This report will analyze the scope, prospects and challenges of Venice as a tourist destination in the 21st century and beyond. Venice, a city in Italy has been chosen for this report mainly because of its great historic and cultural importance in the eyes of tourists due to its symbolic museums, churches, architecture, recreational spots, scenic beauty, historic buildings, canals, bridges, etc. Moreover, this city has also been chosen for this report due to availability of various research journals and reports on Venice. The tourism mix of the city will give an insight into the seven P’s that dominate the tourism industry such as the people, physical evidence, process, product, placement, promotion and price. Moreover, this report will also give an analysis of the current competitive market trends of Venice along with the competitive advertising campaign of the city (Van der Borg, 2013). In short, this report will examine the various marketing and advertising dimensions which are negatively and positively affecting the tourism market of Venice. After a careful analysis of the tourism mix, the current market trends, the destination life cycle and the challenges of Venice, it has been recommended that Venice, a tourist destination should further emphasize on advertisement and marketing to enhance its popularity in the global tourism industry.
The discussion part will discuss the tourism mix of Venice along with the current market trends and level of competitiveness. The tourism prospects of Venice carry considerable value for the economic prosperity of Italy as a whole; therefore, the Italian government should play an active role in developing an effective tourism mix. Moreover, in this part, the current market trends of Venice will also be discussed in detail in order to evaluate the competitive strength of the tourism industry.
Tourism Mix of Venice
The tourism mix of Venice will focus on seven P’s, namely, product, price, placement, promotion, people, physical evidence and process. The marketing of the tourist’s spots in Venice along with placement, price and promotion carries significant importance for making the overall tourism mix successful. To achieve sustainability in the tourism mix it is important to create more awareness among the locals as well as tourists so that the precious and ancient heritage of Venice can be protected in the long run. The local population in Venice is not so cooperative of the tourism which has become a hindrance in creating positive image in the global tourism industry. The recent protests by the local inhabitants show that the locals are not happy with the increasing tourism which reducing the historic importance for the local residents (Zhe & Wang, 2012).
The element of physical evidence deals with the aspect of physical degradation and environmental protection issues faced by Venice which need to be tackled effectively through marketing efforts. The increasing tourism has not been managed properly to preserve the physical attributes of the historical sites. Environmental population is deteriorating the scenic beauty of the destination in the recent years. One of the major issues is heritage conservation and preservation in Venice. It is important to understand the significance of heritage and culture which needs to be protected. Currently, the management of the heritage sites and places require serious attention which is being eroded gradually (Van der Borg, 2013).
In the placement and promotion aspect, Venice needs to develop its unique tourism slogan with the help of which, it will be able to further enhance its tourism ventures and profits. Placement of the city’s popular tourist spots in magazines, websites and other sources will also play an effective role in enhancing the overall tourism mix of the city. Moreover, the element of people and process also need to be integrated in order to ensure successful tourism prospects. People are the tourists or the local residents which play an active role in enhancing the growth of the tourism destination; therefore, people need to integrate with the overall tourism process in order to achieve favourable prospects (Massiani & Santoro, 2012).
Current market trends of Venice
It has been analyzed and evaluated that in recent years, the tourism market trends of Venice have taken upward swing due to its various palaces, bridges, canals, churches, and historic buildings. The city’s St. Mark’s Square, Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Campanile Rialto Bridge, Santa Maria della Salute, Doge’s Palace, Gondola, Ca’d’Oro, Zattere, Arsenale, San Zaccaria, Scuola Grande di San Marco, Lido, Vaporetto, Teatro La Fenice, Museo Storico Navale, Madonna dell'Orto, etc are some of the popular tourist spots that attract approximately 22 million tourists per year. It is important to note that the local population of Venice roughly lies between 60,000 to 70,000 and with such a small population, the rate of 22 million tourists is quite remarkable. Venice is a small city with a small population which tends to lead the tourism market with the help of its effective advertising campaign and symbolic and historic destinations (Massiani & Santoro, 2012).
Competitiveness and Advertising Campaign
The competitiveness of Venice can only be increased through understanding the importance of its effective advertising campaign. It requires targeting tourists around the world by using print media, electronic media and social media. In today’s Digital Age, the tourism destinations can be promoted using the online medium of communication. The use of social media platforms can be used to enhance the awareness and knowledge to influence the tourists to visiting Venice (Moretti, 2012). The advertising campaign of Venice makes significant efforts by carrying out effective market segmentation and market penetration strategies. With the help of its advertising campaign, Venice has managed to acquire 5th ranking as the most popular destination in the world. It is important to understand the the current advertising campaign of Venice has been highly successful in attracting upto 22 million tourists per year.
This would help in creating more attention and attract more tourists who have higher worth of its ancient culture and heritage. In order to avoid decline in its tourism ventures, the government of Italy needs to make continuous efforts in the field of marketing and management efforts in the long run (Moretti, 2012).
