Market Research, Platform for Sustainable Tourism Business
Each destination contains its own story, its own attraction, it is important that we take advantage of and catch up with the trend to create attraction for each destination.
Travel managers around the world have long sought ways to promote their products and destinations or improve their visitor experience. But to open this door of potential, they must first take the first step called market research. Exploiting tourism cannot only rely on interests or experiences, but one also needs to master knowledge, prepare a reasonable model, and understand the market as well as the customers to achieve efficiency.
Mr. Dang Manh Phuoc – Founder & CEO of Outbox Consulting – a pioneer start-up in Viet Nam providing in-depth independent research and consulting solutions on the tourism and hospitality industry, has shared his thoughts related to this issue.
Services and products in the tourism industry are intangible and flexible, and are influenced by many different factors. Therefore, the implementation of research on this industry will face certain difficulties, requiring the ability to combine background research capacity and extensive expert knowledge of tourism. However, in reality, the main barrier of effective research comes from the management’s perceptions and the underestimation of the ability to increase profits from research results. In addition, the most important work items such as “finding out tourist motivations” or “planning for the future” have hardly been applied. Investing in research will help you get an idea of the overall picture of your current industry structure, competitors, market potential, and future trends.
In addition, understanding the market and analyzing the opportunities and challenges that may be encountered will help businesses prepare contingency plans and optimize the efficiency of business investment activities. For example, in today’s ‘living with the pandemic’ state, the behavior and trends of most tourists are also altered toward health and safety concerns. Therefore, where to focus resources to recover, which stage to reduce to optimize operating costs, and determining in advance what challenges may occur will be a problem that businesses need to carefully answer based on research to avoid wrong decisions. Simultaneously conducting research can help businesses understand visitor insights such as age, gender, location, preferences, behavior, and income. Find out what your business can do to stimulate demand, and determine if the product is suitable for customers’ tastes. Are you offering products to enhance relaxation or services to save travel time? Highlight your strengths clearly on the basis of maximizing the needs of your customers’ experience so that they can easily notice.
Whether operating directly in the tourism industry or just playing an indirect role in the supply chain, businesses will benefit if they understand how they are affected when the tourism industry operates or changes. Thanks to tourism research, businesses can understand the surrounding market and identify a new customer segment; and at the same time, set out a targeted growth plan. You can conduct travel market research to pilot new products and services on a small scale before launching throughout the entire market. This will help refine details, improve service, and provide customers with a differentiated experience. For example, if your business offers local food tours, you can develop thematic tours based on the research of your target market. Find out if your customers want to go to vegan restaurants, or experience the whole cooking process as a way of cultural exploration.
Businesses can also detect special trends in each segment of tourists, such as the increase in women traveling alone in recent years, or the fact that environmental friendliness is gaining interest, from there, to prepare the right services and communicate to the right audience. Especially for smaller markets such as luxury travel, finding out what types of services high-paying travelers will be interested in, and their characteristics will help a lot in packaging the right products to avoid wasting resources spreading into inappropriate customer segments.
The COVID-19 pandemic brings many difficulties to Vietnamese tourism in general, including Da Nang City, but it is also an opportunity for the industry to have slower growth, have a stop to look back and take a clear insight into how to do tourism, tourism thinking, and especially the tourism market. We talk a lot about reducing dependence on traditional markets, but the question is, to what extent will we decrease dependency? What is the solution as well as the roadmap for this? Or if we reduce this market, which market share is appropriate? Answering those questions cannot be done in a day or two, unless we understand and fully proactively manage the market. And to ensure the market restructuring goal that the tourism industry has set, right now we need to invest properly in the research, analysis, and management of the tourism market. For markets that are not suitable to the city’s advantages, we should boldly ignore them to focus on key and potential ones. The market structure depends a lot on our understanding of customers, not only in terms of their nationality and habits but also their thinking and experience needs.
Mr. Dang Manh Phuoc – Founder & CEO, Outbox Consulting is from Da Nang and has a lot of love and enthusiasm for the Da Nang tourism industry.
Da Nang is doing a very good job of applying technology into tourism communication, which can be said to be the best in Viet Nam today. And this time is the time when we need to strongly bring into play that advantage and create a solid data foundation to identify the specific market to promote the right communication direction, on the basis of optimizing resources and costs.
Da Nang has many advantages to become the leading tourist destination in Viet Nam with the diversity of natural landscapes, unique cultural values, and friendly and hospitable people. To be able to promote the above advantages, and position more clearly the image of the city tourism brand in the eyes of tourists, it’s time for this coastal city tourism industry to boldly focus on determining core values that differentiate the locality from competing destinations, by developing more innovative experiential products on the basis of precisely meeting the specific needs of the target markets instead of traditional horizontal developments. Tourism needs to be creative to make a difference, Da Nang has always had creative ways to do it, so just being determined and on the right track will definitely make its own special thing.
Nguyen Tran (note)
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