My business has been created on the basis of knowing that Scotland is one of the most internationally known countries for its culture and beautiful scenery. It’s based on a coaching holiday for 5 nights, 6 days that will be suitable for people who enjoy scenery, touring, culture and heritage. It will be run by a medium – sized company located in Edinburgh that is called Saltire Tours and will be aimed at European tourists. Reasons for setting the business in Edinburgh are that it’s the capital of Scotland and has some fantastic history for all to see. This report will be a tourism product analysis of what the business has to offer and what factors will affect the operational side of things. PEST analysis, Competitors and Consumers are all important and will be explained thoroughly as to what and how they will affect the business.
This research report will look into the factors that could affect demand for coaching holidays to Scotland from the European Market. It is based on a coaching holiday run by a medium – sized company based in Edinburgh that is called Saltire Tours. On completion, the report will be an analysis of the external environment and a product analysis to identify and justify the key features of the product in which the product will operate. Factors being analysed will include Political, Environmental, Social and Technological (PEST) and will show how they impact both positively and negatively on the Coach Tour Company succeeding. A competitor analysis will also be carried out to evaluate and discuss what kind of threat (if any) that may pose to the tour/programme. Another part of this report will include findings for a consumer analysis to determine the Market overall for the Coach Tour Company. The product itself will be given in detail to explain the key features and why it should be introduced in the tourism industry.
Factors that may affect Demand for coach holidays in Scotland involve:
Political factors that may affect coach tours could be recent terrorist attacks in Britain, which occurred in Glasgow Airport the 30th June 2007 and London 7th June 2005. Author Chris Greenwood (2008) wrote about the man who was behind the attacks “Abdulla realised his mission had failed, he dressed in a red and white headscarf for the final suicide attack on Glasgow Airport”. Another problem was the Icelandic Volcanic episode in April which closed European airspace. These incidents could put people off travelling to the UK, which would affect Scottish Coach Tours as they are based in Scotland. Higher levels of security and regulations are now put in place at airports, which is more time consuming for travellers, and it’s more inconvenient causing people to be impatient when travelling. Also inflation rates in the UK are pushing up prices for visitors such as fuel costs and 17.5% VAT which would affect Coach Tours as they use Coaches for taking their tourists around Scotland.
The Coach Company will be a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme as it will help encourage the tourism business to be environmentally friendly. The Coach tour will benefit from this as it will have a positive effect on visitors booking up for tour packages as visitors are now very conscious of the environment and will appeal to ‘eco-conscious’ visitors especially.
Social factors could involve the fact that European visitors find touring holidays very popular in the category of different holidays (see appendix 1) which is beneficial to the company as we specialise in Coach Tours in Scotland. Also another social factor could be the outbreak of Swine Flu that has hit Scotland and various other places throughout the UK, this may put people off travelling causing the tourism industry to suffer. A positive social factor could be that Scotland has a lot of historic and cultural attractions that people overseas would love to visit; this will encourage more people to visit Scotland meaning a possible increase of consumers for Saltire Tours as we specialise in culture tours.
Technological factors could affect Saltire Tours due to the Internet now making it possible to book directly with tour operators which will be a positive as it saves paying the Travel Agent commission. Saltire Tours will have their own website and ‘E’ brochures. Also there are new developments in aircraft technology, which cuts down travelling time being a positive for the International visitors coming to Scotland for a Culture Tour of Scotland. There are more comfortable coaches for touring these days with TV’s, toilets, and internet facilities on board the coaches which we will take on board and provide our visitors with luxury coaches during their time with us.
We have looked at two other Tour Companies that are in the similar market. The Analysis of each company compared to ours will help us find out the positives and negatives of our business and what we can do to improve the Culture Coach Tour through other competitors.
Their tours include an adventure with like-minded travellers; transport and a tour guide. Saltire Tours will include Transport, Blue Badge Guides, and Accommodation, Food, Excellent Customer service and First class attractions as a package. Haggis Adventures don’t organise everything for your tour, you have to make your own accommodation arrangements, where to eat and you might not visit some of Scotland’s finest attractions. This is definitely a chance for our business to introduce a bigger and better package for tourists that want to relax and have a great time knowing that everything is going to run smoothly and there won’t be any stress as everything is arranged. Also Haggis Adventures are more for the younger generation and since the highest proportion of holidaymakers visiting Scotland are in the 20 to 60-age range they would enjoy Saltire Tours better as our tour is suitable for that age category. Saltire Tours will also specialise in Tours whereas Haggis Adventures doesn’t, this will be a strength to Saltire Tours. However, a weakness for Saltire Tours is that Haggis Adventures have been running for 5 years and have experience in this field of tourism whereas Saltire Tour is just starting up as a brand new product.
