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MKT230 Market Research For Government And Local Authorities

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  • Course Code: MKT230
  • University: Charles Sturt University
  • Country: Australia


What is the importance of development of tourism sector in Melbourne for an event such as an International Arts and Culture festival?


Background to the research problem

It is certain that not all tourists have the same taste in terms of the location and the quality of services. As they could belong to different regions, they could be of different age groups and earn different income as well as have different tastes and preferences to live their lives in a particular manner. As put forward by Jaafar et al., (2011) the tourists have different choices when it comes to selecting the mode of travel, destination as well as the activities at the destination. The segmentation in tourism market is necessary because the tourism sector possibly is not able to satisfy the need of every individual. People in Australia tend to maintain a high profile of a life style due to their growing economy. However, the communities in Melbourne lead a busy work life and they are not familiar with the deals and packages provided by organizations in the tourism sector (Biggs, 2011). On the other side, tourism supports the regional economy, increases employment opportunities contribute to the City of Melbourne’s cultural vibrancy (Weiler, Moyle & McLennan, 2012). It does have a positive impact on the local residents and business.

Nevertheless, the sector is not able to gain the required economic benefits from the community due to lack of awareness of tourism among the people. Tourism Melbourne branch takes the responsibility for developing the tourism policy and strategy. The branch works with the sector and trade to develop Melbourne as destination of choice for tourism. However, due to lack of awareness, sector is not able to gain that long-term benefit. Therefore, holding a public tourism event at Melbourne’s community could create a strong awareness among the people. A public event containing the cultural traits and rituals would help to grab attention of people in the community. A three days long International Arts & Culture event in a festive manner should be held where people from different communities and cultural background would visit. By visiting the event, the people could learn about the deals and packages of tourism and the customer value associated with the packages. 


Problem Background 

It has been identified that tourism is sector is one of the rapidly changing sectors. As put forward by Amelung and Nicholls (2014), the marketers in tourism management, compared to other management sector, must deal with a large field of complex, purpose requiring multiple plans of actions. Particular requirements of the service sectors are the outcome of its business peculiarities. Decision-making is another significant challenge faced by the management of the organizations in the tourism sector. Hence, Mahadevan (2014) mentioned that understanding consumer decision-making remains as the cornerstone of marketing strategy. Customer behavior in tourism is underpinned by the general assumption regarding how the decisions are made.  The techniques involved in consumer decision –making in tourism sector requires the use of models instead of a single definition to understand their complexity. Thus, due to such barriers in the external environment, the managements are often stuck with crucial managerial issues.

Although tourism is world’s largest industry, only 5% of overall market research turnover is in the travel sector, which implies relative underuse of research in the sector. In this context, Dredge and Jamal (2013) the intangible nature of tourism and absence of truly free market could be a barrier to market research. Nonetheless, Yap and Allen (2011) mentioned that the significant barriers to tourism market research are managerial attitude as well as lack of appreciation of how appropriately the study can lead to increased profitability. However, it is also observed that in the tourism sector, there is no lack of market research data but there is an uncontrolled development of multiple data sources. 

Literature Review 

As put forward by Shiue and Matzarakis (2011) every tourist has different taste and preference and the organizations in the sector might not be capable of meeting their needs. This remains as the foundation of segmenting the overall tourism market. Based on the above-mentioned fact, the marketing force of a tourism business categorizes the tourists into different segments that categorize the similar and distinct member (Seetaram, 2012). In order to conduct the event at Melbourne’s community for increasing awareness among the people, the community is divided into the following categories:

Geographic- Geographic market segmentation is usually done considering the factors such as the place of origin of the tourist. Melbourne is a large city with the people of different cultural backgrounds. However, Reisinger (2013) mentioned that the people who are migrated from other nations are quite accustomed with the culture of the communities of Melbourne. In this context, Moutinho (2011) commented that thousands of Asians are staying in Australia for years and built their own community, which is again a business opportunity for tourism sector in Melbourne. 



As mentioned by Mahadevan (2014) demographic segmentation is usually done by focusing on tourist’ gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, income, education and family members. It is certain that Australia is economically developed and due to the economic stability in the nation, people tend to maintain a high profile in their life style. Moreover, the percentage of average education is 82% in Australia; thereby, a large percentage of the population is involved professional and they have a busy life ( 2017). So, such professionals in Melbourne have the tendency to go on vacation on a frequent basis to stay away from their busy-work life. On the other side, average full-time earnings of people in Australia is AUD$81,947 per annum including the over-time and bonus ( 2017). Certainly, people in Melbourne are financially capable of affording a trip on a frequent basis. Another significant fact is that almost 66% of the overall population in Australia fall under the age group of 15 to 64 years ( 2017). So, the tourism organizations can consider different sorts of packages for the consumers- such as they can develop a “friends package” for young college students, family package for the affluent families in Australia and other related packages.

