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Tourism marketing overview

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh

Md. Nekmahmud, Maria Fekete Farkas and Azizul Hassan


Marketing is a discipline that evolves persistently. For this reason, one business organization finds itself very much behind in the competition than the others if they stand still for too long. An instance of this is the evolution that stays as the fundamental changes for the key marketing mix. Once 4Ps tend to explain the mix but this is more commonly accepted that a more advanced 7Ps include a widely demanded added layer of depth to the marketing mix with a number of theorists tending to move further and even further. This research critically explains marketing on the lens of tourism and attaches to the context of Bangladesh.

Tourism marketing research: theoretical underpinnings

Marketing mix

The marketing mix is a well-known and familiar tool of marketing strategy. At the initial stage, this tool was limited to the basic 4Ps as Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The 7Ps were originally developed by E. Jerome McCarthy that was published in 1960 in the book titled Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.

The 4Ps concept was developed at the time when businesses were more probably selling products than service offers and the customer service role to help brand development was not very well known. As time progressed, Bitner and Booms (1981) added the three extended “service mix P’s” (i.e. Participants, Physical evidence, and Processes). At the later stage, Participants were renamed People. In the present business world, this is suggested that the complete 7Ps of the marketing mix are regarded at the time of reviewing competitive strategies. This 7Ps model supports business organizations for reviewing and defining the main issues that influence its products and services marketing. This is very commonly referred to as the 7Ps framework for the digital marketing mix.

12 Nekmahmud, Farkas and Hassan

The marketing mix 4Ps are as follows:


The product needs to fit the task consumers need it for, this needs to work and this should be what the consumers expect to receive.


The product needs to be available from where the target consumer finds this as the easiest for shopping. This can be mail order, high street or the more recent option of online shopping or via e-commerce.


The product needs to be always viewed as the representation of good value for money. This does not necessarily mean it should be the cheapest pricing option available. One of the key tenets of marketing is that customers usually remain happy for paying a little more for something that performs really well for them.


Sales promotion, advertising, PR, personal selling and, in more recent times, social media stay as the basic tools of communication for a business organization. Such tools need to be used for putting across the business organization’s message towards the correct audiences in the way that they would most prefer to hear, whether this can be informative or appealing towards their emotions.

The demand to update the marketing mix was widely acknowledged in the late 1970s. It led to the creation of the extended marketing mix in 1981 by Bitner and Booms that resulted the addition of three new elements to the 4Ps principle. This later allowed the extended marketing mix for including products that are services and not simply physical things. However, some of the researchers argued that even though sometimes 4Ps is viewed as dated, this tool is the essential tool for selecting their scope and is specifically beneficial for small business. This tool can generate specific advantages for start-ups to review revenue models and price. Through the application of this tool, business start-ups can produce competitive benefits. Thus, a business enterprise at the very initial stage of its operation can gain a solid position to stay in the market and gradually stronghold their position.

The 7Ps of the service marketing mix are as follows:


The products in the service framework arc those services that business organizations offer to the customer. For instance, an information technology (IT)

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh 13 company can offer services in network management, enterprise architecture, software development and more on the basis of customer demand.


The price represents the service costs that the customer mandatorily has to pay. This is serious factor for buyers for their considerations that arc based on the other service providers in the industry. Business organizations need to carry out research on their service’s optimal pricing on the ground of value to the customer. Business organizations tend to consider their respective industry and factors such as low-cost service providers, competitor’s reputation, high-cost service providers and number of players in the industry for determining their pricing strategy. Such factors are a few of the inputs that a business organization has to consider for their service pricing strategy.


Place is the business’ physical address where the service professionals interact with customers. For instance, if the business offers IT services to a client, then the place of business will be the office.


The promotion of the service is featured as what most of the business organizations concentrate to get more clients. Such business organizations promote their services by applying some specific methods like search engine optimization, public relations, business developers, social media marketing, paid advertising, billboard ads and so on.