Current Marketing and Management Efforts
Tourist destination plays a significant role in the economic prosperity of the country. Venice has focused on enhancing the tourism activities through its effective marketing and advertising efforts. The analysis of the strengths and weaknesses and opportunities and threats has helped in developing a more attractive and effective advertisement plan. The tourism industry in Venice faces economic, political, socio-cultural and technological issues which need to be managed effectively. For the analysis of tourism industry, marketing and tourism managers conduct PEST analysis which helps in assessing the key challenges and issues.
The current marketing and advertisement strategy of Venice is based on providing affordable hospitality and destination development services to the tourists which will uplift the overall travel experience of the tourists. The market segmentation and market penetration strategy has been used to attract larger number of tourists into the destination place. It is worthy to note that various tourism industry experts have pointed out that effective advertising has played a major role in increasing the visitors to Venice to 22 million per year.
However, in the recent years, the government has played a significant role in encouraging tourism related activities and destinations through successful advertising campaigns. As a result of successful advertising, Venice has started generating huge amounts of profits from its tourism sector.
Critical Issues and Challenges
It is important understand that current challenges faced by Venice are due to the increasing economic problems. The increasing prices of fuel and raw materials have increased the airlines fares as well as hospitality service rates which has declined the number of tourists visiting the destination. The hospitality industry where hotels and restaurants are facing challenges in maintaining cost effectiveness to attract tourists. The culinary tourism sector is facing challenge as well due to the increasing prices on the global level. Moreover, there is unemployment and low purchasing power affecting the growth of local businesses in the tourism industry of Venice (Kostylo, 2012).
One the other hand, the socio-cultural factors have a positive impact on the sustainability of the tourism in Venice, especially Venice. The destination place attracts tourists from around the world due to its unique infrastructure, beautiful sights, rich culture and history. The only barrier is the language which is being managed through tourist’s guides and encouraging English. Lastly, the technological factors also pose challenges for the destination. The emerging technological advancements are still not being used in the hospitality industry of Venice. The hotel services are unable to provide innovative services to the tourists. The adoption of E-commerce is still not taking place to achieve more efficiency and innovation excellence (Morrison, 2013).
Furthermore, the floods are also one of the major challenges faced by Venice which need to be managed to avoid further destruction of historic buildings and art galleries. This is a serious threat which needs to be managed in order to protect the beauty and charm of Venice. The influx of tourists has led towards over crowdedness affecting the prices of hotels. The hospitality industry is unable to provide quality services to the tourists. There are less measures being taken to create awareness regarding the safety, protection and conservation of the historic places and buildings (Morrison, 2013).
Destination life-cycle is a term which was coined by Butler (1980) in his research in which he explained that a tourism destination starts to gain popularity from the stage of exploration, in which tourists start exploring the destination for the first time. With successful exploration comes the next stage of the tourism lifecycle which is called involvement. In this stage, the tourists get engaged or involved in the destination as they start to enjoy the various symbolic sites or tourist spots (Kozak & Martin, 2012).Then, the third stage of the cycle emerges which is called development. In this stage, the tourist destination starts to develop itself rapidly through better infrastructure developments, better marketing and tourism mix initiatives. Once the destination has been successfully developed and it starts to attract a generous number of tourists per year, the life cycle starts to take a downward swing from the consolidation stage. With consolidation, the stage of stagnation immediately follows suit and the leads to five branches, namely, rejuvenation, reduced growth, stabilization and decline and immediate decline (Kozak & Martin, 2012).
Destination Life Cycle of Venice
It has been evaluated that currently Venice has reached the consolidation stage in its tourism lifecycle and the government of Italy needs to take progressive measures to stop it from entering the stagnation stage in the near future. Various tourism industry experts point out that it is the responsibility of the government of Venice to play an active role in preventing their tourist destinations from reaching the stagnation stage. They argue that a tourist destination can be brought back to the development stage from the consolidation stage. In doing so, the destination would not reach the stagnation stage which eventually leads to decline. Other experts point out that the tourist destination can be saved even if it reaches the stagnation stage through rejuvenation (Kozak & Martin, 2012).
In the end, from the above discussion it can be concluded that by carrying out effective research based on the current market trends, competitiveness and challenges, it has been understood thatVenice can greatly increase the inflow of foreign tourists through successful marketing and advertising campaigns. It is true that the significance of Venice has degraded in the recent years where it is turning more like a museum rather than a cultural spot (Zhe & Wang, 2012).
The appreciation for the historic culture, buildings, art and history is not taking place. The government and the stakeholders in Venice need to develop a more comprehensive tourism mix strategy to enhance the value of its ancient culture. The knowledge sharing and knowledge management needs to be added in the tourists planning and management so that tourists are informed regarding its value and significance in the modern times. Moreover, the government of Italy needs to evaluate the current market trends with the help of research in order to make better forecasts and plans for the tourists of the future. Lastly, while making the marketing and advertisement plans of Venice, the importance of the destination life cycle should also be taken into account in order to prevent the famous tourist destination of Venice from disappearing into the shambles of stagnation or decline.
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