Traditionally marketing is considered as a profit oriented relationship between buyer and seller that is based on business transactionsbetween the two parties. However marketing has transformed into non profit with purpose of creating awareness that is beneficial for both the parities and environment (Dief, 2010). Marketing can contribute immensely to the sustainabledevelopment of tourism sector that only can provide economic development but also protect the environment for the country. The present paper will analyse role of marketing in promoting sustainable tourism and its contribution in the development of the industry.
Sustainabilitycan be defined as meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the future generation’s ability to meet the needs. It can be considered as an opportunity that can be used to invent, create or innovate new products or services by using limited resources. (Eagle, 2016)Sustainability tourism is a unique approach to tourism that includes planning, development and operation that will reduce the negative impact of tourism on environment and increase positive elements that can lead to long term sustainabilityof the industry by progress of environmental, social, cultural and economic concerns. The three core elements of sustainable tourism are optimum utilisation of environmental resources that can help conserve natural heritage and ecological process of the region (Hall, 2010). Respecting social diversity and culture of the regional communities and ensure long term economic progress and operations that will benefit all the stakeholders of the region that canalleviatepoverty in the region. Sustainable tourism can be achieved by maintaining high level of consumersatisfaction through meaningful memories andsustainable practices.
Marketing is usually associated with the competitivebusiness strategy and profit oriented that promote customer choice and benefits for the companies. However marketing sustainability can be contrary traditional marketing theories (Liburd, 2013). Marketing promoting sustainable development is understanding the behave of theconsumer and applying marketing functions to considering all the stakeholders in the decision making process and ensuring the future needs are met. As per Morrison (2013)marketing in sustainable tourism is to understand the needs of the consumers and promote sustainable offerings of tourism and also ensure that tourism operate in an ethical way concerning about the stakeholders of the industry.
Sustainability marketing comprise of three dimensions that can be used to achieve societal change are namely product related, consumer related and system related.
Product related – it is the process of creating value to the customers by providing environment friendly products to the customers that canenhanceenvironment and also contribute to the well being of the stakeholders related. For example green hotels and developing local community products that are environment friendly (Mitchell, 2013).
Consumer related – is the process of changing the behaviour and attitude of the consumers, suppliers and other stakeholders related to the tourist’s destination. For example,maintaining the code of conduct issued by the government.
System related–it is related to the society, environmentand the utilisation of the resources. It can be promoted through macro marketing can create wariness about the environment to the consumers and connect society, economy and also mutual benefits for each other.
Overall sustainable marketing for tourism sector can be possible by considering the three dimensions that can add value to the consumers, create awareness and proper utilisation of resources.
As part of thesustainable tourism, ecotourism has gained prominence with all the activities are elated to the ecology such as ecotour, ecotravel and ecocruises that are promoted extensively through marketing. However many critics indicated that the interest of long term sustainability of the destination is relatively low in the tourism organisations, and the intermediaries (Angelevska-Najdeska, 2012). The marketing decisions of tour operators who strongly impact the promotional materials of the destination that might not be in favour of the sustainabledevelopment of the tourist’s destination. Apart from that the many governments also do not have a stance on the environmental impacts of tourism that promotesustainable tourism such as lack of proper regulations and policies to gulden the marketers to promote sustained tourism.
The present paper has analysed role of marketing in the sustainable tourism and its contribution to the environment protection. various factors were discussed along with the marketing mix of sustainable tourism with 4Ps and it has been revealed that by inculcating sustainable practices in the marketing strategies, marketers can promote sustainable tourism and also create awareness among the consumers about the sustainable practices. Finally recommendations were made to further effectively implement promotional practices for the long term sustainability of tourism industry.
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