In the business framework, the people are the employees, consultants and even the freelancers that deliver relevant services to customers. People are one of the most critical factors to provide knowledge-based services. A business owner has to recruit the right people into the organization that would have the capacity to fit in the corporate culture. The business owner needs to find smart people that have the capacity to add value to the relevant business organization. The owner needs to make sure that the taken strategy is good for competing with other innovative business companies and organizations in the industry for acquiring talent. All of the business organizations are commonly reliant on the people who run the organization. They range from the managing director to front-line sales. To place the right people in the right place is essential as they are as much a part of the business and offer as the products/services the business organizations are offering.


The processes are defined as the steps that are required for delivering the service to a customer. One of the basic advantages of service delivery organizations is that they design process maps outlining facts such as activities, function, processes and tasks. Such business organizations can become share these process maps for their employees for making sure that their work is repeatable and successful. The delivery of the products or services is generally done with the customer present so how the service is delivered is once again part of what the consumer pays for.

Physical evidence

The physical evidence is featured as the combination of the branding and environment where the service is offered to a customer by a service representative. The physical evidence capital can be a corporate website, a service brochure, social media accounts or a request for proposal. Most of the services include some physical elements even if the bulk of what the consumer pays for remains intangible.

Is there an 8th P?

In some very specific thought spheres, there are 8Ps in the marketing mix. The final P is productivity (and quality). This appeared from the earlier services marketing mix and stays folded into the extended marketing mix by few marketers.

Productivity and quality

This “P” makes queries whether the business owner offers a good deal to the customer. This stays as less about the owner as a business developing productivity for cost management and more about how the company passes this onto the customers.

How can be the marketing mix model applied?

Tourism business organizations can apply the 7Ps model for setting objectives, conducting a SWOT analysis and for even undertaking competitive analysis. This is a practical framework to evaluate an existing business and to work through appropriate approaches whilst making evaluation. The marketing mix model elements as presented can be asked as (1) products/services: how can the business products or services be developed?; (2) prices/fees: how can the existing pricing model be changed?; (3) place/access: what arc the new distribution options available for customers for experiencing a business’ products or services (i.e. mobile, online, in-store etc.)?; (4) promotion: how to add or substitute the combination within owned, paid, and earned media channels?; (5) physical evidence: how can the existing customers be reassured (e.g. impressive buildings, well-trained staff, great website)?; (6) people: who are the people and what are their skills gaps?; (7) partners: are the business organizations seeking new partners and managing existing partners well?.

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh 15

Even after decades, the marketing mix remains very much applicable to a business owner or marketer’s daily work. A good marketer can learn to adapt this theory for fitting with not only modern times but their individual business model. Even proposed in the 1980s, the 7Ps still remain widely taught for their basic logic as sound in the marketing environment and the marketers’ capacities for adapting the marketing mix. These include changes in communications as social media, updates in the places which a business organization owner can update in the places to sell a product or service or customers’ expectations in a repeatedly changing commercial environment.

The “interrelatedness” of tourism marketing

Tourism is an interesting research area creates an “interrelatedness” between some selected areas such as marketing, development, sustainability, innovation and relevancy. This “interrelatedness” stresses identifying and analysing all of the core elements of tourism research. This is one of the reasons why the outcome of the World Conference on Travel and Tourism in Rome in 1963 presents that tourism can devise both positive and negative effects on a country’s economy. While for many developing countries, tourism carries economic benefits through the generation of employment opportunities, foreign currency earning and relevancy, the United Nations views tourism as a solid means to contribute to understanding and peace. Thus, the definition of tourism as endorsed by the WTO in 1992 as well as accepted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) in 1993 is, “Tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year of leisure, business and other purposes”. From another perspective, tourism is defined as a travel act for business, services and recreation purposes. This view also accommodated a comprehensive definition: tourism is the service industry with both tangible and intangible components. Tangible items in this regard are transport systems (i.e. road, air, rail, water and the most recent concern of space), hospitality services (i.e. accommodation, foods and beverage, tours, souvenirs) and relevant services (i.e. insurance, banking, safety and security). On the other side, intangible items come with culture, relaxation, escape, new and different experiences, adventure and so on. Thus, tourism is a comprehensively interdependent and interrelated industry as well as tourism is very often applied deroga-tively implying a thorough interest in the place and society that the tourist visits.

