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You are required to complete the task in the form of a report and include a bibliography/reference list containing a variety of different sources that you have researched independently.As a marketing consultant for Audley Travel, a UK travel company, you have been asked to complete a marketing audit to analyse both internal and external factors that are impacting on the organisations growth.


You have been given a particular remit to consider the emerging motivations of tourists seeking holidays to include ‘dark tourism’ for future development and growth. Based on your analysis of the dark tourism, assess the options available to Audley Travel to allow it to maintain its competitive position. Recommend with justification,one option you feel Audley Travel could adopt.

An overview of dark Tourism and the motivating factors of its emergence in the industry A situation analysis including SWOT analysis with a particular focus on growth through dark tourism. Micro/macro environmental analysis, market and competitor analysis could all be undertaken.Summary of the organisations current marketing practice, which should continue to include evaluation of one potential, specific geographical market/opportunity for dark tourism with justification for future development and growth.


Justification should include supporting rationale for market selection, market entry and barriers to entry if applicable
Identification of segmentation, key target audiences and brand positioning Recommended a promotional strategy with supporting marketing mix outlined for the proposed market, ensuring its relevance to the target audience.Identify at least one significant issue which will affect the overall strategy.

Overview and motivational emergence of Dark tourism

Audley Travel Company is a tourism company that offers variety of tourism services i.e. signature holiday, heritage tourism, honeymoon tourism, historic tourism, dark tourism and many more. The report argues on promoting of dark tourism in order to ensure growth. Report quotes the overview of dark tourism and highlights motivating factor to adopt the newly developing sector. Before selecting and inaugurating dark tourism specific research is to be made and for that purpose situational analysis is considered along with micro & macro analysis. For enhancing the market span geographical area related to dark tourism is considered and market selection is made.

Market entry by the way of strategic alliances is initiated studying certain barrier as well. Afterwards segmentation, targeting and positioning is undertaken so as to grow and start up with the new stream and attracting tourists towards it by inculcating marketing mix and promotional activity.

  The crux of the report states that every business should opt for certain risk and innovative measures in order to expand the business beyond domestic boundaries and for that purpose appropriate research upon minute aspect from selection till implementation and positioning should be considered to attain the desired heights.

Overview and motivational emergence of Dark tourism

Now a day’s people are becoming adventurous and want to explore the places having some dark history behind them. These places could be related to old time historic wars or holding certain horror theses beneath them. Not only daredevils but invaders also get attracted towards these places to invent the story or find out the clues, signs, symbol, and relevance regarding those old places (Yuill, 2003).

Earlier the things which were declared haunted, on later stage it was discovered that there were some scientific reasons hidden in the stories and due to lack of knowledge those places were superstitiously considered as haunted. People are curious to know the facts and collect the findings related to those places and aware tourist by the way of writing books, publishing in renowned newspapers and magazines or updating up the blog (Moorcroft, 2013). This is not only connected with the tourism, fun and daring part but also proves to be the good opportunity to select this field as a career either by the way of business or supporting freelancing by posting it and attracting people to visit such places. These places are no more a history as commercialisation gets attached to it as well (Deutsch, 2014).

Motivational factors attached with dark tourism

Some of the places that fall under the category of dark tourism are: Auschwitz- Birkenau which is a museum developed in 1947 which was earlier a German Nazi camp where around 1.1 million people were assassinated brutally (Auschwitz, 2017). Another historic place which is highly visited and suggested one is Anne Frank’s house. The girl whose diary was found which elucidated all the atrocities performed by Nazi’s on Jews. Other similar natured places either famous for wars or declared haunted are counted under Dark tourism which is widely known as Thana tourism and Black spot as well (Stone, 2005).

Motivational factors attached with dark tourism

There are various methods to motivate people to attract for tourism. Some people have clear thoughts regarding visiting a place while others do not have any idea regarding which place and why to visit. Since dark tourism is emerging field it attracts people to know about the history and facts in reference to it (Hartmann, 2012). There are certain boosting factors regarding dark tourism:

  • Making an attempt to create enthusiasm and adventure within people by making them visit to the spiritual places consisting of graveyards and cemeteries.
  • The people who like to take risk and create their own story gets encouraged to choose dark tourism and share the experience of daring.
  • To gain knowledge and measure the percentage of truth that is actually attached with the place of wars where actual death, atrocities and assassination takes place.
  • When some religious cause gets attached with dark tourism inner motivation of people rises up. Example: Karbala situated in Iraq where war for saving Islam took place and 72 members of Prophet’s family got assassinated on 10thMuharram 61( 10th October 680 AD). It is a dark place where atrocities and deaths took place but it consists of religious background (Al-monitor, 2016).

