New-Fangled League: Cruise, Medical, Film, Wedding and Spiritual Tourism
New-fangled league: Cruise, Medical, Film, Wedding and Spiritual tourism
Tourism is an age old activity associated with civilized nations. Thus, tourism literature too has a long history. This paper critically exam the positioning of a New-fangled league of tourism products in India. The creation of New- fangled tourism products like medical tourism, spiritual tourism, religious circuits, wedding tourism, cruise tourism, caravan tourism and film tourism has served to widen the net of this sector. Inbound tourism is booming and the country is going all out to lure more travelers from around the world. Contrary to perceptions across the world that tourism in India is still limited to traditions, the country is opening up with trendy tour packages and reasonable air travel deals to woo inbound visitors from every segment. The paper will explore the different innovative ideas for improving tourism product which have added a new dimension to the tourism industry. Thus, it’s going to focus on different forms and positioning of tourism products in India. The benefits of this work would be presenting insights into a new-fangled tourism products and consumers of such, and an understanding of the challenges destinations face along the New- fangled league tourism life cycle. Finally, the practical benefits of this work to industry include a greater understanding of positioning and targeting their products. To illustrate this, research is driven primarily on following significant league of tourism products: Cruise, Medical, Film, Wedding and Spiritual Tourism.
Key Words: New-fangled league, Cruise, Medical, Film, Wedding and Spiritual Tourism.
Tourism is driven by the natural urge of every human being for new experiences, and the desire to be both educated and entertained. The motivations for tourism also include religious and business interests; the spread of education has fostered a desire to know more about different parts of the globe. The basic human thirst for new experience and knowledge has become stronger, as communication barriers are getting overcome by technological advances. Expenditure on tourism induces a chain of transactions requiring supply of goods and services from the related sectors. The consumption demand, emanating from tourist expenditure also induces more employment and generates a multiplier effect on the economy.
2.1Present Scenario of Tourism in India:
• The Indian Tourism sector is one of the largest service industries in the country in terms of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Foreign Exchange Earnings, as well as for providing employment to millions. The sector in fact is expected to generate around US$ 42.8 billion (INR 1,897.7 billion) by 2017, according to an industry research.
• The amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow into the hotel and tourism sector during April 2000 to April 2013 was worth US$ 6,664.20 million. Foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) during the Month of June 2013 stood at 0.44 million as compared to FTAs of 0.43 million during June 2012, registering a growth of 2.5 per cent and the domestic tourism is expected to increase by 15 per cent to 20 per cent over the next five years.
Tourism in India is witnessing widespread growth on the back of increasing inbound tourism by the burgeoning Indian middle class, rising inflow of foreign tourists and successful government campaigns for promoting ‘Incredible India’. Infrastructure development holds the key to India’s sustained growth in the Tourism sector.
• Further the government has also allowed 100 per cent foreign investment under the automatic route in the Hotel and Tourism related industry. Significantly, the country has the potential to become a major global tourist destination, with the Tourism sector expected to contribute around INR 3,414.8 billion (US$ 77.0 billion) by 2021. India is currently ranked 12th in the Asia Pacific region and 68th overall in the list of the world's attractive destinations.
• Foreign tourist arrivals in the country have increased substantially during the past decade motivated by both, business and leisure needs and are further expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 8 per cent during 2010-2014. Visitor exports are a key component of the direct contribution of the sector.. By 2021, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 11,149,000, an increase of 6.1 per cent pa generating expenditure of INR 1,344.7 billion (US$ 30.3 billion). The country has received 3.3 million foreign tourists during the period January to June 2013.
New-fangled league of tourism refers to how a specific tourism product can be tailored to meet the needs of a particular audience/market segment. Locations with specific products are able to establish and position themselves, as separate niche destinations. Purely through image creation, which helps destinations to differentiate their tourism products and compete in an increasingly competitive and cluttered tourism environment. Theoretical literature has paid little attention to the role and positioning of New- fangled league of tourism products.