Decoding tourist attractions

The clarification of tourist attractions can sometimes create dilemmas and has never been easy or straightforward. This is a widely popular term having diverse meanings. Still, the common understanding about a tourist attraction is that it is a place that draws attention or attracts general people for visiting a place, attending an event or travelling to a particular location for some key purpose (i.e. enjoyment, recreation, education, information collection or just a normal visit). Thus,

in the simplest meaning, tourist attractions are just places that stay as the reason of travel by the people (i.e. man-made tourist attractions as physical structures; natural attractions as physical phenomena as deemed beautiful or unusual). Secondary attractions can also have tourist appeal but cannot be the primary reason for visitation. Negative attraction is rather an area’s attributes that tend to cause some market or customers not to visit that particular attraction. The very basic reason for negative attraction can be crime, pollution or terrorism or anything that makes people worry or that feels unfamiliar. Thus, tourist attractions are the places of interest as open for the public for offering education, recreation or historic interest. Tourist attractions can range from leisure complexes, country parks, zoos, museums, historic houses, theme parks and so on.

The impression of tourists

The impressions of tourists towards the tourism services or products are essential for marketers. Impressions that are positive can obviously lead to tourist satisfaction and repeat visit as well as serving as a word-of-mouth advertisement for the relevant destination. Buyers tend to decide whether a service or product is priced fairly or represents value for money before purchasing. It is expected that tourists as buyers will have better value or even equal to their perceived value after making visitation to the tourist destination. Any change in quality or pricing at a certain time can also change the perception of the tourists about the value. Thus, it is essential that reasonability in pricing on key elements of tourism arrangements in Bangladesh are considered.

Marketing strategy (STP) model

Marketing strategy is the combination of segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) process as the core of marketing strategy which is developed by Philip Kotler (2003) and also, it is part of the strategic business unit (Webster, 2005). In general, the core concept of a marketing strategy consists of the tasks of identifying and selecting the target segments in the place where the actual and potential customers are dwelling and desired to purchase the product. There are three marketing strategies: market segmenting, market targeting and market positioning. In the tourism industry, the marketing STP model is vital for achieving its goals and increasing the potentiality of the tourism sector in Bangladesh. Moreover, STP offers suitable tourism products or services that will serve tourists in distinct interests.

Market segmenting

The term “segmentation” was first introduced by Smith (1956). Market segmentation defines as dividing the complete market into different parts on the basis of several variables (Kotler, 1999). Moreover, it is recognizing that you can’t serve all customers with an equal level of satisfaction. In Bangladesh, the market segment plays a vital role in tourism marketing goals and it helps to divide

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh 17 the tourism product and services. Generally, Bangladesh Parjaton Corporation (BPC) articulated the policy in 2010 to regulate the tourism industry. Sarker and Begum (2013) explained there are two types of segmenting the target market in Bangladesh: (1) demographic segmentation and (2) psychographic segmentation. Demographic segmentation includes tourist products that can charm a limited number of groups and ages, and provides the largest range of preferences for defining a large number of groups of people. Nevertheless, psychographic segmentation offers us in-depth information of tourists.

Market targeting

Market targeting includes violation of a market into segments and then focused marketing determinations on one or a few main segments (Kotler, 1999). It tries to fill up the common needs and/or characteristics where the organization decides to serve. Bangladesh Parjaton Corporation (BPC) focus its marketing effort on beaches, forest and jungle, archaeological sites, hills and islands, historical places and so on. Market targeting identifies the actual destination which could help to conduct any research to define where tourists are available and which countries’ people arc motivated to enjoy the particular tourist place. For example, in the case of less natural tourism, infrastructure, and visitor events an investment may be required.

