Guidelines for preparation of Regional Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions

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1 Sustainable Transport and Tourism along the Danube Guidelines for preparation of Regional Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions WP / Action 5.3 Author Version/ Date WP / Action 5.3 Contact: Danube Competence Center Čika Ljubina 8/I, Belgrade, Serbia E: Tel: +381 (0) Fax: +381 (0)

2 Document Revision/Approval Version Date Status Date Status /03/2014 final IMPRESSUM CONTACTS Coordination: Danube Competence Center Legal representative: Boris Čamernik Address: Čika Ljubina 8/I, Belgrade, Serbia Web: Authors: Horwath HTL Beograd d.o.o. Member Crowe Horwath International Legal representative: Silvija Lovreta Address: Obilićev venac Web: More information about TRANSDANUBE and the project activities &results are available at Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 2 / 17

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction Executive Summary and Introduction Objectives of the Regional Strategy Market Analysis, Selection and Development Marketing Product Development Vision and Marketing Positioning Brand Positioning and Brand Strategy Integrated Marketing Communication Action Plan Index of Figures Project Partners Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 3 / 17

4 1. INTRODUCTION Regional Soft mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategies are key planning tool for successfully developing sustainable tourism products alongside Danube. Developing a strategic plan identifies potential problems that the organization may face, as well as communicates its vision and plans to the identified target groups. Strategic plans should not be static documents. On the contrary, they should be regularly monitored and updated. By creating a strategy and working on its day to day implementation, organizations should utilize resources more efficiently, and destinations should use available attractions in sustainable manner. We have developed Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions, and based the results of the report, we propose following structure in drafting regional strategies: a) Executive Summary b) Introduction c) Objectives of the Strategy d) Market analysis, selection and development e) Marketing product development f) Vision and marketing positioning g) Brand positioning and brand strategy h) Integrated Marketing Communications i) Action Plan In each section are provided instructions in drafting the content as an integral part of regional strategies. Instructions given ensure that the regional strategies are in line with transnational strategic document, but also with all previous work, research and reports performed so far. In that sense, we will use following documents in these guidelines for drafting regional strategies: a) Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; b) Status Quo / State Of The Art Transnational Results report c) Status Quo / State Of The Art individual regional reports; d) Soft mobility marketing strategy development questionnaire for individual regions e) Regional Action Plans for individual regions f) Sustainable Mobility Vision for the Danube Region; Common Vision Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 4 / 17

5 g) Soft Mobility Offers and Packages for individual regions h) Good Practice Collection report We strongly propose performing tourist market survey in each individual region, and encourage use of survey data in creation of regional strategies. We also strongly propose that existing national, regional and/or local tourism marketing strategies be taken into account in developing Regional Soft mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategies. In fact, these existing documents can serve as good starting point in developing sustainable tourism marketing strategies for the regions. Existing tourism marketing strategies can even be updated by integrating the concept of soft mobility in tourism, based on these Guidelines, and in that manner serve as Regional Soft mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategies, which would also be officially recognized in timely manner. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION Executive Summary is a short synopsis that provides readers with highlights of the overall sections of regional strategy. It should provide reader with main objectives of the document, main findings of market analysis, vision and branding strategy, key pillars of product development, and tools to communicate activities. Introduction helps to familiarize the reader with the overall background of the region, culture, resources, and historical context. Recommended method Recommended length Recommended format Text summary; descriptive text with illustrations. 3 pages Running text, graph that illustrates the structure of the document 3. OBJECTIVES OF THE REGIONAL STRATEGY Goal of regional strategic document needs to be in line with overall objectives of Transdanube project. One of specific objectives of Transdanube is to increase the added value from tourism for regions along the Danube River, through mobility & tourism marketing packages. Also, specific objective is to raise awareness, knowledge and promotion for sustainable mobility in the Danube region. These two goals are interconnected with other goals and activities of the project, of which each has an impact on tourism performance. Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 5 / 17