“Future tourism success for most destinations is closely tied to NOT being labeled as ‘too touristy’... unless a place’s appeal is actually derived from its deliberate reputation for ‘excess’ (e.g. Las Vegas, Cancun, theme parks). This is the real message from many travelers’ known desires for ‘authentic’ experiences.”
Through the use of these in the tourism life cycle, it is clear that these tourism products will have different impacts, marketing challenges and contributions to destination development as they progress through it. This type of tourism therefore, seen to be a response to an increasing number of more refined tourists demanding specialist tourism products. It is a means by which destinations can focus their offerings to differentiate their tourism products and compete in an increasingly competitive and cluttered tourism environment (Sharpley and Telfer, 2002). This critical appraisal presents an exploration of various forms of New- fangled tourism i.e. cruise, medical, film, wedding and spiritual. How destinations develop themselves to create unique products and images, which appeal to the tourism market, is a critical component of the research.
2.3 Literature Review
• Hutchinson (1957) is largely attributed with introducing the idea of ‘New- fangled league of tourism’ or Niche tourism referring to a best possible location that an organism can exploit against its competitors. A later definition is given by Keegan et al. (1992), describing a New- fangled league tourism as a smaller market not served by competing products. The term ‘New- fangled league tourism’ or Niche Tourism was subsequently adopted by the business literature inventing the phrase ‘Niche tourism marketing’.
• As Tofton and Hammervoll (2010) state, there appears to be no widely accepted definition of New- fangled tourism marketing. However, a number of similarities have emerged. Existing definitions include, a method to meet customer needs through the tailoring of goods and service to small markets (Stanton et al. 1991); ‘small, profitable, homogeneous market segments which have been ignored or neglected by others’ (Dalgic and Leeuw, 1994, p.42) and a ‘process of concentrating marketing resources and efforts on one particular market segment’ (Huh and Singh, 2007, p.213).
“For rural & coastal destinations, special interest-based niche markets - e.g. visitors with a quite intense personal interest in cycling/biking experiences, wine & food, fishing, skiing, RV & ATV excursions, camping, history, health retreats & spas, or cruising - can be highly productive too. But only if their specific interests & needs are intimately understood & suitably targeted in a systematic way. Ideally with desirable and imaginatively developed products, facilities, services, trails, itineraries, and more. For maximum impact – it should be able to be integrated with other complementary destination pleasures or appeal to the visitor options.”
• Kotler (2003) also characterises New- fangled tourism marketing as focusing on customers, with a distinct set of needs, who will offer a premium to the company who best fulfils these. Thus markets can be reached and served and products and services matched to people’s specific needs and wants. Dalgic and Leeuw (1994) review by stating that New- fangled tourism firms generally focus their marketing activities to a limited part of the market, with relatively few customers and competitors, through the application of company specialisation, product differentiation, relationship marketing and customer focus.
Figure 1. New- fangled tourism Tourism, Source: Novelli (2005).
• Huh and Singh (2007) highlight how most studies published since the 1990s have emphasised new segmentation within existing marketplaces rather than identifying new or New- fangled tourism markets. They attribute four key criterion by which these markets are segmented: socioeconomic/demographic; geographic; psychographic and psychological and behavioural.
• The limited academic literature available has mainly focused on market specific factors centering on the characteristics of what a New- fangled tourism is and what causes it to exist (Tofton and Hammervoll, 2010; Jarvis and Goodman, 2005).
• Dalgic and Leeuw remark how ‘despite its growing interest and increasing popularity there seems to have been limited research’ and existing research is ‘...predominantly from a practitioner’s point of view’ (Dalgic and Leeuw, 1994, p.39).
• What lacking are studies focusing on internal issues such as the strategic capabilities, in terms of skills and resources, which can differentiate companies from their competition (Tofton and Hammervoll, 2010).
• Dalgic (2006) also comments on the international aspect of Niche tourism marketing. No longer confined within national boundaries, it is an opportunity for companies to develop their internal strategic capabilities. A New- fangled tourism market strategy has the potential to help a company identify its most profitable market segments and hold off import competition (Parrish, Cassill and Oxenham, 2006).