Market positioning

The position of the market is building your target audience to know exactly how you stand apart from your competitors. According to Kotler (2003), “positioning is the way the product is defined by tourists on important attributes; tourists relatively competitive product that has made this product”. Therefore, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) is promoting a bundle of tourist’s products and services for the tourists. According to records of MoCAT, BPC recognizes four major tourist’s products and services in Bangladesh: beach; forests, hills and islands; historical places; and archaeological sites.

Above these four major tourism products have appeal, market demand and more competitive advantage, even though those products acquired good positioning in the tourist’s mind in South Asia, East Asia, Europe and the USA, New Zealand Australia and England. Bangladesh can strengthen its position as a tourist hub of established generating markets at regional and international levels by utilizing different marketing tools such as websites, TVC for satellite and local TV channels and other marketing communication tools (Musa, 2013).

Marketing by the National Tourism Organization

The National Tourism Organization (NTO) of a country generally acts as the public organization responsible for tourism marketing. This organization also performs with both relevant public and private sector organizations engaged inthe tourism business of a country. However, the availability of relevant resources required for both marketing and promotional activities needs to be ensured. The gathering and application of experience are also essential. Even with the lack of sufficient funds and experience, NTO creates collaboration with both the public and private agencies with an aim to conduct both marketing and promotional activities for attracting increased number of tourists to particular destinations and thus to leave positive effects on the local economy.

Tourism marketing theoretically includes advertising, publicity, marketing, promotion, personal selling and sales promotion. These tools together can lead to tourism promotion of a particular destination. The dissemination of relevant data and information about a destination are important and social media is also important for attracting more potential tourists. For the purpose, the presentation of relevant information about the particular destination is essential as the tourism business is mostly based on reliable information sharing. NTOs in developing countries such as Bangladesh do not tend to be as innovative to make the latest marketing concepts or elements available for marketing or promotion. The lacking and drawbacks of NTOs mainly suffer from fund shortage and innovative mindsets as well as limited operational capacities.

Tourism marketing research: the past, the present and the future

In a relevant research Dolnicar and Ring (2014) explained the past, present and future of tourism marketing research. The research created a Tourism Marketing Knowledge Grid and applied it as a framework for the review. This grid explored that extant tourism marketing research basically focused on the way service promises are made and kept and widely generated frameworks for improving managerial decision making or offering insights about associations between constructs. Strategic principles as underpinned by the cause-effect relationships understanding are rare. Such results direct to exciting opportunities for further research (i.e. more attention on enabling promises made to tourists with the development of strategic and research principles; more application of experimental, quasi-experimental and longitudinal research designs; unstructured qualitative designs; and increased focus on the study of actual behaviour).

The review on tourism marketing literature suggests some non-conventional approaches to consider, as analysed next.

Cultural context consideration

Using the appraisal theory, Wu (2018) believes that official websites can be medium for tourism marketing. Analysing the discourse of online tourism marketing of two tourist destinations, London and Hangzhou, linguistic resources are found as functioning for promoting destinations. However, cultural contexts impact the marketing and promotion of tourist destinations. Hangzhou, an Asian city, adopts marketing and promotional measures like information sharing and

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh 19 highlighting its history. In this way, this city establishes credibility among the visitors who have interest in culture, marketing and promotion. London as a city of Europe promotes tourism by foregrounding its present attractions and inviting the visitors to learn its history and culture.

Tourist behaviour consideration

Koc and Boz (2014) offered a unique approach to consumer/tourist behaviour called psychoncurobiochcmistry and explored the likely and potential influences of psychoneurobiochemical factors on tourism marketing. Having a multidisciplinary approach, the researchers analysed and synthesized the neurological, psychological, biological and chemical research findings on the ground of their implications for tourism marketing. The researchers specifically searched at neurotransmitters such as melatonin hormone; serotonin and dopamine; circadian and photoperiod rhythm; and emotions.