Situational analysis

Micro environment analysis

Micro analysis is considered as internal environment which is affected by the internal forces affecting the business. These factors are the consumers, suppliers, competitors and intermediate that influences the working of organisation to the extent (Richards, 2017). The tool to measure micro environmental analysis is SWOT Analysis of the organisation. As quoted here analysis on new field of dark tourism is concentrated. Though dark tourism is prevailing from so long yet for today when it gained recognition it is considered to be growing field in tourism sector:

Strength: It involves all the positive aspects that a business covers to achieve heights. On concerning dark tourism, the strength that it possesses is people today are bold enough to try out something unique and trendy. Dark tourism is something that attracts tourists from the story base and history it contains that assists in knowing the correct fact related to that particular place. It not only attracts consumers but also broadens up the scope of writers and publisher, those who grab consumer’s attention through their writing and sharing up the experience.

 Weakness: Since dark tourism is new in tourism field and falls under the category of developing sector. The drawback of this innovative field is that awareness among people is not there.  If people are informed about it than sufficient information is lacking which results in incomplete development of knowledge. Also it is not meant for weak hearted people who cannot afford to take risk over visiting such places.

PEST Analysis of tourism industry

Opportunity: Steps taken to overcome the weakness of dark tourism is the way to create opportunity. Knowledge regarding dark tourism is supplied to public and better research to be undertaken in order to know the specific meaning and finding out such places around the globe to aware people and develop a curiosity among them to visit such places.

Threats: All those factors that could prove to be a ruining attribute for business falls under threats. In context of dark tourism other branches of similar nature results in threats and competition. Another problem that arises is recession all over world which curbs the scope of dark tourism (Clark, 2017).

PEST Analysis of tourism industry

To understand the tourism industry prevailing in UK macro analysis is studied by the way of PEST Analysis:

Political: Political factors cover all those aspects related to governmental issues. All the policies build up by government be it legal, tariffs, goods and services, infrastructure or education and multiple attributes (Goryakin, Lobstein, James et.al. 2015). As far as tourism is concern political measures need to be kept in mind. Another political factor that affects tourism in UK is terrorism. UK has conglomerated with EU and supports USA in terrorism acts.

Economical: It involves the spending power of people on tourism. As UK is developed country thus economy and financial affairs are strong and growing. UK faced tough times in the second quarter of 2008 due to inflation; tourism faced a downfall and rate reduced by 5% as per Euro monitor international figure (Bush, 2016).

Social: Every country persist different cultural and social norms which should be studied by the tourist in order to avoid any discrepancies occurring on the basis of socio-cultural factor. It also comprises of living standard of people over there depending upon the population and growth of the nation. Safety measures could also be inculcated while considering social aspect in context of dark tourism.

Technological: In today’s world where people are technology driven it is must to adopt new technology. Concentrating over tourism industry, technology is counted as the prime attribute as technologically growing country always drive tourists attention. Grooming technology helps in building up the relations with consumers. With the appropriate assistance of technology tourists can compare best travel agencies, hotels, places to visit, online booking, cancellation criteria, 24x7 hotline services and many more.

Audley tourism marketing practice

Audley is UK based Tourism Company that provide excellent package to their customers so that the trip become memorable. The company believes in delivering quality rather than just claiming to provide so. They create package by analysing the lifestyle and demand of customer. They understand taste and respect the budget of the customers.  Company mainly focuses on consumer satisfaction and providing supreme quality to consumer, it creates remembrance so that they visit again and refer to even more people performing positive word of mouth publicity. The company allot expert guide to the traveller group. These experts have entire knowledge related to the place as individual had actually lived there and gained experience as to how the living is carried on.

Audley tourism marketing practice

For promoting dark tourism specific geographical area should be focussed. These areas play a vital role if the landmark is not authentic than people won’t believe in the reality that pertains. The geographical area that should be considered while promoting dark tourism are: Cambodia, Turkey, Czech, Belgium, USA, West Indies, Malta and Germany. Another measure that should be focussed is to undertake appropriate research and figure out the exact situation and stories that are hidden behind the dark places. On inculcating studies all those places need to be listed from torture museum to places of national disaster. Places of battles, wars, heritage, memorials and criminal landscape are also researched on. Another factor that highly affects dark tourism is cultural tourism and the facts related to religion (Audley, 2017).

