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Marketing Mix : SWOT : Travel & Tourism Industry : SOTC, Cox & Kings, Kuoni, Thomas Cook, Kesari and Raj Travels

By: Yogin Vora on March 8, 2009 14 Comments

INTRODUCTION TO THE INDUSTRY

The Travel and Tourism industry is still one of the largest single businesses in world commerce and its importance is widely recognized.

The tourism industry is now one of the largest sectors earning foreign exchange. In the face of many benefits, many countries have started assigning due weightage to the tourism industry in their national development agenda.

Tourism statistics:

i. The tourism industry as a whole is presently estimated to earn over US$ 3.5 trillion worldwide.

ii. The travel and tourism industry generates about 11% of world GDP and 200 million jobs across the global economy.

TOURISM INDUSTRY IN INDIA

Indian Tourism industry is one of the most important export industries of the country. Although the international tourist inflow is relatively low, India has found tourism emerging as an important sector of its economy.

Recent statistics have revealed that during the first quarter of 2006, the performance of the tourism industry has been very encouraging which has registered an 11% increase in foreign tourist arrivals.

India Tourism office at Tokyo won two International Awards in Tour Expo held at Daegu in Korea for excellent tourism promotion. Indian Pavilion won the Best Booth Design Award as well as Best Folklore Performance Award competing with major players in tourism such as China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Canada.

About the company

The Kuoni Travel Group, India, is the country’s largest travel and Tourism Company and a 100% subsidiary Kuoni Travel Holding.

Kuoni India’s vision focuses on providing all travel and travel-related services to travellers from, within and to India.

Kuoni Travel Group, India was formed when Kuoni Travel Holding, Switzerland acquired 100% equity in SOTC on May 22nd, 1997. The Company was renamed Kuoni Travel (India) Ltd. SOTC World Famous Tours became a valued brand.

Kuoni Travel (India) Ltd. became India’s largest travel company with the acquisition of SITA World Travel a forerunner in Destination Management, incentive and business travel market.

Today, Kuoni-India is active across virtually every travel segment and operates a number of highly successful brands in India as also controls strategic markets around the world

Organization Chart

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Board of directors:-

1) Armin Meier, CEO, Kuoni Group.

2) Max E. Katz, Chief Financial Officer, Kuoni Group.

3) Zubin Karkaria, CEO and Managing Director, Kuoni India & south Asia.

4) Reto Wilhelm, EVP – Leisure Travel Europe, Asia and Destination Management Kuoni Group.

About the competitors

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Cox & Kings is the longest established travel company in the world.

At present, the COX & KINGS group has offices in UK (2 offices), USA, Japan, Germany Italy, Turkey, Pakistan and Nepal. In India, Cox & Kings has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Hyderabad, Pune, Goa and Jaipur and one satellite office in Andheri in Mumbai and Gurgaon in Delhi.

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Thomas Cook is one of the world’s leading international travel and financial services groups and serves over 20 million customers a year. They provide services to customers at 4,500 locations in more than 100 countries and employee over 20,000 people.

The Thomas Cook Holiday comes with a 150-year-old guarantee of eternally sunlit memories. They couldn’t expect any less from the people who invented travel for leisure. They offer the world’s most enjoyable holidays, to exotic destinations in India and abroad where everything is taken care of from beginning to end.

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Established in 1984, Kesari Tours is a premium travel company, which offers world-class holidays in India and around the world. Kesari have perfected their tour itineraries to meet the special needs of the Indian tourist abroad. The motto of organization is ‘No compromise on quality’.

At Kesari Tours, they have made a motto that if they make a promise to their customers, they honor it. They believe in honest, transparent deals. No hidden costs and no compromise on sightseeing. They strive for 100% satisfaction of tourists. The company enjoys an immense goodwill. That’s what they earned out of their beliefs.

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A passion for Travel & a vision for creating innovative travel packages were the two driving forces saw the beginning of a Travel Company in a very modest way in Mumbai’s Masjid Bunder.