Relationship marketing and value co-creation

Ensuring tourism innovation through relationship marketing and value co-creation can help tourism marketing. Casais et al. (2020) discuss tourism innovation as applied for sharing accommodation by the hosts on the basis of guests’ value co-creation outcome. This process stands relationship marketing as the central feature of peer-to-peer business models that is analysed as an innovation catalyst. A close relationship with guests during their stay is established that is critical for the co-creation of the tourism experience and innovation increment. User-generated online review contents and constant interpersonal contact established between the guests and hosts lead to incremental and connected innovation followed by amenities, facilities and partnerships with relevant businesses.

Collaboration and alliance

Khalilzadeh and Wang (2018) argued that the base of destination collaboration is the interdependency of the organizations involved in producing destination products. The demand for conflict studies is underscored by the higher rate of destination collaboration tailure. This research was somehow different from earlier studies in a way that suggests a new approach for defining its utility functions on the basis of motivational and attitudinal values. The researchers applied the network theory for defining the utility function of four key players and the game theory for examining three distribution solutions of coalitional activities’ values. Findings of the research supported the notion of “free riders” stated in collaboration studies and explained the reasons for free riding in tourism destinations’ marketing activity natural phenomenon. The research also accepted that individual entities and hospitality are the two basic players having the highest admission fee and the least contribution and thus, concepts like fairness and stability need tobe regarded in incentive policies for encouraging collaboration within the higher admission players.

Reid et al. (2008) argue that strategic alliances can turn into a general tourism marketing strategy. Such alliances can take diverse forms and become operational with diverse objectives. Still very often, alliances are formed without accurate expectations, pure operating procedures or objectives criteria for success evaluation. In this case study, the researchers review a tourism marketing alliance, the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership, that was created successfully and operated for many years. Such partnership joins together tourism ministers of the four Canadian provinces, four industry associates and the federal government. The primary role of this type partnership is to promote Atlantic Canada in selected overseas markets and the USA. This case analyses the strategic approach and partnership results and thus concludes lessons learnt from the case study and identifies areas for further developments in the partnership.

Technology support

In their research, Ying and Peters (2011) suggested a newer of system engineering for marketing decision support titled Tourism Marketing Information System (Tour MIS). This system supported the tourism industry, educational and research institutions to collect, store, process and disseminate information. Austria has already developed and promoted a Tour MIS that can meet the demand of tourism enterprise and tourism destinations’ decision making. Considering the fast development of tourism in China, the authors demanded the necessity to set up a Tour MIS that was already implemented in Australia.

Visual media elaboration

Visual media can play crucial role in marketing and promoting tourism services in the present connected marketplace. On the theoretical ground of the elaboration likelihood model (Petty' and Cacioppo, 1986), John and De’Villiers (2020) examine the way through which visual media influences potential audiences’ perception towards a particular educational tourism destination. The researchers made comparison between the central and peripheral individual persuasion routes through social media that support marketers’ to understand the pattern within which visual media affects consumer’s purchase decision. An affirmative relationship was found between perceived destination images of international students as tourists with audience engagement, audience involvement, argument quality' and source credibility.

SoCoMo marketing

Advanced technology can make users able to amalgamate information from many sources on their mobile devices. Users can personalize their profile through applications and social networks. Also, they can interact dynamically with their

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh 21 context. Buhalis and Foerste (2015) connected the different concepts of contextbased marketing, social media and personalization, as well as mobile devices and suggested social context mobile (SoCoMo) marketing as a new framework. This framework enables marketers to increase value for all stakeholders at the destination. The research found that contextual information becomes widely relevant when big data collected by a wide range of sensors in a smart destination can offer real-time information. This can influence the tourist experience and thus SoCoMo marketing has the capacity to introduce a new paradigm for travel and tourism. This marketing enables tourism organizations and destinations to revolutionize their offering and co-create products and services dynamically with their consumers. The suggested SoCoMo conceptual model outlines the emerging opportunities and challenges for all stakeholders.