Market selection and market entry

For selecting the appropriate market in order to make entry certain attributes need to be kept in mind. Identification of business area should be made and thereafter adequate research is to be undertaken. While conducting research both primary and secondary techniques will be opted. After making studies and collecting appropriate data alternatives for making selection are made i.e. finding out various routes to achieve target. On discussing alternative the one best option that suits the most gets selected and evaluation of it is made. On undertaking evaluation final implementation takes place and results are awaited for that sake continuous follow up is made (How to import export, 2017). Certain points for making selection should be inculcated:

Market selection

  • Initially the features of product and service are analysed. In particular case of Audley Travel Company where dark tourism is paid emphasis features of black spot should be realised and measures are to be taken accordingly.
  • Afterwards the customer coverage should be focussed and capacity to pay for the customer as per market condition is evaluated and innovative step to be taken based on above study.
  • The customer’s background and purchasing power could also be measured by paying attention on the lifestyle of tourists. From understanding lifestyle loyalty can also be estimated which acts as asset for every business.
  • Competitors are the crucial part of every business though it may be a developed or developing company. Strategies of competitors are to be examined and according to the external environment investigation should be inculcated to figure out and implement certain unique prospects making the business appeal its distinction as compared to others and attracting tourists.
  • Based on the above studies and measures the best market should be target and segmentation to be made by focussing on the niche market and brand position to be created in mind of consumers.

Market entry

There are distinct methods of making entry in the market but every business consists of different nature, diverging products and services. According to their business suitable market entry is to be selected.  For instance: In hospitality industry franchising and licensing mode could be selected. Types of market entry are:

  • Strategic alliances: In strategic alliance there are two independent partners that come together for the cause of running a business for long period of time. They believe in working together rather than competing with each other beyond the territories. They are organised horizontally and increases the bond by sharing technical knowledge, allocation of resources and building up the plans and policies. This mode is mostly used in Airlines industry (Study, 2017).
  • Joint venture: It is the conglomeration of two companies to fulfil certain specific goal. Both the companies assist by exchanging each other’s resources to fulfil individual goal. This may be termed as modern time’s barter system (Inc. 2017).
  • Greenfield investment: In such market entry mode the business makes investment at foreign land and establish the plant, its infrastructure, sales capability and manufacturing is conducted in the guest country. Ruling and management is of host country where employees from host as well as foreign country are hired. The tycoon can grow up subsidiaries at offshores (Say lord, n.d.).
  • Merger and acquisition: In merger two companies collaborate with each other along with their free consent and mutual understanding to create another third company in order to grow and sustain a position in the market area (Edu pristine, 2017). Acquisition stands approximately similar as that of merger but the difference is one company acquire other forcefully or by coercion to develop the era of business and adopt the staff of entire big organisation. In acquisition rules are imposed on the acquired company which is after an extent becomes a cause of dissatisfaction among employees (Creatovate, 2014).

On studying about the market selection and distinct entry mode the best method and mode are selected for expanding tourism business. For initiating dark tourism strategic alliance can be opted as there are two independent people of distinct countries shaking hands who are willing to work together instead of working against and planning against each other playing the role of rivals. This not only emerges as a new stream of business and helps in organisational expansion but also helps in strengthening the bond between two countries so that many more business could flourish. Along with improvising relations it assists in gaining knowledge of two countries, its culture, traditions, political acts, legal norms and speciality of the place simultaneously. It also motivates supremacy in the field of tourism where awareness and schooling of maximum countries are required.

Since positive and negative go hand in hand there are certain entry barriers as well. These barriers could arise due to political issues among the connecting countries; laws of the either country do not allow certain rules and regulations. One of the major issue that curbs the expansion is terrorism and economy. Terrorism between the countries create a terrific situation which develops a negative image among the tourists, intermediate brokers and natives. Recession is the situation where prices rise crossing the limits and the entire connected stream have to pay for it which at the end affect the pocket of tourists that may not suit their capacity to pay thereby resulting in deployment of the dark tourism industry.

STP in marketing of dark tourism

Tourism is an evergreen and ever growing sector which assists in earning lots of foreign exchange. Many small countries get to earn from tourism industry only and progress on the path of development. To promote various kind of tourism appropriate marketing is required and for that purpose market need to be segmented and then target the particular section from whom growth can be gained and at last positioning of the sector  to be done ( Hanlol, 2017).

 Segmentation: Segmentation is targeting of the particular area from where profit could be collected and those who are ready to pay for the required quality services like that of Audley Travel Company. Segmentation can be made on the basis of developed, developing and under developed countries so as to provide service accordingly. The income level of tourists to be measured and concerning dark tourism risk factor of each person should also be considered (Sakkthivel, 2004).

Targeting: Analyse the interest of segment market customers and select location accordingly, study about the culture and know-how of the places and convey to the customers. Afterwards different groups and strength are to be developed and concentration should be paid on the unique places or countries enjoying the USP. On selecting a target market it becomes easy for the manager to make out things for the particular set of customers and achieve the goal by acquiring satisfaction.