• The wedding tourism market is comprised of destination wedding couples and
their guests, as well as honeymoon tourists. The main weddings abroad market segments can be divided into first time marriages, re-marriages, same-sex marriages and commitment ceremonies and renewal vows (Major, McLeay & Waine, 2010, p. 252). A large percentage of wedding tourists originate from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Scandinavia. Among the most popular destinations for these tourists are Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India, Mauritius, Cyprus and Italy (Poon, 2009, p. 3).
• As with most tourism products, wedding tourism packages are characterized by intangibility and inseparability, implying that they require a large amount of trust on the part of the consumers (De Witt, 2006, p. 65).
• Such an emotional investment entails risks, and the level of service quality and delivery is of the utmost importance (Major, McLeay & Waine, 2010, p. 250).
• In addition, due to the large amounts of planning that goes into preparing for a wedding, lead booking times for this niche market tend to be longer than for regular vacationers, up to three years ahead of the wedding itself (Major, McLeay & Waine, 2010, p. 257).
• There are a variety of factors affecting destination choice, with aspects of nature and scenery being the most influential (Kim & Agrusa, 2005, p. 901).
• However, scientific study on marketing aspects of spiritual tourism is very limited. Most of the studies are case-based or demographic. A brief review of literatures appeared in five leading international journals (Annals of Tourism Research, Applied Geography, International Journal of Tourism Research, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, and Journal Management, Spirituality and Management) and few International Conference Proceedings since the year 1992 have been presented in the following subsection.
• Emergence of spiritual tourism: It is observed that there has been a steep rise in published literatures during the latter half of the present decade (2006–June 2009) indicating the emergence of a potential area of research.
• In the last few years, the major research focus was shifted towards development of marketing strategy, drivers of spiritual tourism, development of typology model and analysis of tourists‘perspectives and attitudes.
• It has been observed that both religious tourism‘ and pilgrimage‘ are often included within the broad umbrella of spiritual tourism‘. Delbecq (2009) reflects on the evolution of spirituality and suggests areas of increasing understanding. The author also emphasizes on the need for future development. Haq and Jackson (2009) studied the importance of marketing strategy perspective on Hajj (once a year Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca) and examined the perceptions of Muslims going on this significant spiritual journey.
3. Objectives of the Study
In order to achieve this aim, several objectives need to be fulfilled. These include:
• An evaluation of the critical role of New- fangled league of tourism products, such as cruise, medical, film, wedding and spiritual in developing tourism destinations.
• To identify the positioning level of tourism products and to explore it.
• To exaggerate different novel ideas to improve New- fangled league of tourism.
3.1 Research Methodology
It is constructive to analyse the research methodology against the development of current research in tourism. Tribe (2007) observes that there have been three to five key paradigms – positivism, post-positivism, interpretivism, critical theory and constructivism – which have informed tourism research. The approach that the research journey has taken is one that is underpinned by pragmatism, with a belief that mixed methods (i.e. the use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies), or cross-method triangulation, allows for a more in depth investigation of some of the key issues that are reflected in the highly interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary nature of tourism (Botteril, 2001).
The use of a case study is highly relevant and illuminating when exploring key issues and seeking to introduce new research areas and explain or determine research findings. The research voyage initiated with a focus on existing data accessed through industry and governmental publications, policy documents and academic journals.
4. Positioning of New- fangled league of Tourism Products
Academic literature has paid little attention to the positioning of New- fangled league of tourism products. Novelli considers ‘the notion of an increasingly experienced group of tourists demanding specialist holidays to meet their specific desires’ (Novelli, 2005, p.7), and how this has provided the conditions necessary to facilitate the growth of such tourism.
Sharpley and Telfer (2002) reflect on how tourist behaviour has produced a more segmented and refined consumer market, and how this kind of tourism is a response to these specialised consumer needs and preferences. The development of this new league of tourism products has been a response by the tourism industry to diversify their product base to capture new, emergent tourist markets and build a more diverse customer base. Therefore, establishing very defined and individualised niche tourisms has allowed smaller independent tourism operators to compete in the highly price sensitive and competitive tourism marketplace.
