Tourism in the Gulf States has increased significantly over the last five years. Specifically, the Internet has played a critical role in influencing consumer behavior in travel and tourism industry. The internet has turned the world into a global village. Anyone can be able to access the web using their smartphones and tablets.
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Foreman (2013) allude that the internet is being used by travel agencies as a reliable source of information that enables marketers to market their products online (p.13). The hospitality industry is dynamic in the sense that it includes restaurants, hotels, theme park, cruise line and transportation services. Tourism is more about travel, and thus the role of transportation in tourism cannot be ignored.
This paper critically analysis al deyafa which is a hotel, tour and travel agency in the United Arab Emirates. The decision to establish this venture is based on the role played by hotels and transportation in the tourism industry. Moreover, the paper carries out situational analysis, marketing mix and strategy implementation of the venture.
Tourism in the Gulf States in quite impressive. In UAE, tourism relies extensively on the Internet via smartphones and other online platform in all stages of travel experience. For instance, according to a report by Euromonitor International, online travel and hotel booking is expected to increase from 18 percent to 22 percent in 2016 (Wyma, 2015, p. 94).
This represents a significant market penetration in mobile booking which is expected to hit 30 percent by 2018. The tour and travel industry in UAE is not fully tapped which presents a lucrative business opportunity for Al deyafa. Thompson (2013) argues that tourism sector in the Middle East is expected to increase by 67 percent by the end of 2016 to $7.5 billion (p.15).
If Al deyafa can be able to position itself in the market as the leader by offering exceptional customer service, the company can reap the benefit of tourism not only in the short-run but, also in the long-run. Online sales have increased significantly over the last five years in the Middle East having reached $3 billion which represent 17 percent of the total sales in tourism. Analysts believe that total sales in the hotel, tour and travel industry will increase by 18 percent over the next three years.
Marketing is dynamic in the sense that it focuses on the needs of customers even before services are offered and after sales.
Al deyafa will provide a range of services such as traditional Arabic meals, marketing local handcraft and souvenirs and culture tour to historic sites. All this products and services target tourist who visits the United Arab Emirates every year.
They are many factors that influence prices of products and services including competitors, buying behavior and economic condition. Market research about the price charged by competitors is of immense importance since it will enable Al deyafa to fix reasonable prices on its products and services.
Place is one of the most vital pillars of product mix which has it main variable as transportation and distribution channels. Al deyafa will offer the tourist with an intermediate link between its hotels and tourist destination.
Before choosing the best mode of promotion, it is imperative to consider your target customers and their geographical location. Most of the advertisement in tourism are created by the national government. However, to increase sales Al deyafa shall use magazines, TVs, printed displays and online ads to create awareness.
People refer to all persons that tourism will interact with as they visit different destinations (Ryan & Stewart, 2009, p. 294). The behavior of the local people plays a vital role in determining how tourist perceives that country. The United Arab Emirates has a well know culture that welcome and respect tourist from any part of the world. Consequently, tourist destination sites in the United Arab Emirates have become popular due to government marketing effort and its amazing people.
Cohen et al., (2015) argues that process in tourism means implementation of strategies that make life easier for tourist to reach their destination (p.1448). Al deyafa has the tourism process made easier by developing a website that is easy to navigate with all holiday destinations were they can choose their tour package that suits their need. The process is made easier because information is provided regarding their product and services.
Bains (2015) noted that in tourism, physical evidence can only be experienced after a customer visits the destination (p.35). Usually, tourism offers intangible services people cannot touch or see before they visit the tourist destination. Al deyafa’s website creates an image on the mind of the tourist what they expect to see when they visit those sites.
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Moreover, the company plans to establish a tour guide booklet with photos of every destination. The booklet shall be availed to tourists who visit our offices and in our tour vehicles so that they can have a picture of what to expect when they reach their destination.
Al deyafa has segmented it market based on nationality, age and religion. In the United Arab Emirates, each religion is interested in visiting their religious sites. For instance, Muslim tourism prefers Ramsa course and traditional Arabic meals. An international tourist from UK and US especially the young families prefer to visit UAE to get familiar with the culture and it heritage. Al deyafa has selected this segment because young tourists are more likely to spend more (Dudley, 2013, p.27).
Targeting involves choosing one or more segment that is attractive and profitable in the long run. In this regard, Al deyafa will concentrate its target market on historic sites, beaches, forest and jungles, traditional Arabic meals, local handcrafts and Ramsa courses.
Beqiri (2015) posit that market positioning refers to where a product or service occupies in a tourist mind (p.95). Al deyafa promotes diverse tourism product and services that are attractive and have high demand. This product and services have won a good position in the mind of tourist ranging from US, Saudi Arabia, UK, Australia, Bangladesh and Singapore. They include historic sites, beaches, Ramsa courses, traditional Arabic meals and archaeological sites.
Implementation and assessment
The venture shall be implemented after carrying out a thorough market research. The project shall be assessed based on hotel booking online and sales. The venture will be considered successful when sales increase by 8 percent after every three months.
Recommendation and conclusion
The United Arab Emirates has lots of tourist product, but not all products are fully tapped to attract local and foreign tourist. To attract more customers both local and international, Al deyafa must promote its tourist destination to create awareness.
Secondly, Al deyafa should develop a website that is easy to use and navigate to allow tourist to book and pay online. The payment system must be safe to secure client information and money. Finally, Al deyafa should establish clear communication channels with all tourist destination and tour vehicles to ensure safety and secure communication.
Bains, E 2015, ‘Growth slows in Dubai tourism market’, MEED: Middle East Economic Digest, vol. 59, no. 16, pp. 34-35.
Beqiri, G 2015, ‘Marketers and social media marketing’, Proceedings of the Multidisciplinary Academic Conference, pp. 91-98.
Cohen, DA, Collins, R, Hunter, G, Ghosh-Dastidar, B, & Dubowitz, T 2015, ‘Store Impulse Marketing Strategies and Body Mass Index’, American Journal of Public Health, vol. 105, no. 7, pp. 1446-1452.
Dudley, D 2013, ‘Dubai leads growth in hotels sector’, MEED: Middle East Economic Digest, vol. 57, no. 44, pp. 26-27.
Foreman, C 2013, ‘Contractors approached for Dubai theme park work’, MEED: Middle East Economic Digest, vol. 57, no. 20, p. 13.
Ryan, C, & Stewart, M 2009, ‘Eco-tourism and luxury – the case of Al Maha, Dubai’, Journal Of Sustainable Tourism, vol.17, no. 3, pp. 287-301.
Thompson, R 2013, ‘Dubai mulls plan to double airport capacity’, MEED: Middle East Economic Digest, vol. 57, no. 13, p. 15.
Wyma, C 2015, ‘Escape from parametric island’, Architectural Review, vol. 237, no. 1415, pp. 23-25.