6 Same as with setting specific goals on transnational level, on regional level we need to have in mind following principles: a) Strategy has to be in line with overall Transdanube objectives and with tourism development goals in Danube region countries; b) Tourism has to be competitive; soft mobility tourism products have to be developed and managed always having modern trends and tourist needs in mind; c) Long-term sustainability is in close relation with the protection of natural resources, but also cultural and historic heritage; d) Attracting new service providers in soft mobility tourism asks for support of all levels of public authorities; e) Human resources are key factor in tourism; service quality in soft mobility tourism offer and packages has to be in line with current international standards. As overall objective of transnational strategy has been defined as: PROMOTION OF SOFT MOBILITY AS A UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION FOR SELECTED DANUBE DESTINATIONS AS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DESTINATIONS regional objectives have to be in line with this overall objective. We believe that regional strategies will also have to set a minimum set of following specific goals: a) Raising awareness of the key stakeholders regarding soft mobility measures/products b) Support in the development of marketing tools and standards for soft mobility packages c) Identify optimal communication channels for promotion of soft mobility package d) Providing framework for coordination of marketing activities between project partners However, these objectives will have different implications on activity on regional level, in comparison to transnational strategy Recommended length Recommended format Documents to consult 3 pages Running text, graphs that illustrate objectives and their interconnection Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; Regional Action Plans for individual regions Sustainable Mobility Vision for the Danube Region - Common Vision Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 6 / 17

7 4. MARKET ANALYSIS, SELECTION AND DEVELOPMENT As global tourism trends have been identified in Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions, main findings should be incorporated in regional strategies. Market analysis needs to identify and analyze following factors and influences: a) Tourism trends in the region (sources: transnational strategy (sections 5, 6); individual SoA analysis (section 1.1), individual questionnaires (section 7), tourist surveys (to be performed)); b) SWOT analysis (sources: transnational strategy - factors of influence (section 8.); individual SoA analysis (section 2); Transnational SoA results (section 3 results of regional SWOT analysis) tourist surveys (to be performed)); c) Soft Mobility offer and packages (sources: transnational strategy (section 6.1.); individual SoA analysis (section 3); regional action plan; tourist surveys (to be performed)); d) Tourist attractions (sources: transnational strategy - (section 6.2.); individual SoA analysis (section 1.1); tourist surveys (to be performed)); e) Accessibility and infrastructure (sources: individual SoA analysis (section 1.1, 1.2); tourist surveys (to be performed)); f) Tourism related facilities (sources: individual SoA analysis (section 1.1., 1.2); tourist surveys (to be performed)); g) Tourism activities and services (sources: transnational strategy (section 6.4; 6.5); individual SoA analysis (section 1.1, 3); regional action plan; tourist surveys (to be performed)); h) Target and source markets (sources: transnational strategy (section 7.); individual SoA analysis (section 1.1, 3); tourist surveys (to be performed)); i) Marketing (sources: individual SoA analysis (section 2, 3); regional action plan; tourist surveys (to be performed)). SWOT analysis presents common strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the participation regions. As the SWOT analysis has already been done for all of the regions in the SoA reports, it should be included in regional strategies. However, SWOT analysis needs to be reviewed and updated in line with transnational strategic document, and in line with current development in the region. The same case is with the soft mobility offer and packages, tourist attractions, accessibility and activities. Recommended method Recommended length Recommended format Documents to consult Data research; market surveys; SWOT pages Running text, graphs, tables Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; Regional Action Plans for individual regions; SoA analysis; Individual questionnaires; tourist surveys; Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 7 / 17

8 5. MARKETING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Having given an overview of the region, its resources, vision and branding strategy, the plan must provide an overview of the soft mobility tourism products and relevant connected services. This section should stress the most attractive and differentiating qualities about soft mobility packages, products and services. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Vision, objectives, image, positioning MOTIVATION TO TRAVEL DESTINATION RESOURCES AND ATTRACTIONS INFRASTRUCTURE, FACILITIES, SERVICES ACTIVITIES & EXPERIENCES COMMUNICATION Figure 1. Tourism product development As stated in in the Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions (Section 6), we need to define following aspects of soft mobility product: Motives to travel in specific Danube region (data sources: State of the Art analysis results, Specific region questionnaire, primary data survey to be performed); Destination resources and attractions (data sources: State of the Art analysis results, Specific region questionnaire); Infrastructure, facilities, services (data sources: State of the Art analysis results, Specific region questionnaire); Activities & Experiences (data sources: State of the Art analysis results, Specific region questionnaire, primary data survey to be performed); Communication (data sources: Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions, section 7; primary data survey to be performed); Based on the market analysis, for the defined product we should identify key target markets. Target markets need to be defined using proposed framework in section 6 of transnational strategy. Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 8 / 17