Bassanoa ct al. (2019) believed that storytelling about places is a recognized tool for enhancing regional reputation as regions compete for tourism and economic development spending in this digital age. With the support of digital media, people can be inspired to tell their stories of tourism and to share their experiences. For enhancing brand competitiveness, storytelling is manageable in a local service system. The system within which cultural organizations and local governments encourage and understand storytelling about places can leave a significant effect on the region’s competition for tourism and development spending. “Place storytelling” means local stakeholders can tell their personal stories about their beloved places. The analysis and cases of this research show that place storytelling allows strategic communication that cares for sustainable competitive benefits. A place storytelling model is developed in this research allowing for cultural organization and local government’s use for encouraging and managing stakeholder engagement in a multilevel process to improve regional service system marketing and communications in the digital age.

Cross-country experiences of tourism marketing

Gulbahar and Yildirim (2015) opined that a good number of the companies both follow and adapt technological advancements in communication supported by higher web page usage ratio percentage and mobile application based service offers and linkage with social media channels. The usage and acceptance of the Internet and social media appear as an essential channel in almost all areas of tourism. Tourism is one of the leading sectors in adopting technological developments, social media channels and tools of technological communications. Almost all of the Turkish tourism enterprises arc getting updated with these developments when the Internet framework coverage of the mobile communication stays as powerful and this relates to other emerging economies. There is a lack of considerable data that examine the social media effect on tourism marketing in Turkey but in reality, this is a necessity for analysing social media’s position in tourism marketing and its effects. There is also a question in terms of social media channel preference for tourism marketing in Turkey as well as the relevant company’s use of channels for marketing and CRM. The research described a framework forelectronic communication usage and social media usage for marketing in Turkey that allows tourism enterprises to benchmark and road map for future efforts.

Ely (2013) informed that the Mexico Tourism Board, by positioning Mexico as a cultural/historical destination as well as a sun-and-sea destination, sought to diversify its tourism industry and increase the number of visitors to archaeological sites. This has raised a debate between experts about the positive and negative effects of tourism on the people of Mexico and the conservation of its archaeological sites. The research found that effective marketing can serve to promote specific tourist values that enhance the positive and decrease negative effects. The key result of this research presented that in the past, archaeological and touristic goals were thought to remain at odds. However, at the time these two groups connect forces for defining a specific site’s financial and non-financial objectives, opportunities tend to exist for the collaborative creation of marketing materials that promote those objectives and offer benefits for both groups.

Xiao (2013) addressed a shift of focus in China tourism by discussing the contexts for, and issues of, domestic tourism development. The research stressed that policy was oriented towards domestic tourism as quality of life and highlighted the agenda for destination marketing and management.

Kotoua and Ilkan (2017), in the context of Ghana, developed a model for investigating the relationships between intention to visit and tourists’ satisfaction as a source of mediation for travellers through information search and e-word of mouth. Results indicated simple websites no longer had an impact on destination marketing because of technological advancement. The research suggested that websites were required to offer diverse tools and marketing channels for facilitating the surfing and information demands of tourists. This research through using the instruments of online word of mouth and information search by modifying the theory of planned behaviour to consider the context of intention to visit thus suggested that that the dimensions of tourists’ satisfaction as a mediator affect the overall tourists’ intention to visit.


The geographical location

Bangladesh, a developing country, is situated in South Asia. The country has an area of 147,570 square kilometres and borders with India to the north, east and west. Myanmar stays on the southeast and the Bay of Bengal to the south. The exclusive economic zone of Bangladesh is 200 nautical miles while the territorial waters of Bangladesh extend 12 nautical miles. Bangladesh has a large coastline with large marshy jungle on the Bay of Bengal that is well known as the “Sundar-bans”, the world’s largest mangrove forest and the home of the royal Bengal tiger.

Geographically, the country is located in the Ganges Delta. This is the largest delta in the world and has densely vegetated land areas. This land area is often called the Green Delta. The confluence of the Brahmaputra (Jamuna), Ganges (Padma) and Meghna Rivers with their numerous tributaries have formed this

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh 23 delta. These rivers flow down from the Himalayas which are adjacent to the north-western frontier of the country.

