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Marketing in travel: how to promote in the Russian market

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Countries, cities, airlines, hotels, and hospitality business owners pursue one common goal: to attract more tourists. On this count, travel marketing can be defined as the organization system for all travel industry activities on the basis of comprehensive study of the market and consumers’ real demand with a purpose to attract tourists and gain profit.

On the whole, when defining what travel marketing is, it is most often meant to be a promotion of a particular travel destination (a country, city, or region). However, experience has shown that marketing in the travel and tourism industry includes complementarity of all travel service providers and their interaction with each other. This connection is particularly seen in a long-term perspective reflecting the composite nature of travel products: economic efficiency of carriers (including airlines) depends on the load and quality of means of accommodation (hotels), while their viability in the market is determined by quality of places of interest and attendance ratio of this travel destination.

Why every tourism business needs a marketing strategy

Let us take two hotels: one is Turkey, and the other one is in Belize. Both are ashore and offer the same range of services. Can they promote themselves in the Russian market, using the same marketing strategy? No way!

It is as simple as that: Turkey has perfectly proved itself as a travel destination (for Russian tourists in 2018, Turkey is No. 1), one can easily get to almost any Turkish resort city from most Russian cities by a direct flight; thus, for an owner of a Turkish hotel, the main marketing challenge will sound like, ‘What do I do to make more Russian tourists choose only my hotel?’ In other words, in fact, he or she does not need to think of how to make Russian tourists choose Turkey as a country for leisure, unlike one in Belize.

So, your hotel is located in wonderful Belize, and you want to attract more Russian tourists. Where do you start from? From the very beginning: getting Russian tourists to know about the very travel destination, informing about the visa regime, telling how to get to Belize, and, actually, why (what places of interest can attract a Russian tourist) and only then offering services of your hotel. What is more, you need to consider that a Russian tourist will need to get a visa and to fly 10,000 km with connections in order to get to Belize. In other words, a huge lot of works will have to be done here, a vast number of resources and channels will be used, and it still may not work—as soon as the country hardens its visa policy, your marketing strategy will have to be reconsidered again.

Marketing Research Is Key to Success of Travel Business

As we told above, before you start building a marketing strategy to approach a new market, you need to study it first (moreover, this includes both the internal structure of the travel destination market and its capabilities and the target market).

So, when your purpose is to attract tourists from Russia, our study “Russian Tourism Market Report: Trends, Analysis & Statistics” will help you solve this task.

As a result of marketing research of the travel market, one can get:

  • information for making strategic decisions (for instance, is it worth entering the market?);
  • information for making tactical decisions (tourist flow planning).

7 Peculiarities of Travel Services

When creating a marketing strategy, apart from market research, one should also consider peculiarities of promoted products, which affect both timing of advertising campaigns and demand generation and the choice of promotion channels. We highlighted 7 key features of tourism products below:

  1. Preservation incapacity. Hotel rooms or passenger seats, when not in demand now, cannot be stored for sale in future. Consequently, managers need to foster efforts to generate a demand for these services in this short-term period.
  2. Intangibility of services. There are no dimensions to estimate a travel product: it is impossible to have an idea of the product before you buy and consume it. In this regard, the company’s brand in the market and prestige value of its goods (services) will be of special importance for buyers.
  3. Sensitivity to seasonal fluctuations. A travel agency’s marketing activities will be different in the high season and in the inter-season. The inter-season needs extra demand generation measures: low prices, various extra services, variability of tourism types (offer diversity).
  4. Prominent static nature, attachment to a certain place (a resort or an airport because it is impossible to move them elsewhere).
  5. Diversity in time between the fact of a travel service sale and its consumption. Purchase of travel goods (service) is carried out weeks or months before the beginning of their consumption. High importance at the stage of travel products sale is given to the degree of information credibility, as well as the product’s reliability (good price/quality ratio).
  6. Territorial separateness of a consumer and a producer in the travel market. It is important to conduct informing and advertising events at a wider (international) level.
  7. It is the buyer who overcomes the distance separating him or her from the product and the area of consumption and not the other way around.

Travel marketing is addressed not only to ‘end users’, or tourists, but also to intermediates such as travel agencies, partners, social tourism associations, travel regulation authorities. Read more about how to build a marketing strategy and use various promotion channels in our article “6 Steps to Improve Your Destination Marketing Strategy in Russia”.

If you decided to promote your travel services in the Russian market, RMAA Travel marketing agency offers a full range of services, from management of the study in the Russian travel market to preparation and implementation of the marketing strategy and analysis of the results achieved.

Travel Research

The Russian Tourism Market Report: Trends, Analysis & Statistics. How to impress Russian tourists and attract them to your country

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About the Author

Digital marketing manager, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Group Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva
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