The tremendous success & satisfaction of their tours paved way for Raj to hold its banner high & it continues to do so till date. They are proud to say that year after year they have improved on the product, adding new destinations, new attractions, pro-active marketing, & building customer confidence

Quality measurement

Kuoni has been granted ISO: 14001, environmental certification in autumn, becoming the first tour operator to earn this Destination.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2005 – Galileo India Express Award for ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator’
  • 2005 – Business Super brand
  • 2004 – Galileo India Express Award for ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator’
  • 2004 – Malaysia Tourism Award for ‘Best Foreign Tour Operator’
  • 2004 – Singapore Tourism Board Award for ‘Best Travel Experience in India’
  • 2004 – Star Cruises The Top Agents Award for 2004

Comparative Service Marketing Mix of SOTC and Cox and Kings

ü PRODUCT

Tourism service is the combination of tangible and intangible elements. The tourism product, which is mainly the destination, can only be experienced. The views of the location travel to the destination, the accommodation and facility as well as the entertainment at the destination all form the tourism product

Components of Tours as a Product.

Sr.No.

BENEFIT

MEANING

WITH RESPECT TO THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY

1

CORE BENEFIT

The fundamental benefit or service that the customer is buying.

Traveling.

2

BASIC PRODUCT

Basic, functional attributes.

Ticketing, hotel reservation.

3

EXPECTED PRODUCT

Set of attributes/conditions the buyer normally expects.

Customer friendliness, good food.

4

AUGMENTED PRODUCT

That meets the customer’s desires beyond expectations.

Prompt services, comfortable and convenient trip, spectacular sights, and music.

5

POTENTIAL PRODUCT

The possible evolution to distinguish the offer.

Totally customized tour packages, A grade service at every stage.

SOTC

SOTC offers a variety of tours which includes tours for families with kids, tours for senior citizens, theme vacations like beaches and also special packages for pure vegetarian and jains.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS also offers a variety of tours which include tours for families with kids, tours for senior citizens, tours for Marathi people, and tours for Gujarati people.

ü PRICE

Pricing in tourism is a complex process. Pricing includes the prices of other services like Air travel, Bus, Railways, Hotels, etc. All are included in tourism package. Pricing also depends on the Geographic location of the destination.

Pricing also depends on Seasonality. Seasonality is the most important factor in pricing. To match demand and supply tourist managers try to get either discount

SOTC

SOTC offers price sensitive tours like cost saver and premium tours which can be afforded by all classes.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS does not believe that the customer should pay a premium for excellent service and outstanding holidays. It is their policy to keep the prices as low as possible that is they follow “Low Price Policy”.

ü PLACE

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Different distribution strategies are selected to reflect the company’s overall objectives. Tours as a product is distributed as a travel. Internet is also used widely. The middleman may be tour operators, who buy tours in bulk and make them available to travel agents who are retailers.

SOTC

Different distribution strategies are selected for Tours marketing by SOTC. There are also small agents (who have taken franchise of SOTC) spread all over the town/country who also play a role of place. SOTC act as wholesalers and also act as a retailer. The latest mode of reaching the customers is through Internet that is SOTC has its own website from where information on the tours can be procured, direct booking can be done for which the payment can be made through the credit card. SOTC also has its own offices from where booking can be done.

COX AND KINGS

Almost same distribution strategies are used by COX AND KINGS also. They too have wide spread offices all over the country and their own website from where direct booking can be done.

ü PROMOTION

Advertising and sales promotion in Tourism is very effective when supplemented by publicity and personal selling. Public or PR (Public Relation) plays an important role in tourism. It is also through recommendation of friends and relatives which is itself a biggest promotion.

Word-of-mouth is a very important tool of promotion in tourism. Research shows that about 80% of the tourist visited different places on the persuasion of their friends and relatives and also their own judgments.

Yogin VoraOne can see a clear domination by global and Multi-National tour operators. Kuoni Travel (India) was the top advertiser in this category commanding a 10% share.

SOTC

SOTC uses electronic, print and all sorts of media as tourism is a highly promoted industry. SOTC gives printed ads in “The Times of India” mentioning the special tours in it with the special prices offered by them. Brochures are another form of communication provided by SOTC to stimulate customers and motivate them to buy. They are used to demonstrate in pictures and words the images and positioning of the product and the organizations.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS also advertises in newspapers. It also has a tie up with leading publications for features on travel, which appear once a week.

