Marketing Management Trends in Tourism and Hospitality Industry: Facing the 21st Century Environment

Article excerpt

Abstract

The new dynamics of the twenty-first century led to a new competitive environment in the field of tourism and hospitality business. This scenario is driving the industry companies to adopt new strategic marketing options and operational marketing processes.

At first, as introduction, the paper identifies and reflects, in general, the new and main principles of the macro environment of tourism businesses, taking a STEEP analysis matrix as a reference. After describing the above scenario, the paper focuses on the major changes on the level of the tourism and hospitality micro environment, outlining the main changes and trends in the demand and supply side. Finally, the paper presents a set of reflections and trends on the strategic and operational marketing management of tourism and hospitality businesses, expression of the new (macro and micro) environment. In order to support the trends suggested, different case studies based on international hospitality companies are presented and analyzed.

Keywords: hospitality, trends, strategic marketing, operational marketing

1. Introduction

The basis for this reflection and its consequent questioning lies on the unavoidable structural changes which characterize the awakening of the 21st century and which are determining factors for the mutation of the macro environment of societies in general and tourism business in particular (Knowles, et al., 2004; Holjevac, 2003). Generally speaking it is possible to state that we are facing a new set of transformations which have made present everyday life more global, uncertain and dynamic (Tribe, 2010).

Consequently we notice the presence of a set of profound transformations in the socio-cultural matrix of today's societies, especially Western societies, where a new socio-demographic profile stands out. This profile is characterized by a new tendency towards the decrease of birth rates, the increase of average life expectancy, changes in the concept of family, a growing urbanization and a unique and simultaneous coexistence of four different generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generations Xers, Millenials). These generations have distinctive socio-cultural characteristics due to the structural differences which have shaped their everyday life and arose unique challenges in what concerns communication and interpersonal relationships (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002). Millenials, also known as Generation Y, are the clients of the future, because "... Millennials access digital media on daily basis and have the ability to communicate with and purchase from suppliers anywhere in the world. " (Mangold & Smith, 2012:141), and so it is vital to acknowledge the importance of such profile.

The exponential development and increased dependence of technology in the context of the present society place it as the central paradigm of the social and economic development and thus changing the limits of ability and means of production. Considering its impact on the lifestyle and communication of the population, the internet is probably one of the most important elements of this revolution. It has deeply changed the notion of time, shortening reality and establishing new lines of spatial, time and management organization (Abrate et al., 2012).

On the economic level, there is the emergence of new markets, especially the binomial resulting from the interaction between emerging and developed economies (Yeoman et al., 2012). This emergence is the result of the extension and intensification of globalization, which for the first time puts the concept of market, and consequently business competitiveness, on a universal level. The rise of new trade blocks such as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) tends to alter the natural balance of the markets in which "new consumers Markets will contribute to transition economies (Central and Eastern Europe) and in developing economies" (Asia and South Asia) (Yeoman, 2008:25). …

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