Tourism attractions

The traditional image of Bangladesh before the global tourists is as a poverty-stricken, flood-ravaged and disaster-prone tourism zone. The country has a rich tradition, history and natural settings, as well as man-made architectural excellences. The beauties of Bangladesh include vast greenery, mighty rivers, sea and river beaches and tribal life with its cultures and celebrations. The country offers tourism resources that can meet the demands of both domestic and foreign tourists with the availability of sea and river beaches, lakes, sanctuaries, forests, wild-lives, hills, archaeological attractions with monuments, handicrafts, religious festivals, cultural heritage, folklore, customs and so on. The beauties of Bangladesh have attracted foreign tourists since the remote past. The French traveller Francois Bernie experienced such beauties and stated

Egypt has been represented in every age as the finest and most fruitful country in the world, and even our modern writers deny that there is any other land of peculiarly favoured by nature; but the knowledge I have acquired of Bengal during two visits paid to that kingdom inclines me to believe that pre-eminence ascribed to Egypt is rather due to Bengal.

(François, 1826 p. 181)

Tourism marketing in Bangladesh

The past

Previously, the tourism industry in Bangladesh was not in good condition because the Bangladesh government focused on the agricultural sector and textile industry and the government may be unwilling to invest in the development of tourism. At that time, transportation and accommodation was also not in good condition for a tourism destination. Only local and domestic tourists were the target customers for tourism. A decade ago, there were only a few tourism agencies where their marketing strategy was only traditional methods, for example person to person marketing and word-of-mouth. Even investments of both public and private sectors in tourism were limited.

The present

At present, Bangladesh has improved and overcome a few of the basic limitations in relation to present tourism attractions to the tourists. Many relevant facilities related to tourism as visa and immigration, transportation, accommodation, catering and other ancillary services are modernized both for domestic and foreign tourists. These activities in reality can generate benefits for the entire tourism industry.

The future

Bangladesh is holding high potentiality for tourism and it can play a key role to contribute to the national economy of the country. In this country, there are lots of natural beautiful hills, vales, deep and mangrove forests, rivers and the longest beach in the world. Moreover, the scope of nature-based tourism, culture-based tourism, historical tourism, eco-tourism and research-based tourism is quite evident. In the future, the tourism sector will be one of the economic earning sources regarding foreign exchange earnings as well as the creation of employment. For developing the tourism industry, both the private sector and the government should increase investment and create international base facilities for foreign tourists. An online and social media marketing strategy and niche marketing strategy can help inform and attract foreign tourists. It should use innovative technology to spread positive news to the tourists and use digitized information systems for historical tourism products.

Critical explanations: drawback and prospect analysis

In Bangladesh, there are some disadvantages of the tourism sector such as problems of safety, security and hygiene, lack of entertainment facilities, low-quality services, new investment, non-professional tour operators, unskilled and profitable tourist agencies, political instability and finally lack of infrastructural development. The Bangladesh tourism sector has a lack of online marketing facilities. The policy of the tourism industry is not adapting to the development of tourism growth because there is no policy-related sustainable tourism. Green marketing strategies such as green marketing mix, eco-friendly services, online marketing and customized services are not available in the tourism industry in Bangladesh. Hossain (1999) demonstrated that the tourism industry failed to grow properly due to a lack of sustainable and effective tourism marketing strategies and the reluctant attitude of different governments. Several foreigners have a negative perception of Bangladesh. Foreign tourists feel Bangladesh is a country of poverty, floods, beggars and political conflict. Besides, the ministry of civil aviation and tourism, BPC and other private tour operators did not apply proper marketing tools and concepts to reach their tourist products and service to the target consumers.

On the other hand, the Bangladesh tourism sector has a huge potential scope for expansion of world tourism such as the low price of products and services, rich historical-cultural heritage, diversification of the tourism product portfolio, prominence on development of tourism and hospitality skilled manpower. Moreover, Bangladesh has many rivers, the longest sea beach in the world, a historical tourism place and ancient architecture.

