Letter from Toronto : Value Propositions!

USA, UK and Canada are some of the bigger markets in the global pecking order for generating tourism traffic and India with its amazing and breathtaking sweep of experiences, most certainly has the potential for a much larger piece of the total global tourism pie.

Looking at Guides like the 300 best hotels in the world, Forbes Travel Guide Star Rated Hotels, Leading Hotels Guide, Michelin, In World Guide, Official Hotel Guide, Luxury Hotels Guide, India is not mentioned as much as its national product deserves. There are some hotels in India that have been listed but these latter Guides are by no means comprehensive or current.

Most of these Guides have some type of objective, incognito and a non-commercial process to evaluate these hotels. Renee Lecler, after visiting 3,000 hotels and travelling to 102 countries has said it simply, “caring for quality in all aspects of the total hotel experience, gives me what I want with genuine friendliness and a touch of panache, that hotel will make it.”

Looking beyond to 2024 and forward, an honest in-depth internal look at an organization’s business strategy is critical for improved performance, profitability and sustainability. This needs to embrace all elements of the tourism product. With specific reference to India, the destination has to be marketed in conjunction with different levels of government, the carriers, tour and travel operators, media (local and international) with hotels, ground operators.

And, most of all, tourist sites all playing their part to enhance the buyer’s experience at all touch points of the purchase cycle.

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that views of India are generally positive across 23 countries and here we see an opportunity for improvement with a clear and simple coordinated strategy.

As a friend of Bill Mariott records, “to know Bill Mariott and realize his immense success makes the average person feel he could have done as well under similar circumstances.” It is hoped that this will inspire the new generation of tourism professionals to go to higher ground with unstinting quality that stands out, superior easy to use technology, safety and cleanliness with green initiatives to make the whole business sustainable. Going over leaves from Bill Mariott’s life, he believed he could do it, worked morning noon and night and did in-depth market research to understand the market and the consumer. He believed in timeless values of teamwork, a positive “I love my job” attitude, integrity and pride in his entire organization and service offering.

Looking at the top global destinations featured in travel magazines and publications, Srinagar and Rajasthan are mentioned, however, the vast sub products like culture, big cities, on the water, nature and wildlife, snow and winter sports are overlooked and remain missing. There is a big gap here that needs to be addressed to create a more accurate and comprehensive awareness of the total Indian tourism experience.

The world is suffering from creeping mediocrity and it is important that travellers keep experiencing a product that offers distinctive quality without these service providers basking on past glories and traditions that might have been great at that time. Innovation and constant quality assessment are necessary to stand out.

A Deloitte travel Industry outlook says, “as travelers consider the price vs. value proposition of travel, a looming concern of hoteliers and airlines is their ability to deliver the experiences travelers expect. Like the service industry broadly, travel suppliers have struggled to sufficiently staff frontline roles.” A recent JD Power study recorded a drop in customer satisfaction and that they were not getting the value for their money. It looks like all airline and food and beverage prices are rising above customer expectations and they are holding on to their wallets.

In conclusion, solutions might be complex. However, a concerted approach covering all elements of the marketing mix will enhance the total customer experience. Some other factors include a strategic value price relationship, well trained teams to offer caring service excellence, correct inaccurate market perceptions, with creative consistent destination advertising.


Jey Dharmaraj, is a marketing strategy advisor, based in Toronto. Having worked with ITC Hotels, in their hotels and the corporate office, he relocated to Toronto and has several clients in various sectors. He has many articles published in local and international publications. He may be contacted at jey.dharmaraj@gmail.com


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