Positioning: Brand positioning is something created by the customers. It is the image that gets flashed in the mind of tourist on hearing about Audley Travel Company specifically dark tourism. As dark tourism struck the mind of tourist the scenario of death, assassination, atrocities, battles and massacre enters the mind. For creating better brand positioning sufficient knowledge regarding dark tourism is rendered to tourists and most importantly consumer satisfaction need to be achieved (Rouse, 2017).

Marketing mix 

In order to achieve heights in tourism sector various options need to enforced and constant innovation is demand for consumers which need to be attained. For gaining popularity and maximising profit so as to flourish promotional activities are to be taken under consideration (Economic times, 2017). It could be analysed by the way of using marketing mix:

Product: It involves all those services as well which are rendered to consumers. Considering tourism the product it quotes is services, refreshment, knowledge, risk, adventure, fun and happening times which results in building relationship with the customers.

 Price: Price involves the budget of tourists including hotel booking, travel, safety and many more. Capacities of the tourist to pay and pocket friendly packages for customers are argued as pricing strategy under marketing mix.

Place: In context of tourism places varies, it starts from the office of travel agent and end up on the arrival of tourists. It covers variety of places where different cultures are got to seen, distinct food items are tasted, traditions and laws of particular place are learned. All those places which were promised by travel agent are considered under the place head of marketing mix (Morello, 2017).

 Promotion: Promotion involves all those advertising activities which grab customer’s attention towards the travelling company. The attributes to be adopted by the company are: online ads, schemes for honeymoon couples, discount provided on particular strength of friends group, heights of adventures and many more. Publicity by the way of celebrities can also be adopted to attract customers.

To reach the set target and develop a brand image in customers mind Audley Travel Company should adopt certain new strategies. Innovation could be created by the way of announcing schemes for dark tourism for all the young teenagers and adult who love to take risk and face adventurous situations. Dark tourism is for the people who are interested in knowing history, who tend to invade and invent new concept, it is meant for those who believe in mysteries and want to crack the reason behind. Such segments of tourists are to be targeted and appropriate trip with expert schooling are provided to gain customer satisfaction thereby developing brand positioning (Purely branded, 2017).

Conclusion

From entire report it can be cultivated that dark tourism is an emerging tourism option which tempt the young generation. The report argues about the overview of dark tourism and motivating factors are taken under consideration to adopt the new strategy of business. Afterwards situational analysis and internal external environment is researched upon with the help of SWOT and PEST analysis. Summary of such practices in an organisation is made and geographical area is chosen thereafter market selection and entry modes are discussed. The segmentation, targeting and positioning of the selected market is made and at last best market option is suggested to Audley after evaluating marketing mix in order to ensure growth of the company and achieve satisfaction of consumers.

References

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Audley travels. (2017). Travelling the Audley way. Viewed on 28th July 2017. <https://www.audleytravel.com/about-us>.

Auschwitz. (2017). Basic information. Viewed on 6th July 2017. <https://auschwitz.org/en/visiting/basic-information/>.

Bush. T. (2016). An example PEST analysis of the UK. Viewed on 28th July 2017. <https://pestleanalysis.com/pest-analysis-of-the-uk/>.

Clark. W. (2017). SWOT Analysis of tourism. Viewed on 28th July 2017. <https://www.ehow.co.uk/facts_6813984_swot-analysis-tourism.html>.

Creatovate, 2014, How to enter new markets…investments modes of entry. Viewed on 28th July 2017. <https://creatovate.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/how-to-enter-new-marketsinvestment-modes-of-entry/>.

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Economic times. (2017). Definition of ‘marketing mix’. Viewed on 29th July 2017. <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/marketing-mix>.

Edu pristine. (2017). Mergers and acquisitions. Viewed on 29th July 2017. <https://www.edupristine.com/blog/mergers-acquisitions>.

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Hanlol. A. (2017). The segmentation, targeting and positioning model. Viewed on 29th July 2017. <https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/customer-segmentation-targeting/segmentation-targeting-and-positioning/>.

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Richards. L. (2017). Macro and micro planning and strategies. Viewed on 27th July 2017. <https://smallbusiness.chron.com/macro-micro-marketing-planning-strategies-3239.html>.

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Yuill. S. M. (2003). Dark tourism: understanding visitor’s motivation at sites of death and disasters. Viewed on 26th July 2017. <https://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/bitstream/handle/1969.1/89/etd-tamu-2003C-RPTS-Yuill-1.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y>.

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