The Ministry of Tourism has taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting the nascent/upcoming New- fangled tourism products of the tourism industry. This is done in order to overcome the aspect of 'seasonality' to promote India as a 365 days destination, attract tourists with specific interests and to ensure repeat visits for the products in which India has comparative advantage.
The following New- fangled tourism Products to be identified by the Ministry of Tourism for development and Promotion:
1. Cruise Tourism
2. Medical Tourism
3. Film Tourism
4. Wedding Tourism
5. Spiritual Tourism
4.1 Cruise Tourism
'Cruise Shipping' is one of the most vibrant and fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide. It is fast promising as a new marketable product. India with its vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and peaceful heavenly islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, can emerge as an attractive tourist destination for cruise tourists. With the Indian economy developing at a steady pace, middle class growing in number and increasingly possessing disposal incomes for spending on leisure activities.
But cruise tourism is still in its infancy. "Only one lakh cruise passengers in 2010-11 and only 129 cruise ships came to Indian ports in 2010-11," he said. This is a skimpy share of 6.29 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2011.
MP and chairman of estimates committee of Parliament, Francisco Sardinha explained, "Many people have preconceived notions of India and as a consequence of Goa."He termed advisory reports by some countries and reports in the media an effort to project stray incidents as everyday occurrences, adding that Goa is one of the safest places in the world."But care should be taken that all places and people of tourist contact, namely, customs, police, hotel staff, etc should come across as friendly," he added.
P Mara Pandiyan, Mormugao Port Trust, said, "Coordination between all those involved in tourism, namely, hospitality, travel agents, and other service providers is important as this will ensure an increase in potential."
"The Mormugao port has recently been upgraded and now has a longer berth which was built at the cost of around 100 crore. This berth is capable of receiving a 360m ship or around 8,000 passengers," he said.
Yashveer Singh, director, India Tourism, government of India, spoke about problems plaguing the industry, while managing director of GTDC Nikhil Desai and chairman of the de Souza Group Ralph de Souza also made presentations.
1. With a purview to draw world tourism and to make a foot print India is focusing in elimination of its Achilles heel in tourism industries to this extent ministry of shipping have initiated Cruise Shipping Policy.
2. With segment focus and state-of-the-art packages as objectives in general and infrastructure in particular.
3. Major initiative of Ministry of Tourism to promote the cruise tourism a Steering Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary (Shipping) to act as a nodal body to address all issues regarding Cruise Tourism.
4. The followings are the main projects sanctioned for development of River Cruise during 12th Five Year Plan:
5. Development of Circuit on rivers Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh for Rs. 42.595 millions in 2007-08
6. Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned an amount of Rs.204.235 millions and released Rs.102.118 millions for development of Ganga Heritage River Cruise in West Bengal in 2008-09.
7. Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned a mega project for integrated development of infrastructure for Heritage and Hinterland Tourism in Goa including Mandovi and Zuari rivers with CFA of Rs. 430.991 millions to the State
8. Government of Goa in the financial year 2008-09. Positioning of cruise tourism marketing based on our study we endorse that tourism in socio-cultural like India plays a multi facet economy booster, it is good to centre on cruise tourism and to take measures like attract the right segment of the foreign tourists to cruise shipping in India. Popularize cruise shipping with Indian tourists make India an attractive cruise tourism destination with state-o f-the-art Infrastructure and other facilities
4.2 Medical Tourism
Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term used to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain health care. In particular, India is legendary for high end surgeries hip replacement, cardio, plastic surgeries; dental etc. In recent time, the study envisages that India is an emerging hub for medical and health tourism. Virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, and convalescent care is available in India.
Besides India, there are several Asian destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. that are offering Medical care facilities and promoting Medical Tourism. India stands out amongst there for the following reasons:-
• State-of-Art Medical facilities
• Reputed health care professionals
• Quality nursing facilities
• No waiting time for availing the medical services
• India's traditional healthcare therapies like Ayurveda and Yoga, combined with allopathic treatment, provide a holistic wellness
The steps to be taken for promoting India as a Medical and Health Tourism Destination include the following;
1. Medical and health tourism has been specifically promoted at various international platforms such as World Travel Mart London, ITB Berlin, ATM, etc.
