THE COMPETITION BETWEEN TOURIST DESTINATIONS TO CAPTURE LONG-DISTANCE TOURISM

Tourism in our days represents a very significant phenomenon in the social and economic areas, capturing tourists for a destination is defined in accordance with the typology of Tourism, the attraction of contemplating a rich and illustrious past in countries that were cradles of civilizations, others for their landscapes and majestic monuments created by nature and those that have been designed, result of the product and inventiveness and creativity of the man. Tourism contributes to the circulation of wealth, especially in the receiving country, to provide this service other companies, hotels, theatres, cinemas, clubs, transport companies, medical services, shopping centers, restaurants and others are required. This fact favors the balance of payments and the national economy through the currency contribution the tourist generates for the visited country.

Photo: Jeshoots-com
Photo: Jeshoots-com

“The touristic competition is global”. So says an article of the newspaper El País of Spain which is propitious for asking us about how the touristic task is carried out in the different travel destinations of the world and what they do to capture travelers with ease. Due to this, initially, it´s worth talking about competition-competitiveness and the strategies that are carried out to fulfil said action.

The tourist destinations that generate tourist traffic in the world are those that count with a more advanced economic and social development. Though it needs to be said that all countries count with a part of its population varying in its level of development that more or less participates actively in the tourist movement. Tourism isn’t just a simple form of distraction anymore, it has become a right acquired by society for its physical, moral and intellectual development. The tourist motivated by an entire series of reasons makes a travel decision, it´s evident that all countries possess tourist attractions able to satisfy the travel motivations of the tourist to some degree, due to this the majority of them has intensified efforts with the purpose of increasing the affluence of visitors.

If we talk about Tourism competitiveness that needs to characterize any country and city for Tourism, we mainly refer to the “satisfaction” of the travel experience of the person, in as much as they have fulfilled a series of objectives that were drawn up by the various agents that intervene in this practice, based on the capacities and action plans determined by said entities. This, in terms of Tourism, is due to competitiveness being linked to the different Tourism companies and entities that do their work on a national or international level, that require carrying out a plan of Business Tourism that involves a compensation expense for the development of their activities with the purpose of recovering the money invested and with which they can sell to promote quality and good service.

Additionally, these actions denote a sustainable character in the Tourism of the place, based on the factors that intervene there. In other words, the competitiveness of a Tourist destination is determined by the capacities of management and resolution of problems which companies linked to Tourism have, through the use of the environmental media, the infrastructure, human resources, the sociocultural and economic aspects of the place, among other elements.

Photo: Ishan Seefromthesky
Photo: Ishan Seefromthesky

To have success in the market it’s necessary for a tourist destination to assure that all the attractions and experiences it offers are superior to those of other destinations. The desire of the consumer to know what a destination has to offer in terms of activities to see and do. The view of the tourist becomes more demanding on the stay, for a series of reasons from quality of the hotel network, business organization, the infrastructure of access, public security or the quality of the workforce, this explains the growing interest of countries in increasing their competitiveness in the attraction of tourists, with the purpose of intensifying their efforts in the increase and affluence.

When we talk about tourist strategies, we also refer to taking corporative decisions that bring a character of competition between tourist destinations. These destinations refer to the modes in which the relations tourist-tourism are carried out in the destinations and how the strategies and action plans that denote certain competitive advantages over other cities or issuing and receiving destinations are given.

Among the outline of strategic plans can be mentioned: the promotion of emerging destinations such as new settings that promote distinct types of tourism according to the needs of the traveler. This gives a novel character to the tourist, as they would aspire to find things different from their travels, such as more contact to activities of Adventure Tourism or more connection to the visited community through Cultural Tourism, among others.

This type of planning at the same time goes hand in hand with the strategies of marketing, in social networks, online or in mass communication media, which are in charge of sponsoring and promoting tourism in its commercial and advertising aspects. Marketing has become a vital element within the set of operations and strategies that all those interested in the development of the tourist to promote and commercialize their offer need to carry out. The competition between destinations that fight to occupy a position of choice over others of similar characteristics, gaining advantages over others.

The use of marketing as an action tool destined for increasing the development of Tourism and promotion. Marketing means any action initiated in companies directed to influencing the markets in a favorable way for them. Its study is to determine all the variables that directly or indirectly influence the market, which are: product, price, distribution and point of sale, advertising and public relations, meeting two conditions: the satisfaction of the consumers and that a profitability for the company is obtained. These selective market actions are known as segmentation, which consist in dividing heterogeneous groups into homogeneous groups, assessing the geographic place, age, income, education, lifestyle and personality, capturing long-distance tourists. Use of trending topics, hashtags, audiovisual material, music, experiences of local people, among others, serve to capture the attention of a diverse public, especially young audiences, which have shown to be the largest consumers of Tourism on a global scale, with the goal of generating more competition between tourist destinations.

Photo: Simon Launay
Photo: Simon Launay

An example of this form of competitiveness is an experience carried out in Panama in 2017 through tourist competitions in video editing, according to what TVN news describes. Through the motto “Panama for explorers, not for tourists” it promotes a challenge of resignification of the tourist activity of this country through promotion, in countries such as Canada, China, Spain or the USA, of the different activities done in Panama, whether it’s experiences of adventure, ecological Tourism, beach, culture, mountaineering, history, etc.

In the same way alliances between countries such as that of Colombia-China (Newspaper El Tiempo, 2015), function as alternative strategies to improve the competitiveness of a tourist destination. This new form of reorientation of tourist activity can reach a large radius, since it is sought that countries away from the travel destination have access to that culture and can be motivated to reach and know that community that wants to make itself known.

The new tourists come in search of new adventures, visions and experiences in urban destinations, a group of consumers of high purchase power, young people whose economic level allows them to make this travel joining in this category, they are international tourists, long-distance travelers, mainly Asian, Chinese, Japanese and from India, whose expectation is to repeat and recommend the destination, travelling various times a year, valuing all promotion channels from the general characteristics of the destination, its natural attractions, cultural customs, accommodation, gastronomy, means of transport and other complementary activities. The competiveness gives the bases for making Tourism an activity of quality that is sustainable in time.

Author: member of World Shopping Tourism Network