Marketing of tourism : an investigation of the application of marketing concepts and practices in promoting Egypt as a tourist destination in Britain and Ireland
The success of marketing physical products has led many scholars to suggest that marketing is a universal activity which can be applied with equal success to the sale of services. The purpose of this research is to examine the relevance and contribution of marketing to the tourism sectors in general, and the extent to which marketing concepts and modern marketing practices have been accepted and implemented by the Egyptian Tourism Bodies, and the British and Irish tour operators in promoting Egypt as a tourist destination in Britain and Ireland in the particular. A thorough examination of the literature regarding the applicability of marketing concepts and techniques to all tourism related sectors as well as the similarities and/or differences between goods marketing and services (tourism) marketing was carried out, based upon which specific hypotheses have been formalised and tested. The empirical investigation was carried out in the period between May and the end of October, 19 84. Two studies were conducted in order to verify the existence of the so-called marketing oriented philosophy in the Egyptian tourism related sectors, and the British and Irish tour operating companies offering Egypt as a tourist destination in Britain and Ireland. The first study was conducted with the British and Irish tour operators. Two questionnaires were distributed to all 34 British and Irish tour operators promoting visits to Egypt. The first questionnaire aimed at investigating their familiarity with Egypt as a tourist destination from which it was hoped to assess the marketing efforts of the Egyptian Tourism Bodies. The second one aimed at examining the marketing activities undertaken by tour operators to promote Egypt as a tourist destination. Another study was conducted with the actual British tourist customer of Egypt. A pre-tour questionnaire was distributed to 750 visitors who were going to Egypt in order to determine what image and expectations they have about the country. A post-tour questionnaire was distributed to another 750 visitors who were coming back from Egypt in order to assess their level of satisfaction with the country as a tourist destination. The findings of the field work reveal that the Egyptian Tourism Bodies are far from becoming marketing oriented and they have a long way to go to make effective use of marketing concepts and techniques. Thus, the marketing concept, with its total integration of business activities designed to provide customer satisfaction at a profit, is not wholly adopted and implemented by the British and Irish tour operators in promoting Egypt as a tourist destination. In addition, there is still room for possible improvement in many areas in order to fulfil the existing/potential customers' needs and maintain their satisfaction.