2. A new category of 'Medical Visa' to be introduced for foreign tourists coming to India for medical treatment.
3. Brochure, CDs and other publicity materials have been widely circulated for publicity in target markets to promote medical and health tourism.
4. Yoga/Ayurveda/Wellness to be promote in the print, electronic, internet and outdoor medium under the Ministry of Tourism's "Incredible India Campaign".
5. Brochures & CDs on Body, Mind and Soul covering the traditional system of medicine to be produced and circulated extensively.
6. Road shows focussing on Medical Tourism to be conducted in India to induce tourism.
4.3 Film Tourism
Film tourism is a growing phenomenon worldwide, powered by both the growth of the entertainment industry and the increase in international travel. This article proposes how the films can exploit tourism marketing opportunities. It also identifies the optimum marketing factors that encourage film tourists to visit destinations that appear (or are depicted) in the movies.
Bollywood is a world renowned film producing centre in the world after Hollywood. There are more than 800 films produced in different languages in India every year. Bollywood produces the most popular Hindi films. The story of this film industry has spanned over nine decades. From its early old movies to its present state-of-the-art movies, it has produced thousands of documented short films and 27,000 feature films. Its success story has drawn filmmakers and foreign delegations from outside India. They have explored the possibilities of culture exchange programs and joint ventures.
Figure 2. Scope of Film Tourism
To promote film tourism, the Ministry have to look for the following measures;
1. To impose marketing activities in which destinations can engage to promote film tourism, proactive efforts to encourage producers and studios to film at the location, efforts to generate media publicity around the film and its location, marketing activities that promote the film location after production, and peripheral marketing activities that leverage film tourism potential.
2. Ministry of tourism has started to focus on film tourism as this may open the gateway for a link between Hollywood and Bollywood.
3. Recommendations are initiating any global movie awards similar to golden globe, BAFTA and academy awards in India.
4.4 Wedding Tourism
In almost every culture, the wedding is a significant life event which calls for
celebration in a deeply personal and memorable way. People, place, and preparation are the foundation of the wedding, as couples design a ceremony that tells their story. While the motivations and preferences of each couple are very different, the deep longing to celebrate love in a special and lasting way is consistent across ages and cultures.
Wedding tourism, that is, travelling internationally for the purpose of getting married or celebrating a wedding (Acorn Consulting Partnership Ltd., 2008) has become increasingly popular in recent years (Major, McLeay & Waine, 2010, p. 249). Weddings have become a commodity, providing opportunities for each host destination to market itself as a place where a special life event can be commemorated in an unforgettable way (Boden, 2001).
1. Rapid growth rates of wedding tourism impact destinations within Asia, as well. In India, for example, this niche market was increasing by almost one hundred percent annually, as of 2011 (Kaul & Khanna, 2011, p. 125).
2. The growing numbers of wedding tourists in these destinations confirms the importance of this emerging market segment worldwide. From 2002 to 2007, overall growth in this market was estimated to be approximately ten percent annually, with an expectation for even higher growth rates in the period to follow
3. India, the country of rich culture, traditions, history, dazzling diversity and consistent surprise, is a heaven for those who want to wed the love of their life an unforgettable way.
4. India as a wedding destination has varied venue options to solemnize the wedding. From grand palaces, forts, hills and temples to serene beaches, India has lot to offer to make your marriage a dream come true. You can choose contemporary or traditional theme as per your preferences.
5. Indian weddings are known for the extravaganza of color, dance and music, several traditions and customs, sumptuous food, flowers and an ocean of sentiments. Every state of the country has different wedding rituals.
6. You can choose from a royal wedding set in the backdrop of magnificent forts and palaces, an exotic and romantic wedding on a beautiful beach or a wedding in temples amidst the resonance of sacred enchanting of mantras.
7. India has many palaces and forts where you can marry like a king and a queen. All of these palaces and forts have larger than life ambience and royal charm. Some of the famous royal wedding destinations in India are Umaid Bhawan Jodhpur, Samode Palace, Jaipur, Taj Lake Palace, Rajasthan, Udaipur Devi Garh Palace, Mandvi Palace in Kutch and The Palace, Utelia amongst others.
