Marketing Management
Key Success Factors: Marketing of a Tourism Destination

Discuss the major factors which make a globally successful business tourism destination and apply these factors to a successful business tourism destination of your choice indicating any recommendations where improvements still need to be made.

 

In the recent decades, as in line with the globalisation process, it is witnessed that tourism related activities are booming at a fast pace (Ramgulam, Mohammed & Raghunandan, 2012; Bacchus, 2005). For that, it is worthy to understand that there are many types of tourism activities, such as: business travel, gaming, resort areas, nature-based tourism, festivals and cultural tourism and major-events tourism (Tifflin & Balkaran, 2014). One of the sectors of tourism, which has been receiving greater and greater attention, is about business tourism. This is not surprising as business tourism is considered as one of most desirable format of tourism development; as business tourism tend to exhibit these characteristics: high quality, high yield, can contribute to economic development, and pretty resilient to recession, as compared to the leisure tourism sector (Dragicevic, Jovicic, Blesic, Stankov & Boskovic, 2012; Gracan & Rudancic-Lugaric, 2011). However, it is noticed that business tourism is becoming more competitive nowadays (Tifflin & Balkaran, 2014; Kulendran & Witt, 2003). For that, it is necessary to understand about those factors that can affect the attractiveness or success of a tourism destination for business tourism purposes. This essay will discuss about these factors, and then to apply the findings to the discussions about how Beijing is performing in the context of business tourism.

However, before going deep into the discussion, the definition for ‘business tourism’ will be firstly provided. Some definitions provided by scholars include the following. Firstly and as discussed in Hankinson (2005), business tourism is those tourism activities related to attendance at meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentives events. In other words, such a description indicates that business tourism is about tourism incurred by business-to-business activity. Yet, according to WTO (as cited by Dragicevic, Jovicic, Blesic, Stankov & Boskovic, 2012: p. 313), business tourism is “a travel to attend an activity or event associated with business interest… and some of the main component of business tourism include: meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions”.  Overall, these definitions suggest that business tourism is about tourism related to business activity. With that in mind, the discussion will proceed to discuss about the major factors which make a globally successful business tourism destination.

Commercial criteria of a city are a crucial factor that affects the potential of a city as a viable destination for business tourism purposes (Hankinson, 2005). This is because a city of commercial vibrancy will attract more business persons, as can be seen from how big business hub such as Singapore had attracted many business travellers every years – despite it is only a small country.

Then, availability of relevant and sufficient facilities (in a particular destination) is also crucial to the success of a business tourism destination. Some of these facilities include: a suitable venue for the meeting, sufficient accommodation, attractions, good accessibility to the generating markets and efficient transport system within the destination (Dragicevic, Jovicic, Blesic, Stankov & Boskovic, 2012). It is then also crucial to aware that the infrastructure and facilities essential to promote business tourism include those soft factors, such as availability of investments into the business intelligence, intellectual capital and infrastructure of business tourism (Gracan & Rudancic-Lugaric, 2011).

Yet, another very crucial factor that can affect the attractiveness of a tourism destination for business purposes is also about the attitudes and behaviours of the residents in a particular destination, as they will affect the experiences of these business travellers (Tifflin & Balkaran, 2014). This can be easily understood, as local folk of better attitudes will definitely leave better impression to the business travellers, and affect their tendency to revisit the destination in the future.

Aside from that, issues such as cultures will also have impacts upon the attractiveness of a place for business tourism purposes (Bialk-Wolf, Pechlaner & Nordhorn, 2013). This is particularly true when a destination has many different cultural activities, as many business travellers would love to learn about the different cultures (and histories) in a particular country.

Yet, availability of entertainment is also crucial to promote a destination as popular tourism destination (Willman, 1999). This should be straightforward as human beings need happiness, aside from work. For that, many of the business travellers’ demand both business efficiency and relaxation – when travel to other countries for business purposes (Riddle, 1999). As such, a destination should be equipped with sufficient entertainment programmes or facilities before it can be developed to become a truly vibrant and reputable business tourism destination.

Other than that, policy makers can make or break the success of a tourism destination, as they can introduce or reduce the barriers encouraging the attractiveness of a tourism destination for business s tourism purposes (Dragicevic, Jovicic, Blesic, Stankov & Boskovic, 2012). As such, ability of policy makers to make pro-tourism policies will also be critical as the efforts to ensure the success of a business tourism destination.

Environmental sustainability is yet another very crucial factor that can affect the success or failure of a place for business tourism, as serious pollution can affect the experiences and intention of business person to travel to a place (Ramgulam, Raghunandan-Mohammed & Raghunandan, 2013). After all, there will be no people who want to visit frequently to a highly polluted city (which can be unhealthy and unpleasant). Then, from another perspective, there is also idea that the concept of ‘green meetings’ (i.e., meetings that cover these concepts: responsibility towards the environment, social responsibility and economic responsibility) can be used to promote business tourism within a destination (Gracan, Sander & Rudancic-Lugaric, 2010). For that, it is valid to highlight that being environmentally friendly can indeed attract more business travellers.

From the discussion presented above, it is noted that some of the factors that contribute to the success of a business tourism destination include the following: (i) commercial vibrancy, (ii) facilities availability, (iii) the local community, (iv) cultures, (v) availability of entertainment, (vi) decisions of policy makers, and (vii) the environmental factor. Given that, the factors will be discussed, in the context to analyse the city of Beijing, if these factors are indeed contributing to the success or attractiveness of Beijing as a business tourism destination. If in case that some of the factors are not present in the case of Beijing, some recommendations will also be presented.

