack in Bali was: “This means getting our marketing agencies together so that we have a co-ordinated campaign to remind Australians about the advantages of travelling at home and to remind the rest of the world that Australia remains a safe place for a holiday”.
Good security also requires national co-operation between Ministers, police, local authorities and the private sector.
But the emphasis on co-operation post September 11th went wider than this. Commercial organisations and Governments started to work together more closely, not only across sector groups, but also across geographical boundaries. For example, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji came together to do joint advertising. It is important that the WTO should keep encouraging this trend.
ASEAN, which held their 8th Summit between the 4th and 7th of November in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, had signed an important new Tourism Cooperation and Promotion Agreement. Malaysian Tourism Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said the decision to deepen tourism cooperation was made two years ago but the Bali tragedy had given it more urgency. The 10 member grouping (plus 3 affiliated countries – China, Japan and Korea) aims to promote the area as a single tourism destination in the international market, launch joint marketing programmes, introduce “thematic” tour packages to specific areas of interest, and harmonise visa issuance to foreigners. But the core theme of the pact is to boost intra-regional movement by phasing out travel taxes and extending visa exemptions to ASEAN’s 500 million citizens. The pact also aims to establish an integrated network of tourism and travel services, to encourage commercial agreements among regional airlines and to promote cruising, travel by ferries and leisure boats.
ASEAN feels that if they stop visiting each other, the terrorists will have won. But, in an
illustration of the complexity of the current situation, John Koldowski from PATA
commented that it was the right move for ASEAN to turn inward to revive the industry but it
must not compromise national security in its rush to facilitate movement within the region.
We can develop events as part of the recovery phase, for instance, Indonesia will on 15thNovember invite the families of the victims to a special service in Bali to pray together. This will reinforce in a respectful way the generic spiritual image of the destination.
Tour operators, airlines and cruise lines, and strive to maintain capacity. Governments need to work closely with the industry in difficult times to ensure that there is not a damaging loss of product which could limit recovery when better times come.
Promotion and distributions, Co operation and Prices inter connecting play a vital part while marketing a tourist destination. Promotion and distributions is a huge channel of communication through various sources of media like television, radios, news and newspaper, internet etc… We can make a renewed image on Bali with proper media sources which will create a positive impact for tourists or travel agents. Thus it has power to reach people and can make a good impression. Co operation also is a very key strategy in marketing a destination where its needs supports from various countries to develop tourism. Good security also requires national co-operation between Ministers, police, local authorities and the private sector. Commercial organisations and Governments can work closely in joint advertising which such as straight price reductions, discounts for accompanying persons or even free travel for accompanying children, to added services and other offers which can help redeem the economy of Bali.