Tourism Product Development for an Ethno-religious Segment

Principal Investigator: Prof. (FH) Mag. (FH) Martin Samek
Collaborators: IML 2012 students
Cooperation partners: Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO)
Duration of the project: June 2013 – May 2014
Contact: [email protected]

Objectives of the project
Austria is a land of many sites, views, cultural gems, local tastes and flavors, lush and never-ending green fields, and many more. All of these combined with its centrality, set it out to be a perfect tourism destination.
With this thought in mind, a decision was made to look at market segmentation from a fresh perspective. Specifically, this project was designed in order to research first and foremost whether or not it would be worthwhile for the Austrian ANTO to allocate efforts and resources into marketing Austria as an attractive tourism destination for different Jewish communities worldwide. With the answer being positive, the next step was be to analyze and decide which specific communities would be most full of potential. The third step was be to come up with a strategic plan entailing how the marketing task should be approached on business, regional, and national levels.
In a most concise manner, the questions this research sets out to answer are as follows:
Should Austria point efforts at attracting worldwide Jewish tourist?
If so, how should it be done on a national, a regional, and a business level?

Research methods
The research used a qualitative method of enquiry, relying on secondary data and interviews analysis. In order to maintain a rational line of thinking and reasoning the research was split into three consecutive steps:

First step:
In depth research focused on secondary data for the following purposes:
A. defining initial target groups
B. discovering what attractions, Jewish heritage sites, and Kosher infrastructure Austria has to offer.
This step revealed that there is place for Austria to assume action with regards to increasing Jewish tourism to Austria.

Second step:
A. conducting interviews with representatives of target groups for further insight,
B. conducting interviews with service providers experienced with catering to Jewish travelers in Austria (hotels, restaurants, caterers, travelling agencies)

Third step:
Analysis of all the collected information and data in order to create “travelling packages” (offers for potential clients based of segmentation and target groups), as well as formulating recommended actions on a national, a regional, and a business level

Outcome, conclusions and recommendations
A total of eight target groups from Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Israel, and the US were chosen. These together with the analyzed contents were the base for the following conclusions and recommendations:
National Level- it is recommended that one of the most important tasks for the Austrian Tourism Office is to create a positive image and awareness for Austria. This is due to a combination of lack of knowledge of what the country has to offer, as well as a negative image that Austria has yet to be able to “shake off”. These should be done through vast marketing efforts: PR campaigns; ads in designated tour operator sites; collaborating with different influential bodies in the Jewish communities such as newspapers, websites, etc. Additionally, TV campaigns in target countries should be considered in order to expose target clients to the beauty and magic of Austria.
Regional Level- the different regions were examined and found to have certain trends that the “Bundesländer” have to offer, therefore they were clustered down into three categories: (i) Cultural, (ii) Activities and (iii) Hybrid.
The categories were then matched by defining four regions in Austria, which can be positively correlated to the target group’s unique and specific needs: (i) Vienna, (ii) Carinthia, (iii) Tyrol, and (iv) Salzburg. The paper thoroughly details the matching process and recommendations for pairing regions and target groups together.
Business Level- due to the amount of tourism based businesses in Austria which could potentially benefit from catering to whole new groups of customers at different times of the year it is suggested to develop a service of “matching” between businesses and target groups. This tool is believed to be a convenient and official solution which may be done via an online platform in which each business is required to build a “profile” detailing its current offerings and potential ones. This information will then be compared with the different target groups in order to offer the business which customers it should best focus on, and when.