Bangladesh tourism is facing many problems including marketing strategy such as marketing mix, promotional tools, pricing strategy and green marketing and green value chain (Nekmahmud and Rahman, 2018; Hasan, 2019). By applying niche market strategies, Bangladesh can earn more foreign currency as

Bangladesh has four main tourism products: beaches; hills and islands; forests; and historical and archaeological sites that are most attractive to many tourists (Sarker and Begum, 2013). Now the government focuses not only on tourism but also on hospitality management such as hotels, motels, transportation, restaurants, security, environment and entertainment.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Tourism marketing is one of the parts of marketing which contend with the tourism industry. The main purpose of tourism marketing is to attract visitors to the particular tourism place which can be a country, a city, heritage site or tourist places and others. Nowadays people around the world like to travel for exploration and entertainment. As a result, skilled tourism marketing can attract visitors and make a lot of money. Bangladesh is famous for its natural beauty, greenery, archaeological and historical sites and hospitality. Therefore, tourism marketing is essential to attract potential foreign tourists in proper ways and it plays a significant role in socio-economic development.

Tourist spots should be more attractive and a promotional strategy of tourism marketing can develop the tourism culture to attract tourists. However, the government should focus on not only tourism but also hospitality management like hotels, motels, restaurants, transportation, security and entertainment and continued research and development are needed for the policymakers.

This chapter explained that tourism marketing requires interrelatedness while destination marketing in tourism requires innovativeness. Innovations and information technology are vital for Bangladesh to develop its tourism growth to attract foreigners. A solution to information technologies could increase the effectiveness of the tourism business by introducing a model that consists of eight components (information, users, information resources, suppliers, information systems, booking and sales systems, information processes and ensuring of information systems and technology). Then, the model is tested in the hospitality and tourism industry companies (Saifullin and Lomovtseva, 2019). If Bangladesh wants to establish generating markets at international and county levels, it has to use different types of marketing tools for example online marketing, website development, TVC for satellite and local TV channel, social media marketing, green marketing and other marketing communication tools, e.g. advertising, newsletters, catalogues, direct mail or email campaigns, public relations and sales promotions and so on. Mobile advertising can play a vital role in attracting the tourists and informing about tourism destinations, products and services (Huq et al., 2015). In addition, it is time to update and use Airbnb app, which is a home-sharing mobile platform that enables tourists and local hosts to connect. Airbnb mobile app allows hosts to the location available for rent and helps travellers to attract and find accommodation, phone reservations or bookings by travel agents (Nathan et al., 2020). Bangladesh can achieve tourism goals and create potential markets by observing the changing design and requirements for different types of markets such as China, Japan, Eastern Europe, and South America and South Asian countries. The government of Bangladesh can promote international tourism such as Sundarbans and Cox’s Bazar, Saint Martin’s Island and some regional heritage sites such as Fort William, and House of Ahsan Manzil and Sonargaon as the main reason for leading Bangladesh in international tourism. Moreover, BPC pays interest in terms of promotion and product diversification strategies, in particular travellers who are arrivals from South Asia, East Asia, USA, Europe, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Australia and New Zealand and others. Developing packages of points of interest and services is a good way of catching the interest of tourists. The government should ensure easy access transportation, international standard accommodation, entertainment facilities, sports and cultural amenities.

Moreover, visitors are now more conscious of the environment and health issues. Therefore, a green marketing strategy and an environmentally friendly product strategy could help to develop the tourism industry by fascinating foreign tourists. Marketing with value co-creation, e.g. cross-country experiences of tourism marketing, technology support, collaboration and alliance and visual media networking also helps to expand the tourism market in Bangladesh. Moreover, proper marketing strategy, marketing mix, communication mix, investment and research and innovations could support to develop the tourism industry in Bangladesh successfully by offering attractive and appealing tourism products and services.


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