Travel and Transport Services are essential components of the modern world, it facilitates the movement of people and goods across various destinations.
The concept of travel and transport, however, refers to the paid modes of railways, roadways, and air travel run by commercial operators, government agencies, and public limited companies. In India all three modes of transport, i.e., the bus system, railway trains ferrying rail users, and airlines are becoming popular. Even railway companies, typically seen as monopolies, have sensed competition’s impact and are enhancing services to meet customer expectations. A railway board manages the railways, overseeing various divisions throughout the country. The Ministry of Railways, representing the Government of India, holds full responsibility for its management.
Despite being under the management of individual state governments, road transportation remains highly fragmented. India does not have any central authority that runs the transport industry on a commercial basis. Similarly, Government airlines operate under the name and brand of Air India as a corporation, while the rest of the industry operates entirely in the private sector under open competitive conditions.
Nature of Travel and Transport Services
The Nature of Travel and Transport Services are as follows:
1) Income Level
The income level of travellers to a great extent determines the mode of transport they choose. For example, a middle-class traveller cannot think beyond travelling on a train for personal purposes. It is usually the rich and the upper middle class that travel by air, apart from company-sponsored executives.
2) Unstable Demand
The demand for a particular mode of transport depends on the income level of the customers, seasons and purpose of travel. The income level of an individual restricts him to a certain mode of transportation. For example, a middle-class bank employee may choose to travel by rail for personal purposes, but when the bank sponsors his travel under the Leave Travel Concession (LTC), he may choose to travel by air.
The products of the three modes of transportation are highly perishable. A seat on a bus, train, or airline perishes if passengers don’t use it on a specific trip.
4) Consumer Behaviour
Consumer behaviour depends highly on their income level and the purpose of their travel.
In India, roadways and railways share the major responsibility of connecting the rural parts of the country. More than the railways, it is the roadways that provide access to some of the most remote areas of the country. On the other hand, airlines connect the major commercial, business and metros of the country.
- nature of business meaning
- nature of international business
- scope of international marketing
- determinants of economic development
- nature of capital budgeting
- nature of international marketing
Service Marketing Strategy of Travel and Transport Services
Companies in the transportation industry prioritize service characteristics because they find it challenging to manage and match demand with capacity, a crucial factor for success in the competitive market.
Travel and transport firms often use market segmentation and marketing mix decisions as their core marketing strategy. Marketing is a key ingredient in any tour experience as it links desire and latent demand with conversion into actual holiday experiences. Hence, markets and marketing become critical aspects for transport providers, particularly when a significant portion of their core business caters to passengers travelling for leisure or business purposes.
The nature of marketing efforts designed by transport enterprises around the world is complex and positioning these in the context of the consequences can have on tourism development. Transport firms have engaged in multiple strategic and tactical marketing programs designed to entice passengers, not least of which include pricing strategies about yield management strategies, frequent flyer programs as established by many airlines, alliances (including mode-specific and multi-mode integration programs) and traditional advertising.
Burke and Resnick indicate that some travel marketing experts have added four extra Ps – Physical environment, Purchasing process, Packaging and Participation. They feel that these additional Ps are necessary to describe the process involved in marketing travel services. Achieving the successful marketing of facilities and services for a venue or destination involves controlling specific variables, and it’s persuasive to adopt the same eight Ps for this purpose.
Market Segmentation of Travel and Transport Services
An organization providing travel and transport services to the masses should possess a keen awareness of the unique characteristics of specific segments, enabling them to comprehend customer preferences. It is quite natural that different categories of users avail different modes of travel for different purposes. If the transport professionals know about the needs and requirements of a particular segment, the marketing resources can be developed accordingly. The users coming from the rural areas, illiterate persons the agriculturists and industrialists the affluents availing the services and like this youths women, kids and teens using the transportation services expect and behave differently. It is against this background that we need to segment the market in the face of changing socio-economic and business requirements.
Market Segmentation in the Transport Industry
The railways have been the traditional mode of travel for the people of India for two centuries. Railways are known as the arteries of India that connect all parts of the country and provide a life and identity to rural India. The road transport industry, otherwise, has been running as a fragmented industry in different states of such a vast country. Each state will have its state-managed government undertakings running the transport and travel corporations for the state. The same government authority manages the intra-state and inter-state transport industry for that state. However, some states have private operators overseeing bus and road transport operations, but these operations operate under licenses granted by the state transport authority.
Air travel has, to a large extent, moved to private air carriers and the government has been gradually withdrawing its only official air service Indian Airlines operating within the internal areas of the country. In its place however, Air India which used to be mainly an official air carrier for foreign travel has been extended to operate within the country with the earlier carrier Indian, the Indian Airlines, have been merged into Air India. The other major carriers are Jet Airways, and Kingfisher Airlines, In the main air travel business and the economy sector Kingfisher Red Airlines, Go Air, and Indigo, cover almost all destinations in the country. Thus air travel can be segmented based on air tariff and the facilities offered.