The famous beach wedding destinations are Treasure Cove, Kovalam Kerala, Varkala, Kerala, Hotel Taj Exotica, Goa, Fort Aguada, Goa and Anjuna beach, Goa offering a grand fiesta.
4.5 Spiritual Tourism
Spiritual tourism has extended the conventional concept the harder the journey, the better the reward‘, to a wider concept of a desire for a change, relief from the dull daily life and enthusiasm and divine nature for a common man. Accordingly, academic interests in analysing different aspects of spiritual tourism as a new segment have been gaining momentum. Spirituality has become an increasingly significant area in social, health and business research (Haq et al., 2008). Travels to spiritual places have recorded a phenomenal increase in the recent years. Believe in spirituality has caused people to travel since long even with poor travelling and communication infrastructures.
In an attempt to woo more domestic and foreign travellers, Incredible India is set to focus on faith tourism that is being increasingly talked about as the recession-proof travel segment. The Government is planning a proactive approach to develop pilgrim centres.
Tourism has been recognized as one of the major industries of many countries. Spiritual tourism is also recognized as one of the major contributors in a state‘s revenue. Many countries are known for their spiritual heritages. However, organized research activities in the area are yet to be seen. Thus, although there has been an encouraging trend in the recent years, sufficient literature on spiritual tourism is yet to be generated. There are immense scopes of research in the area.
1. Marketing strategy aspects with reference to spiritual tourism have been reported in recent literatures, however, considering the geological diversity, cultural diversity, and differences in economic infrastructures each destination of spiritual importance might demand specific approach for marketing.
2. Accordingly, structured researches regarding quantification of strategic opportunity areas with reference to Ansoff‘s matrix, i.e. Market penetration, Market development, Product development and Diversification can be carried out. Scientific study of the perceptions of the spiritual tourists in the light of specific place of spirituality is another potential theme for initiating scientific research.
3. Possible affect on number of inbound and outbound tourist to different spiritual places and its economic implications needs to be investigated. Such investigation could be case specific as different spiritual places are located at different geographic locations.
4. Different spiritual places might attract tourists on different special occasions unlike season based tourist movements in most of the general tourist places. For example, it is quite possible and reasonable that the requirements and feelings of a Hajji (in the Gulf of Saudi Arabia) would differ significantly to those of an Amarnath Yatri (in the Indian Himalayas).
5. Such investigation could help formulating better tourism product and contribute towards building better infrastructure. Formulation of marketing strategies to promote spiritual tourism needs to be investigated. Marketing strategies could be at different levels – national, state, and location-based. However, each of these strategies calls for analysis of data.
India is a land of great diversity. This is evident in its geography, languages, people and religions. It has barren desserts, tropical jungles and beaches, and the mighty, snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. India is a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of ritual, art, mysticism, music, religion, and sacred temple architecture. Those who have made the journey would agree that India’s 5,000 years of human history offers an overwhelming feast for the senses.
In conclusion, the purpose of this critical appraisal is to demonstrate our contribution to academic knowledge and understanding of the role of New- fangled league of tourism products in destination development. This critical appraisal has contributed to knowledge and understanding in tourism theory, practice and policy across this league.
Hall challenges the role and importance of New- fangled tourism as a major driving force in tourism growth and the regeneration of destinations posing the questions ‘is it a healthy sign that the industry should appear to be driven by New- fangled tourism ? Or is it actually the case that this is an overhyped, politically correct and convenient delusion?’ (Hall, 2003, p.24). Through the research presented in this critical appraisal, we would challenge Hall’s view and argue that New- fangled tourism offers destinations a valid opportunity to reinvent and reposition themselves and has a key role to play in destination imaging and the development of the tourist experience. Tourism department should encourage and assist different tour promoters to plan and offer tour packages incorporating various New- fangled tourism products and this may be publicised in the international tourist magazines and inflight magazines. This can help sell tourism even in off-seasons. For the development of tourism in India there is a great need for the promotion of New- fangled tourism products. Hence, India has to position New- fangled tourism products rather than marketing it.