Psychographic- As mentioned by Weiler, Moyle and McLennan (2012), due to the growing economy in Australia, lifestyle of people are developing in a rapid manner. In this context, Yap, and Allen (2011) also commented that each market environment is changing rapidly, as consumers’ tastes are changing. People in Australia tend to look for invention. Thus, to go with such dynamic environment, the organizations in the tourism sector needs to develop their service and packages based on the demands or expectation of the customers.

SWOT analysis of the regions 


· Australia’s destination has uniqueness

· A weaker than anticipated Australian dollar –AUD assumption for the TFC April forecasts was US$0.99 for 2013-2015. Likewise, the existing forecasts anticipate US$.01 for 2015-2016 (Dredge & Jamal, 2013).

· It is also observed that global economic recovery is in the progress, which certainly supports the volume growth

· As put forward by Reisinger (2013) significant investment in digital marketing as well as online booking system in the recent time certainly drives a healthy competition and it certainly supports a domestic tourism market.


· As put forward by Shiue & Matzarakis (2011) many European economies and many of which are among Australia’s highest with respect to average trip expense- have largely been in deep recession.

· A study conducted by Seetaram (2012), apart from the trend, Australian economic growth would probably last longer, and it could be more pronounced than expected.

· As put forward by Quadri-Felitti and Fiore, (2012) the domestic business travel growth is forecasted to remain weak for the next coming two years.


· As commented by Shiue and Matzarakis, (2011). Proximity to Asia and the growth of the regions in terms income and aviation capacity run by low cost carriers and full services.

· Lack of refurbishment and investment is taking place in the regional areas, which should sustain the international dispersal.

· Outbound demand could lead to lower load factories in the short term, which further leads to lower affairs and guide the enhancement of inbound tourism competitiveness.  


· As put forward by Weiler, Moyle and McLennan (2012), recovery in corporate travel does not take place in line with the economic growth.

· It was also observed that bilateral aviation capacity caps restricting the future growth on several conventional as well as emerging markets leads to decreased competition and influencing the price sensitive leisure market.

Table 1: SWOT analysis

(Source: Dredge & Jamal, 2013) 


Research Design 

Research designed is usually defined as a general plan regarding what things are supposed to be implemented or done to complete the research. Research design is divided into three different categories such as exploratory, explanatory and descriptive. However, the proposed study will focus on the descriptive design. Firstly, the research would focus on the existing issues of tourism sector of Melbourne. Based on the identification of the issues, three different tourism sectors will be critically analyzed and three of the sectors of will be chosen for the International Arts & Culture event to create awareness among the people of Melbourne’s community. By conducting a critical investigation of the region, threats and business opportunities related to tourism will be selected.  To conduct the investigation, the data will be collected by conducting an online focus group survey.  The survey includes a set of research questions and likewise, based on the primary data, the analysis will be done comparing the data with the findings found in the literature review.

Data collection and Distribution strategy Theory 

Discussing the process of conducting online focus group

Focus group is a group discussion, which will be implemented with the participation of 7 to 12 people to gain the experience and views regarding theme or issues associated with the proposed research’s context. In the present research, to conduct online Focus group asynchronous session will be used, which will include email, mailing lists and online forums. Hence, the participants could read other’s comments as well as give their own comment themselves at any time. In this online focus group method, the participants would not represent a true cross section of group unless the group was a population of internet users intended to take part in the online research.

Advantages of his method- This method helps to minimize the cost of conducting the research, it will be done online.  The method has the potential to reach a wide geographic scope. In addition, the method also provides access to hard reach respondents such as business travelers as well as the professionals who have limited time to take part (Groves et al., 2011). The method also provides for a convenient as well as comfortable way of taking part.

Disadvantages: It is necessary to understand that data collection and through focus group as well as data analysis remains much more difficult in comparison with the interviews and questionnaire. On the other side, there is a much discussion about the privacy as well as anonymity on the internet (Gideon, 2012). Thus, in online focus group methods, the question of privacy and anonymity remains as the significant challenge.

