Communication is one of the four traditional marketing instruments within the marketing mix. Because of the characteristics of the tourism product it plays an extra-important role in tourism. When it comes to a goal-oriented orientation of all communication measures a tourism communication plan is indispensable.
The target groups of tourism communication are potential and existing customers as well as the public, distribution channels and employees. Single communication measures can affect several target groups at once, for example Public Relations. In this article communication shall be highlighted as a medium for customer acquisition which is in the foreground at the international market cultivation.
One goal of the communication policy is to establish an unique image for the destination or the tourism company. Another goal is the introduction respectively the increase of the awareness of the touristic brand. As ordinary as it may sound: Only when the potential customers know the product or service they can consider its consumption. Consequently, turnover can only be generated and profits realized with an appropriate high profile.
The central significance of communication in tourism is intensified by the intangibility of the touristic product. As the customer neither can look at nor touch or test it in advance he needs to rely on alternative indicators to come to a buying decision. These are mostly of communicative manner, like the website or other advertising media. Their use needs to be thoroughly prepared with the help of a tourism communication plan.
How to go about the realization of a tourism communication plan?
- First of all, the communication goals are derived from the marketing goals. In this course the target group of potential customers is defined more precise.
- Afterwards a strategy to achieve the communication goals is developed. Fitting to the aspired image the idea of the campaign is born.
- Following the most suitable advertising media are selected to distribute the advertising message. The available advertising media are manifold:
- Printed advertising media (e.g. flyer, advertisements in newspapers or magazines, supplements)
- Acoustic advertising media (e.g. radio spots, announcements)
- Audiovisual advertising media (e.g. TV spots, cinema advertising, search engine marketing, social media marketing)
- Decorative advertising media (e.g. outdoor advertising)
- Events (e.g. cultural night, trade fair participation)
- Other advertising media (e.g. sponsoring, give aways, product placement)
- Timing and responsibilities are determined.
- In the end, indicators for the performance review of the single advertising measures are defined.