Leisure Travel: A Marketing Handbook

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9780130493170: Leisure Travel: A Marketing Handbook

A marketing book for travel professionals, Leisure Travel focuses primarily on the psychology of travel—why people travel and why they don't, and how to reach and motivate them more effectively. This book emphasizes that to get a greater market share, the travel professional must understand the motivations, thoughts, and lifestyles of their important market segments; thereby ensuring that advertising and promotional dollars for their programs hit their intended targets. A sweeping perspective of the leisure travel industry, this book explains, through examples and real case scenarios, how to provide the best travel products targeted to the right audience, and with the best marketing messages. For managers and executives of marketing and directors of planning at travel supplier companies (airlines, hotel chains, individual hotels, rental car companies, and cruise lines); owners and managers of travel agencies and travel agency conglomerates; and owners, managers, and executives at tour companies and travel packages.

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About the Author:

Stanley C. Plog. The career of Stanley C. Plog spans the worlds of academia, professional consulting, and business development. He founded Plog Research, Inc. and was its Chairman and CEO. The company serves a broad segment of the travel industry throughout the world, including airlines, hotel chains, destinations, cruise lines, rental car companies, and travel media. At UCLA, he was first the academic director of the Training Program in Social Psychiatry and formed the Urban Observatory, a social problems study center.

The popular press has labeled him "Dr. Destination" for his ability to turn around destinations and resort areas that face declining revenues. His accomplishments include helping rejuvenate troubled airlines, cruise lines, hotel groups, and other travel-related companies. He frequently speaks at major travel conferences worldwide, and is a regular contributor to ASTA Agency Management, Travel Weekly, and other trade publications. Dr. Plog is also an editor for the Journal of Travel Research and the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. He has written two other books on travel (Leisure Travel: Making it a Growth Market ...Again!, and Vacation Places Rated). Currently, he operates as an independent consultant, continues to assist his previous company (now owned by NFO Worldwide), services an online research company (Equation Research), and provides guidance to destinations and travel suppliers.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This book provides a different perspective on travel, based on the more than 35 years that I served virtually all aspects of the industry as a consultant and researcher. Major airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines, tour operators, rental car companies, resorts and destinations, travel media, and large travel agency conglomerates have been clients. These experiences provide an overview of the industry that I could not get if I had worked only in one segment, such as the airlines, hotels, or as a director of a tourism bureau. The range of experiences has allowed me to see similarities and differences across the field that otherwise would not have been possible. It has been a wonderful life experience and, to use the term of the psychologist Carl Rogers, I have felt selffulfilled. I count as personal friends many people I met over the years, including clients, academicians, people in the press, executives in advertising agencies, and others. They have taught me much while giving freely of their time and their ideas as we worked jointly to solve problems or work through issues.

My views may be different or unique, but they grow out of trying to understand how to attack each situation in the hundreds of studies that I have personally conducted. The focus has been on trying to learn why people travel, why they don't, and how to understand the psychology and subtleties of the travel experience. To handle the new challenges that clients provided almost weekly, flexibility and open-mindedness have been qualities that are essential to achieve success. You can't approach any situation assuming that you already know the answers. After the long period that I have been associated with the industry, I am still amazed at how much there is to learn. I cover a lot of topics in the pages that follow, but the subject matter could easily have filled a volume three to four times its current size.

Although this is a marketing book, it focuses primarily on the psychology of travel—why people travel and why they don't, and how to reach and motivate them more effectively. Anyone who wants to capture greater market share must have good knowledge about the motivations, thoughts, and lifestyles of important market segments. Otherwise, advertising and promotional dollars for programs supporting these efforts miss their intended targets. The media-intensive culture of today exposes consumers to thousands of advertising messages daily through television, radio, and print publications. Weak, unfocused messages easily get lost in the clutter.

Special thanks belong to a number of persons who have helped by reviewing certain sections of the book about events with which they had intimate knowledge and by offering suggestions. These include Tony Antin, Joe Buhler, Barbara Colwell, Bob Cozzi, Kim Greenspan, Al Keahi, Don Lum, Murray Markin, Renee Monforton, Allan Muten, John Pelletier, Lily Shum, and David Swierenga. Their names are referenced in the text in the sections referring to specific events or help provided. Appreciation is also due to former colleagues and still friends at Plog Research who have helped with various materials, including John Antonello (President), Ruth Sharp (Vice President), and Loretta Valdez (Manager of Production Services). Finally, Vernon Anthony of Prentice Hall has been great to work with. He is a gem in the world of book publishing.

Stanley C. Plog

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