ü PEOPLE

It plays a most important part in tourism. In people, local people are very important, that how they treat tourist. The travel agents, guides, staff, sales staff, etc of company they are the people. Travel Company also like Railways, Air, etc. is included in people.

SOTC

Kuoni group (India) employs 2900 employees through its 347 offices and caters to 3 million customers. SITA alone enjoys loyalty of its 2, 00,000 Indian customers.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS employs 2600 employees it has 13 offices in India and a network of over 500 GSAs across the country (general sales agent).

ü PROCESS

Yogin Vora

The operation process of the SOTC and COX AND KINGS is given in the form of sequential steps involved in the delivery of the tours as a product.

Provision of travel information — The information regarding the travel is provided at a convenient location where the potential tourist seeks clarification about their proposed tour.

SOTC

SOTC provides information through its website, newspaper ads and in SOTC branches in the form of pamphlets.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS also provides information through its website, newspaper ads and in SOTC branches in the form of pamphlets.

Preparation of itineraries — It is a composition of series of operations that are required to plan a tour.

SOTC

The itineraries in SOTC are customized that is if the customer doesn’t wish to visit a particular place that place can be replaced with a place the customer wants to visit.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS has fixed itineraries the customer can cancel the visit but it will not be replaced by any other place.

Liaison with providers of services— Before any form of travel is sold over the counter to a customer; contracts have to be entered with the providers of various services including transportation companies, hotel accommodation, coaches for local sightseeing etc.

SOTC

SOTC has its contracts with many of the Indian companies like Hilton, etc.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS also has tie-ups with various 5-star hotels across the country.

Planning and costing tours— Once the contracts and arrangements are entered into, then the task of planning and costing the tour, this will depend on the tour selected as well as individual requirements.

SOTC

In SOTC the tours are customized that is if customer can’t afford the premium holiday he will be given the same tour but the cost will be reduced by offering him a deluxe hotel instead of a five star hotel or by offering him a non ac bus instead of a ac coach.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS follows a low price policy that is they fix the tour price as low as possible.

Ticketing— The computerized reservation system has in recent years revolutionized the reservation system for both rail and air travel.

SOTC

In SOTC the tours, air and rail tickets are booked online.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS also book tours, air and rail tickets through their online access system.

Provision of foreign currency and insurance—In case of foreign travel the final task provide foreign currency as well as insurance.

SOTC

SOTC provides its customers with foreign currency and visa services.

COX AND KINGS

COX AND KINGS provides its customers with foreign currency and travel insurance.

ü PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

ü The tourist attraction, which is an expensive for the customer must be tangibilized with the help of tangible items like, comfortable seats while traveling, layout, and design of the resort, natural service, etc. the sign posts that indicate directions, route maps, information regarding rules and regulations of the tourist spot and the sign regarding the public utilities like toilets, telephone booth also form a part of the physical evidence. Printed matters such as brochures also play an important role in the development of tourism. As the product, in tourism is intangible.

ü SOTC

ü SOTC provides its customers with a detailed brochure of the tour they have selected, a list of things to be done before going for a holiday e.g. cooking gas switch to be turned off etc and if the customer is going for foreign tour then a list of basic words like hello, water etc in the foreign country’s language which will make it easy for the customer, this establishes value for money, product image and status, which must be matched when the product is delivered.

ü COX AND KINGS

ü COX AND KINGS also provides its customers with a detailed brochure of the tour.

ü To conclude, the above facts and figures draw a clear picture that SOTC is the best company in comparison with COX and KINGS.SOTC is reasonable in price, offers best customer service which results into customer satisfaction. SOTC is the market leader in outbound tourism as COX and KINGS is the market follower.

SWOT ANALYSIS

Yogin Vora

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14 Responses to “Marketing Mix : SWOT : Travel & Tourism Industry : SOTC, Cox & Kings, Kuoni, Thomas Cook, Kesari and Raj Travels”

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