Discussing the process of online survey

The essence of survey method is usually explained as questioning individual on a context and then describing their responses (Callegaro, Manfreda & Vehovar, 2015). The purpose of online survey method is to describe aspects or characteristics of the population. One of the largely used survey technique, an online survey technique remains as the systematic collection of data from the target audience featured by the invitation of the respondents and the completion of the questionnaire. In order to conduct the online survey, a set of questionnaires will be developed focusing on the awareness of tourism. The questions will be distributed among the respondents through email. 


Advantages of online survey

Ease of Data gathering- Through internet, a survey among more than a hundred respondents can be conducted faster through the internet. In addition, the survey questionnaire can be rapidly deployed as well as completed by the respondents.

Minimal costs: Conventional survey technique may require thousands of dollars to obtain the optimal results. On the contrary, Lord, Brevard and Budman (2011) mentioned that conducting an internet survey facilitates low-cost as well as fast data collection from the target population. The technique of email questionnaire as well as other online questionnaire proved to affordable compared to the face-to-face method.

Automation in Data Input and Handling:

With the online survey, the participants can respond the questionnaire by inputting their responses while being connected to the internet. Thereafter, the respondents are automatically stored in a survey database, which provides hassle-free dealing of data as well as smaller possibility of data errors.

Disadvantages of online survey

Inability to reach challenging population

This technique is not applicable for surveys that require respondents who do not have access to internet. Some instances might include the elderly people who live in the remote areas.

Survey Fraud: As put forward by, survey fraud might be one of the heaviest disadvantages of an online survey. In addition to this, there are some instances which show indicates that there are people, who take part in online survey for the sake of receiving the incentive and after they have completed the survey, they no longer want to contribute to the advancement of the research (Coutts & Jann, 2011). 


References and Bibliography (2017).   Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government. Retrieved 17 December 2017, from

Amelung, B., & Nicholls, S. (2014). Implications of climate change for tourism in Australia. Tourism Management, 41, 228-244.

Biggs, D. (2011). Understanding resilience in a vulnerable industry: the case of reef tourism in Australia. Ecology and Society, 16(1).

Buckley, R. (2012). Sustainable tourism: Research and reality. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(2), 528-546.

Callegaro, M., Manfreda, K. L., & Vehovar, V. (2015). Web survey methodology. Sage.

Coutts, E., & Jann, B. (2011). Sensitive questions in online surveys: Experimental results for the randomized response technique (RRT) and the unmatched count technique (UCT). Sociological Methods & Research, 40(1), 169-193.

Dredge, D., & Jamal, T. (2013). Mobilities on the Gold Coast, Australia: Implications for destination governance and sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21(4), 557-579.

Gideon, L. (2012). Handbook of survey methodology for the social sciences. New York, NY: Springer.

Groves, R. M., Fowler Jr, F. J., Couper, M. P., Lepkowski, J. M., Singer, E., & Tourangeau, R. (2011). Survey methodology(Vol. 561). John Wiley & Sons.

Horner, S., & Swarbrooke, J. (2016). Consumer behaviour in tourism. Routledge.

Jaafar, M., Abdul-Aziz, A. R., Maideen, S. A., & Mohd, S. Z. (2011). Entrepreneurship in the tourism industry: Issues in developing countries. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(4), 827-835.

Lord, S., Brevard, J., & Budman, S. (2011). Connecting to young adults: an online social network survey of beliefs and attitudes associated with prescription opioid misuse among college students. Substance use & misuse, 46(1), 66-76.

Mahadevan, R. (2014). Understanding senior self-drive tourism in Australia using a contingency behavior model. Journal of Travel Research, 53(2), 252-259.

Moutinho, L. (Ed.). (2011). Strategic management in tourism. Cabi.

Quadri-Felitti, D., & Fiore, A. M. (2012). Experience economy constructs as a framework for understanding wine tourism. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 18(1), 3-15.

Reisinger, Y. (Ed.). (2013). Transformational tourism: Tourist perspectives. CABI.

Seetaram, N. (2012). Estimating demand elasticities for Australia's international outbound tourism. Tourism Economics, 18(5), 999-1017.

Shiue, I., & Matzarakis, A. (2011). Estimation of the tourism climate in the Hunter Region, Australia, in the early twenty-first century. International journal of biometeorology, 55(4), 565-574.

Weiler, B., Moyle, B., & McLennan, C. L. (2012). Disciplines that influence tourism doctoral research: the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(3), 1425-1445.

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