9 Product development needs to include also a narrative of the product, highlighting attractions and activities that will be the part of the product or soft mobility tourism package. Overview and proposed structure of developed tourism product is given in figure 2. PRODUCT Historical Bicycle Routes along Danube region X. Motives: Exploring, Scenery Sustainable transport tools: bus, train, bicycle. ATTRACTIONS AND RESOURCES 1. Historical museum 1 2. Historical museum 2 3. Fortress A 4. Castle XX 5.. THE MAIN FORMS THE PRODUCT 1. Individual touring Tourist using their own vehicles (mostly car, combies, motorcycles) to arrive to destination and consume offer; 2. Group touring Mostly by buses. Our region can accommodate needs of large groups of visitors, accessible to busses. Both groups come in two variations: renting bicycles at destinations, or bringing their own INFRASTRUCTRE Existing infrastructure: Main road XX; Bicycle path YY; Accommodation; Necessary infrastructure: Tourist information center; Bicycle repair station; ACTIVITIES/SERVICES 1. Regular bicycle tours 2. Mountain bicycle tours 3. Sports 4. Wellness/spa 5.. TARGET MARKETS Main market: domestic market; Primary markets: Neighboring country X, N.C Y, Germany Secondary markets: Austria, Hungary Target group: Individual tourists, groups Figure 2. Soft mobility tourism product structure - example In order to assess infrastructure at the destination, following documents should be consulted, and findings and recommendation in these documents should be used: a) Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions, as a guideline to identify all possible infrastructure and attractions/resources at the destination. Section 3.3. (Soft mobility factors analysis) should be consulted in defining necessary and existing infrastructure. Section 3.5 should be consulted in identifying attractions, and section 3.8 in drafting activities/services. Target markets should be defined having in mind main market segments defined in section 3.9. (Target and markets) Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 9 / 17

10 b) Individual soft mobility marketing strategy development questionnaires should be consulted in following sections: infrastructure questions 4, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20; attractions and resources - questions 1,2,3, 5, 6, 7; activities and services questions 16, 17, 18, 20; target markets (questions 18, 21) c) State of the Art analysis for individual regions: infrastructure section 2.1 (transportation and tourism system); section 2.2 (existing development plans); section 3 (SWOT Analysis); attractions and resources, but also activities and services: section 4 good practice. d) Soft Mobility Offers and Packages for individual regions: whole document should be analyzed in details and its findings incorporated in this section. e) Good Practice Collection report should be used as an analytical tool in developing tourism products and packages. Recommended method Recommended length Recommended format Documents to consult Data research; data analysis; synthesis; pages Running text, graphs, tables Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; Soft mobility marketing strategy development questionnaire for individual regions; SoA analysis; Soft Mobility Offers and Packages for individual regions; Good Practice Collection report 6. VISION AND MARKETING POSITIONING Vision statement describes where specific Danube region wants to be in the future. The Vision statement should communicate what we desire to achieve and create, but also to provide specific results that will come from the successful realization of the strategy as whole. Vision statement needs to be in line with overall Transdanube vision, as stated in the Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions (Section 10): Soft mobility represents a unique integrated tool for cooperation among Transdanube countries and for diversification and positioning of entire Danube region. As such, it is a generator of business development, economic growth and wellbeing of the population in the Danube region. Riches of the Danube region carefully combined and packed, with a variety of natural attractions and picturesque landscapes, various experiences in rural and urban settings, and all that soft mobility accessible, define the Danube region character: it is a gateway to the various tourist attractions of the entire area, and strong identity tool for integrated tourist valorization of the region. Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 10 / 17

