Tourism businesses rely heavily on marketing, a concept that many first-time entrepreneurs misunderstand.
Most people think of marketing as advertising and brochures, but it is much more than that. Marketing is a range of activities designed to identify your business and to attract customers.
Don't be fooled into believing that marketing is ever a once-off activity aimed at solving a problem. It must continue as long as the business operates and should become part of your day-to-day activity.
Marketing must create something that customers want. The product must be convenient and attractive to the customer, and the price must be reasonable and tempting.
Marketing material should describe the services you offer and include a slogan customers identify with your business.
Your marketing must reach the correct audience, or you will be wasting your money, so first do proper research.
Pay most attention to the product, since it is what customers will be paying you for. Your product might be a hotel, a guesthouse, a restaurant, or a caravan park, but whatever it is, you must show prospective customers how it will benefit them.
Customers will then look at the price. But prices in this competitive business must be in line with what competitors charge for the same product or service.
Location is one of the most important criteria affecting the success of a business in tourism.
Your business should not be too far from facilities that people need and should be close to tourist attractions.
Once you are sure that the product, the price and the location are satisfactory, you must let prospective customers know what you have.
You will also have to change your marketing regularly, lest customers begin to think you have nothing new to offer them.
l Information for this article came from www.capegateway.gov.za andwww.safrica.info/doing-business.