For that, it can be seen that Beijing fulfils many of the factors; that are critical to the success of a business tourism destination. First of all, Beijing is the capital of China, and the city is growing very fast – as the economy of China is growing at a fast pace. In a way, the abundance of commercial activities had indeed assisted Beijing in securing many business tourism activities. Then, it is also noted that there are good infrastructure and facilities available in the city of Beijing, of which are essential for the promotion of business activities. Again, Beijing had fulfilled yet another factor that is critical to the promotion of the city as a business tourism destination. Aside from that, it is also undeniable that the city of Beijing does have a lot of different entertainment programmes and activities, rich in cultural activities as well as historical sites and tales. These are the factors that can bring positive effects towards the attractiveness of Beijing as a highly regarded business tourism destination. However, the environment of the city of Beijing is bad, given that the city is troubled seriously by air pollution and traffic congestion. The policy makers do not seemed to take sufficient actions to combat such problems as well. Other than that, many of the local folks do not speak English, of which it will affect the feasibility of Beijing as a truly popular and favoured destination for business tourism activities from the west. These are some issues that should be paid serious attentions, and corrected in order to enhance the success of Beijing as a viable and globally popular business tourism destination.

For that, it is necessary for the policy makers to implement drastic strategies and technique to curb the environmental pollution and traffic congestion issues. This may include: promote the local community to use of public transport, and impose heavy penalty against those that pollute the environment (such as those that simply throw rubbish or those that engage in open burning). Yet, it is also possible to educate the local folks on how to assist the foreigners whom do not know how to speak Mandarin. Indeed, more tourist police should be trained, to help those tourists (i.e., business travellers). Other than that, policy makers can also implement pro-business tourism policies, such as to provide financial incentives to companies that tried to hold meeting in Beijing, or to provide free facilities to hold these business meetings. If these were done, the reputation, popularity and feasibility of Beijing as a vibrant business tourism destination can be enhanced and ensured, given that the city had already possess many criteria essential for the development as a respectable business tourism destination.

To conclude, this essay had discussed about the concept of tourism destination, and how various factors may be responsible in contributing to the success of a business tourism destination. These factors include: commercial vibrancy, facilities, local community, cultures, entertainment, policy makers, and environmental factor. With this list of factors, the success of Beijing as a successful and attractive tourism destination is examined. It is found that Beijing fulfils most of these factors, except that the city does have some weakness on environmental pollution, and             weaknesses of local folks in interacting with foreigners. For that, some suggestions are suggested to policy makers, to take corrective actions on these issues – so to make Beijing a more successful business tourism destination in the future.

 

References

Bacchus, J. (2005). Business travel boosts Baltimore’s travel and tourism industry in 2004. The Daily Record.

Bialk-Wolf, A., Pechlaner, H., & Nordhorn, C. (2013). The role of culture in building regional innovation systems and its impact on business tourism – the case of the Nuremberg metropolitan region. The Poznan University of Economics Review, 13(4), 111-129.

Dragicevic, V., Jovicic, D., Blesic, I., Stankov, U., & Boskovic, D. (2012). BUSINESS TOURISM DESTINATION COMPETITIVENESS: A CASE OF VOJVODINA PROVINCE (SERBIA). Ekonomska Istrazivanja, 25(2), 311-331.

Dragicevic, V., Jovicic, D., Blesic, I., Stankov, U., & Boskovic, D. (2012). BUSINESS TOURISM DESTINATION COMPETITIVENESS: A CASE OF VOJVODINA PROVINCE (SERBIA). Ekonomska Istrazivanja, 25(2), 311-331.

Gracan, D., & Rudancic-Lugaric, A. (2011). BUSINESS TOURISM – MODERN FORM FOR IMPROVEMENT OF THE COMPETITIVENESS OF CROATIAN TOURISM. Ekonomska Misao i Praksa, 20(2), 579-590.

Gracan, D., & Rudancic-Lugaric, A. (2011). BUSINESS TOURISM – MODERN FORM FOR IMPROVEMENT OF THE COMPETITIVENESS OF CROATIAN TOURISM. Ekonomska Misao i Praksa, 20(2), 579-590.

Gracan, D., Sander, I., & Rudancic-Lugaric, A. (2010). GREEN STRATEGY OF BUSINESS TOURISM. Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija. Biennial International Congress. Tourism & Hospitality Industry, 337-349.

Hankinson, G. (2005). Destination brand images: A business tourism perspective. The Journal of Services Marketing, 19(1), 24-32.

Hankinson, G. (2005). Destination brand images: A business tourism perspective. The Journal of Services Marketing, 19(1), 24-32.

Kulendran, N., & Witt, S. F. (2003). Forecasting the demand for international business tourism. Journal of Travel Research, 41(3), 265-271.

Ramgulam, N., Mohammed, K. R., & Raghunandan, M. (2012). THE QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS TOURISM: AN EXAMINATION OF ITS ECONOMIC VIABILITY IN TRINIDAD. Review of Business & Finance Studies, 7(2) 331-342.

Ramgulam, N., Raghunandan-Mohammed, K., & Raghunandan, M. (2012). AN EXAMINATION OF THE ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS TOURISM IN TRINIDAD. Review of Business & Finance Studies, 3(2), 69-80.

Ramgulam, N., Raghunandan-Mohammed, K., & Raghunandan, M. (2013). ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: AN ASSESSMENT OF TRINIDAD’S BUSINESS TOURISM MARKET. Review of Business & Finance Studies, 4(1), 51-61.

Riddle, D. (1999). Business tourism: Niches for developing countries. International Trade Forum, (3), 4-10.

Tifflin, W. B., & Balkaran, R. (2014). The enhancement of conference tourism activities as a means to bolstering business tourism in South Africa: A case study of conferences within KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 6(6), 432-437.

Willman, J. (1999). Call for lottery cash to boost business tourism. Financial Times.

 

 

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