11 Vision needs to incorporate all key elements, as presented in figure 3 Figure 3: Elements of the vision Vision for individual Danube region needs to be in line with: Common Sustainable Mobility Vision for the Danube Region adopted by the Project partners; Tourism Vision and Marketing Positioning as stated in Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions. Recommended method Recommended length Recommended format Documents to consult Descriptive text; synthesis; 2 pages Running text, graphs Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; Sustainable Mobility Vision for the Danube Region; Common Vision Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 11 / 17

12 7. BRAND POSITIONING AND BRAND STRATEGY To successfully introduce new tourist product on the market, we need to outline branding strategy for it. To do so, we will use a variation of modelling tool The Brand Pyramid. The model combines attributes and rational benefits in one stage as rational attributes, it includes a positioning statement within the pyramid, and it combines brand values and brand essence in one stage. Figure 4. Destination brand pyramid Source: Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding, UNWTO, In developing regional strategy, we need to define following: Rational attributes identify region s rational assets. These are region s main tourism assets; they are the reason why tourists visit the region. These should be set through already explained process of identifying attractions and resources in section 4. Emotional benefits this represents the emotional impact that experience in the destination is performing. The most successful way to identify this relationship is through qualitative tourist research. The goal of research is to analyze and identify tourist s perceptions of the destination and their motivation for travel. Some basic information on motives to travel can be found in answers to questions 18 and 21 of soft mobility marketing strategy development questionnaire. Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 12 / 17

13 Brand personality, positioning statement and brand essence can be fully drafted only once detailed market knowledge is attained. Market survey is of key importance. Brand personality of destination is established following a competitor / soft mobility packages analysis, to identify what is truly unique about the destination and tourist products it offers. A summary of the region s strongest competitive features should then comprise positioning statement. This statement serves as the fundamental guideline to all marketing activity. Based on previous, brand essence is defined as 3 to 4 core values of region and its offer. Brand essence should be reflected in all marketing communications. Brand strategy also needs to focus on following: Strengths and weakness of the region Framework for positioning Elements of differentiations Core brand values Brand promise of the region Recommended method Recommended length Recommended format Documents to consult Descriptive text; analysis; synthesis; possible outsourcing; 8-12 pages Running text, graphs Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; Soft mobility marketing strategy development questionnaire for individual regions; Sustainable Mobility Vision for the Danube Region - common vision 8. INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION Integrated Marketing Communications plan in Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; has been defined having in mind necessary activities in all regions. However, intensity of each activity in the communication process depends on two main factors: Current state of affairs in the region; Available resources (human, technical, financial ) We strongly propose that each activity defined in section 13 of transnational strategy be implemented on regional level. Action plan and budget for each activity is completely dependent on available resources in the region. Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 13 / 17

14 Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions should be consulted in details, as it provides wide array of communication tools and ideas. Regional Action Plans should be consulted, and proposed activities should be in line with those in regional action plans. Soft Mobility Offers and Packages reports should be consulted, as each specific product has its specific requirements. Good Practice Collection report can provide us with examples which proved to be good in reality. Recommended method Recommended length Recommended format Documents to consult Descriptive text; analysis; synthesis; pages Running text, graphs, illustrations Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions; Soft mobility marketing strategy development questionnaire for individual regions; Regional Action Plans for individual regions; Soft Mobility Offers and Packages for individual regions; Good Practice Collection report Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 14 / 17

15 9. ACTION PLAN Action plan for each proposed activity has to define time-plan, target group, goal it is aiming to fulfill, and relating budget. We propose following structure of action plan: Component I Activity Activity Activity Activity Component II Activity Activity Activity Component Performing the activity Continous or day-to-day performance of activity Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 15 / 17

16 10. INDEX OF FIGURES Figure 1. Tourism Product Development... 8 Figure 2. Soft Mobility Tourism Product Structure - Example... 9 Figure 3: Elements of the Vision Figure 4. Destination Brand Pyramid Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 16 / 17

17 11. PROJECT PARTNERS Furthermore, TRANSDANUBE is supported by 25 Associated Strategic Partners and Observers from the SEE programme area and beyond for further details please visit: Transnational Soft Mobility and Tourism Marketing Strategy for Transdanube Regions Page 17 / 17

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