Moray Tours in Scotland offer quality, flexible culture tours for up to six people. Whereas Saltire Tours will offer quality culture tours for up to 20 people which is a strength in the tourism Industry as Saltire Tours can offer much more to the Tourists in a way smaller tour companies can’t. Their tours only start in Elgin whereas Saltire Tours will be very flexible and can pick visitors up from wherever the tour group suits which is another strength for Saltire Tours. A strength that both Moray and Saltire Tours share is the quality of the tour guides on their coaches and the comfortable coaches they both use. A threat to Saltire Tours could be that Moray Tours is well known and this could affect Saltire Tours business. Also on their website, there is no mention of a price for Moray Tours whereas Saltire Tours gives a package price for the whole tour making it stress free throughout the holiday.
The market size for our business will be relatively big as we will be aiming our tours at the whole of Europe. It has been found that specifically German and Italian tourists will be interested in our tours as Germany is the highest ranked in terms of trips, bed nights and expenditure, where its £187million figure is double the next ranked: Italy (Visit Scotland). Factsheets on these countries will be sourced at the end of the report (see appendices 2&3)
Notice our target market (overseas) In June 2010 to August 2010, the seasonally adjusted number of visits by overseas residents to the UK increased by 6 per cent to 7.6 million, when compared with the previous three months. Associated spending by overseas residents on visits to the UK increased by 7 per cent to £4.4 billion (National statistics). Our coach tour company will focus on these months on advertising to attract large numbers of tourists seeing as these are the most popular months for our target market.
Visits from Europe have increased from 16.1 million in 2000 (a 37 per cent increase) and
are now approximately the same as in 2000. (Office for national Statistics 2009) Also 22.1 million of the total 29.9 million visits to the UK in 2009 were made by air. (Office for national Statistics 2009) Therefore our consumers will be travelling mostly by air to Scotland which will be included in the package price. This will be beneficial to Saltire Tours as we will be able to use SGIT fare block on a basis, which will be the ideal scheduled airline for Saltire Tours visitors to fly with, as it’s a flexible duration of 5 nights, which SGIT caters for.
Description of basic product offering and product features
Our Coach Tour Company has constructed a 5 nights, 6 days Tour suitable for people who enjoy scenery, touring, culture and heritage.
Scotland has been one of the most internationally known countries for its culture. As our country has developed over the many hundreds of years, it has developed a culture that is both interesting and fascinating. Saltire Tours have taken time to develop a coach tour suitable for the International visitors that will meet all their holiday needs. They will enjoy living in some top class hotels, these include: The Balmoral Hotel, Thistle Hotel, Stirling Highland Hotel, Royal George Hotel and Poppies Hotel. Visit Scotland (2010) studies show that Hotels remain the preferred accommodation for international tourists.
The places they will visit on this 6-day tour of Scotland will include two of the major cities: Edinburgh and Glasgow. Also Stirling, Crieff and Callander will be included in the tour. They will experience our way of life whilst living in a tenement building, to visiting some of our fine art galleries. We have also included in the tours some of our fine whisky distilleries to experience Scotland’s famous drink and whilst they are having fun during the day, they will also experience Scottish entertainment at its best! This will include Scottish pipe music, Celidh, Poetry and a concert involving Accordions and fiddles.
Whilst the International tourists will be entertained by Scotland’s well-known attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Sir Walter Scott’s House and Stirling Castle, they will be able to luxuriate in Scottish cuisine throughout their stay and find out how it feels to be Scottish!
The hotels they will be staying in will be no less than 3 stars and they will be situated in the areas of interest to suit the tours to make them run as smoothly as possible. This complies with the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. All the hotels are members of this scheme.
Justification of why this product should be produced
This product should be produced as Scotland doesn’t have a company like Saltire Tours. There is certainly Coach Tours available but none are specifically tailored down to fine detail like our business will produce. Our consumers will experience everything there is to love about Scotland from experiencing the food, scenery, culture; they will certainly know what it’s like to feel like a true Scot by the end of their holiday. Another reason is that not many companies offer a carefree holiday in Scotland where all their needs are met and international tourists will not know where to start on experiencing Scotland. Saltire Tours will organise everything from accommodation, transport, attractions, wining and dining to evening entertainment as a package holiday price making sure what is included is only the best and relevant to international tourists that wish to experience Scottish Culture.